Archive for the ‘Language and sports’ Category

Another family food holiday, and alternatives to it

February 3, 2019

The Hi and Lois cartoon from 2/7/16:

(#1)

Super Bowl Sunday — today, this year — joins Thanksgiving and Christmas as a holiday that serves as an occasion for gatherings of family and friends plus a spread of characteristic food. A family food holiday, for short.

The SBS holiday crucially involves the Super Bowl football game, for the NFL championship: this year, SB LIII  (El Ay Ay Ay!), New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Rams at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta GA (6:30 ET).

While much of the US population gathers around tv sets for the game, its half-time show, and its ads — virtually emptying out many public spaces —  others seek out alternatives. (I myself have an unbroken record of studied inattention to the game, from SB I in 1967 on.) Alternatives that are cultural, recreational, commercial, and even sexual. (This posting will devolve into tales of SBS mansex, but I’m putting that material at the end, so kids and the sexually modest can enjoy the rest of this material and then bail out when the gay guys strip and go at it with one another like weasels in heat.)

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BILLY COLLINS Billy Collins

July 31, 2018

Not just any Billy Collins, but Billy Collins Billy Collins — prototypical Billy Collins, the Billy Collins. Who I’m posting about here because one of his poems prominently features the morphological construction Contrastive Focus Reduplication, or CFR (which I’m going to cite in a forthcoming posting about two New Yorker cartoons on dating).

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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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