Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

A Ceci disavowal

April 24, 2019

From Jeff Bowles on Facebook on the 12th, this Magritte-based composition:

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Apparently a Magrittean disavowal (there’s a Page on such disavowals here), playing on Magritte’s wry late 1920s painting La Trahison des images (The Betrayal / Treachery of Images which shows a pipe, with the painting labeling itself Ceci n’est pas une pipe ‘This is not a pipe’. Here we get Louis Flint Ceci, on the left, objecting in astonishment that what’s on the right is not (a) Ceci; instead, it’s (a) Davisson.

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Le Pingouin aux Parapluies Roses

April 18, 2019

Umbro, the ceramic horticultural penguin, gay lover of wild strawberries, who lives in the shade of a pink cocktail umbrella:


(#1) Umbro, shaded by his pink cocktail umbrella and luxuriating under the spreading spathyphyllum tree and the watchful eye of the llama Glama Grrl

Cross the novel La Dame aux Camélias with the movie Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, cast a cocktail-loving penguin as the protagonist, and you get Le Pingouin aux Parapluies Roses, one of the famously bibulous singing penguins of Cherbourg (seen here visiting in Palo Alto).

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She got pinched in the As … tor Bar

April 16, 2019

A celebrated example of word breaking or splitting (from the 1959 movie High Society), giving a joke turning on an ambiguity in how the the first part of the split word is to be understood: on its own, giving the off-color She got pinched in the ass; or as merely the first part of the split word, giving the less risqué She got pinched in the Astor Bar (in one or another sense of pinched).

Then I note that the first understanding has the in of body location, the second the in of event location — a distinction I’ve explored in three previous postings. This is the fourth, with some illumination in it, I think.

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Easter egg quotations

April 13, 2019

[The body of this posting vanished from WordPress on 4/23/19. I am working on restoring the text. If anyone has pieces of the text, please e-mail me at zwicky@stanford.edu.

If you’re looking for my posting about Louis Flint Ceci and Magrittean disavowals, that’s “A Ceci disavowal” at:

https://arnoldzwicky.org/2019/04/24/a-ceci-disavowal/ ]

Meaty mammoths, cat vs. dog

April 13, 2019

Themes in the cartoons of Mike Twohy: woolly mammoths as gigantic sources of meat, the edgy relationships between dog and cat. Starting with a cartoon in the latest (4/15/19) New Yorker:


(#1) “You tend to overuse the exclamation point.”

The editor strikes. Eager-to-please, enthusiastic dog faces aloof cat.

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Monsters and their Peeps

April 11, 2019

Yesterday in the posting “Crunching the festive rabbits” on this blog, Godzilla consumed Peeps. Just as I posted that, the Mental Floss site came through with more thrilling Peepsiana: “Artist Turns 5000 Marshmallow Peeps Into a Game of Thrones Dragon” by Michele Debczak, with a dragon composed of Peeps:


(#1) A Peeps dragon; so far as I can tell, there are no dragon Peeps (that is, Peeps in the shape of dragons, though there also are no Peeps composed of dragons, no Peeps manufactured by dragons, etc.)

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Annals of cultural cluelessness

April 8, 2019

The grand old city of Baltimore has been suffering mightily in recent times, and now there’s an old-school scandal to add to the roster of municipal woes. Mayor Catherine Pugh has published a set of “Healthy Holly” children’s books, ostensibly to show kids the way to a better life through exercise and diet. From the Washington Post story “Critical Carlos reads ‘Healthy Holly’: Inside the children’s book that has landed Baltimore’s mayor in a political scandal” by Carlos Lozada on the 5th:


(#1) “Copies of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh’s self-published “Healthy Holly” illustrated paperbacks for children. On April 1 Pugh announced an indefinite leave of absence, just as a scandal intensifies over what critics call a “self-dealing” book-sales arrangement. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)”

There’s the political story, which appears to involve an elaborate influence-trading scheme. There’s the books themselves, which “Critical Carlos” and his three critical children savage in Lozada’s Sun book review as examples of the very worst sort of stilted writing for children. And there’s the title Fruits Come in Colors Like the Rainbow, which, with a stunningly tin ear for English in its various sociocultural contexts, disregards alternative understandings of the noun fruits, the verb come, and the rainbow as a cultural symbol.

I’m mostly after the title here. But it’s all connected.

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Ed (the) Ped

April 4, 2019

In yesterday’s Zippy, the Walking Man — Zippy knows him as Ed Ped — returns to Zippytopia:

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First theme: Ed used to be otherwise, but now he’s naked, amanous, and apodous: Deal with it! Get over it! Get used to it! We are everywhere.

Second theme: Zippy moves the focus to France, causing Ed to morph into a stereotypical Frenchman (with beret and cigarette, probably Gauloises), who announces Je suis partout ‘I am all over, I am everywhere’.

Side effect:  French Ed evokes, in Zippy’s mind, Jerry Lewis in The Nutty Professor. (Zippy is a wildly associative thinker.)

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Moon shorts 1a: Cosmé McMoon

April 2, 2019

A sidebar to the Moon family history in my 3/31 posting “Moon shorts 1: the Moons”, with the extraordinary character Cosmé McMoon, who was embodied (or realized) by the pianist and composer Cosmé McMunn (using the stage name Cosmé McMoon) and, in a 2016 movie, by the actor Simon Helberg:


(#1) Cosmé McMunn/McMoon with Florence Foster Jenkins (FFJ)

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Moon shorts 1: the Moons

March 31, 2019

(Hunky male models in very little; lots of lexicography to come in later postings, but here lots of plain talk about men’s bodies and mansex, so not advised for kids or the sexually modest.)

The 3/37 Daily Jocks ad in e-mail — with the header Bottomless Shorts 😳 — now with a caption of mine:

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He navigated the
Corridors of the Blue
Boy Bar, savoring its
Pygian gloom, signaled
Red in the smoky
Dusk of desire, whispered
Shoot me, please,
Shoot the Moon

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