Archive for March, 2016

A kitten-killing God?

March 31, 2016

The t-shirt I put on this morning, taken from the top of a big pile I rotate through, happened to be the “Every Time You Masturbate, God Kills a Kitten” number, which is of course a joke — but one that taps uneasily into attitudes about masturbation. And then it turned out that the history of the slogan (with a different graphic from the one on my t-shirt) has been nailed  down. The original computer graphic:

(#1)

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Three for the 30th

March 30, 2016

Three language-related cartoons for the day: a Zits with terms of venery; a Rhymes With Orange with an absurd portmanteau; and a One Big Happy in which Ruthie runs afoul of synonyms and homonyms:

(#1)

(#2)

(#3)

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Anhedonic with Velda

March 30, 2016

Today’s Zippy is a fantasy on the great film noir Kiss Me Deadly, which might not have been enough to move me to post it here, but there was the excellent technical term anhedonic in there…

  (#1)

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Morning name: domoic acid (plus Dungeness crab)

March 30, 2016

Yesterday’s morning name, domoic acid, was no great surprise, given recent local news about the late opening of the Dungeness crab season. From a story on ABC tv station KGO’s site yesterday:

Officials announced today Dungeness crab season officially opened after the price for local crab was set at $2.90.

Officials said crab fishermen are rushing out to set their traps. However, the trip is a four-hour journey, so they will not be able to bring any crabs back to the Bay Area right away.

The earliest crab may be for sale is on Friday.

Earlier today, crab fisherman took part in a closed-door meeting where officials set the price for crab.

A dangerous neurotoxin [domoic acid] in the crab was to blame for California’s crab season delay. Even after samples were below alert levels in recent weeks, public health agencies recommended people not eat the internal organs of the crab known as butter or guts.

 (#1)

A Dungeness crab

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Back to Braunschweig

March 30, 2016

Yesterday we went to a diner in Brunswick ME, rolled a few Brunswick bowling balls, looked in on the province of New Brunswick in Canada and various American places named (New) Brunswick, and had a taste of gam(e)y Brunswick stew from the American South — all a riff on the English name Brunswick derived from the German place name Braunschweig. A tour through lots of stuff, but I held back on digressing even further to a topic involving the place-name Braunschweig more directly, namely Braunschweiger sausages (of a number of dfferent types).

The Braunschweiger sausage of my American childhood, in a tasty sandwich:

[7/30/19: The photo of a liverwurst sandwich has been removed, in response to this message from the law firm of Higbeee & Associates:

We represent the photographer Adlife Marketing & Communications Co., Inc.& Communications Co., Inc.. Adlife Marketing & Communications Co., Inc.& Communications Co., Inc. is a professional photographer who licenses images to make a living. We noticed that the work of Adlife Marketing & Communications Co., Inc.& Communications Co., Inc. is being displayed on a website that we believe you either own or operate (See Exhibit A).  Further, we could not locate any records that indicate that you have a license for such use.

… If you do not have a license, please contact us at […] or call us at  […] to resolve the matter. … We need to know how the image(s) came to be on your website to discuss compensating Adlife Marketing & Communications Co., Inc.& Communications Co., Inc. for the time of infringement and costs that have been incurred as a result of the use of the image(s).

The Higbee firm has made something of a lucrative specialty of threatening lawsuits over  the use of photographs on the net, requiring that the photographs be removed (as I have done here with the liverwurst sandwich photo) and then that the user pay a hefty fee for its appearance on the net. (I wouldn’t dare describe this behavior as a scam, because that of course would be actionable in itself.) This is not my first brush with them (see below), but this particular occasion has a certain onomastic charm to it, since the “professional photographer who licenses images to make a living” in question has the remarkable name “Adlife Marketing & Communications Co., Inc.& Communications Co., Inc..” I’ll bet their parents rued the day they chose that name out of the baby books.

In any case, the killer liverwurst sandwich photo came to me on a Pinterest board several years ago, posted by someone who got it from a 2008 WordPress blog posting about meat.

Then, from my 12/29/17 posting “News for penises: artwatch”:

(#1) Painting, signed by Carolina Falkholt, on Broome Street
[Photo of the penis mural removed. It turns out that it was from the NY Post, where it was credited to photographer William Farrington. Attorney Mathew K. Higbee is now threatening to sue me, on Farrington’s behalf, for large amounts of money for unauthorized use of the image… Part of my response is to remove the image.]

But they still demanded that I compensate the photographer. I did not. Now here we go again.

End of legal digression.]

(Ok, liverwurst by another name. Some people just hate it.)

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From a Maine diner to Southern squirrel stew

March 29, 2016

Today’s Zippy takes place in the Brunswick Diner in Brunswick ME, with a side trip to bowling balls; meanwhile, the Pinheads and the Roundheads each regard the other (somewhat surreptitiously) as exotic creatures:

(#1)

Lots of stuff about names to come, taking us from Brunswick ME to Brunswick stew with a lot of stops in between.

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A hard-working metaphor

March 29, 2016

Passed on recently on Facebook, this Wondermark cartoon from 6/25/15, “Throw Back the Dead Man’s Coin” (#1135), with two of David Malki’s top-hatted characters who are deeply contemptuous of their social inferiors (as evidenced in other strips), one of whom is given (as here) to arguing for the sake of argument:

This strip introduced the Earthworm Bucket metaphor that was then the basis for a series of four strips (#1136-9) that I posted about here in “Disruptive conversation” of 7/8/15, about (among other things) the troll of arguing for the sake of argument.

(Cartoonist David Malki has given names to his recurring characters — like the black-hatted asshole in this strip — but I don’t know this one’s name.)

Meanwhile, the strip gives some freshness to the figure labored metaphor.

Rendezvous at Zip’s

March 28, 2016

Today, Zippy once again confronts his diner essence at Zip’s in Dayville CT:

(#1)

I say “once again”, because this is the seventh Zippy to depict or mention Zip’s since it first appeared in the strip on 5/10/98.

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Roland Topor

March 28, 2016

Alerted by Terry Castle on Pinterest, the work (surreal, nightmarish, harsh, often scabrous) of Roland Topor.

(#1)

Les Bestioles (ca. 1973)

From Wikipedia:

Roland Topor (January 7, 1938 – April 16, 1997) was a French illustrator, painter, writer, filmmaker and actor, known for the surreal nature of his work. He was of Polish-Jewish origin and spent the early years of his life in Savoy where his family hid him from the Nazi peril.

Roland Topor wrote the novel The Tenant (Le Locataire chimérique, 1964), which was adapted to film by Roman Polanski in 1976. The Tenant is the story of a Parisian of Polish descent, a chilling exploration of alienation and identity, asking disturbing questions about how we define ourselves. The later novel Joko’s Anniversary (1969), another fable about loss of identity, is a vicious satire on social conformity.

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Morning name: bullhorn

March 28, 2016

Yesterday’s morning name, a word that evokes for me a piece of electronic technology for amplifying the human voice, like a megaphone but with a lot more power built into it. An example, with a pistol handgrip for turning it on and off:

(#1)

The older non-electronic object, which I refer to simply as a megaphone, deployed by a German lifeguard in 1969 and by a swimmer in an Archie comic from 1967:

(#2)

(#3)

The device in #2 and #3 obviously came first (though it seems not to be especially old), since it was, as I can attest from personal experience, around for some time before devices like #1 appeared, because the electronic devices weren’t possible before the invention of the transistor.

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