Archive for the ‘Language and sports’ Category

Annals of sport/art

March 11, 2018

Back on December 17th, my posting “Xmas follies 2017: the shirtless men of the season” featured (in #1 and #2 there) pole dancer Domenico Vaccaro, engaging in an activity that is both sport — there are competitions — and art form — performances are scored on aesthetic criteria as well as on the achievement of specific moves. Think of it as ballet with a prop, a prop that allows a dancer to fly suspended in mid-air. Male pole dancers frequently perform shirtless, so they also show off their full bodies, which are aesthetic objects in their own right.

And now, thanks to Kim Darnell, another male pole dancer, the Hungarian Peter Holoda, a great pleasure to watch in action. In a still shot:

(#1) You can watch here a piece of a stunning performance by Holoda to music from the film Schindler’s List, played by Holoda’s frequent collaborator, cellist Tina Guo

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Up in every way

February 13, 2018

“Nothing can stop me, I’m all the way up”, the song goes, and it manages to pack a whole bagful of uses of up into a few verses.

(#1) “All the Way Up”, with drugs, bitches and hoes, sex (“I’m that nigga on Viagra dick”), bling, success

And then Mountain Dew (the soft drink) extracted just a bit of the song for its own purposes.

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Annals of innuendo

February 3, 2018

Seen on a t-shirt in downtown Pao Alto this morning, this bit of coastal Californica:

(#1)

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gruggerwear

December 6, 2017

(Hunky antipodal gay jocks modeling underwear, a bit of cheap language play, but otherwise not much to shock kids or the sexually modest.)

From the Daily Jocks people today, Aussie gruggerwear (gay rugby underwear) packaged into a calendar so you can take one for the team:

(#1) For the Melbourne Chargers Rugby Union Football Club

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Again, the rowers of Warwick

November 27, 2017

Rebecca Wheeler alerted me to the appearance of this year’s Warwick Rowers‘ calendar, with this image, among others:

Playful decadence, with grapes

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Sports Monday Linguistics

September 20, 2017

Surely a record for the NYT sports section: both stories on the front page of Sports Monday this week were about language — language, televised sports, and gender; and language learning, baseball, and tv shows:

“Safest Bet in Sports: Men Complaining About a Female Announcer’s Voice” (on-line head) by Julie Dicaro.

“‘Friends,’ the Sitcom That’s Still a Hit in Major League Baseball” (on-line head) by James Wagner.

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You can get anything in rainbow

June 22, 2017

… including the logos for all the Major League Baseball teams, available through the MLB clothing site in caps and shirts. Apparently the line of clothing came out in 2015, but I missed it — and then Aric Olnes posted the SF Giants Pride logo on Facebook today:

(#1)

and I checked the (registered) logo out.

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Hang On Sloopy

May 21, 2017

On Friday, while Kim Darnell and I worked on moving plants and cleaning closets (not just routine spring cleaning, but a counter-offensive against a severe moth infestation — more on this in a later posting), for background I called up an iTunes playlist of dance music from the 50s through the 90s, which included “Hang On Sloopy”.

Now, Kim and I both have serious Ohio State connections, so we recognized the song as an OSU anthem, as played by TBDBITL, The Best Damn Band In The Land, aka the OSU Marching Band, which, like OSU football in general, is surrounded by a kind of frenzied irrational devotion. (When I lived in Columbus, I found this truly scary, since it led to crowds torching vehicles, smashing storefronts, and generally behaving like crazed hooligans,)

So Kim asked the obvious question: Who the hell is Sloopy?

We get that it’s a name, here used as an address term. But who is the Sloopy of the song, what do we know about them? And was there an actual Sloopy in the history of the song, or was the name just pulled out of a hat? And what kind of onomastic hat has Sloopy in it? (Related puzzle re: “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” — though in this case, Rikki and Ricky are both reasonably frequent names.).

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Conferring

May 9, 2017

A Harry Bliss cartoon in the May 15th New Yorker:

(#1)

“Well, there’s your problem right there—you need to sauté the onions in white wine before adding the ginger.”

First, the usual note about what you have to know to understand this cartoon. You have to recognize that the cartoon is set in a baseball stadium during a game (this is fairly easy, though it involves very culture-specific knowledge), and that we’re looking at the catcher and the pitcher conferring on the pitcher’s mound about pitching strategy, a conference in which privacy is often assured by having the two men cover their mouths with their mitts (this is definitely inside-baseball esoterica).

But wait, there’s more.

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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):

(#1)

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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