Archive for the ‘Language and politics’ Category

Labor Gay

September 2, 2023

(Man-on-man sex, with a photo that just barely doesn’t have any genitalia in it, so not for kids or the sexually modest)

Today is the Saturday of the US Labor Day weekend — the actual holiday is on Monday — and so there are sales on almost everything imaginable, including of course gay porn. This year TitanMen is offering a holiday pun — Labor Gay — for the occasion, in an ad showing two pornstars hard at work, laboring at their job:

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From the annals of political portmanteauing

August 25, 2023

(This is very much a Mary, Queen of Scots, Not Dead Yet posting — coming after two days in which I was almost totally felled by the humid heat we’ve been experiencing (though I did get in a much-needed shower at 2 in the morning yesterday), and barely functioned. All this sadly in utter solitude: not a word with another human being between two exchanges with caregivers, on Saturday morning and yesterday afternoon.)

… with a note on Stanley Kubrick’s directorial techniques.

First, Don Boorleone.

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The grand jury’s cough drop

August 18, 2023

The political / medicinal pun RICO Law / Ricola: on Facebook on 8/15, Kyle Wohlmut passed along  — “meanwhile in Switzerland” — the 8/14 Mike Scollins titling RICO LAW of an image from the classic Ricola (Swiss cough drop) commercial:


Posted within minutes of the Georgia RICO indictments (see below)

Now to the commercially medicinal and the political-conspiratorial.

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Today’s satiric artwork

July 24, 2023

Also today’s food art. From Bill Badecker on Facebook this morning:

[The Orange Menace]’s lawyers have assailed the Georgia case in their efforts to derail it ahead of any indictments. “It is one thing to indict a ham sandwich,” some of his lawyers said in a recent court filing. “To indict the mustard-stained napkin that it once sat on is quite another.” – NYT, July 22

With this portrait of Helmet Grabpussy, a.k.a. Mustard Staining Cheesy Ham Sandwich:

Fond as I am of my own mocking names — do not utter the true name of the demon, lest you invoke him — Helmet Grabpussy and The Orange Menace — I admire Mustard Staining Cheesy Ham Sandwich. It is, alas, unwieldy, though I suppose it could be initialized to MSCHS (which has a nice rhythm). Or condensed to MusChee.

 

The news for penises: the Penuma

July 7, 2023

(Well, yes, it’s all about penises — with photos, but not of penises, and some plain talk in street language — so not to everyone’s taste, and you should take that into account.)

The background, from my 1/26/16 posting “Huge News For Men!”, reporting on a GQ story. The story’s lead-in:

An enterprising L.A. surgeon [James Elist] has invented a silicone penis implant [the Penuma], which, because we’re sure you have a frient who’ll want to know, costs 13 grand and can nearly double your size. Amy Wallace grills the good doctor on how it works – and asks a few of his satisfied customers (and their mostly satisfied wives) how it’s working.

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Names in Canada

June 30, 2023

One more (quite brief) posting from the gigantic backlog, this time from a report by Peruvian linguist Ernesto Cuba on Facebook back in May. From EC, a report from an Edmonton Journal article by Joseph Brean on 5/31/23, about three papers from the Society for the Study of Names meeting in Toronto (at which EC gave a paper): about hockey nicknames, heavy metal band names, and Chinese restaurant names (in English and in Chinese characters) in Toronto’s Chinatown.

You might think that all this is hopelessly trivial — because it’s just about names and not about, say syntax — and parochial — because it’s Canadian, while we all know that the US is the real fount of linguistic and lexicographic research, with the rest of the world slumbering in some sort of benighted backwater. If so, you would be dead wrong, and I say this as (among other things) a syntactician and as an American.

