Archive for April, 2017

Out gay male bands

April 16, 2017

(On way gay, outrageous, and confrontational male musicians, so plenty of sex talk. Use your judgment.)

On the 9th, from a poster in the LGBT district of Facebook:

I was listening to WFUV [in New York City] … at the gym this afternoon when they played a song from a band called PWR BTTM. Anyone heard of them before? Gay male bands are rare – I can only think of two: Pansy Division and Jinx Titanic – although I’m not an authority on the genre. They seem to have a following in larger cities as tickets are already sold out for their upcoming tour. Their site has a few of their songs.

And another poster extolled

Superfruit, which is made up the two gay members of Pentatonix, Scott and Mitch.

Both of these are bands of the minimum size: two members. And both, as well as Pansy Division and Jinx Titanic, tend to the outrageous and confrontational. I’m not an authority on the genre, either (but, yes, there have been other out gay male bands), so I’ll stick to these four: first, the duos, then the larger groups.

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New Yorker artwork 4/17/17

April 15, 2017

(Not primarily about language, but there is a bit in there.)

From this issue: a Flatiron Building cover by Harry Bliss; a Rob Leighton cartoon on the Dear John letter, nit-picking, and self-awareness; and a Will McPhail cartoon about duck hunters.

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A scent of man

April 15, 2017

On Dan Piraro’s Bizarro blog on the 9th, thoughts on cartoon memes, especially the Ascent of Man meme, with this wonderful new cartoon:

The Caveman meme, with the paleo guy lounging provocatively in a men’s fragrance ad (plus the pun, of course)

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The maiden, the monster, and the hero

April 15, 2017

In the LGBT precinct of Facebook recently, this Jim Benton cartoon (eventually this posting will be about Benton, but first the folktale scenarios):

(#1)

The basic scenario is Beauty and the Beast: a beautiful maiden (that is, a virgin), often a princess; and a monster, a grotesque creature, either literally an animal (a gigantic ape, a dinosaur, a mutant lizard, a dragon, whatever — but male) or a man animalistic in form, sometimes in nature as well. The monster desires the maiden: to devour her (literally), to despoil her (sexually), or merely to love her (romantically).

A third character, the Knight, figures in an extended scenario: a hero, a handsome and virile young man, often in armor, often a prince, whose role is to challenge the monster in battle and overcome him, thereby rescuing the maiden — for himself; she is his prize. In the extended scenario, two males are rivals for the maiden.

In Benton’s version, the hero challenges the monster, demanding that the monster deal with him rather than the maiden. And so the monster does. Sometimes in a love triangle, the rivals become lovers. (Combat between men is sometimes a route to mutual respect, male bonding, and friendship; in this case, the relationship goes one step further.)

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Passover minestrone

April 14, 2017

On Monday a friend made me a pot of minestrone, for Passover (a custom in her definitely gentile family; my definitely gentile family did gefilte fish for the holiday; who knows how these things got started) and because she knew it’s a favorite comfort food of mine (simple, warm, homey, and hearty).

Unaccountably, I seem not to have posted about minestrone before, so I’ll start with that. And then move to an actual Italian Passover soup,  minestra dayenu.

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A cross-comic moment

April 14, 2017

Yesterday’s Mother Goose and Grimm goes meta, with a scene in the Dr. Seuss Cafe involving Dr. Seuss cartoon characters:

(#1)

The Cat in the Hat is spoiling for a fight with a Sneetch (on the left) and the Grinch (in the middle). while the table offers green eggs and ham.

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Privative vocabulary in Ruthish

April 14, 2017

A One Big Happy from last month, in which Ruthie explores hitherto-unrecognized privative vocabulary in English:

Ruthie sees not– as a privative prefix in English, appearing in the cheese name mozzarella (which she hears as not-zarella; who know exactly what zarella means, but then lots of words have mysterious parts in them, so why not this one?). Once Ruthie’s dad sees through the misunderstanding, he goes on to mischievously offer another privative-not– word: not-zoball, which others think of as matzo ball (try not to worry about the alternative English spellings matzo, matzoh, matza, matzah). An appropriate remark for the season, since we’re now in the middle of Passover, the time of (among other things) unleavened bread, in the form of matsos and matso meal.

 

Mindlessness

April 14, 2017

Today’s Zippy (for a change, not alluding in any way to POTUS):

Zippy and Griffy are headless in Hyannis, or somewhere. Headless and therefore mindless. They are briefly Zippyized in panel 3, where they are subject to Martinization and Sanforization, before Zippy urges them in the last panel to return to their everyday identities (like vampires or werewolves, they change back at dawn), and Griffy commits a very silly pun (close-minded / clothes-minded).

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The Further Adventures of Dick Dangler, Phallic Eye

April 14, 2017

Bulletin from Max Vasilatos, who got this ad (for an eye cream) on Facebook a few days ago and did a double-take:

Yes, just a finger with a bit of eye cream on its tip. But for a moment, it takes us into the world of accidental phallicity, as in my 6/25/15 posting “The news for penises, including accidental ones”.

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On the quote watch

April 14, 2017

An exchange on Facebook a few days ago, provoked by a 4/9/17 piece linking to 4/15/11 story “World’s languages traced back to single African mother tongue: scientists” on PRI (Public Radio International). Various annoyed responses, including, from Ben Zimmer:

No idea why this PRI piece has been making the rounds lately, but it’s about the old 2011 Science paper

My response:

On Facebook, everything old is new again.

— intending to use the boldfaced catchphrase (or cliché) to convey something like ‘fashions and trends are repeated or revived’. Then I wondered about the history of the expression, and found nothing useful in dictionaries of quotations, idioms, and clichés, at least for this wording used in this way. What I found were links to biblical quotations with different wording conveying rather different content; and then, from the 1970s on, a ton of examples of what was clearly recognized as a catchphrase / cliché, used much as I used it above.

As I note here every so often, I am not a lexicographer or a quotes investigator, and I don’t have the resources to pursue the history of expressions in their sociocultural context (though I do hang out with people who do these things, splendidly). So here I’m just setting the problem.

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