Archive for the ‘Language and religion’ Category

Watercolor journeys

April 3, 2018

Yesterday morning, a visit to a specialized museum in the far south of Palo Alto: The Foster Watercolor Exhibitions of Wilderness Journals. Open to the public, free, with generous daytime hours.

Bonus: a free-standing mosque in the neighborhood which opened in 2015. I had been unaware of the Foster and also of the mosque.
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Deviant Passover rites

March 30, 2018

A follow-up to my posting of the 28th, “Deviant Last Suppers”, about queer travesties of Leonardo’s Last Supper, a painting of the communal meal (celebrated on Maundy Thursday, yesterday this year) that Christians understand as the origin of the eucharist, or communion, ritual (take, eat, this is my body; take, drink, this is my blood). Now after sunset today, the Jewish ritual communal meal, the Passover seder, with its symbolic retelling of the Jews’ liberation from slavery in ancient Egypt. So, Bill Stewart wondered in a comment on this blog, what about a queer seder?

Well, sort of.

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Three Saturday lingtoons

March 24, 2018

A portmanteau (fishwich), a perfect pun (on the lam / lamb), an imperfect pun (bar / bark mitzvah):

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nameless sodomites

March 21, 2018

(There will some be free verse that is flagrantly sacrilegious and violently carnal, and there will be some outrageous art, and, yes, this posting’s about oral and anal sodomy between men, though with a mostly historical and literary cast  — so you might want to exercise your judgment.)

It began with Penn State academic librarian (and my friend) Christopher (Xopher) Walker coming across a Facebook posting that began with the words “nameless sodomites”, which seized his attention. It was a publisher’s blurb for a new book in Italian on men’s sexuality and criminal behavior:

When I searched for the expression, I unearthed a reference (by the Cambridge Medievialist William Burgwinkle) to (Saint) Peter Damian seeing nameless sodomites through the confessional curtain. I then suspected that the phrase might have had some currency as a fixed expression — but in any event it’s a poetically arresting phrase, with the rather antique sodomite paired with an allusion to the medieval custom, in some places, of burning sodomites at the stake after priests had taken anonymous confessions of their mortal sins. Later custom, in the U.K. and the U.S. at least, was for sodomites to be named and shamed in court and then publicly hanged.

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Divine Bodies

March 20, 2018

At the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco:

(#1)

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Death’s end

February 23, 2018

Mick Stevens in the February 26th New Yorker:

(#1) The Grim Reaper reaped

I was immediately reminded of the 5th verse of the Isaac Watts 1707 hymn text “Lo! what a glorious sight appears”, which is set as the 3rd verse of the Sacred Harp song Promised Day (#409 in the 1991 Denson Revision of the book):

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Lexical adventures in the Sacred Harp

February 23, 2018

Two explorations in the vocabulary of The Sacred Harp, 1991 Denson revision, provoked by songs called at shapenote singings in Palo Alto: most recently, the occurrence of dragon(s), serpent(s), and hurricane(s) in Florence #121 (all of them unique in the book, according to Chris Thorman’s 1992 Concordance to the songbook); and a while back, the striking use of vice in Mission #204’s “luring scenes of vice” (one of two occurrences in the book, the other being in Columbus #67).  Elsewhere, there’s Cambridge #287, a hymn of resistance to temptation; and O Come Away #334, a rousing temperance hymn (with a history in German student drinking songs).

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Days of sensual pleasure

February 14, 2018

(Prominently featuring men’s bodies and mansex, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Yesterday, Mardi Gras, a day of license and pleasure (in all things, but especially food). And then today is Valentines Day, a celebration of love: romantic love, but also carnal love. Both high holidays in the gay precincts of the world. A matched pair from Daily Jocks and a steamy 3-way from the Lucas porn studios:


(#1) [header:] Hey there handsome… ❤


(#2) Diego Lauzen (left) and Wagner Vittoria (right), lovers in porn and in real life, plus Beau Reed (very much the man in the middle, a Valentine boy for them to share)

Header and text for the ad:

❤ Be Mine, Bareback Valentine! ❤

Lucas Entertainment features the hottest bareback action, award-winning gay porn movies, and the sexiest guys on the web!

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Between Parody and Pastiche

January 2, 2018

Today’s Zippy takes us to the rolling green hills between Parody and Pastiche:

(#1)

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No vacancy

January 1, 2018

In today’s Zippy, our Pinhead seeks signs … in signs, specifically at the West Motel, on Historic Lincoln Highway, 4040 Columbia Avenue, Columbia PA:

(#1)

Lord, give me a sign! he cries. And as Zippy watches the West Motel sign, searching for something to believe in, there comes a sign: the NO of NO VACANCY blinks on; Zippy is no longer vacant.

Plays on the ambiguity of sign and on the ambiguity of vacant.

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