Men in the air

… with showers, gusty winds, and some concomitant masculine property damage, between 2 and 3 p.m., likely tapering off within an hour or two. Then this Karl Stevens cartoon from the 10/25 New Yorker:

(#1) “It’s raining men, every specimen /  Tall, blonde, dark and lean / Rough and tough and strong and mean”

[Note on the artist in #1, who’s new on this blog: from Wikipedia:

Karl Stevens (born November 21, 1978 in Concord, Massachusetts) is a graphic novelist and painter. His first book, Guilty, was published in 2005 with a grant from the Xeric Foundation. He is also the author of The Lodger (2010), The Winner (2018), and Penny: A Graphic Memoir (2021). His comic strips have appeared in the alternative newsweekly the Boston Phoenix (2005-2012), The Village Voice (2016-2017), and The New Yorker Magazine (2018-present).]

First, the cartoon plays goofily with the inclination of modern weather forecasting to use weather radar and satellite images to provide hour-by-hour predictions of specific weather conditions (focusing on the unusual and the local, like sand devils or street flooding), together with percentage estimates of their likelihood. As I write this, just after 3 p.m., Weather Underground says that in downtown Palo Alto there’s a 36% chance of light showers beginning between 7 and 8 p.m., with a wind advisory in the interim.

(That’s all fine, but what are the chances that it’ll be raining men in an hour? Just barely imaginable in some San Francisco neighborhoods, but on University Avenue in Palo Alto? Sadly, sadly low.)

So, second, there’s this, from Wikipedia, on the camp classic and dance, gay, and female anthem:

(#2) The cover art for the US 12-inch single “It’s Raining Men” by the The Weather Girls

“It’s Raining Men” is a song by the American musical duo the Weather Girls from their third studio album Success (1983). It was released as the album’s lead single on September 10, 1982 through Columbia Records and CBS Records International. Paul Jabara wrote the song in collaboration with Paul Shaffer, and produced the song in collaboration with Bob Esty. “It’s Raining Men” is a Hi-NRG and post-disco that incorporates elements of R&B, soul, and 1970s-style electronic dance music. Its lyrics describe an excitement and enjoyment of many different types of men.

… The music video for “It’s Raining Men”, released in the winter of 1982, was directed by Gary Keys and filmed in an abandoned building of New York City.

… The opening sequence of the video features the Weather Girls in a news station. The duo give a forecast prediction that it will rain men from the sky. After looking out of the station window to see the sky raining men, the Weather Girls leap out of the window with their umbrellas to join the men. Several dancers are seen in the music video performing choreography. Another scene features the Weather Girls wearing lingerie on a heart-shaped bed surrounded by and being adored by men. The closing scene shows the duo performing with the male dancers and extras in the music video.

(If YouTube will do its thing for me — I haven’t had a lot of success with embedding videos recently — you can watch the music video here.)

Earlier male deluges on this blog. From the art world. In my 3/21/20 posting “Golcorona”:

The art of the pandemic continues at Vadim Temkin’s CGI atelier, with Golconda 2020, an homage to Magritte …

(#3) (caption:) The way we live now

A many-depthed airscape of naked young men (with modesty hands) and fuzzy coronavirus molecules.

(#4) The Magritte original

… Golconda (French: Golconde) is an oil painting on canvas by Belgian surrealist René Magritte, painted in 1953.

The piece depicts a scene of “raining men”, nearly identical to each other dressed in dark overcoats and bowler hats, who seem to be either falling down like rain drops, floating up like helium balloons, or just stationed in mid-air as no movement or motion is implied.

… Despite having obviously artificial images of naked (and therefore utterly vulnerable), context-less men rather than realistic representations of everyday businessmen dressed for work, and despite being sprinkled with cute child’s-toy models of deadly molecules, Vadim’s work, with its stormcloud-studded sky, terracotta-tiled roofs, and detailed house facades, seems much more vividly, urgently real than Magritte’s. This is where we live now, it’s not a surrealist dream: Golcorona is both familiar and gorgeous, but [unlike the gold mine Golconda] it’s also a mine of death.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: