Archive for the ‘Faces’ Category

A masculinity meze: face men

April 27, 2022

(This has turned out to be quite a large meze, but it’s only about one idiomatic slang expression. Well, men and masculinity come into the thing, and you know what can happen then.)

Reflecting a couple days ago on my Princeton days (1958-62) and the tangle of the attitudes of the (all-male) students at the time towards (among things) masculinity, male affiliation (as systematized in a pervasive system of male bands, the eating clubs of the time), women, homosexuals, race, and social class. The topic is vast, also deeply distressing to me personally, and I suspect that I’ll never manage to write about the bad parts of it in any detail — note: there were some stunningly good parts — but in all of that I retrieved one lexical item of some sociolinguistic interest (and entertainment value), one slang nugget: the idiomatic N1 + N2 compound noun face man / faceman / face-man.

A common noun frequently used among my friends, which was then also deployed as a proper noun nicknaming one of our classmates, a young man notable for his facial male beauty: everybody had to have a nickname (mine was Zot, for the Z of my name and the cartoon anteater), so we called him Face Man because he was a face man.

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Gallery: five beautiful male faces

April 26, 2022

A small photo gallery on male facial beauty, plus selected links to postings on the topic on this blog — all this as auxiliary to a brief posting on the N + N compound noun face man / faceman / face-man that I’m preparing. Hey, it’s a chance to enjoy the pictures first. (Erst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt die Moral). (more…)

Judging faces

December 18, 2021

Very brief note. I’ve spent the day being down about the spread of the Omicron variant and about this morning’s painfully low temperatures, which kept me from going outside at all, and also about a sinus infection, so I didn’t do what I’d intended to do today at all, and this is a minimal substitute.

Going through the Stanford Humanities Center annual report for 2020-21 (a year in which all events were virtual — nothing face-to-face at all, not Fellows’ weekly presentations, not lunches, not the eminent visitors, no random encounters in the building, none of that) and looking at the Fellows’ photos and brief identifications, I turned a page and came on a face that instantly grabbed my attention. And I thought: Nice guy. Gay guy.

And so he was. There were no doubt other queerfolk in the set, but this one just called out to me. I have no idea what things I was picking up on. Here’s his photo and thumbnail i.d. from the SHC:

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The Crosse-Jones spunk affair

November 6, 2021

(The spunk in question is semen, so, yes, we’re going on another adventure with men’s genitals and sex between men, so this posting isn’t suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

[Background note: see my 10/30/21 posting “Bearing the face for our era”, about the faces of Carolus-Duran (late 19th-century European art world) and Peter Korn (early 21st-century Silicon Valley tech world).]

Today’s story starts with my coming across Face 1 below (from a Lucas Films photo), on the cover art for the gay porn DVD London Spunked.


(#1) On the expression: narrowed eyes, lowered brows, intense gaze, somewhat tight mouth — possibly conveying a challenge, or dominance

We are all attentive to faces: we usually look at them first when we view a scene with figures in it, we check them to see if they’re familiar, we try to interpret their facial expressions, and so on. In this case, I think that, in any context whatsoever, on a quick view I’d have identified Face 1 as belonging to the same person as Face 2, a face I know very well (as a favorite actor in gay porn):


(#2) A different facial expression: eyes somewhat widened (especially his right eye), brows somewhat raised (especially his right brow), gaze alert but not intense, corners of the mouth slightly raised to make the hint of a smile — possibly conveying friendly interest

The two men have the same hair style and facial hair style, though #2 is darker and longer in both respects, but that could be just a temporary matter of grooming. #2’s skin tone is more golden-brown than #1’s pale skin, but that could just be tanning, or the lighting of the photos. #2 has a furry chest (visible at the neckline), while #1 is smooth, but that could just be a matter of trimming (in fact, the guy in #1 is not very furry, but keeps his chest trimmed down but not actually smooth, while the guy is #2 is naturally furry as above, but often trims his chest hair in similar fashion.

But then, but then …

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Bearing the face for our era

October 30, 2021

In every era, in every milieu, there arises one man with the Face of Humane Wisdom.

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Read the message in my face

September 12, 2021

(Warning: there will eventually be a naked male pornstar, but without his naughty bits visible, plus some mention of feminism and same-sex attraction.)

Two faces that recently caught my eye. I saw them first in a rich context, including the rest of the pose they were in; a background behind the pose; information about the place where the larger photo appeared; and some knowledge about that place and the function of the photo there. Here they are, as bleached of context as I could manage: just the faces:


(#1) Call this person A


(#2) Call this person B

What personas are these two people projecting? What are they like, and what are they doing in the photos?

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How does Wilderrama sleep at night?

September 4, 2021

From the tv series NCIS, Season 14 Episode 6, “Shell Game”, an exchange between the NCIS-Agent characters Tim McGee (played by Sean Murray) and Nick Torres (played by Wilmer Valderrama, whose name I am forever telescoping into the portmanteau-like Wilderrama) that turns on joking with senses of the interrogative adverb how — in McGee’s question “How do you sleep at night”, intended to convey modal + means how ‘by what means is it possible?’; and Torres’s response “On my back. Naked.”, conveying truth-functional + state how ‘in what state?’.


(#1) Torres and McGee in the NCIS episode “Love Boat”, Season 14 Episode 4

Then I turn to WV the man, as a hunk with a wonderful smile (two things I post about on a fairly regular basis), and as a performer with a notable actorial persona.

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Briefly noted: famous or heinous?

August 30, 2021

Caught in passing on tv, a reference to heinous crimes in which the /h/ of /hénəs/ was so brief that the pronunciation came very close to /énəs krájmz/ anus crimes. I reflected for a moment on what those might be, passing over the obvious and distressing possibility ‘anal rapes’ to consider merely improper alternatives, like farting in public, or crimes that were only figurative, like anal bleaching, that crime against fashion.

But then my attention was caught by the rhyming phrase heinous anus, and I fell into musings about meanings for the expression — see below — until Famous Amos hit me (notes on Wally and his celebrated cookies further below). Oh my, now I had

the Famous Amos heinous anus

and my day was complete.

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