Archive for December, 2021

Dreams of a flitter mouse

December 30, 2021

(The posting veers almost immediately into the world of sex between men, sometimes in very plain terms, so it’s not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

Today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro finds Batman on his therapist’s couch, reporting bat dreams — but who knows what flying and insect-eating really stand for in the dreams of a flitter mouse?

(#1) Gm. Fledermaus (literally ‘flitter mouse’) and similarly in other Germanic languages, including, according to OED2, in English cites of flittermouse, flitter-mouse, flutter-mouse, and flitter mouse from 1547 through 1872 (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 7 in this strip — see this Page.)

Clearly, we have to understand both flying and eating insects as dream substitutes, screening Batman’s true anxieties: his shame about being gay (concealed by a veneer of macho posturing); his constant fear that his secret life as a famously effeminate enthusiast of fellating other men in the sexual underworld of Gotham City will be exposed; and his deep regret for years of being in sexual thrall to his younger, dominant, and more masculine lover, Robin the Boy Wonder (“I wish I knew how to quit you”, he sobs in dismay).


Christmas Eve mussels

December 29, 2021

Warning in advance: this posting will turn to discussions of genitals, mostly female, with symbolic and schematic representations, so it won’t be comfortable for everyone.

But it starts with a culinary celebration of the holiday season, Owen Campbell’s Facebook posting of course 3 of Christmas Eve dinner at his house:

(#1) Seafood moments: mussels here — and then oysters (courses 2 and 4), plus mushrooms stuffed with crab

Why all this seafood? Because it was Christmas Eve, and though Owen and his husband are in wintry Winnipeg and not sunny Sicily (where the seafood is a component of La Vigilia), bivalves and crustaceans are still appropriate for anticipating the arrival of the Child.

So, first: about the Seven Fishes (with fish ‘seafood’). Then specifically about mussels, as food. And then more about mussels, as symbols of the female genitalia (where we will encounter an instructive anatomical diagram cheerily entitled “Meet the Vulva” — note warning above).


Eating like a Pygmalion

December 28, 2021

… Wayno’s portmanteauing title for yesterday’s (12/27) Wayno/Piraro Bizarro:

(#1) A play on Shaw / slaw (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

Three things: one, plays on the Shaw of George Bernard Shaw (plenty of room for silliness here); two, on the wonders of (cole) slaw; and three, a note on the exclamation by George (which of course has nothing to do with GBS, but also nothing to with kings of Great Britain, since George I (from Hanover) didn’t ascent to the throne until 1714, while exclamations calling on a George go back at least to 1616).


The steamy side of Santaland

December 27, 2021

(Well, yes, men’s bodies and man-on-man sex, discussed analytically but in very plain language, with photos, so not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

Extracted from the Titan e-mail ad for the gay porn studio’s Christmas sale for this year, a pair of naked naughty boys making (two very different) sex faces for their audience:


The saurus with a chorus

December 26, 2021

A chorus of semantically related words — synonyms, antonyms, hyponyms, hypernyms, derivatives — organized in a book by concept. In today’s Zippy strip, such a book literally embodied in a saurus (‘lizard, reptile, dinosaur’) very much resembling a Tyrannosaurus rex. A saurus that Griffy-daddy is cajoled into letting Zippy-boy keep as a pet:

(#1) … so long as he keeps his pet Thesaurus in his room

Not, as it turns out, the first Thesaurus rex joke out there. There’s my 10/7/12 posting “Thesaurus rex” (which I’ll get to in a while, along with a couple of Thesaurus rex books); memic Thesaurus rex t-shirts, mugs, and the like; and even an “Oh crap! It’s a Thesaurus.” sub-meme.

But first, notes on thesaurus and the jokey thesaurus rex.


Bizarros of the Solstice, Festivus, and Christmas

December 25, 2021

Wayno/Piraro Bizarro cartoons for the 21st (Winter Solstice), 23rd (Festivus, for the airing of grievances), and 25th (Christmas Day). The first two are Christmas-related, but today’s is not (at least in any way I can see), so in a spirit of holiday orneriness, I’ll start with that one.

