On this day in 2019

At least seven occasions of significance to me today: three fixed to the date June 16th, plus four movable occasions that happen to take place on this Sunday this year. There will be a section in the middle with seriously raunchy material from gay porn that some will want to avoid; I’ll provide a warning when this stuff is imminent.

On June 16th. Three anniversaries of specific events. From the earliest forward:

— Bloomsday (1904). From Wikipedia:

Bloomsday is a commemoration and celebration of the life of Irish writer James Joyce, observed annually in Dublin and elsewhere on 16 June, the day his novel Ulysses takes place in 1904, the date of his first outing with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle, and named after its protagonist Leopold Bloom.

— Ann and Arnold’s wedding anniversary (1962). On this day 57 years ago, Ann Walcutt Daingerfeld and I were married in Princeton NJ.

— Kit Transue’s birthday (1968). On this day 51 years ago, my man Jacques’s first child, his son Kit, was born. Here are Kit and his wife, Adrienne Shapiro, festooned with lights for Xmas 2018:


On this Sunday in 2019. Four celebrations: Fathers Day in the US; Stanford’s Commencement ceremonies; Palo Alto World Music Day; and Trinity Sunday.

— (US) Fathers Day. For some of us, this is a day to remember our fathers with affection. I’m one of the lucky ones; I’ve written about mine several times, most extensively in my 1/30/11 posting “It Gets Better / Wonderful dad”.

It’s also an American commercial holiday that might better be labeled Masculinity Day, aimed at selling things stereotypically associated with high masculinity in either the upper middle class or the working class; elaboration on this point in my 6/10/18  posting “Gearing up for Fathers Day”.

And then through its role as Masculinity Day and through complex associations involving gay men and fathers, Fathers Day is also a high holiday for gay porn, with at least three different themes: sex between father and son; Daddy-Boy relationships; and sex involving older men — called daddies — especially, very muscular ones.

The following section is not suitable for kids or the sexually modest; they should skip ahead to the section on Stanford’s Commencement.

Sex between father and son is usually deflected in filmed porn to sex between stepfather and stepson (or something else not so directly incestuous), but there are lots of films on the theme. Like this Titanmen release from 2015:


In comics, however, anything goes, and there are cartoonists who specialize in raw sex between fathers and sons; the master of the genre is Josman; see the Page on this blog about the cartoonist.

Then there are the sociosexual roles roles Daddy and Boy, in which the familial relationship is entirely metaphorical; see the Page on Daddy-Boy pairings here.

Finally, there’s daddy merely as a label for an older man, especially in the expression muscle daddy (referring to a gay sociotype that combines muscle-hunk and daddy). See my 6/17/18 posting “Muscle daddies for Fathers Day” and consider this Titanmen compilation Daddy Meat (released in 2010):

(#3) Two muscle daddies in action: Arpad Miklos being serviced by Viktor Banda

This is the end of the Fathers Day sex program. We now return to the main program, with Stanford’s Commencement.

— Commencement Day at Stanford. The big event is in Stanford Stadium 9:30-11:30 am, with speaker Tim Cook, CEO of Apple and “a prominent voice on ethics in technology and business”; followed by individual programs awarding diplomas in their own ceremonies (the Linguistics reception begins at noon, with the ceremony following at 12:45).

— Palo Alto World Music Day. This event is always on Fathers Day, 3-7:30 pm in downtown Palo Alto. Tthe free festival offers more than fifty professional and amateur musical groups in a variety of genres ,on street corners and in plazas — including jazz, pop, rock, classical, world music, choral, folkloric dances and more.

This year, the Bay Area Sacred Harp group (including me) will be singing 4:30-6 by the Citibank ATM on Ramona St. between Hamilton and University Aves. (in a covered passageway); passers-by are invited to join in the singing (singings are normally participatory events rather than performances).

The Palo Alto event (always on a Sunday) is part of a much larger celebration, elsewhere set for June 21, the Summer Solstice. From Wikipedia:


The Fête de la Musique, also known as Music Day, Make Music Day or World Music Day, is an annual music celebration that takes place on 21 June. On Music Day the citizens of a city or country are allowed and urged to play music outside in their neighborhoods or in public spaces and parks. Free concerts are also organized, where musicians play for fun and not for payment.

