Archive for the ‘Gesture’ Category

Head in hands

August 14, 2018

The Zippy from the 13th, in which the Pinhead mocks a piece of metal public art:

(#1)

This is a Zippy, so you can be sure that there’s an actual piece of public art that looks like this (though it took quite some time to find it, and then I stumbled on it by accident — a happy accident, as it turns out, which got me to the work and the sculptor through a Dutch bronze duck.).

Then the figure in the sculpture has its head in its hands — a gesture with a variety of possible meanings, seen in other sculptures. Which of course were the ones I found when trying to identify the statue in #1.

And Bill Griffith has salted the strip with two textual references: “The Sculpted Word” (the title), and “Man in Search of …” (last panel).

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Ethmoid morning

July 1, 2018

In case you wanted to know the word for ‘sieve’ in Ancient Greek, here’s today’s morning name:

noun ethmoid (also ethmoid bone): Anatomy a square bone at the root of the nose, forming part of the cranium, and having many perforations through which the olfactory nerves pass to the nose. ORIGIN mid 18th century: from Greek ēthmoeidēs, from ēthmos ‘a sieve’. (NOAD)

No, I haven’t been suffering from sinusitis. And, though my morning names can sometimes be traced to whatever music was playing on iTunes during the night, that’s dubious in this case: what was playing all night was the complete keyboard works of Haydn, as performed by Christine Schornsheim on various period instruments; there are a great many of these, but nothing about them suggests head bones.

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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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bunny ears

May 21, 2018

It started with a candid photo of people at a social gathering, with one person making a V hand gesture behind the head of the person next to them, much as in this photo of pro tennis players:

(#1) Swiss jock jokery:  Stan Wawrinka doing the ‘bunny ears’ gesture behind Roger Federer

Bunny-earing someone is a prank (NOAD on the noun prank: ‘a practical joke or mischievous act’), pranks being a very culture-specific form of play + humor that deserve analytic attention that I’m not able to provide, but will just take as a cultural given here.

To come: a bit of the history of bunny-earing; senses of the expression bunny ears (illustrating (mostly metaphorical) sense developments in many directions); and uses of the V hand gesture (illustrating symbolic functions of many different kinds; the gesture itself is “just stuff”, without intrinsic meaning, which can be exploited for many different symbolic purposes). The act, the meanings of the linguistic expression for the act, the cultural significances (or “social meanings”) of the act.

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On the fisting patrol

April 11, 2018

Things you can do with a fist.

Yesterday, in my posting “Two cartoons from friends”, significant uncertainty about whether the verb to fist in the second cartoon was intended merely as a contact-action verb (roughly, ‘to punch’) or as a reference to a sexual practice. Right after that, friends posted photos of this t-shirt, on sale (in a range of sizes, from infants’ on up) in Walmart:

(#1) The fisting love t-shirt, available from many sources on amazon.com and elsewhere

Apparently intended as a joke, but possibly understood by some as an innocent reference to fist-bumping.

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Sex and smiles for VDay

February 14, 2017

(Everyday mansex — just your ordinary fellatio — discussed in plain language, mostly analytically rather than enthusiastically, so maybe not enough to frighten the horses in the street. Use your judgment.)

The Michael Lucas studio ad for a Valentine’s Day offer, cropped here for the sake of modesty (the full image, of happy cocksucking, can be viewed on AZBlogX):

When the Old Porn Peddler comes on a holiday, he naturally turns to puns. For Valentine’s Day, it’s probably going to involve heart and hard-on, as here.

Commentary: on the heart/hard pun for VDay; on the figure of the Old Porn Peddler; on the smiles by both cocksman and cocksucker (even though the latter has his mouth filled by a big dick); and on what the men are doing with their hands.

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Today’s hot guy

January 27, 2017

For Fuck-You Friday, a supremely hunky high-macho silver fox, who came to me on my Pinterest feed this morning under the title Bearded Vagabond:

Linguistic interest: just the oxymoronic slogan BE FUCKING POLITE. The injunction to be polite, with the impolite modifier fucking in it. Plus, of course the finger

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Air tickle

March 21, 2016

Today’s One Big Happy turns on two interpretations of the same gesture, intended by Avis as an air quote (two fingers on each hand) pointedly framing the word mature as euphemistic, but seen by Ruthie as a threat to tickle her with those same four fingers:

Air quotes I’m long familiar with, but tickle sign (as used here; there is an ASL sign for TICKLE, of course) or tickle gesture I’m not, though they seem clear enough.

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On the right

February 26, 2016

Yesterday’s Zippy, with an unusual Muffler Man figure and some language play on senses of right and senses of arms and bare vs. bear:

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Flaunting it

September 2, 2015

About the display of the male body, but also about gesture and facial expression.

Today, from the Daily Jocks people, an ad for products from the Pump! firm, specifically for a line of socks for working out, but with links to the company’s larger catalogue, which tends to feature underwear models “projecting steamy desirability” (as I put it in my Rafael Nadal posting) — in fact projecting a male-hustler persona while teasingly flaunting the pleasures of their bodies.

There’s shirt-lifting (focused on the abs), pants-lowering in the front (pointing towards the crotch), pants-lowering in the back (pointing towards the butt-crack), and armpit displays. The models stare intently into the viewers’ eyes, narrowing their own eyes (signalling arousal combined with dominance, rather than anger), and sometimes opening their lips slightly (another sign of arousal). They are scruffily hypermasculine, projecting not fitness and athleticism, but intense, even urgent, sexuality.

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