Visual burlesque

August 29, 2014

From Xopher Walker recently, this image from the American Postcard Co. in 1995; design by George Costaldo, photography by Michael Huhn. One of a set of political leather images — involving Hillary alone, Bill alone, Hillary and Bill, and (below) Bill and Al — sometimes described as parodies, but to my mind better characterized as (visual) burlesques.

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Ruthie and Joe again

August 29, 2014

In today’s One Big Happy, the kids do their best to cope with rare English vocabulary:

Ick.

I’m not at all inclined to use eschew in speech, and I seem to have used it only once in writing on the net. It’s awkwardly formal in style/register.

Bizarro followup

August 29, 2014

Posting yesterday on that day’s Bizarro, with only minimal commentary on it. Now a follow-up on two topics: what you have to know to make sense of what’s going on in the cartoon; and what makes it funny.

The cartoon repeated here:

 

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While Robin’s off duty …

August 28, 2014

Today’s very silly Bizarro:

While Robin’s off-duty, Batman calls in Cardinal. Stick to the birds.

Hybrid art

August 28, 2014

From the MUU Galleria in Helsinki, Finland, this recent sculpture “My Little Tom of Finland” by Mari Kasurinen:

The figure is a hybrid of two (very oddly assorted) creations from popular culture: the cute My Little Pony toys (favored by young girls) and the hypersexual characters from the graphic artist Tom of Finland  (favored by gay men). It’s one in a large series of My Little X sculptures by Kasurinen, playfully (and critically) combining the little ponies with characters from popular culture or famous iconic people (“superstars”, as Kasurinen puts it, “presented to us as examples, ideals, even as authorities”).

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Ruthie and Joe meet French

August 27, 2014

Today’s One Big Happy has Ruthie and her brother trying to understand French as English:

Sea view play.

The kids do their best to make sense of what they hear in terms of what they know.

cranking

August 26, 2014

From the annals of sexual fetishes, this story (“GOP Hopeful: My Public Masturbation Fetish and Felonies Were Bad Ideas” by Adam Weinstein) now making the rounds, here from Gawker on 6/27/14:

Jordan D. Haskins, candidate for Michigan Legislature, wants everyone to know conservatives embrace imperfect people, too. So let him explain his multiple felony convictions for breaking into government vehicles [especially police cars], disconnecting the sparkplugs, and jerking off while the engines cranked.

… Via The Saginaw News:

Haskins’ criminal charges stem from trespassing on private and public property in four cases from April 2010 to January 2011, when he was sent to prison. As part of the break-ins, he started vehicles to facilitate an uncommon sexual fetish Haskins called “cranking” in interviews with police…

“I was just a lonely, angry kid at the time,” he said. “If anything, I could be put on ‘World’s Dumbest Criminals.'”

But now he’s up for legislating.

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temblor

August 26, 2014

We had an earthquake in northern California in the middle of the night on Sunday. Centered in Napa County, where it did some significant damage. Down here on the peninsula, we got some long shaking, but not much otherwise. My windows rattled, but nothing was harmed; not even the pictures on my walls were deranged.

Then there’s the media coverage, which prominently uses (in all quake reporting, but especially in headlines) the word temblor, which I don’t think I’ve ever heard in ordinary conversation; it seems to be a journalists’ word.

Maybe some journalists think that temblor is a technical, precise term and that (earth)quake is a colloquial and less precise term, but I can find no evidence for this idea. All the dictionaries I’ve looked at, plus the Associated Press Stylebook, treat temblor as a straightforward synonym for earthquake, with no referential distinction.

It’s true that temblor is shorter than earthquake, so it’s handy for for headlines. But the clipped quake is shorter than temblor, and has the advantage of easy comprehension. (Tremor is also compact and easy to understand.) But newspapers like the exotic temblor.

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More cheese, and conversion by truncation

August 26, 2014

A comment (of 8/23) by Andy Sleeper on my haloumi posting:

At a hotel in Chicago recently, at the breakfast buffet, they were serving some dish with egg, meat, and cheese, with a little sign saying “Scrambled with chorizo sausage and chihuahua.” [Note that chorizo would have done fine here; chorizo is the name of a type of pork sausage, so that chorizo sausage is an expansion of chorizo -- similar to Brie cheese versus Brie.]

Adjectives with assumed nouns are asking for trouble, it seems to me. From scrambled, I understand eggs, though it could have been brains.

After I inquired, I learned that “chihuahua” refers to a type of cheese I had never heard of. I think “cheese” would have been an important word to include.

First, a note on Chihuahua cheese, then on the “conversion by truncation” in scrambled for scrambled eggs and chihuahua for Chihuahua cheese.

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Cowboy Rub

August 25, 2014

From Tara Narcross-Wyckoff, a supermarket scene:

Two points of linguistic interest here: the noun rub; and the semantics of N + N compounds X rub. (Several observers have speculated on possibly raunchy interpretations of the product name Cowboy Rub. I’ll get to that.)

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