Archive for the ‘Language and religion’ Category

BF pornopaloozas

November 24, 2017

(Gay porn sales for Black Friday and beyond. So: men’s bodies and mansex, in plain language, definitely not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Most of the hard-core raunch is in a posting on AZBlogX, but here’s one BF ad (for the Lucas studios) that I can get by with here:

(#1) Some word play is evergreen

The ad is a study in lean, swimmer body types and also in rise heights for tighty-whities: from left to right, lo, mid, and hi. And it satisfies what ought to be a rigid requirement for all BF ads: a significant Black.

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Noodling with formulaic language

October 6, 2017

Today is National Noodle Day. Yes, an event fabricated by people in the food indusry to showcase their products and sell them, on a date no doubt chosen only because it hadn’t already been claimed by any other food. But noodles are delicious, they’re multicultural, and they’re fun.

I celebrated the occasion at lunch with some porcini mushroom and truffle triangoli (stuffed ravioli, but triangular rather than square) from Trader Joe’s, with arrabiatta sauce (a spicy tomato sauce). Pasta in English food talk for Italian food, but  noodles in English food talk for Chinese (and other East Asian and Southeast Asian) food — so today they’re noodles to me. (I recommend a broadminded view on what counts as noodles.)

I also recommend that we adopt a symbolic figure for the occasion, something like the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, Halloween pumpkins and witches, Pilgrims for Thanksgiving, the New Year baby, and so on. I suggest the Flying Spaghetti Monster, with his noodly appendages.

But first let’s get down to some recent noodling with formulaic expressions in the comics: One Big Happy (an idiom), Rhymes With Orange (a frequent collocation or an idiom, depending on who you read), and Mother Goose and Grimm (a proverb):

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Ecstasy

October 1, 2017

Following up on yesterday’s posting “The archangel Michael” (focusing on the nature of angels and archangels, especially those represented in art as wingèd men), on to angelic music in the Sacred Harp hymnbook: on

angels, wings of love, robes of light, flying away, being carried away, ecstasy. With trumpets.

As before, I’ll start with the Christian context — of art yesterday, of music today — and move to sexual, in particular gay, interpretations of these works, finding in them homoerotic elements that were surely never intended. This move is straightforwardly sacrilegious, and therefore offensive to many, so I’m warning you now that after a respectful discussion of themes in hymn texts, I’ll turn to descriptions and depictions of flagrant mansex, but I’ll flag this shift, so you can bow out if you wish.

The connection is the ambiguity of the word ecstasy, an ambiguity that is rooted in a significant similarity between religious ecstasy and sexual ecstasy: being transported or carried away, in mind and body, by an experience.

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The archangel Michael

September 30, 2017

(And other wingèd men.)

Yesterday was Michaelmas, devoted to Saint Michael the Archangel, a figure of great power and terrible beauty, who among other things lent his name to the gorgeous autumn-blooming aster commonly known as the Michaelmas daisy (see my 10/5/13 posting).

(Today on the calendar of religious holidays it’s Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. A very different thing.)

Angels and archangels are messengers of god, also protectors. As protectors, they can be either militant (usually masculine) or maternal (usually female);  Michael, wielding his sword against the serpent / Satan, is definitely one of the militant band — but he can be portrayed either as a muscled hero (an Achilles or Ares figure) or as an ethereally beautiful young man doing holy battle (so a hybrid of Apollo and Ares, but Christian).

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Revisiting 5: Don Bosco

August 25, 2017

Brief follow-up to my 8/20 posting about Bosco chocolate syrup as an artistic medium — a posting that led to Don Bosco being my morning name a couple nights ago.

(#1) Giovanni / Gio / John / Don Bosco

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Two cartoonists take on Charlottesville

August 17, 2017

Yes, vast numbers of cartoonists have taken up the subject, from many angles, some more than once. Here are two slashing images of POTUS and his response(s) to the event: Jon Berkeley’s cover for the August 19th issue of the Economist, and Peter Kuper’s New Yorker daily cartoon on the 15th.

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The word came down on Pentecost

June 7, 2017

Four language-related strips in my comics feed on Sunday the 4th, which this year was Pentecost,

the Christian festival celebrating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after his Ascension, held on the seventh Sunday after Easter. (NOAD2)

KJV Acts 2:3: And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them

The word came down. In One Big Happy, Rhymes Wth Orange, Zits, and xkcd.

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Memorial song: Fellowship 330b

April 24, 2017

Saturday was the annual BASH (Bay Area Sacred Harp) all-day singing, this year at a Lutheran Church in Alameda (with an assembly hall that has a fine wooden ceiling, making for ringing acoustics). Part of the routine for “conventions” like this is a “memorial lesson”, during which someone lists singers who are sick or in distress and people who have died in the past year who were special in some way to a singer at the convention, and then we sing for them. The song for remembering the dead was 330b in the 1991 Denson Revision of The Sacred Harp, Fellowship, with a very familiar text (“Blest be the tie that binds”), excellent as a memorial song, but with a tune that was completely unfamiliar to me.

I realized too late that I should have added a name to the memorial list, but then used our regular Palo Alto singing yesterday to dedicate a song, and picked Fellowship because I had liked it so much at the BASH singing. As it turned out, another singer in the Palo Alto group picked it to lead, for reasons much like mine (but without the memorial function). So we all got to learn a “new” song (the words are 18th century, the tune mid-20th century).

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Is that a Paschal Peep in your pouch?

April 24, 2017

From Chris Hansen on Facebook, a late entry in this year’s Easter Peepstakes: a model who dreamt he played with yellow Peeps in his Aronik swimwear:

(#1)

About the company, its products, its models, its symbol, and its name

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Passover minestrone

April 14, 2017

On Monday a friend made me a pot of minestrone, for Passover (a custom in her definitely gentile family; my definitely gentile family did gefilte fish for the holiday; who knows how these things got started) and because she knew it’s a favorite comfort food of mine (simple, warm, homey, and hearty).

Unaccountably, I seem not to have posted about minestrone before, so I’ll start with that. And then move to an actual Italian Passover soup,  minestra dayenu.

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