Gay hedgehog

A week before Stonewall Day (1969), this celebratory hedgehog:

(#1) Gay Hedgehog design by JP House from Threadless, available in a great many colors

The hedgehog army

We are the hedgehog army!
Rainbow flags are the weapons we wave
In the fight against prejudice, fear, and rejection.
Ready, aim, be brave!

I came to this t-shirt from the Gay as Fuck t-shirt Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky gave me as a Pride gift (see my 6/18 posting “Exulting in Pride”); she said that if I liked that Threadless design, I should check out all their gay offerings, and there was the hedgehog.

The hedgehog army parody. The second such parody on this blog. Earlier, in my 9/3/18 posting “Union strong”, about men in fashion jockstraps:

Join the jockstrap army and see my world!

We are the jockstrap army
Every one of us with a basket
We all hate pants and shirts and shoes
Men: ready, aim, and flash it!

The model is Tom Lehrer’s wry “We Are the Folk Song Army” (from That Was the Year that Was (1965)):

So join in the folk song army!
Guitars are the weapons we bring
To the fight against poverty, war, and injustice.
Ready, aim, sing!

Erinacine matters. From Wikipedia on the imagery of the hedgehog as contrasted to the fox:

The Ancient Greeks valued the saying of Archilochos: “The fox knows many tricks, the hedgehog, one good one” (presumably its ability to roll up [protectively] in a ball).

An essay by Isaiah Berlin, The Hedgehog and the Fox, translates the Archilochos quotation as: “a fox knows many things, but a hedgehog one important thing”. The essay distinguishes writers who see the world as complex and multi-faceted from those who see it via single over-arching idea.

To the gay hedgehog in #1, a gay fox counterpart:

(#2) Gay Fox from Redbubble (available as greeting card, t-shirt, sticker, etc.

Some hedgehog postings on ths blog:

on 10/23/13 in “Anecdote: the eagle in the bushes”:

Some years ago, at a linguistics conference in a village along the Danube in Austria, a Hungarian colleague announced with great pleasure that he’d come across an eagle in the bushes along the way from our lodgings. This did in fact seem remarkable to the rest of us. Then I got it.

I asked him to describe the creature, and got, not an account of a huge wide-winged bird of prey, but one of a small furry mammal: the hedgehog (naturally found in bushes, underbrush, and hedgerows). In German, Igel (which sounds a lot like eagle in English, and indeed my colleague knew only the German name and not the somewhat fanciful English compound noun hedgehog).

Here the posting provides some background information about hedgehogs. Then:

… No doubt someone has looked at the question of why so many people find hedgehogs impossibly adorable.

on 9/25/14 in “hedgehogs”, about hedgehogs the prickly creatures vs. something or someone that selfishly keeps all the hedge(s) for themselves

on 5/10/18 in “What have you done with your life?”

I’ve sweated a lot of hours trying to get things both appropriately complete and right, not always to my satisfaction. So, when asked (as I have been now, several times), “How have you affected the course of the field?”, my first reaction is to say: well, not much really, I’m a person of little consequence (though I’m amiable, committed, and hard-working).

There are others who feel like me. From conversations with Eric and Margo Hamp, when Eric (an Indo-Europeanist specializing in Celtic and Albanian) was president of the Linguistic Society of America years ago: good words from me about Eric’s work, and his saying, somewhat ruefully (I paraphrase), “Well, really, it’s all knitting, getting details right.”

I’ve done a lot of knitting, over about 60 years.)

Not just a lot of knitting, but knitting on a whole lot of different stuff. You could view this as a sign of wide-ranging intelligence, of intellectual versatility (such as the late Jim [James D.] McCawley demonstrated so amply throughout his life), or just a very short attention span, an irresistible attraction to shiny ideas. In any case, I’m wildly more vulpine than erinacine (Latin vulpes ‘fox’, erineus ‘European hedgehog’)

2 Responses to “Gay hedgehog”

  1. Mark Mandel Says:

    Not directly on topic, but see


  2. Robert Coren Says:

    On the subject of adorability: Our large family of stuffed “people” includes two hedgehogs, quite different from one another — one of them is a actually a puppet than can be partially everted to simulate the curling-up action — plus an echidna (more or less the Australian analogue to the hedgehog), and a porcupine who got somewhat offended when, during the initial period after his arrival, I kept forgetting and referring to him as a hedgehog. All, of course, are adorable.

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