Archive for January, 2022

News flash for antipodal penises

January 22, 2022

From Ann Burlingham (in snowy Pittsburgh) on Facebook this morning, this ice patch:


AB: Late Friday sun. Jason [her husband, Australian-born, now a US citizen] says I have rearranged some things if I think that ice patch looks like Australia.

AZ: That’s a hung Oz — with a really big Tasmania.


Three memic moments

January 21, 2022

… in the cartoons. Two — a Joseph Dottino and a William Haefeli — from the latest (1/24/22) New Yorker, plus a Wayno/Piraro Bizarro from 1/19. Recognizable penguins, upscale gay-male couples, and crash test dummies, oh my!


Aradesque gets a name

January 20, 2022

(About the display of the male body and sex between men, in very plain language, so etirely unsuitable for kids and the sexually modest.)

Well, a pseudonym — Cristiano Lorenzi, Chris for short — that he chose himself, as opposed to Aradesque, the name I gave an underwear model because he resembled bodybuilder, gay pornstar, and underwear model Arad Winwin, but wasn’t him. He was notable in the underwear ads because of his strong physical presence, projecting steamy desire and desirability in equal measures, and because of a collection of tats that make him easily recognizable, at least when he’s shirtless. The first of three shots of him in my 6/1/20 posting “Aradesque?”:

(#1) [from that posting:] Aradesque is definitely hot, and the DJ ads present him so intensely that you can almost smell his crotch (an effect the PUMP! staff were surely aiming for), but he appears not to be Arad

It’s the eyebrows, the eyes, and the hands. And of course the cock tease, just barely concealing his crotch from the camera.


Death Strikes the Adorable

January 19, 2022

One is a hardboiled, coke-addled Fed from the mean streets of the City, the other a sleek lutrine kid from the pristine snow slopes of Otter, Montana. They both have literary pretensions but sadly lack the schooling to tell a sonnet from a double dactyl or the skill to fashion either of them. After a chance encounter, they fall, enjambed, into the coils of a tragic desire. Inevitably, it ends in blood gushing onto dirty snow.

It’s a bad dream, a nightmare mash-up of a pulp noir fantasy, bad poetry, and cute images of animals disporting themselves in the snow. It comes with its own poem:


The infested apple

January 18, 2022

Today’s Price / Piccolo Rhymes With Orange, again with the apple:

(#1) Just silly-surreal… unless you know René Magritte’s 1964 surrealist painting The Son of Man (French: Le fils de l’homme), in which case it’s second-hand surrealism


Holiday specials 2021

January 17, 2022

In the Economist‘s holiday double issue (December 18th – 31st 2021), “an exuberance of articles about Middle Eastern railways, India’s touring cinemas, quadratic voting and much more”. A set of 18 special reports: long feature stories on cultural, political, and economic topics — some familiar subjects of interest (schemes for tallying votes, vegetarianism, cryptocurrencies, the history of restaurants), others more out of the way. It had never occurred to me to wonder about the history and cultural significance of corrugated iron, or what happened to the rural villages of Singapore (well, obviously, they were razed and replaced by skyscrapers, but how was that done?), or how Bollywood movies became so wildly popular all over India.

So: from these 18 I’ve picked 8 that especially fascinated me. These are my personal choices, clearly slanted towards sociocultural topics — note that my personal history includes fellowships at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the Stanford Humanities Center — and others would make other picks (how could I possibly disregard “Why Vladimir Putin’s Russia cannot tolerate a free Ukraine”?).


On the couch

January 15, 2022

The saga of Psychiatrist cartoons rolls on, with unusual analysands in two strips that have come my way recently: a stalk of broccoli (in the winner of a contest to caption a Lonnie Millsap drawing) and a cephalopod (in a Victoria Roberts cartoon from 2012 that I stumbled on while harvesting a recent Roberts cartoon for an entirely different purpose).

But then the Psychiatrist cartoon meme is extraordinarily welcoming to bizarre patients on the couch — all manner of non-human analysands (as above) or thoroughly fictive ones (Superman and Batman are frequently in need of therapy).


Folk ethology: wolves

January 14, 2022

Recently come past me, two metaphorical uses of wolf (and wolf-related vocabulary) that get their punch from common lore about wolves and their behavior: one from a particular sociocultural context in which men have sex with other men; one from a different particular sociocultural context in which men relate socially to women and other men. The first context is from working-class Harlem of the 1920s; the second from recent alpha male self-help / self-improvement literature aimed at striving American middle-class, largely professional, men.

The first case, which involves labels for particular categories of male-male sexuality, will require some care, since the labels are so bound to specific contexts and are mostly drawn from ordinary language, but used in specialized ways. You might appreciate this last point better when I tell you that a rough synonym for the 20s Harlem male-male label wolf was man — which obviously must in this context be understood as metaphorical (some males in this context were men; other males were either punks or fairies); more on these label vs. category complexities below.


The phallozoo

January 13, 2022

(Obviously not to the taste of the sexually modest.)

Very brief note. At least for the moment, my phallozoo collection — a menagerie of plastic models of creatures, real and fabulous, with phallic bodyparts realized as simulacra of penises — is complete.

The menagerie is housed in two locations in my bedroom.

On a dresser by the window, in the Woolly Mammoth house (which holds a once-“animaltronic” hulk with a dark brown rubber-like plastic skin; and a somewhat smaller and more fanciful stuffed toy with a purple, blue, and yellow cloth skin — creatures I call Butch and Fey): Fey and Butch each have in their shadow an elephant with phallus as trunk and now also a similarly phallic woolly mammoth (illustrated below, #1, in gold);  and in the space between Fey and Butch, three phallus-necked brontosauruses disport themselves.

Meanwhile, on a shelf on my desk, amidst an assortment of memorabilia and miscellaneous phalliana, an assortment of phallic Tyrannosaurus rexes of many sizes and colors lord it over a pair of gorillas, a pair of rhinos, a pair of a pair of camels, and a pair of flying dragons  (all similarly phallic, of various sizes and colors), plus two yellow banana-dicks and, now, a green dicky turtle (illustrated below, #2).


The teen fugue

January 11, 2022

Yesterday’s (1/10) Wayno/Piraro Bizarro revives plays on fugue and minor (exploited in a 2012 Bizarro), plus (in the title FUGUE IN A MINOR) a clunky play on A the name of a musical key vs. a the indefinite article (which are visually identical in all-caps printing):

(#1) The cartoon figure is a version of the classic portrait of the late Beethoven — the Beethoven of the Grosse Fuge — looking stormily rebellious in a Romantic red scarf, tempered by an image of Johann Sebastian Bach — the great master of the fugue as a musical form — in the powdered wig characteristic of the 18th century (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

The word plays are on fugue, musical (“this piece”) or medical (“drifted aimlessly”); and minor, musical (“A minor”) or chronological (“my early teens”, “a minor”).

A look back at the 2012 posting, which had a different play on minor (the minor of music or the minor of significance), and so provided no justification for Wayno’s title for #1, “The First Emo”, with its allusion to emo kids / emos, who stereotypically are sensitive, socially dissociated, rebellious teenagers. And then some reflection on the cartoon composer in #1.