Gay cartoons

Two cartoons from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (by Zach Weiner) on gay subjects: the Kinsey Scale question (“How gay are you?”) and a proposal to use gay to mean ‘awesome’.

Paul Armstrong, who sent me the link for the first, wondered if it would make me laugh or cringe:

Homohm is a portmanteau of homo ‘homosexual’ and ohm ‘unit of electrical resistance’, with the contributors overlapping in the vowel /o/ (and the letter O). [The choice of a unit of resistance as the model for a unit of gayness at first seems odd — but it does allow for a nice portmanteau, more satisfying phonologically than homovolt (electromotive force), homoampere / homampere / homompere (current), homowatt (power), homocolomb (charge), or homojoule (energy) would be, though all of them are semantically more satisfying.]

From the father’s graph, 6.4 homohms, though above the mean for gayness as measured in homohms, is easily within one standard deviation of the mean. So that means that the son’s gayness is acceptable to his parents; here’s where you might cringe.

But of course the whole business is wacky. If the graph is supposed to show the distribution of gayness among human beings as a group, or men as a group, then it doesn’t look much like the Kinsey distribution (which is heavily skewed towards low values of gayness), since it is close to a normal distribution. So maybe the graph is supposed to show the distribution of gayness among gay people, or just gay men, as a group. But then what determines who’s in the population in the first place?

I realize it’s silly to try to make sense of a cartoon. In fact, the absurdity of the measurements is probably one of the points of the cartoon. Given a chance, engineers will try to quantify anything.

The second cartoon is positively sweet:

Gay isn’t just good, it’s fuckin’ awesome. This cartoon is gay!

3 Responses to “Gay cartoons”

  1. Jenny Says:

    I learned about normal distributions (and I knew what ohms were) before I ever saw a Kinsey distribution. I also knew most human scales were on a normal curve. So I spent most of junior high convinced that 67% of the people were bisexual, and hoping desperately that I was bisexual too. Adolescence is surreal.

  2. Jason Weret Says:

    I would strongly suspect that this histogram would be an inverse bell curve with a bum in the middle for bisexuals. Almost none of the people I know don’t consider themselves firmly in one of those three camps.

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