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ICH BIN EIN BINLINER

March 16, 2023

Passed around in various forms on the net recently, this truly distant, extremely imperfect, pun, partly in German, partly in English, which does, however, come with the signature of its putative maker (Ella Niemans, who, alas, I’ve been unable to find anything about — perhaps because her name might be a joke, playing on German niemand ‘nobody’):


(#1) A monstrously complex joke alluding to  US President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 speech at the Berlin Wall, in which he declared (in his American-accented German) Ich bin ein Berliner, asserting that he was figuratively, in spirit, a citizen of Berlin

So it’s about bin liners and it’s about the Kennedy speech. Complexities on both counts.

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S Novym Godom!

January 1, 2023

🐇 🐇 🐇 greeting the new month and the new year, with Happy New Year! greetings in Russian, on a postcard showing a polar bear and a penguin — symbols of cold polar places, hence of winter — about to shake hands on a globe:


(#1) The Soviet Visuals Facebook page identifies it merely as: “Happy New Year!” Soviet postcard, 1960 (hat tip to Dennis Lewis on 12/31)

Soviet Visuals is a FB site for the Stratonaut shop, which sells all sorts of items from, or harking back to, the Soviet period of Russian history. Alas, in two hours of searching, I couldn’t find #1 anywhere on the Stratonaut site, or anywhere else, for that matter. This is of some interest, because the imagery (the polar bear and penguin) and the apparent message (a wish for unity and amity throughout the world) would be unsurprising in an American card for the Christmas / New Year season, but looks unparalleled in a Russian context — where I can’t find any polar bears or penguins at all, and where the iconography is deeply Russocentric (in one way or another) rather than universalist.

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Building wealth

December 28, 2022

A wry note on the news about pathological fabulist George Santos and his apparent amassing of millions of dollars in a mere two years. Santos’s remarkable ability to build wealth rapidly called to my mind the parallel achievements of the three men in the song “Little Tin Box” from the musical Fiorello!

After some background on the extraordinarily opaque Mr. Santos and his (apparent) meteoric accumulation of great heaps of money, I will entertain you with the full lyrics to the song. Then the basic facts about the musical, and more personal recollections from the giant album of Things I Learned at Princeton, in this case about how I became acquainted with the musical, which will lead to a brief note on Clark Gesner and still another musical, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (for which Clark supplied the book, the words, and the music).

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The ASC project

November 28, 2022

Alienizing, scapegoating, and cleansing (ASC) — what was intended as a very complex posting following on two occasions: the shootings at the Colorado Springs gay bar Club Q just before midnight on Saturday 11/19; and yesterday’s Harvey Milk Day, remembering the 11/27/1978 assassination of SF Supervisor Harvey Milk, killed because he was the driving force behind the city’s first gay rights bill.

Over the Club Q shootings I was consumed by fits of red-hot rage combined with body-wracking weeping sorrow, not to mention fear over where events are taking us. As I said yesterday in my posting “Lest we forget”, about Milk’s assassination,

I would say NEVER AGAIN — but it is far far too late for that.

The social mechanisms at work in these wrenching cases involving homosexuals — what I’ll call alienizing, scapegoating, and cleansing — reappear with other groups, in particular Jews and Blacks, leading to murderous assaults on the locations of supportive and protective community, on “safe spaces”. At, for example:

— the Pulse (gay, leaning Latino) nightclub in Orlando FL in June 2016

— the Tops Friendly Market (in a predominantly Black neighborhood) in Buffalo NY in July 2022

— the Tree of Life synagogue, in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood (about 40% Jewish) of Pittsburgh PA in October 2018

Meanwhile, my life is a mess. At the moment, much of every day is consumed by narcoleptic sleep, and my many disabilities cause me to take about five times as long to do everyday tasks as a fully able-bodied person would, so I’ve been having trouble finding the time to put the ASC posting together from the materials I’ve been assembling.

My solution is to post, as often as I can, collections of some of these materials, hoping that eventually I’ll be able to knit it together. (Some of these materials will be surprising to you. My first collection will probably be one that starts with Donald Sutherland screaming. Yes, it’s relevant.)