12/25: the Fritz Carlton:

(#1) Ritz on the fritz (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page.)

Fritz Carlton: an erratic portmanteau of on the fritz ‘not functioning’ and Ritz-Carlton the luxury hotel chain. (Note: the desk clerk is a supercilious Frenchman, an imagined present-day César Ritz.)


Barsotti, Diogenes, and getting laid

December 24, 2021

(Obviously, some sexual vocabulary is coming, with discussion of the acts referred to in plain language, so not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

Arrived at my house a little while back: the excellent collection The Essential Charles Barsotti (compiled and edited by Lee Lorenz: Workman, 1998), a review of the life and work of cartoonist Charles Branum Barsotti (1933-2014) up to that point, with an appreciation and (affectionate) interview by New Yorker cartoonist and art editor Lee Lorenz. Out of all that, my attention was caught (on p. 58) by a Barsotti cartoon about the ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes, who was perhaps most notorious in the lore of the ancients for his stunt of carrying a lamp during the day, claiming to be looking for an honest man:

(#1) How do you solve a problem like Diogenes? / How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?

This cartoon was drawn for Playboy magazine, and it shows.


How much myrrh can one man use?

December 23, 2021

(for Christmas Eve Eve)

Not to mention frankincense. The gold can at least be traded for useful supplies, but otherwise it’s bulky and heavy and of little utility to carpenters, shepherds, and fishermen, not to mention itinerant prophets.

All this by way of introduction to today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro, a Psychiatrist cartoon in which one such itinerant prophet, Jehoshua (known as Josh to his roadies), is unburdening himself to his therapist, unloading his disgruntlement at  being shortchanged in the birthday gift department because he was born on Christmas:

(#1) Yeshua, That’s My Baby (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 8 in this strip — see this Page.)


Skylunch 4, in Chicago

December 22, 2021

A few years back, members of the Chicago Iron Workers local #1 remade the famous “Lunch atop a Skyscraper” photo originally taken in New York in 1932. In 2017 the two photos — which I’ll label Skylunch 4 and Skylunch 1 — were put together in a composite (Skylunch 4+1) on Reddit, which the Chicago Curbed site posted about on 10/17/17.

(#1) Skylunch 4+1: both photos have 11 men, grouped 2, 2, 3, 3, 1; but the tones of the two photos are very different (Skylunch 1 — in b&w, with a hazy Manhattan in the background, with mostly recent immigrant steelworkers — is a piece of magic realism, expressing ambitious dreams of a truly modern Manhattan rising into the sky; Skylunch 4 — in sharp color, with the solid buildings of the 20th century in the Loop constantly in restless revision, with American-born steelworkers, Union guys, in their harnesses and hard hats — is a piece of everyday urban realism, regular guys doing a tough job

I missed Skylunch 4 at the time it first appeared on the net, but in the last few days Skylunch 4+1 has been passed around on Facebook, so I’ve been taken back into the Skylunch world, where the meme has been reworked again and again.


The bell of the ball

December 21, 2021

E-mail from a friend I’ll call J, reporting on exchanges on an (unidentified) web site about the photo below, of a carefully printed note on what was said to be a badly parked car (with a Jesus Disciple sticker on it), crucially in the UK (US participants would have been just baffled by the note, in which bellend is used as a crude stinging insult; the rough American affective equivalent would have been asshole — but that’s anus-based rather than penis-based):

(#1) The website exchanges were all about bellend — which first came into widespread use in BrE about 25 years ago in the sense ‘glans penis, dickhead’ and immediately extended to a generic male-insult use (as above) — but which is virtually unknown in AmE; the lexical item has now been scrupulously described in OED3, but the photo above (from a Mirror (UK) story on 11/5/21) is of extremely dubious provenance