Archive for May, 2012

Arôme Saveur Penis

May 24, 2012

From Chris Ambidge, this image from French artist Stéphane Bérard’s installation L’arôme pénis pour préservatif:

Yes, a dick-flavored scent.


Vampire detective

May 24, 2012

Yesterday’s Scenes From a Multiverse:

— with a crucial ambiguity in the N N compound vampire detective: an object reading for vampire (‘someone who detects vampires’) vs. a predicative reading (‘detective who is a vampire’).

Pronoun case double-header

May 23, 2012

In an interview with Xerox CEO Ursula Burns on NPR’s Morning Edition this morning (“If You Don’t Transform, You’re Stuck”), two pronoun case finds: an accusative whom “by position” and a nominative conjoined object I.


I am UndocuQueer!

May 23, 2012

Yesterday at Stanford:

UndocuQueer is Julio Salgado’s telescoping portmanteau of undocumented queer:

“I am UndocuQueer!” is an art project in conjunction with the Undocumented Queer Youth Collective and the Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project (QUIP) that aims to give us undocumented queers more of a presence in the discussion of migrant rights. 

More information (and another portmanteau) on the website Feet in 2 Worlds: Telling the Stories of Today’s Immigrants:


a rethink

May 22, 2012

From “Community colleges: Restoration drama”, Economist 4/28/12, p. 36, on Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposals for the city’s community colleges:

Under a plan produced for the mayor in December last year, each of the city’s community colleges is to be tailored for training in a specific sector of industry …

All this chimes perfectly with the objectives of the Obama administration …

Such a rethink is also in tune with a new report organised under the auspices of the American Association of Community Colleges.

The nouning rethink.  Not new, but still interesting: why use it when rethinking is available?



May 22, 2012

Yesterday’s Scenes From a Multiverse:

Jon Rosenberg tucked the unwieldy portmanteau journeysperience into the strip; so far this is the only occurrence of it on the web. As for the content of the strip, here’s Jon’s comment:

This strip appeared fully formed in my head after viewing this video of an interview with the Dalai Lama. Some might call it hack parody; I call it divinely inspired. Also, a goat!

Geek days

May 22, 2012

Just learned that Thursday Friday is Geek Pride Day and was reminded that I should post some observations from Lal Zimman on the “geek voice”.


Marriage and divorce

May 21, 2012

William Haefeli, on the changing definition of marriage, in the May 21st New Yorker:

Following up on President Obama’s support for same-sex marriage (as here).

Note the complaint of (some) religious authorities that the government — in the form of state legislatures and the courts — is defining marriage, when marriage is (these authorities say) the province of the churches (or the people in general, by popular vote).

Meanwhile, in the same issue of the New Yorker, the lead “Talk of the Town” piece, by Margaret Talbot, begins:

One day, not long from now, it will be hard to remember what worried people so much about gay and lesbian couples committing themselves to marriage.

and goes on to look at the sad story of opposition to interracial marriage:

In 1968, the year after the Supreme Court struck down Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law, seventy-two per cent of Americans disapproved of marriage between whites and non-whites, and only twenty per cent approved.

So it goes.

The queering of the metrosexual

May 21, 2012

From Charles M. Blow’s NYT column on Saturday:

The New York Times reported on Thursday that a Republican “super PAC” was mulling over a plan to resurrect President Obama’s former pastor and spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., as a weapon against the president.

… There was one description of the president that truly seized me:

“The metrosexual black Abe Lincoln has emerged as a hyper-partisan, hyper-liberal, elitist politician with more than a bit of the trimmer in him.”

This sentence is just so deliciously ridiculous, insulting and incendiary — perfect Republican fodder.

… First, there is the word metrosexual. It is usually defined as a man keenly interested in grooming and preening. Despite the sexual root, the term isn’t rooted in sexuality. In its truest sense, President Obama of mom jeans infamy — as he told the “Today Show” in 2009, “I’m a little frumpy” — is far less metrosexual than Mitt Romney of the perfect hair, copper tan and Gap skinny jeans.

But this term is rarely appropriately applied. On the contrary, it’s often delivered with a snicker to question sexuality and feminize the subject, and femininity in a misogynistic culture is the greatest of sins. Metrosexual has become a roundabout homophobic taunt.

Apparently, just a comparison to homosexuals is enough to taint the word.


Portmanteau, then clip, then analogize

May 21, 2012

From Victor Steinbok, a link to this piece by Briana Rognlin entitled “Fitspo: The New Health ‘Inspiration’ Is Just Thinspo In Sheep’s Clothing”, which begins:

“Thinspo” content—images and articles “inspiring” readers to persist at disordered eating and dieting for the sake of being thin— has slowly been getting pushed off social media sites and shamed for its damaging effect on women’s body image and mental health. In its wake, a new brand of body-negative, obsession-spurring “inspiration”—called “fitspo”—has begun cropping up on Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr. But with the goals of achieving fitness and health, instead of thinness, it’s unclear when fitspo is a great way to stay motivated, or when it’s just thinspo in sheep’s clothing.

There’s a slideshow on the site, and further discussion of women’s body images, but my interest here is the words thinspo and fitspo.