Archive for the ‘Ambiguity’ Category

No vacancy

January 1, 2018

In today’s Zippy, our Pinhead seeks signs … in signs, specifically at the West Motel, on Historic Lincoln Highway, 4040 Columbia Avenue, Columbia PA:

(#1)

Lord, give me a sign! he cries. And as Zippy watches the West Motel sign, searching for something to believe in, there comes a sign: the NO of NO VACANCY blinks on; Zippy is no longer vacant.

Plays on the ambiguity of sign and on the ambiguity of vacant.

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Another crop of homoXmas ads

December 22, 2017

(The title tells the story. There will be some plain talk about men’s bodies and mansex, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

For this year: a Daily Jocks Xmas ad with a somewhat disheveled St. Nick in Santa cap and red mini-brief (available for $20 off the regular price!); and a TitanMen Xmas sale offering pornstar David Anthony (amiably smiling well-muscled big-dicked daddy-top) wearing absolutely nothing at all (so he’s #1 in an accompanying AZBlogX posting “More Xmas porn”).

From last year: the TitanMen sale, offering “12 Gage of Xmas”, 12 days of Joe Gage porn scenes (a ponderously phallic poster, so also in the AZBlogX posting, #2); and a Twitter Xmas card from Dallas Steele (@DallasSteeleXXX) and his boyfriend Taylor Bishop (@boySteele), doing the Daddy-Boy thing in scraps of red and green (and gold and white) and big smiles.

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Pillowtalk

November 25, 2017

It starts with pillowcases and pillowslips, moves to pillow-beres or pillow-biers, and from there to pillow bears, and also pillow-biters — the scourge of Australia, a continent famously “swarming with raving shirt-lifters and pillow-biters”. And from there to gay pillowcases and throw pillows. And on to facial expressions during, ahem, receptive anal intercourse. Get into bed, and before you know it, you’re getting fucked, ecstatically. The scene evolves:

(#1) Gay Evolution Pillow Case (designed by Joe Monica) from Cafe Press: the evolution of mincing (color me purple, honey)

(There will be seriously racy pictures of mansex. But even without them, after the first part, this posting is not for kids or the sexually modest.)

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3 for 15

November 15, 2017

Three recent cartoons, on different themes: a One Big Happy in which Ruthie misparses an expression; a Rhymes With Orange that requires considerable cultural knowledge for understanding; and a Prickly City that takes us once more into the territory of pumpkin spice ‘high quality’, now in a political context:

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Show me the way to go home

November 4, 2017

Yesterday’s New Yorker daily cartoon, by Kaamran Hafeez:

(#1) “There is no home button. You just click your heels three times.”

Another cartoon in which two disparate worlds intersect in a surprising or absurd fashion: in this case, the worlds of The Wizard of Oz (the 1939 movie) and of technological devices (smartphones). Intersecting in the notion of home and going home, with a different sense in each world.

To understand the cartoon, you need to know a famous quotation from the movie:

Then close your eyes and tap your heels together three times. And think to yourself, ‘There’s no place like home’.

And you need to know about the home button on devices, taking you to a home screen or a home page.

In fact, fully appreciating the cartoon requires that you know something crucial about the recently released Apple iPhone X, namely that it has no home button.

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Can you say “cat”? Can you spell “cat”?

November 4, 2017

Two recent One Big Happy strips:

(#1) Can you say … “cat”… um, “sheepshank”?

The Mister Rogers trope Can you say X? ‘Say X’ (in a pedagogical tone); idiomatic go/get (all) X on Y

(#2) Can you spell “cat”?

Spanish ‘yes’ vs. English /si/ C (the letter of the alphabet); linguistic and natural mean; and more.

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Ruthie on meanings

October 19, 2017

Two recent One Big Happy strips:

(#1) What does /sǽtǝn/ mean?

(#2) What does anaphoric do that refer to?

#1 plumbs Ruthie’s knowledge of the English lexicon (satin is unfamiliar to her, so she does the best she can with it from what she knows), #2 her ability to use anaphoric elements in context (she’s an ace at wielding “sloppy identity”).

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Performance ambiguity

October 10, 2017

A recent One Big Happy plays on play:

Play the Moonlight Sonata. Play the piano. Play the Moonlight Sonata on the piano.

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One-hit grinders

October 2, 2017

The Zippy from September 30th, featuring Mary’s Coffee Shop, which also offers grinders:

(#1)

Plays on several senses of grind, plus the idiom one-hit wonder (with its phonological play on /wʌn/).

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Ecstasy

October 1, 2017

Following up on yesterday’s posting “The archangel Michael” (focusing on the nature of angels and archangels, especially those represented in art as wingèd men), on to angelic music in the Sacred Harp hymnbook: on

angels, wings of love, robes of light, flying away, being carried away, ecstasy. With trumpets.

As before, I’ll start with the Christian context — of art yesterday, of music today — and move to sexual, in particular gay, interpretations of these works, finding in them homoerotic elements that were surely never intended. This move is straightforwardly sacrilegious, and therefore offensive to many, so I’m warning you now that after a respectful discussion of themes in hymn texts, I’ll turn to descriptions and depictions of flagrant mansex, but I’ll flag this shift, so you can bow out if you wish.

The connection is the ambiguity of the word ecstasy, an ambiguity that is rooted in a significant similarity between religious ecstasy and sexual ecstasy: being transported or carried away, in mind and body, by an experience.

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