Archive for February, 2015

Local pronunciations

February 28, 2015

Two notes on the pronunciation of proper names: on the city of Bangor ME and on the actor Ryan Phillippe.

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Books: cartoon/comic classics

February 28, 2015

Published late in 2014, two books on classic cartoons and comics, with non-overlapping subjects:

Richard Gehr. 2014. I Only Read it for the Cartoons: The New Yorker’s Most Brilliantly Twisted Artists.  Houghton Mifflin. (With a foreword by Matt Groening.)

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Monte Beauchamp. 2014. Masterful Marks: Cartoonists Who Changed the World. Simon & Schuster. (16 graphic biographies.)

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Poets in Their Youth

February 28, 2015

Recently reissued: Eileen Simpson’s 1982 Poets in Their Youth: A Memoir (Random House), a wonderful recollection of poets John Berryman, Randall Jarrell, Robert Lowell, Delmore Schwartz and others in their circle (R. P. Blackmur, Jean Stafford, and more).

(On the cover: a young Berryman, Stafford, and Lowell in Damariscotta Mills ME.)

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Briefly noted: a misreading

February 27, 2015

I was startled to read on the front page of this morning’s NYT, the headline:

Move to Ban
A Ballet Adds
To Its Appeal

A closer reading revealed that it wasn’t Ballet, but Bullet: the armor-piercing 5.56 millimeter “M855 green tip” rifle bullet, used in AR-15 semi-automatic rifles.

As before, I wondered what disposed me towards the misreading. Well, at least, banning artistic performances is not an uncommon event in many parts of the world.

(Also on that page, the doubly appalling story headed:

ISIS Onslaught Overrums
Assyrians and Wrecks Art

in which militants were taking hammers to ancient Assyrian artifacts. More extreme art criticism, reminding us of the Taliban’s destruction of the great Buddhas of Bamiyan.)

Color and advertising your preferences

February 27, 2015

In my e-mail, a flagrantly gay ad for the men’s underwear site Daily Jocks, offering (among other things) wildly colorful Andrew Christian items and the Identity line from Curbwear, which allows the wearer to advertise (via waistbands and shirts) his preferences in sexual acts. Underwear mostly goes to my X blog, but these items have a linguistic angle, so I’m posting here. No actual genitals, but plenty of cock-teasing and sexual language, so this posting might not be for everyone.

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Antisocial

February 27, 2015

Today’s Zippy:

Resistance to modern communications technology, both hardware and software, is a recurrent theme in Zippy. This time it’s social media under fire from our Pinhead.

Shipping and the Johnlock files

February 27, 2015

From the NYT Magazine on Sunday (the 22nd), “My Dear, Dear, Dear Watson” by Jenna Wortham, beginning:

Part of the Internet’s beauty is the space it affords people to take an idea and run with it . . . and run with it and run with it, until they end up miles away from where they started. Among a subset of online superfans of the BBC show “Sherlock,” solving mysteries is mere window dressing for the real story: one about unrequited love between Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman).

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(Sherlock (Cumberbatch) and John (Freeman) in situ in Sherlock.)

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Comic conventions

February 26, 2015

Two cartoons today touching on conventions of the comics: A Calvin and Hobbes on conventional characters in the comics and a Zippy on the conventions of surrealistic cartooning:

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The thieving sap spitter

February 26, 2015

Today’s Bizarro, which is, well, bizarre:

Not only do we have a thieving bird that carries off letters of the alphabet, we have one that takes them from the cartoon itself. Bizarre indeed.

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Return of the word avalanche

February 26, 2015

Yesterday’s Pearls Before Swine, with a word avalanche:

As before in Pearls, the strip goes meta when the cartoonist is taken to task for his word play.

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