Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Two actor POP days

December 13, 2019

It’s Eva Marie Saint Lucy’s Day and, in today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro combo, a Kurt Russell terrier bounds in:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbol in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there’s just one in this strip — see this Page.)

First, Kurt Russell and the Russell terrier. Then Eva Marie Saint and St. Lucy’s Day. In both cases, a member of what I’ve called the Acting Corps (see the Page on this blog), with a name in a POP (a phrasal overlap portmanteau; see the Page on this blog).

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A syncretic religious holiday

December 8, 2019

Recently posted on Facebook, this melding of the traditions of Judaism with the traditions of Jedi-ism for the holiday season, in French:


(#1) ‘May the light be with you’: the Jedi Master Yoda wields a lightsword menorah for Hanukkah (Fr. Hanoucca) — Happy Hanukkah! (Joyeuse fête de Hanoucca!)

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All thanks to HomoEros

November 28, 2019

(This posting is about homoeroticism — for Thanksgiving, but still — and though the language isn’t raunchy, I’ll be writing about men’s bodies and mansex, and that isn’t suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

Just when I’d fallen to musing that the net was bringing me nothing fresh from the bounty of its homoerotic resources to be thankful for this Thanksgiving — both men’s premium underwear companies that traffic in borderline-hardcore images in their ads and also gay porn companies that offer every manner of flat-out celebratory mansex in theirs were doing replays of their best hot stuff from past years, all of which I’d already posted about here — just then, Lucas Entertainment (high-end gay porn guys) came up with a totally new hot item, released just three days ago, for its Black Friday sale; and almost at the same time, Tim Evanson posted to Facebook with J. C. Leyendecker’s cover for the Saturday Evening Post for Thanksgiving 1928, framed as a bit of history-clash humor (Puritan soldier, weapon on his shoulder, and a modern warrior, a college football player in a holiday game, confront each other aggressively) but also giving off a cascade of homoerotic undertones.

Both the Leyendecker cover (below) and one of the ads (also below) for Lucas’s Barebacking in Public — in which (according to the publicity) “Dan Saxon pounds Gabriel Phoenix on Fire Island”, before they go on to flip roles — turn crucially on the intense content of the men’s facial expressions. These are gifts.

All thanks to HomoEros, who rules the domain of intimate connection, affectional and sexual, between men, and has granted us these gifts.

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Thanksgiving sacks of cement

November 28, 2019

A Thanksgiving cartoon by graphic designer Matt Reedy, requiring crucial background knowledge for understanding:


(#1) From Reedy’s pages of Den of Apathy prints (riffs on popular culture) on Etsy: WKRP “As God As My Witness, I Thought Turkeys Could Fly” (an 11×17 print is on sale there for $15)

A completely wordless cartoon (just the helicopter, the plummeting turkeys, the cityscape in the background) might not have worked, but “Cincinnati” is enough to make it the composition into a funny cartoon — if you know the background. “Thanksgiving” would work instead (with the same proviso). Or both: “Thanksgiving in Cincinnati”.

If you know Reedy’s title, you have even more of the story, but you still need to know how all these parts fit together, though you might reasonably infer that someone has dropped turkeys from a helicopter in the belief that they could fly, and that’s funny in itself. For the whole story, WKRP is crucial.

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Annals of art: Thiebaud’s Thanksgiving turkey

November 26, 2019

On the cover of the 11/25 issue of the New Yorker, Wayne Thiebaud’s “Stuffed”:

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Accompanied by a cover story by Françoise Mouly from 11/18/19, a charming interview with the 99-year-old artist.

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On the rubber fowl beat

November 22, 2019

In my writing, it goes back a dozen years to a Language Log posting on rubber ducky, with further duck notes over the years; notable from the outset were items like the vinyl rubber ducky, a rubber ducky made of vinyl. And then today Bob Eckstein burst onto Facebook with a new Christmas item from the Archie McPhee company, a rubber chicken Christmas ornament — yes, a glass rubber chicken.

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A hell of a queen

November 17, 2019

From my 11/17/18 posting (exactly a year ago) “Teddy Bears’ Picnic Day”, with this Bizarro cartoon:

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I was moved to declare November 17th Teddy Bear Picnic Day …, but it turns out that (by whatever obscure mechanism these things happen) July 10th is already taken for this occasion … [however:] Elizabeth acceded to the English throne on November 17th, 1558, so that today is unquestionably Elizabeth I Accession Day. From a Princeton Triangle Club show from a great many decades ago, the anthem for today:

I’m Elizabeth the First / Say it if you durst / I’m a hell of a queen!

I’m now thinking of (Elizabeth’s) Accession Day as Hell of a Queen Day — a much more versatile concept.

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For all the saints

November 4, 2019

In Mexican tradition, November 1st is the central point in the Days of the Dead (October 31st through November 2nd), while in older Christian tradition it’s All Saints’ (or, as many would have it, Saints) Day. For some of us, there is specific music for the day: the magnificent processional hymn “For All the Saints”, sung to the Ralph Vaughan Williams tune Sine Nomine.


(#1) Fra Angelico, The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs (from the 1420s, tempera on poplar wood) (from Wikipedia)

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Reaper days

October 31, 2019

For the dead season, Grim Reaper cartoons from Will McPhail. For today, Halloween, the GR goes trick-or-treating in the city:


(#1) ReaperWeen in McPhailia

And for tomorrow, the Day of the Dead, a whole series about the GR searching for a fashion look; the title image:


(#2) The New Yorker‘s Daily Shouts column from 1/28/19, “Death finds a signature look” by Will McPhail — in which the GR tries five experiments in fashion before settling on his signature black hooded robe and scythe

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OUTiL: a historical note

October 23, 2019

For LGBT History Month, some notes on a little piece of that history in linguistics, in the loose network of academic acquaintanceship that formed at the Linguistic Institute at UC Santa Cruz in the summer of 1991: OUT in Linguistics, OUTiL, OUTIL (the abbreviation pronounced /áwtǝl/, through some wags joked about its being French outil /uti/ ‘tool’, with the expected sexual slang use). A notice went out on the Institute mailing list for an informal social gathering of the new group, with a characterization that then varied, from occasion to occasion, in its list of invitees; a version from several years later:

The group is open to lesbian, gay, bisexual, dyke, queer, homosexual, trans, etc. linguists and their friends. The only requirement is that you be willing to be out to everyone on the list as lgbt(-friendly); it’s sort of like wearing a pink triangle.

This was at a Linguistic Institute, so no one was fussy about who counted as a linguist; if you wanted to hang out with rest of us for the summer, you were welcome. Just so with OUTiL; if you wanted to hang out with the rest of us for an hour or two, you were welcome. OUTiL, however, was primarily social, and that was an excellent thing, especially at the time.

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