Archive for the ‘Language and politics’ Category

Two magazine covers

August 18, 2017

… in response to neo-Nazi and white supremacist demonstrations in Charlottesville VA. Yesterday’s posting “Two cartoonists take on Charlottesville” had a striking Jon Berkeley cover for the Economist. Now: a David Plunkert cover “Blowhard” for the New Yorker (alluding, like Berkeley’s cover, to a KKK hood) and an Edel Rodriguez cover for Time (alluding to the Nazi salute).

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Gay slurs in New Zealand

August 16, 2017

… with quotations from a Stanford linguist.

The story: “Garry Mallett’s explanation of the F-word falls short” by Jeremy Olds yesterday in the NZ website Stuff (stuff.co.nz), about fag(got), beginning with events in Hamilton City NZ (south of Auckland on the North Island):

OPINION: It’s unclear why Hamilton City councillor Garry Mallett believes pink is a “homo colour”. Perhaps he thinks it’s effeminate; perhaps he thinks it’s cute.

Whatever the case, when Mallett described a pink piece of paper from an agenda last week as a “homo colour”, before using the word “fags”, his comments were perceived as homophobic by his colleagues, including councillor Angela O’Leary.

While he apologised for his language this morning, Mallett was last night defending his comments, saying gay people are comfortable with the labels, and to think otherwise is to be “sucked into this politically correct vortex,” The Spinoff reported.

“Many homosexuals freely and willingly identify with these words. Indeed, to some extent, homosexuals have ‘commandeered’ these words such that many non-homosexuals feel uncomfortable using them,” he said.

Ah, the right to use fag openly and proudly as a slur, threatened by the pansies, fruits, and fairies who have begun reclaiming fag for their own use.

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Rodeos and sword dances

May 27, 2017

(Warning: there will be talk of penises and mansex.)

On The Hill site on 5/21, “Tillerson: ‘Not my first sword dance’ in Saudi Arabia”, by Jill Manchester:

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday that his sword dance the previous night in Saudi Arabia was not his first.

“I hadn’t been practicing, Chris, but it was not my first sword dance,” Tillerson told Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace.

Tillerson and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross linked arms during the dance with Saudi performers on Saturday night. [REDACTED] also took part, swaying to the music, and appeared to enjoy the ceremonial dance. The event took place on [REDACTED]’s first day visiting Saudi Arabia, his first stop on his first foreign trip as president.

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Ross and Tillerson sword-dancing among Saudis

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Pronouncing the 59th Street Bridge

April 10, 2017

In the latest (April 10th) issue of the New Yorker, Slight Headache Dept.: “I Say Koch” by Nick Paumgarten, on pronouncing the family name Koch. The lead-in has Apple Maps directing someone to the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge (which is really the Fifty-ninth Street Bridge — do honor to Simon & Garfunkel — or just the Queensboro Bridge),

pronounced Koch “coke,” as in the Koch brothers, Charles and David, the industrialists and underwriters of right-wing causes — rather than “kotch,” as in the Mayor. What a maroon.

Ed Koch contemplating the 59th St. Bridge (caricature by Tom Bachtell)

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Plus ça change

April 7, 2017

A Doonesbury cartoon reprinted in Doonesbury Dossier: The Reagan Years (1984):

Reproduced here without political comment. But one brief linguistic note.

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Edward Sorel

February 28, 2017

Another item from my blog backlog file, this time based on a hilarious book review in the NYT Book Review on 1/1/17, by Woody Allen — yes, that Woody Allen — of Mary Astor’s Purple Diary: The Great American Sex Scandal of 1936 (from Liveright)  by Edward Sorel (who also supplied the illustrations):

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Astor and Kaufman, together again, but not in bed

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Meathead

February 22, 2017

First brought to my attention by Ken Rudolph on Facebook, this reproduction of a political meathead collage, which has recently been widely disseminated on-line (without attribution):

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Baloney face, banana hair

I put out a request for attribution on Facebook, and after some churning there, archarchivist Michael Palmer nailed it as the work of the very playful Spanish artist Asier Sanz (who uses the name Asier for his artwork):

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Felix d’Eon: on normalizing gay

February 17, 2017

On Wednesday, in “The news for penguins and, oh yes, penises” on this blog, image #5 has a “Love Rocket” image by the artist Felix d’Eon. Now on AZBlogX I’ve posted seven of d’Eon’s gay gay gay works. Here’s an eighth, which is penisless:

“The Little Death 4”, in a series showing men’s O-faces, their faces at the moment of ejaculation, of le petit mort.

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Naming the Beast

February 6, 2017

For some time now, I’ve avoided posting about the current POTUS, which has meant not posting a great many cartoons that come my way (most cartoonists are savagely critical of him), or posting the cartoons but not even mentioning his appearance in them. Initially, I referred to him only mockingly: Herr Drumpf at first, then Helmet Grabpussy. Now, many of my friends and acquaintances practice the policy of mentioning him as little as possible and, where necessary, not using his name; [REDACTED] and POTUS are two reference strategies along these lines.

Even so, I’m tickled by an observation made by the Canadian comedian Colin Mochrie — hat tip to Chris Ambidge — that Lord Dampnut is an anagram of POTUS’s real name.

“an infamous pincher of ladies’ bottoms”

December 28, 2016

(Eventually about a set of social practices and the vocabulary — mostly transparent — referring to them.)

A standout phrase from a moving, and also wryly funny, Gail Collins op-ed column in the NYT on the 22nd, “The Senate Bathroom Angle”. The infamous pincher in question is the monstrous Strom Thurmond, a stridently anti-black and anti-gay politician and notorious sexist pig, also the U.S. Senator from South Carolina for 48 years.

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