Archive for the ‘Gender and sexuality’ Category

Plush life

September 11, 2022

(Penis plush and dildos too, in detail, so not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

Breaking News for Penises: you can now purchase adorable soft-plush penis-simulacrum stuffed toys. Some for you to cuddle with. One that is, delightfully, a second-order simulacrum: a stuffed-toy simulacrum of a dildo, the dildo being a sex-toy simulacrum of a penis — and, even better, this one is a stuffed squeaky toy for dogs. Eventually, there will be a photo of Fido gently mouthing Peter Woofington, a gigantic plush play-dick in warm but unlikely flesh tones. With goofy crossed eyes.

As a bonus, you get two fabulous recordings of Billy Strayhorn’s jazz standard “Lush Life”: Ella Fitzgerald singing the words, John Coltrane transforming the music. Plus my confession that when I came across Peter I somehow missed the canine connection entirely and so fell to speculating about the anal life expectancy of a plush dick and to some alarm at the idea of taking into my body a dildo that squeaked (presumably with pleasure, but still).

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The Sprinkles carrot cake caper

September 8, 2022

As reported in my 82nd birthday posting “Three greetings for 9/6/22”, while I was holed up at home in severe and debilitating heat misery on the day, some friends e-mailed me delightful greetings — visual, verbal, and musical — and a hundred or so of them wished me a happy birthday, mostly via Facebook. Meanwhile, I ordered up some coffee gelato (it was also National Coffee Ice Cream Day, and that’s my favorite ice cream flavor) and a carrot cake (which is, well, cake, but very flavorful and chewy and not terribly sweet, and it comes with a lovely cream cheese frosting, all of which suits my tastes). I found no way to honor the Marquis de Lafayette (born 9/6/1757), though here I’ll give my summary from the Lafayette section of my 9/7/19 posting “Big sexy prime birthday gay ice cream”:

A man of enormous physical courage who took up the family military career at the age of 13 and later pursued an extraordinary public career devoted to advocating for democracy and human rights in two countries [mine and his], and managed somehow to live to the age of 76.

Then on the day after came sweet messages from people apologizing for having missed the day itself. But as I said to one of these (an old friend, an admirable person, and one of the small core of my regular readers — so someone whose good words were especially important to me):

I’m inclined to view my birthday as a fairly large region in time, not just one day. The net congratulations largely achieve the purpose of maintaining and reinforcing relationships, and that doesn’t have to happen on just one day.

And from one of the Aging Life Care of California folk (who, among other things, take me to medical appointments, of which I have a great many), who recently began reading this blog. Full of apologies for having missed the actual day, which I countered with the Region Theory of Birthday Time (above), and then bearing a gift box of four Sprinkles muffins, from the company’s Palo Alto store (in Stanford Shopping Center). A box notably including

dark chocolate (Belgian dark chocolate cake with bittersweet chocolate frosting, in curls)

carrot (walnut-studded carrot cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting)

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Who was that winged man?

August 31, 2022

🐅 🐅 🐅 (three tigers for the last day of the month, ultimate August) In search — not for the first time — of an attractive image of Apollo Resplendens, I fixed on this guy, who’s only roughly one-quarter Apollo and (for my Sacred Harp purposes in the search) regrettably lacks a musical instrument:


(#1) Apollo, Mercury, Eros, and Mars (well, at least these) folded together in Richard de Chazal’s homoerotic conceptualization of the Zodiacal sign Virgo (late August through late September — like, right now), the province of people who are intelligent, analytical, and attentive to detail, but also practical and commonsensical

Apollo’s male beauty surmounted by rays of sunlight, the messenger Mercury’s wings, Eros’s wings and heart, the bellicose Mars’s bandolier and metal armguards (on his left, topman, arm). But no musicality.

Why do I care about the musicality of my Apollo figures? In my 8/29 posting “Sacred Harp numerology for my birthday”, I report on a Sunday (8/28) Sacred Harp singing in which I produced

the strongest, most sonorous singing I’ve managed in years. Utterly surprising, and totally fabulous. … Weep not for me, my friends — for a little while yesterday I was Apollo Resplendens.

I’ll get back to de Chazal in a while. First, musical Apollo and Apollo Resplendens, as represented in artworks of various kinds.

