Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Another moment between Parody and Pastiche with Raymond Zippandler

June 12, 2018

Today’s Zippy takes us again to a hard-boiled noir-tinged land of allusion:

(#1)

Very much, as the title says, the wrong goodbye; none of the Raymond Chandler allusions are to The Long Goodbye — mostly from “Red Wind” and The Big Sleep.

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Now We Are Nine, a Journey to the East

June 6, 2018

(Underwear and race / ethnicity / nationality / religion among gay men.)

News from Daily Jocks: a birthday for the Australian premium men’s underwear firms 2eros and Supawear (brothers in sexwear):


(#1) 2eros


(#2) Supawear

Notably, Asian models for the birthday celebration. Most sexunderwear firms are very light on black models, Latino models, Asian models (of all ethnicities and nationalities), and, for that matter, identifiably Jewish models. Andrew Christian is, on the whole, a stunning exception: his advertising reflects the use of “exotic” models in the fashion industry rather than the custom in the premium men’s underwear industry of relying on models whose looks are pumped-up mirrors of their customers’. The customers are mostly SAE-D — standard average European-descended — men (“standard average European” here is a little linguist’s joke, making reference to Standard Average European (SAE) languages, in Benjamin Lee Whorf’s terminology); the products either flatter their self-images or feed their fantasies of exotic men (for certain values of exotic).

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Bromuniqués

June 4, 2018

About the N bro, used first as an address term and then as a referential N with several senses, and available as an element in N + N compounds: as the first element in Bro Code and bro subculture, as the second element in code bro (roughly) ‘guy into coding’ and (hat tip to Tyler Schnoebelen) the academic-cool character named Philosophy Bro. Then, thanks to Ben Barrett on ADS-L (on May 23rd), on to crypto bro / cryptobro, which looks like it might be a portmanteau of cryptocurrency (or cryptocoin(age)) and bro, but is probably better analyzed as a straightforward compound of the clipping crypto and the N bro.

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The rose and the flames

June 3, 2018

(After some extended moments of reflections on religious belief, this posting will venture into the sexual wilds, and the later material will not be suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

Two design drawings by Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky (from a set available to the public in an Instagram file): one a rose window (alluding indirectly to such images at Stanford’s Memorial Church, which serve as potent Christian symbols); and one suggesting tongues of flame / fire (alluding to those that figure in the Christian religious holiday of Pentecost, which fell this year on Sunday, May 20th). Two religious symbols, with associated linguistic expressions (rose window; tongues of flame/fireto speak in tongues).

First, things: the rose, and flames.

Then, these things serving as symbols in Christian ways of thinking (actually, each can have several different symbolic values, even within this specific sociocultural context).

Then, these symbols, with these values, deployed in art, music, film, and fiction, and even in food and in plant names.

Then, the original things — rose and flames — serving as symbols in other sociocultural contexts: in particular, as sexual symbols, for body parts and for sexual acts.

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A chiastic bird

June 1, 2018

It’s been a while since I posted chiastic (transpositional, Spooneristic) wordplay, so here’s a Bizarro from 12/16/08:

  (#1)

The title To Kill a Mockingbird  –> To Mock a Killingbird by transposition (exchange, reversal), of kill and mock (the sort of exchange seen in Spoonerisms as inadvertent errors). Formally  of interest because the process “goes into” a compound word, to affect one of its parts (mocking), and also into an affixed word, to affect its base (mock). On the conceptual side, this particular kind of wordplay is shallow, thin, since only one of the two paired situations is represented in the cartoon: having served its purpose as base for transposition, the book To Kill a Mockingbird plays no further role in the proceedings.

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Dramatic exits

May 31, 2018

A Leigh Rubin cartoon from the 22nd, illustrating an exit and a dramatic exit:

(#1)

First, this is a play on the ambiguity of exit, as a N referring to a concrete object (a door, used for exiting) or an act (of exiting). Then there’s another ambiguity, in the  sense of dramatic in the nominal dramatic exit: it could be taken literally, as ‘pertaining to a play’, but here it’s used with a figurative sense ‘melodramatic, stagey, flamboyant’ (note the man’s gesture). In its second use, dramatic incorporates a figurative sense of the N drama seen also in the (originally US gay) slang compound drama queen.

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It’s alive!

May 29, 2018

(Flânerie, strolling from one thing to another in Victor Frankenstein’s neighborhood — and, as it turns out, in mine too.)

At the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford, the exhibition “Betray the Secret: Humanity in the Age of “Frankenstein””, 4/4/18 – 8/5/18, which I viewed yesterday, as a Memorial Day treat. The image for the show:


(#1) Beth Van Hoesen, Stanford (Arnautoff Class),  1945 (graphite and ink on paper)

Just one part of a larger Frankenstein celebration at Stanford.  A mid-sized show, easily graspable within an hour or so — the Cantor is very good at this — and, thanks to its dependence on existing collections at Stanford, offering many works and artists you wouldn’t have predicted and might never have heard of (I’ll write about one of these artists below). In any case, thought-provoking, in line with the Cantor’s mission as a “teaching museum”.

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Deshagged and pedicured

May 17, 2018

(This starts innocently enough, but quickly descends into male body parts and mansex, in very plain language. All this in text, no X-images, but, still, not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Last week, as usual around the beginning of each month, I had my moments of body care: a haircut, to get deshagged (as I think of it); and the services of a neighborhood nail salon, to get pedicured.

Then I thought: I get deshagged regularly, but I don’t get shagged, haven’t been since sometime in the last century, don’t even remember when. Also, I get pedicured, but I don’t get pedicated. I like the sweetly raunchy verb shag and the owlishly learnèd verb pedicate. So different in tone, but they both roll off the tongue. Two ways of dancing.

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Paperback Booksmith

May 15, 2018

Paperback Booksmith, Paperback Booksmith.
Dear Sir or Madam, will you buy my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?

Fallen out of my copy of Dwight Bolinger’s Interrogative Structures of American English (1957), this yellowed bookmark from the early 1960s:

(#1)

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Psychiatrist Meme Day

May 14, 2018

… at King Features Syndicate, or so it seems. In my feed today, three cartoons (of my five regulars from King) with a psychoanalyst and his couch: a Bizarro/Wayno with an empty couch; a Zippy with Zippy on the couch; and a Mother Goose and Grimm with the dog Grimm on the couch.

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