… with gusto, always gusto.
In three days, my friend Steven Levine will be 60. On to his diamond years! A homoerotic scruff collage for the occasion:
(Assemblage by Robert Cumming for my own 60th birthday, at the turn of this century.)
(Racy content — consider the title — so not suitable for everyone.)
Two new annoyances with the Penis Ban on WordPress, Facebook, and Google+. In two recent postings on AZBlogX: “Bear poets in 1963” on the 20th, with a Richard Avedon photo of poets (and lovers) Peter Orlovsky and Allen Ginsberg, in which Orlovsky’s (flaccid) penis is not at all the focus of the piece, but is important to its interpretation; and “Voluntary cuckoldry” on the 21st, with a striking graphic illustrating the roles of the three characters in such a relationship, a graphic with two stylized penises in it, one flaccid and one erect. (I will soon get around to posting on voluntary cuckoldry on this blog, but without the graphic.)
In both cases, the penises are central to the composition, and not as objects of veneration or erotic triggers; my fondness for cocks in these functions is well-known, and though in principle I think that that more open carnal sexuality would be a good thing, I’m willing to keep such images in a protected place. But in these two cases, I bridle at the Penis Ban.
Nevertheless, this blog is extremely important to me, so I don’t want to do anything that would threaten it. But I can still complain.
In a full-page ad (p. 11) in the 9/26/16 New York Review of Books (for a photography exhibition at the Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco), celebrated fashion and portrait photographer Richard Avedon’s photo of poets Peter Orlovsky and Allen Ginsberg, naked and in a hairy phase, in New York on December 30, 1963. The ad is reproduced in AZBlogX rather than here, because Avedon chose to include Orlovsky’s (flaccid) penis in the photo. (Ok in a gigantic ad in an intellectual magazine, not ok in WordPress, Facebook, or Google+, where a minor might come across it.)
The photo is often reproduced with Orlovsky’s dick cropped out (ouch), but I won’t do that here, because I think that misrepresents Avedon’s intentions, which were to portray a pair of lovers. Without the dick, what we’ve got is two bearded hippie buddies hangin’ out together. The dick is a sign of sexual connection — by no means the two men’s only connection (they were together for over 40 years, until Ginsberg died), but still an important point.
As one of the rewards of making it through eight days of a super-lowfiber diet preparing for a colonoscopy last week, Kim Darnell brought me a box of Almond Horns, looking much like this:
Massively fibrous, and delicious. Also unfamiliar to me. Though I instantly recognized the taste – like Mandelbrot, but in a different form. Kim added, in recognition of my sexual tastes, also distinctly phallic. Well, that’s not quite right: the almond horns, viewed not as crescents, but (turned the other way around) as horns (true to their name), are certainly masculinity symbols, representing stag horns. But then they are also (doubly-headedly) phallic.
Almond horns are very often presented with the horn tips dipped in chocolate, making the phallic imagery more intense, with the symbolic (engorged) cockheads standing out.
A while back, a photo of some shelves of small oddities, treasures, and art works. And now, thanks to Kim Darnell, another photo, of some other shelves:
An ivory carving; four lovely boxes, of different types; each housing little treasures; a beanbag playpus with Jacques’s Columbus Park of Roses badge; and the centerpiece, the printing plate for #99 (Gospel Trumpet) in the 1991 Sacred Harp, a gift to me from my fellow shapenote singers years ago (thank you especially, Chris Thorman), when printing moved from hot lead to photographic reproduction on computers — one of the most moving presents I’ve ever gotten, a recognition that this fugung tune was one of “my songs” (sometimes sung in my honor when I couldn’t make it to a singing).
A recent plaint from Aric Olnes (who is now 51) on Facebook:
Ugh. That moment when a retailer automatically spits out post-transaction coupons for Centrum Silver and laxatives! WTH, fifty is fifty! Sigh. Damn you, Walgreens.
Fifty is a cut-off point (at least in the U.S.) for the seque from middle age (beginning at 40 or 45, depending on who you read) to senior status (entered at 60-65, depending on who you read). There are “50+” organizations of many types, and the AARP takes members beginning at 50 — so it’s clearly not literally an association for retired persons (instead, it provides a kind of anteroom to retirement and true senior status).
Two recent Dilberts:
First Dilbert and the quality assurance guy Alan, then the pointy-haired boss and Alan.
Standard dictionaries don’t seem to have the technical use of assurance in quality assurance, though there is a techie Wikipedia entry on quality assurance that relates the expression to the verb ensure, rather than to the verb assure that the literalist Alan sees in it.
An ad from the porn purveyor HisXpress for a gay porn flick from men.com:
A remarkable project in several ways, starting with the fact that the video uses six of the X-Men characters without disguise in punning names or anything of the sort, so the Marvel firm must have been on board for the project — this despite the fact that the video is flat-out XXX-rated gay porn, as you can verify (if you wish) by viewing the trailer for the flick, which manages to provide a very short overview of the varieties of hot-hot man-man sex.
Caught in passing on a tv show, a character talking about cop-talk:
Hinky? That’s not even a word!
Like every other cry of “That’s not a word!”, this one is bullshit.
Start with the very short story, from NOAD2:
US informal (of a person) dishonest or suspect: he knew the guy was hinky. (of an object) unreliable: my brakes are a little hinky. ORIGIN 1950s: of obscure origin
Ok, a lame pun on the line from the Rolling Stones’ song “You can’t always get what you want”(from their 1969 album Let It Bleed), here with reference to what we know in my household as the Toucan Bowl:
The Stones song; toucans; and the Toucan Bowl.