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Agador, and his flagrant Guatemalan-ness

August 14, 2022

Agador, today’s morning name, which I quickly expanded to Agador Spartacus. Calling up wonderful images of Hank Azaria’s character in the comedy film The Birdcage:


In the movie, Agador is male couple Armand and Albert’s flamboyantly gay Guatemalan housekeeper / maid, who poses as a Greek butler named Spartacus for the purposes of a family charade on behalf of Armand’s son Val; you can watch a short clip of  a bewigged Agador dancing while feather-dusting here

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Captionless Psychiatrist II: 3 captions

August 13, 2022

In the August 15th issue of The New Yorker, on the cartoon caption contest page, stage 2 of the contest — three finalist captions, to be voted on by readers — for Carolita Johnson’s drawing of a cat psychiatrist with a dog patient on the couch:


(#1) Winning caption to be announced in the August 29th issue of the magazine

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No-name cats, cats of dubious art, monstrous cats

August 7, 2022

Cats 3: Cats Ripped My Flesh. The previous installments were about the names people choose, or might choose, for their cats:

— Cats 1, my 8/4/22 posting “The Complete Book of Cat Names”, about Bob Eckstein’s new book, with lots and lots of names, arranged in entertaining categories, plus of course Bob’s own cat drawings and cat cartoons

— Cats 2, my 8/5/22 posting “Cats, names, art”, with the names (Russian, Sanskrit, Estonian) of my cats; with Bob’s musings on Roman names for cats, with a side trip to Egypt, and his own cartoon art; and with the Swiss-thread poster by graphic artist Donald Brun depicting Silken Cat.

Earlier (on 7/26), in what I guess I’ll have to call Cats 0, “O tasty Tweety! O Tweety, my prey!”, I looked at a few familiar cartoon cats — all with names, of course — casting a side glance, in the cat Sylvester’s comic attempts to capture and devour the canary Tweety, at the predatory and destructive aspect of cats, including the little Felis catus, which dispatches billions of birds and small mammals.

Meanwhile, on Facebook (on 8/5), cinephile Tim Evanson explored the dark side of cats in pop-cultural art: murderous cats, cats en masse, cats without names, cats in badly made movies. All of these together in Night of a Thousand Cats.

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Captionless Psychiatrist

July 28, 2022

The captioning contest in The New Yorker‘s 8/1/22 issue:


(#1) Dog as Patient, Cat as Therapist, both presented very clearly as male — but still I understood it as a gender cartoon, with a penetratingly critical feminist pussy wielding an aggressive masculine persona (think Marlene Dietrich in a tuxedo, but with Susan Sontag’s sharp tongue) against the feckless hound pouring out his smug superiority towards “the little ladies”, as he calls them; I’m perfectly aware that very few other people would see things this way, and I expect the caption entries to be about the conventional natures of cats and dogs

So when I saw Johnson’s captionless Psychiatrist cartoon, I found it bitingly funny just as it stood. And wondered about CAJ.

Oh my.

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O tasty Tweety! O Tweety, my prey!

July 26, 2022

… What a delicious Tweety you are!

The 7/24 Mother Goose and Grimm strip, with a police line-up of cartoon cats, for little Tweety to pick out the threatening pussy cat that he thought he saw:


(#1) The potential pussy predator perps on parade, left to right: 1 the Cat in the Hat (Dr. Seuss picture book), 2 Stimpy (Ren & Stimpy tv animation), 3 Sylvester (Looney Tunes film animation), 4 Catbert (Dilbert strip), 5 Attila (MGG strip — note self-reference), 6 Garfield (Garfield strip)

The number of domestic cats in cartoons is mind-boggling — there are tons of lists on the net — and then there are all those other cartoon felines: tigers, panthers, lions, leopards, and so on. Out of these thousands, the cops rounded up the six guys above — all male, as nearly all cartoon cats are, despite the general cultural default that dogs are male, cats female — as the miscreant. (It might be that male is the unmarked sex for anthropomorphic creatures in cartoons as for human beings in many contexts; females appear only when their sex is somehow especially relevant to the cartoon.) And that miscreant, the smirking Sylvester, is the only one of the six known as a predator on birds, though in real life, domestic cats are stunningly effective avian predators, killing billions of birds annually.

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Codpiece swim trunks!

July 25, 2022

(Obviously not to everyone’s taste: consider the title and #1 below.)

This morning’s genital surprise from Daily Jocks, the Alpha Swim Trunk for the alpha dog, the big dog on the beach:


(#1) [ad copy:] ALPHA SWIM TRUNK: Available in 3 colours [black, white, blue]. Like a little more coverage but still want to show off your assets? The Alpha Swim Trunk [from Elia beachwear] has you covered.

Obviously enhanced somehow, but nowhere I could find on the DJ site is there any information about how the Elia company achieves its codpiece swim trunks. Way past moose-knuckling and into massive hood-ornament territory.

I find codpieces entertaining, because they’re so earnestly blatant: pure display, giving no hint as to the size of the equipment within, in fact hinting that the codpiece is entirely compensatory. That huge bulge in #1 doesn’t look life a gigantic penis, it looks like a big  pillow. Obviously, what it needs is some metal spikes, as singer Adam Lambert projects here:

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The fairy fan-flower

July 25, 2022

From Benita Bendon Campbell yesterday, a delightful plant, new to her, that had just come into her life. Her photo:


(#1) A white Scaevola aemula cultivar, in a hanging pot; the plant grows as a garden shrub, but hangs or drapes quite satisfyingly, as here

The scaevola plant was new to me as well; it was hard to believe that I’d never come across a plant whose common name is fairy fan-flower and has cultivars that are intensely purplish-blue:

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