Leyendecker’s jockey

January 21, 2021

In a recent Pinterest mailing, another homoerotic ad from American illustrator J.C. Leyendecker (famous for his depictions of American masculinity in ads for Arrow shirts and collars; and then for Kuppenheimer’s men’s clothes, as here; and in his many covers for the Saturday Evening Post magazine, which considerably influenced the illustrator Norman Rockwell):

(#1)

Elegant masculinity on the left (perhaps the owner of a racehourse), athletic masculinity on the right (a jockey). As in many of JCL’s illustrations, this one strikingly features male buttocks — in this case, the jockey’s.

Two themes here: manly brand icons; and JCL’s homoeroticism.

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Death and transcendance

January 20, 2021

Two things that happened fortuitously to come together in my life.

One, a Facebook note from Max Vasilatos (prominently quoting MLK’s “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope”) about pretty much everyone (me too) crying at yesterday’s twilight ceremony at the reflecting pool (by the Lincoln Memorial), memorializing 400,000 Covid deaths, on the eve of the inauguration of Joe Biden as President and Kamala Harris as Vice-President — on the Erev Inauguration (as Adrienne Shapiro put it on her FB page: the eve of a holy day).

Two, the music that I woke to on my iTunes this morning, Chopin’s Marche funèbre. Everybody knows the initial and final parts, the funeral march itself, tolling death; but in the middle comes the trio, a sweet, serene melody (in a major key), with a rising melodic figure, promising transcendance. Again, the combination of the memorialization of death with the promise of a new kind of life. (So, of course, I burst into tears once again.)

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Cure Bear

January 19, 2021

Today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro, which can be understood only if you know about two (hugely distant) bits of popular culture:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

That’s The Cure + Care Bear = Cure Bear: linguistically, a portmanteau; visually, a composite of Robert Smith of the band The Cure and one of the Care Bear toys.

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pair of jockstrap

January 19, 2021

(Well, men’s underwear, so men’s bodies play a significant role, but nothing raunchy. Look at #1, just below, to get a feel for the content and your comfort level; this is about as racy as things get in this posting.)

Passed on to me by Sim Aberson a few days ago, with the comment “Pair?”, this jockstrap ad from the men’s underwear company TBô (sometimes T-Bô):

(#1)

Not just “pair”, but “pair of jockstrap”, with SG jockstrap.The ad will take this posting  in many different directions, sometimes inconclusively, so the posting will proceed as a collection of very loosely connected mini-essays.

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Two reflections on rats

January 18, 2021

Reflection 1: fury at the roof rats that have taken up residence on my patio and are now devastating the plants there.

Reflection 2: a recent Economist story about Cambodian farmers trapping rats to sell for food in Vietnam.

(Some may see a possible thematic connection between the two reflections.)

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Collocation restriction

January 17, 2021

Today’s Ada@Home cartoon by Rob Harrell exemplifies the restriction of lexical items to specific collocations:

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Rainbows

January 17, 2021

A Christmas gift from Aging Life Care of California, a Cozee Rainbow aromatherapy pack: the rainbow is a cloth outer cover for the pack itself, which contains clay beads and lavender oil (and can be heated in a microwave or chilled in a freezer). ALCCA chose the Cozee (from the Pink Sky company) for its rainbow and my gayness, but as it happens the rainbow in question is not the Gay Pride rainbow (with 6 bands of color), but Isaac Newton’s rainbow (with 7: the ROY G BIV rainbow).

The cover:

(#1)

And some ad copy:

(#2)

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In the bleak midwinter

January 17, 2021

Every year, an emotionally difficult time of the year: Ann Daingerfield Zwicky’s death day is 1/17 (this year a Sunday, today), and my man Jacques Transue’s birthday is 1/22 (a Friday this year). When Ann died, in January 1985, it was in fact extraordinarily cold and bleak in Columbus OH; and then of course Jacques’s birthday was pretty much swallowed up by the aftermaths of Ann’s death (including a memorial service at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, on the Ohio State campus).

This year, I’m in Palo Alto CA, where midwinter is normally wet and cool (though not truly cold), but also green and graced by many winter-blooming flowers. In fact, this year it’s unseasonably dry and what counts as warm for winter here (high temperatures near 70 F., at least for a while), so the edge has been somewhat taken off my midwinter funk over my lost loves.

Into the midst of this have come some touching photos of J in his later years, as he was sliding towards death (which finally came in 2003) — a contrast to the photos of him that I’ve been posting here recently, photos of a strong, vital, handsome younger J.

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A riot of hibiscus

January 16, 2021

Extracted from my 1/15/21 posting “Flat on his back at the solstice”, this image:


(#1) A guy in Hawaiian mode, with beachcomber hat, lei, coconut drink, ukulele, and Hawaiian beach shorts

These Hawaiian beach shorts are only modestly floral. But ads go past me all the time for just gorgeous shirts, and bottoms as well — beach shorts, board shorts, and swim trunks — many in recognizably Hawaiian patterns (from traditional fabrics of several kinds), others of new, riotously colorful and often playful, design.

I started to assemble a collection of some of my favorite patterns, only to realize that they were all based on hibiscus flowers — some stylized, some more realistic. So this has become a hibiscus posting. (Information about the flowers in a while.)

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Perverted by Language

January 15, 2021

Monica Macaulay on Facebook, who had just come across the album Perverted by Language, by The Fall:

Monica: Love the title of the album. If I had a blog, that’s what it would be called. (“Don’t confuse yourself with someone who has something to say.”)

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