Archive for the ‘Language and the body’ Category

PUMP!ing it up

October 17, 2018

(Homowear: male models in underwear, displaying their bodies homoerotically, with archly queer ad copy. Not X-rated, but not to everyone’s taste.)

The Daily Jocks ad for PUMP! underwear from the 15th:

(#1)

Underwear model as sculptural form. Mahogany Man.

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Sleep on, harvest moon

September 24, 2018

Sunday night, on the way to the PAMF (Palo Alto Medical Foundation) Sleep Disorders Clinic in Sunnyvale CA (for a night sleeping in a forest of electrodes and other monitoring devices), an absolutely gigantic moon, slightly short of full, hanging low in the sky. Sunday (the 23rd) was the Autumn Equinox and tonight (the 24th) the moon is full, so we are now experiencing a harvest moon — which means today is the Mid-Autumn Festival in China and other East Asian countries (and elsewhere), so it’s the prime day for mooncakes / moon-cakes / moon cakes, paper lanterns, and family reunions. It’s also the beginning of the holiday of Sukkot in the Jewish calendar (this year, sunset on the 23rd through sunset on the 30th), so it’s a harvest festival there too, also a solemn religious holiday and a family festival.

Meanwhile, my days have been physically / medically dreadful and emotionally disastrous, so I haven’t been able to assemble all the text for a proper posting. But here’s a photo gallery for a posting to come.

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Stormy compounds in English

September 23, 2018

(Extensive references to male genitals, with photos of phallic simulacra, so not to everyone’s taste.)

About a hitherto unstudied class of English N + N compounds that I will call Stormy compounds (in honor of Stormy Daniels, aka Stephanie Gregory Clifford), or Stormies for short. In a stormy, one N is mushroom and the other is a N referring to the penis (penis, phallus, dick, cock, in particular). For example, the subsective resemblance compounds mushroom penis ‘penis resembling a mushroom’ and penis mushroom ‘mushroom resembling a penis’.

Resemblance is one of a small set of canonical semantic relations between the head N2 and the modifier N1 in an N + N compound — relations that are in some sense always available for interpreting such compounds (within the bounds of  real-world and contextual plausibility). Otherwise, there’s an essentially open-ended universe of interpretations specific to the context and the shared experiences of speaker and addressee. In my writing about semantic relations in compounds, I’ve referred to the first set of relations as O-type (to suggest ordinary-type) and the second as X-type (to suggest extraordinary-type); others have used other terminology.

But even for O-type relations, there’s some room for specificity in how particular compounds are understood, and this fact is signficant for stormies.

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La décolletagiste dans la cuisine

September 18, 2018

In today’s e-newsletter from bon appétit magazine, celebrity Chrissy Teigen flaunts her ribs — Thai soy-garlic fried ribs — and wields her baguettes — on a tray of banh mi — for family and friends:

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The cartoon milkman

September 11, 2018

… and a bad grandpa pun, in the One Big Happy from 8/14:

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(The characters, left to right in the first and last panels: the neighbor boy James; the son of the OBH family, Ruthie’s older brother Joe; and Joe’s grandfather.)

Grandpa reproduces a bit of culture lore, about liaisons between housewives and milkmen. The boys are no doubt somewhat vague about what would be involved in a woman’s running off with the milkman. But, more pressingly, they don’t know what a milkman is: the N +  N compound is scarcely transparent semantically, so unless you’ve actually had milkmen in your experience, tales of women and milkmen are just baffling.

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I gotta go

September 11, 2018

The catch phrase of writer and performer Merle Kessler’s alter ego Ian Shoales, just a bit short of the more vernacular I’m outta here. That’s motion go. Then there’s elimination go, and an ambiguity between the two, as exploited by Calvin in this (recently re-cycled) Calvin and Hobbes strip:

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Bruce Weber II: the photographer’s gaze

August 29, 2018

It begins with this photo, sent to me by a gay friend who found it, unattributed, on a hot-men website; found it, um, moving; and thought I would too:


(#1) Filed under “Hunks at play”, though the hunks don’t seem particularly playful

They are, first of all, hunks. The photographer’s gaze dwells on their bodies, presenting them as desirable pieces of meat. Then, they are sullenly inexpressive, not playful at all, despite the fact that they’re messing around on a boat.

I thought I recognized the style and the content as well, and I was right: Bruce Weber, a photographer who has played a major role in making homoeroticism — crudely, men as meat — a thing in the ad world (women as meat in ads has a much longer history). “Hunks at play” is actually Weber’s “Capri, Italy 1994”.

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Dong Goodwin

August 23, 2018

I’m once again afflicted by spam comments — thousands a day — from a source that creates sender names by pairing random names from some gigantic database. Today’s most entertaining combo is Dong Goodwin, a personal name (from a Chinese surname) with inevitable phallic associations in English, plus an OE surname meaning ‘good friend’. So a nice mixture of louche and earnest.

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volumptuous

August 22, 2018

That’s the portmanteau in yesterday’s Luann strip:

voluminous + voluptuous, probably with a bit of sumptuous mixed in — but certainly ample heft combined with sensuousness. Not a waif, and not any typical fashion model.

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Jo Flamingo

August 21, 2018

(Men, in skimpy underwear, projecting steamy homo-desire; compact captions of puzzling free poetry; reflections on playful fetishwear. No X, but not to everyone’s taste.)

From Daily Jocks yesterday, continuing a mini-series with models who aren’t your standard high-butch Euro muscle-hunks, this time featuring a young man I’m calling Jo Flamingo.

(#1)

Muscle Twinko his
Marco Harness
Flamenconess
Flamingolous

The ad copy (untouched by any editing from me):

Get on board with The NEW Nautical Collection! This exciting new print features Flamingos on top of blue and white stripes.
The collection features a Swim Brief, Harness & two Briefs (including one with a cheeky low cut rear!) you’ll be the hit of every party in any of these.

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