The first all-day musical celebration on the day of the summer solstice was originated by the French Minister of Culture, Jack Lang, and by Maurice Fleuret, and was first celebrated in Paris in 1982. Music Day later became celebrated in 120 countries around the world.

— Trinity Sunday. The easy part, from Wikipedia:

(#5) A three-part knot symbol of the Trinity

(#6) The simple symbol elaborated with symbols for God the Father (the crown at the top), God the Son (the cross of Christ, on the left), and God the Holy Spirit (the dove, on the right); and with a circle uniting all three into one

Trinity Sunday is the first Sunday after Pentecost [Pentecost is essentially a celebration of the Holy Spirit] in the Western Christian liturgical calendar… Trinity Sunday celebrates the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, the three Persons of God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Trinity Sunday is celebrated in all the Western liturgical churches: Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, and Methodist.

The Sundays following Pentecost [through the summer and fall], until Advent, are numbered from this day.

That’s all about the calendar and the symbolism. But what does it all mean?

The churches listed in the article above are all trinitarian, taking God to be  persons united into one. (This is the sticking point, and I’m not going to be able to provide you with any deep understanding of the idea, because I have none myself.) This is contrast to binitarian systems, which posit only God the Father and God the Son. And to unitarianism, a reduction of binitarianism that treats Jesus as an inspired moral teacher and savior, but not a deity — somewhat similar to the position of the prophet Moses in Judaism, which is more uncomplicatedly monotheistic.

In any case, the liturgical calendar has three main sections: a Christmas section, centered on the birth of Christ; an Easter section, centered on the crucifixion and resurrection; and a huge section, running from Pentecost to Advent, celebrating the idea of a triune God.

(The Palo Alto Sacred Harp group sings together twice a month in a Unitarian church, but we happily sing the many deeply Trinitarian songs in our books. Including the passionate Pentecost hymn Conversion (SH 297), which I wrote about in my 11/28/16 posting “My tongue broke out in unknown strains”. We’ll probably sing it today at the Palo Alto World Music Festival.)



4 Responses to “On this day in 2019”

  1. chrishansenhome Says:

    Father’s Day is also celebrated in the UK and in Singapore. HWMBO has travelled to Singapore to see his dad and celebrate it with him. I am sure that other countries also celebrate it. It’s in contrast to Mother’s Day, which here is celebrated on the Fourth Sunday of Lent as Mothering Sunday and thus is a movable feast.

    The Celtic symbol of the Trinity is called the triquetra. When I was producing the liturgies for St. Matthew’s at the Elephant, I put it on the front page with the Trinitarian explanation on the inside front page.

    I just finished speaking with my friend who is a priest in Westchester County (RC). There is a saying that no one can preach on the Trinity without committing at least one major heresy. He and the other two priests in the rectory agreed last night that they’d just preach, heresy or no. When I was preaching in the next parish over from ours, the Vicar would always ask me to preach on Trinity Sunday. It was a struggle.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      I committed to Fathers Day on the 3rd Sunday in June for the US only, knowing that a bunch of different dates were used (March 19th is general in mostly-Catholic countries, it seems). But it turns out that the 3rd Sunday in June is very common.

      And thanks for the name triquetra.

      I can’t imagine trying to *preach* on the Trinity. I have a lifetime of trying to explain basic things about Christianity to my foreign students who are broadly ignorant about the subject (but want to understand something about the culture they find themselves in), and it’s a very very hard slog.

      • chrishansenhome Says:

        Really it’s best not to try to explain the Trinity to anyone. People who are Trinitarian Christians take it on faith; people who are not find it impossible to understand. I didn’t go to church yesterday because our newish Rector has a doctorate in systematic theology and I was too weary to try to listen to whatever he might say about the Trinity. I find that doctors of theology are often substandard preachers.

  2. [BLOG] Some Monday links | A Bit More Detail Says:

    […] Zwicky looks, in occasionally NSFW detail, at the importance of June the 16th for him as a […]

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