Archive for April, 2011

A Passover toast (with Coke)

April 25, 2011

As Passover draws to a close, a wonderful piece from the April 23 NYT about Rabbi Tuvia Geffen, which starts with a ritual blessing (Samuel G. Freedman, “A Passover Toast to a Rabbi Known for Social Activism, and for Kosher Coca-Cola”):

Rabbi Tuvia Geffen, of blessed memory, was born in Lithuania in 1870 and educated there in the renowned Slobodka yeshiva.


On the taboo avoidance patrol

April 25, 2011

Two recent cases:

In Guirgis’s seventh full-length play, “The Motherf**ker with the Hat” (at the Gerald Schoenfeld), audience members are treated to the author’s customary craftsmanship and themes, … (Hilton Als, “War Games” [review of “The Motherfucker with the Hat”], New Yorker 4/25/11, p. 86)

[Joel Berson to ADS-L 4/22/11 on “This sucks”] Too taboo apparently for the Boston Globe sports section today.  Lawrence Academy has had its football program sanctioned and its consecutive league championships of the past two seasons taken away by the Independent School League.  Neither the league nor the academy has so far specified the violations.  One former player is quoted by the Globe as saying “This absolutely [stinks]”, and the worst part is no one can give us a straight answer.”

I assume, but cannot know, that the deleted word is “sucks”.


The siren song of whom

April 25, 2011

Hilton Als, or one of his editors at the New Yorker, has opted for prescriptively correct (but now very formal and even archaic-sounding) whom in a context where I think who would be stylistically much more natural (discussion of some other cases of “Object whom” here):

Jackie [a man] wants to make love, but Veronica has something on her mind. She’s been seeing someone else, but won’t say whom. Is it their downstairs neighbor, the motherfucker with a hat? (Hilton Als, “War Games” [review of “The Motherfucker with the Hat”], New Yorker 4/25/11, p. 86)


marriage equality

April 25, 2011

A William Haefeli cartoon in the April 25 New Yorker:

A play on the ambiguity of the compound marriage equality: the now-current sense ‘equality to marry, equal rights with respect to marriage’ vs. ‘equality within a marriage’.

Previous postings on marriage equality here, here, here, and here.

Gay cartoons

April 24, 2011

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’.


The sexual connection

April 24, 2011

A Mark Stivers cartoon from 2010, caught in the most recent Funny Times:

A pickup in a tool bar: socket meets plug. Most people will take the socket to be female, the plug male — gender assignments on the basis of physical appearance that are reinforced by drawing the plug in masculine blue and physically superior to (above) the socket, plus showing the plug as drinking hard liquor and the socket wine — though this could in principle be a same-sex encounter. Notice that the socket takes the initiative in verbalizing the encounter.

Check your iPho

April 24, 2011

John Le Hung is just back from a visit to Vietnam, with news of iPho t-shirts available there. Knowing my enthusiasm for pho, he considered getting me one, but was put off by their being offered only in brilliant Communist red and in any case wasn’t sure about my attitude towards quirky t-shirts. No problem, I told him, I’m into t-shirts (see Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, here), and I’m sure these will be available on-line.

And so they are, from several places, including CafePress, which offers them in a variety of colors, including (Stanford) cardinal:

Some silliness for a Sunday morning.


April 23, 2011

From the menu at my local Gordon Biersch restaurant, a dessert of Banana Spring Rolls with vanilla ice cream, “drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauces”. This use of drizzle is very much a recipe and menu thing, something that takes us from the everyday world into the world of cookery.


Mining back-formations

April 23, 2011

Over on ADS-L, an thread has developed on quote mining, from which it turns out that the two-part verb to quote mine has been back-formed from the synthetic compound quote mining (itself possibly created on the model of the compound data mining or developed by independent invention). Which led Joel Berson to wonder if to data mine has been created yet. It certainly has, along with to data dredge, to data fish, and to data snoop. Back-formation flourishes.


Porn name up for grabs

April 23, 2011

From the latest entry in a series of postings on my X blog on orgies in gay porn, the cast list of the orgy scene in The Other Side of Aspen VI:

Roman Heart, Landon Conrad, Adam Killian, Tony Buff, Brandon Bangs, Shane Frost, Angelo Marconi, Gavin Waters

I commented on the two porn names boldfaced in this list:

Tony Buff (who is both buff and in the buff) and Brandon Bangs (who does)

resisting the temptation to say of Tony Buff, “who is and who is in it”, but happily committing the anaphoric island violation for Brandon Bangs. But then it occurred to me to wonder if the name Barry Bangs, playing on Barry Bonds, had been taken.

Apparently not. A search on {“Barry Bangs” gay} dredges up some amusing stuff, but nothing on a pornstar of that name. So, if you’re looking to break into the porn business as a heavily muscled, testosterone-drenched stud, the name is up for grabs.

The search did prompt Google to ask if I meant {“Barry Bonds” gay}, which struck me as ingenious on the part of Google’s search engine but incongruous as an image. It also pointed me to a straight porn movie Night of the Giving Head (a tortured play on Night of the Living Dead). And to this passage from a description of the gay porn flick Hot to Trot:

Barry bangs him from behind

which is nicely alliterative, and a line of trochaic tetrameter (with a truncated final foot) to boot. (The banger is Rod Barry, and the bangee is Jacob Scott, both veteran porn actors. Barry also appears under the names Rob deBaer, Rod Berry, and just plain Rod, and Scott under the name Mikel.)