Archive for December, 2022

Out with the old, in with the new

December 31, 2022

The passage from one year to the next, as recognized in illustrations, cartoons, calendar pages, greeting cards, and the like. The conventional representation of this passage uses the figure of Baby New Year, incorporating a jumble of symbolic elements from different sources into the infant. I’ll pick out just a few of these representations that have come my way in the past few days.

But first, the raunchy stuff — turning the calendar pages in the Tom of Finland calendars, where December of one year is customarily represented by a hypersexual Santa Claus, and the new year is recognized on the cover of the next year’s calendar. (Warning: this is ToF, so not to many people’s tastes.)


The Jellyfish Apocalypse

December 31, 2022

🐅 🐅 🐅 tiger tiger tiger for Ultimate December, New Year’s Eve.  On which Kyle Wohlmut finds his hopes for 2023 cruelly dashed, once again. On Facebook he reports:

sigh, another NYE, another disappointment…

(#1) HuffPost: “Jellyfish Apocalypse Not Coming… PHEW! (PHOTO): Most Reassuring Headline Ever” on 1/7/13


A Happy New Year

December 30, 2022

Thanks to Tim Evanson, this excellent greeting for the new year, complete with a powerful ejaculation and a cock (as suits my wayward ways):

A postcard printed in the 1910s by the Stecher Lithographic Company of Rochester NY

May the new year treat you well!


New Girl in Town

December 30, 2022

This follows up on my 12/28/22 posting “Building wealth”, with its section on Princeton in 1959-60 and musical theatre (and Clark Gesner), mentioning New Girl in Town (which I learned about first from my roommate Frank (Franklyn J. Carr III), and then talked about with Clark). My old friend from those days (and still) Bonnie Campbell (Benita Bendon Campbell), also Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky’s godmother, responded to this in e-mail to me on 12/28 (quoted here with her permission):

Your poignant look back at Princeton years, especially the importance of Broadway musicals as background, carried me back there, too.

At my request, you gave me the cast album of New Girl In Town, for a birthday present in 1961. I had seen the show in New York, including Gwen Verdon and Thelma Ritter, in September of 1957, the night before I sailed to France on the Mauritania. Thus, the night before I met Ann.

The song “It’s Good To Be Alive” became a sort of mantra for me.

The Ann here is Ann Walcutt Daingerfield (later Ann Daingerfield Zwicky), who became Bonnie’s roommate during their junior year in France (1957-58); and a bit later her roommate when they were both working in Princeton. Thereafter, Bonnie was Ann’s best female friend (from among a number of such friends), until Ann’s death in the bleak midwinter, 17 January 1985. Many of the things in (as I put it in that earlier posting) “the giant album of Things I Learned at Princeton” came from Ann and Bonnie, together and separately. So: New Girl in Town, from Frank and Clark and Bonnie and Ann, over 60 years ago.


Seeker of wise spud, rudely rebuffed

December 30, 2022

The Wayno / Piraro Bizarro for New Year’s Eve Eve is a goofy amalgam of two different cartoon memes with an egregious pun; Wayno’s title is “Reclusive Russets” (russets being a type of potato). No, of course it doesn’t cohere; that’s what makes it delightful (remember that this strip is called Bizarro).

(#1) If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 5 in this strip — see this Page.

The Potato Head meme (all three characters are Potato Heads) and the seeker and the seer meme (one character is seeker, the other two seers), plus some CRAB / CARB play on the compound noun hermit crab, mountain-top seers being hermits who have removed themselves from ordinary life, and potatoes being carbs, specifically starches (complex carbohydrates )


Droit du Chili

December 29, 2022

From Ryan Tamares on Facebook on 12/19:

In this morning’s work queue:

(Ryan is Head of Collection Services at Stanford Law School, overseeing the cataloging, processing, and preservation of the Law Library’s collection, so things like this come to him for cataloguing)

Then a FB exchange:

Jackie Koerber Magagnosc: Not law of the food, rats

AZ > JKM: I too was hoping for an authority on the law governing hot peppers, or perhaps the law governing spicy meat stews, but it was not to be.



December 29, 2022

A modest challenge to cartoon understanding in the 12/17 Rhymes With Orange, which depends on your knowing about a bit of antique technology and its metaphorical name in English. Price and Piccolo have strewn hints around in the cartoon, but still, if you’re not familiar with the crucial piece of technology, you won’t get the joke.

(#1) Two rabbits sit in odd positions on a couch (with their ears standing up), in front of a screen

Clues to understanding, beyond the peculiar postures: the references to reception (in the title of the strip), specifically to tv reception (via cable); the reference to Gramps, evoking the old days; Gramps’s claim that their postures are somehow conducive to the point of their activity.


Eggs Benedict Arnold

December 29, 2022

Suppose you’re a cartoonist, and this POP (phrasal overlap portmanteau) has, well, popped into your head:

eggs Benedict Arnoldeggs Benedict  (breakfast dish of sliced ham on English muffin with hollandaise sauce) + Benedict Arnold (American general who defected to the British during the Revolutionary War)

Can you work this (entertainingly) surprising juxtaposition of elements into a cartoon?

Today, Mike Peters (of Mother Goose and Grimm) took up the challenge:

(#1) The solution is a play on traitor: an egg dish named for a traitor, sold at a place named Traitor Joe’s — with a trader / traitor pun alluding to the grocery chain Trader Joe’s (a perfect pun for most Americans, for whom trader and traitor are homophones; a clever imperfect pun for everyone else

Sweet. Meanwhile, others have labored to devise variants of eggs Benedict that are somehow associable with Benedict Arnold.


Building wealth

December 28, 2022

A wry note on the news about pathological fabulist George Santos and his apparent amassing of millions of dollars in a mere two years. Santos’s remarkable ability to build wealth rapidly called to my mind the parallel achievements of the three men in the song “Little Tin Box” from the musical Fiorello!

After some background on the extraordinarily opaque Mr. Santos and his (apparent) meteoric accumulation of great heaps of money, I will entertain you with the full lyrics to the song. Then the basic facts about the musical, and more personal recollections from the giant album of Things I Learned at Princeton, in this case about how I became acquainted with the musical, which will lead to a brief note on Clark Gesner and still another musical, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (for which Clark supplied the book, the words, and the music).


Down Argentine Way: the Xmas episode

December 27, 2022

This is part 1 of a Down Argentine Way posting, with three episodes: the Xmas episode (“Nothing says Merry Christmas like empanadas”), about the filled pastry, from El Sur in San Francisco; the football episode (“Wild cheers for Lionel Messi”), about Argentina’s Word Cup win; and the dream episode (“Don’t blow me up, Argentina”), about my Argentine lover Carlos, in a dream that somehow ended up with a bombing and the POP (phrasal overlap portmanteau) toadstool pigeon as a morning name on 12/24.