Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Two diversions

August 4, 2019

… provided by friends in a time of unspeakable violence, though neither is a totally unmixed pleasure: from Mike McKinley, the 1962 boys’ space adventure yarn Lost City of Uranus, just for the cheap but evergreen double entendre in its title; from Betsy Herrington, a link to the rainbow dreadhead stone lions of Monza, Italy, an admirable exercise in yarn bombing.

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A building guide for the perplexed

July 5, 2019

A Dale Coverly Speed Bump cartoon (from 10/17/17) that appeared in a Facebook posting in this form:


(#1) The philosopher’s eternal question, en français

I wasn’t aware that the strip came in a French version, but evidently it does; I still don’t know where and how it’s distributed (and I now wonder if there’s a Spanish version too, though I haven’t found one).

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A bit more reaping

June 29, 2019

Just one day after a particularly fine Rhymes With Orange cartoon combining the Desert Island cartoon meme and the Grim Reaper meme — in my 6/27 posting “The Desert Island Reaper” — came a Wayno/Piraro Bizarro with a groaner Grim Reaper pun:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 2 in this strip — see this Page.)

The figure of the Grim Reaper — the bringer of death — as a window-washer, removing — destroying — the grime on the windows of a high-rise building, with the blade of his scythe replaced by a window-washer’s squeegee.

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Some of us are gay

June 28, 2019

For Stonewall Day, today, the slogans of my people, most recently one of them celebrating some penguins in the London Zoo:

(#1)

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A postcard from the (northern) edge

June 26, 2019

From the northern edge of the world, specifically: the town of Inuvik NWT in Canada, from which a postcard showing this welcoming billboard:

(#1)

The card was from Chris Waigl (bought in Dawson City YT), who mailed it from the extremely small town of Chicken AK.

And now there’s a surprising lot of stuff to say about the card.

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On this day in 2019

June 16, 2019

At least seven occasions of significance to me today: three fixed to the date June 16th, plus four movable occasions that happen to take place on this Sunday this year. There will be a section in the middle with seriously raunchy material from gay porn that some will want to avoid; I’ll provide a warning when this stuff is imminent.

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Follow-up: John Rechy

May 26, 2019

Yesterday’s posting “High 5 from a bison”, all about number(s), ended with some exposition of John Rechy’s 1967 novel Numbers, about a male hustler collecting lots of tricks — numbers of numbers — on the streets and in the parks of Los Angeles. Now two follow-ups: Soft Cell’s (“Tainted Love”) musical tribute to the novel, and notes on Rechy’s life and career, still going at 88.

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High 5 from a bison

May 25, 2019

(After the cartoons and the lexicography, John Rechy will take this posting into the world of mansex, in some detail and in very plain talk; that section is not for kids or the sexually modest, but I’ll warn you when it’s looming on the horizon.)

Two bison greet each other in a John Baynham cartoon with a wonderful pun:

(#1)

That’s numbers (roughly ‘amount’, but as a PL C noun) — and indeed large numbers of buffalo did once roam the plains of North America — vs. numbers referring to physical models, or simulacra, of symbols for certain abstract mathematical entities — in this case, the natural numbers. Such physical models are also familiar: think of the letters in the HOLLYWOOD sign, or the numbers on the building at 666 Fifth Ave. in NYC (with its own kind of fame as a Jared Kushner property). But people don’t walk around with, much less inside, giant versions of such models. That’s deliciously absurd.

Looking at the lexical items involved will take us deep into the lexicographic weeds and then to the secret places of mansex, starting with the dim recesses of Griffith Park in Los Angeles.

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What a piece of work is Miss Lucille

May 22, 2019

The 4/25 One Big Happy features Miss Lucille:

(#1)

Ah, a piece of work.

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The dragons of Homoland

May 11, 2019

The centerpiece:


(#1) “Rainbow Dragons” (for LGBT Pride 2018) by Ross Sanger, on Deviant Art (hat tip to Kim Darnell)

Two effects here. One, in popular culture, dragons are  tamed, almost to the point of cuteness; otherwise, they’re creatures of great power and potential danger (in Western traditions, active malevolence) — but here are cicurated (tamed, rendered mild or harmless), or even cutesified. And then, dragons have become loosely attached to gay culture; they’ve been homoized in some contexts — Homoland is, at the very least, congenial to dragons as symbols, perhaps as symbols of gay power, so that dragons and rainbows have come to have some affinity for one another, in draconical rainbows and arcipluvial dragons (like Sanger’s).

Especially in places where dragons bear some specific symbolic weight, gays and their rainbows are likely to follow: the red dragon of the Welsh flag; the logo of Dungeons and Dragons; and the dragon of Chnese astrology. But gay dragons, often in rainbow, might pop up anywhere (as in #1).

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