Archive for July, 2017

Today’s comic comprehension test

July 31, 2017

A recent cartoon by Wayno, passed on to me by Chris Hansen:

To understand this cartoon, you need to recognize that the setting — one or two people on a small, otherwise uninhabited, island with a lone palm tree — is a cartoon meme, and that such  a setting is referred to in English by the idiom desert island. (You also, of course, need to recognize the items on the island as desserts; and to know how to spell desert and dessert.)


Annals of phallicity, annals of design

July 30, 2017

A little while back, my household had need of a drill to use in repairing a damaged storage closet door, so from the tool closet came (as the company styles it) the Fiskars Manual Rotary Craft Hand Drill, a very pleasing tool that is light in weight, cheap, up to small jobs around the house, nicely fitted to the hands, and beautiful to look at — really a wonderful example of design — and also, of course, being a drill, really phallic. A model in white:



The queer quilt

July 30, 2017

Saturday’s gift: a 12-panel queer quilt (roughly 6 x 3 ft), made mostly of old queer t-shirts of mine (some political, some playful, some artistic), assembled into a quilt by Janet Salsman, with the collaboration of Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky and Kim Darnell:

(#1) Eleven t-shirts, plus a homoerotic shirtless cowboy panel


Christian Sauce

July 29, 2017

As on this advertisement, recently noticed in New Orleans by John Dorrance, who posted it in Facebook with only the comment “Seriously?”:

(#1) Available at the French Market, next to the Voodoo Sauce?

Well, yes, seriously. It’s a Hispanic man’s name Christian Sauce /krístian sáwse/, not an English compound noun Christian sauce, though commenters on John’s page (including the one who provided the basis for the caption of #1) preferred to have sport with the English compound noun, which affords a number of entertaining understandings.

Then there’s Christian Sauce, un abogado bilingüe practicing in Gretna LA, especially providing services to the Hispanic community (though not restricted to that). Of some linguistic interest with regard to both parts of his name.


Cover me, slowly

July 28, 2017

If you think you can escape the Summer Song of 2017 — Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” (pop crossed with rap) — you’re probably mistaken. Yes, you can do the obvious: avoid Puerto Rico and Latino-heavy sections of the US, stay away from Mexican, Salvadoran, Cuban, etc. restaurants, all that sort of thing. But you could flee far away, to the Balkans, to Ireland, to Southeast Asia, to Hungary, and it will be in vain: the song will haunt you, in instrumental versions on piano, cello, violin, bamboo flute, oud, you name it; with words in French, Chinese, Gaelic, Croatian, Malay, whatever; performed by one man, one woman, two men, a man and a woman, on up to crowd-sized choruses; as heavy metal, as Romantic-style classical music, as jazz, and so on; as a sweet and softly romantic song, as hard-driving bump-and-grind music, as an enthusiastic anthem, or as flat-out parody; with fresh choreography in almost any dance style imaginable.

I didn’t appreciate the scope of the phenomenon until Kim Darnell sent me a video of Peter Bence (a 25-year-old Hungarian pianist and composer) doing a jazz-inflected piano version (channeling Keith Jarrett), and watching that led me to all this other stuff.


Musical synchronicity

July 27, 2017

I spent much of Tuesday putting together material for my posting on Mikey Bustos and his parody “I Wear Speedos” of the hit song “Despacito”, by Puerto Rican pop stars Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee. That led me of course to the great Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin, who’s been steadily on public view ever since he joined the boy band Menudo back in the 1980s.

So I had a day experiencing several versions of “Despacito”, many times over, and also returning to the pleasures of Ricky Martin’s performances, starting with “Livin’ La Vida Loca” and going on from there through his oeuvre (with digressions to Enrique Iglesias and Shakira).

Then yesterday to lunch at the Mexican restaurant Reposado, where they play pop music in Spanish as background. As I sat down, I recognized RM’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca”. Which was followed immediately by Fonsi & DY’s “Despacito”. How unlikely was that?

Synchronicity at work.

Electric charges

July 26, 2017

Earlier today, the posting “I sing the body elastic”, about Mikey Bustos’s parodic hymn to Speedos, the skimpy elastic men’s swim suits — with a title playing on “I Sing the Body Electric”, a poem from Walt Whitman’s 1855 Leaves of Grass, celebrating the human body. Beginning:

I sing the body electric,
The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them,
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the soul.


I sing the body elastic

July 26, 2017

(Men’s underwear, sexy song lyrics, nicknames, half-rhymes, and more. Some of it raunchy enough to have been banned in Malaysia, but then we’re not in Malaysia, are we?)


His name is Mikey Bustos, he’s (self-described) Canadian Filipino, and he rap-sings of skimpy Speedos —

My goods are protected like an armadillo
When I’m in the ocean I feel good emotion
Because all the sand causes some real exfoliation.

and prances in them like a pro.


From Tex-Mex to naked rugby

July 25, 2017

Yesterday’s morning name was the Mexican Spanish nickname Chuy (for Jesus). I’m pretty sure it got into my head from a friend who recently ate at a Chuy’s restaurant in Texas, so I’ll start with that.

But the real topic is Mexican Spanish nicknames: Chuy or Chucho for Jesus, Pepe for JoséChe for Ernesto, and Pancho or Paco for Francisco, in particular (with a note on the linguist Viola Waterhouse, who was a student of such things). That will take me to Pepe Romero, Che Guevara, Pancho Villa, the linguist Paco Ordóñez, Paco Rabanne (the man and the fragrances), and from there to Nick Youngquest in the buff, which will supply a moment of gay interest.


look pretty Adj

July 24, 2017

In a recent One Big Happy, Ruthie and her mother stumble through Ambiguityland:

An ambiguity both lexical and structural.