Archive for the ‘Language and the body’ Category

The Fine Art Exemption

August 22, 2016

The media news for penises.

The cover of yesterday’s New York Times Magazine, illustrating a story about Michelangelo’s David:

Shocking! A penis in the NYT! The word penis, quite a lot, but photographs, sculptures, drawings, etc. of penises, no. They would be at the very least crude, tasteless, and offensive, at the worst dangerous, because viewing them (so the story goes) is by its very nature damaging to sensitive people: to women in general, to children in general, hence especially to girls.

There is a customary Fine Art Exemption to the general ban on penises (or accurate representations of them)  in “family publications” (where the sensitive might come across them). This clause exempts penises in fine art, especially of high reputation and considerable age, where fine art is

creative art, especially visual art, whose products are to be appreciated primarily or solely for their imaginative, aesthetic, or intellectual content (NOAD2)

I’ve always found the FAE baffling, at least in its application to children.

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Give me some men who are square-jawed men

August 20, 2016

Taking a break from the almost unrelieved despair of two dark British detective series (Broadchurch and The Fall), I returned to more entertaining murders, in the Canadian series Murdoch Mysteries, where I came across S2 E13 (“Anything You Can Do…”,  originally aired 5/27/09), in which Victorian-era Toronto Detective William Murdoch (played by Yannick Bisson) confronts Sergeant Jasper Linney of the Mounties (Dylan Neal) over a murder case. Here are Murdoch and Linney with medical examiner Dr. Julia Ogden (Hélène Joy):

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You’ll see that both the men have notably strong jaws, Neal-as-Linney almost absurdly so; no doubt he was cast to be a caricature of the Mountie of myth: from Renfrew and Sergeant Preston on through the comic figures Dudley Do-Right (in Rocky and Bullwinkle) and Constable Benton Fraser (Paul Gross) in Due South (1994-99).

In principle, this posting is about square jaws on men, but there will be many side trips, including shirtless photos of Bisson.

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Cute pornstars

July 23, 2016

(A number of gay pornstars, but no man-man sex and just a bit about male bodies, so somewhat racy but probably not a danger for kids or the sexually modest.)

I start with a gay pornstar whose performances I enjoy, for several reason: Tommy Defendi shown here in a porn publicity shot (back on 7/23/11, he was featured in flagrante in an AZBlogX posting):

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Here I’m primarily focused on faces and evaluative judgments of them. Defendi’s face is certainly attractive; he’s a good-looking man, but the question is: in what category of masculine attractiveness? And what label to apply to it? — at the high-masculine end, ruggedly handsome or just rugged; or handsome; or beautiful; or cute; or at the low-masculine end, boyishly cute or just boyish. I’d label him cute, along with some other pornstars, some male models, and a fair number of mainstream actors (all men whose livelihood depends of their faces and their bodies, among other things).

To come: very brief notes on Defendi. Comments on categories and labels in the domain of male attractiveness. Further examples of cute gay pornstars, of a variety of types. And a note on cute male actors outside of porn, notably Matt Damon.

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The Insolence and the Ecstasy

July 18, 2016

(Not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Today’s Daily Jocks ad, offering 2eros Black Label items (with my caption):

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The Insolent Brothers
Offer themselves
On the altar of Eros to
Needy faggots

Buddy White more
Welcoming, Bro Black more
Contemptuous; off work they’re
Tight with one another but
Certain they’d never ever
Switch teams to join

The Ecstatic Sisters, the way those
Queers Mikey Bono and
Lennie Vance did

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goose bumps

July 14, 2016

The One Big Happy in my cartoon feed today has Ruthie once again coping with an expression that doesn’t make much sense to her: goose bumps:

At some point, she’d heard the expression (a N + N compound), understood that it came in two parts, and that as a whole it referred o a physical manifestation of fright (and perhaps other states of mind) — but failed to grasp the identities of the two parts and so remembered them incorrectly. In the simplest of terms, there are two ways to misidentify a lexical item: on the basis of phonology or on the basis of semantics; such perception + storage errors are the counterparts to two familiar types of production errors (phonological, aiming at presentation but producing preposition; semantic, aiming at research (assistant) but producing teaching).

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Bodily alignment

July 13, 2016

(The X-rated images are on AZBlogX, but, still, there’s some plain talk about male-male sex here, so probably not for kids or the sexually modest.)

It starts on AZBlogX, with a posting “The T-formation blowjob”, taking off from a Bound Gods image (#1 there) illustrating the pleasures of bondage, submission, and humiliation, but viewed on my blog primarily for the carefully aligned bodies of the two men engaged in a complex sexual act: the submissive, bound and gagged, man entirely vertical, including his hard cock, the dominant man (edging him) leaning over at right angles to him, making a visual T. A similar T-formation blowjob appears in #2 there, in a carefully posed scene (from gay porn) of group sex, with its central feature a fellated man (again making a strong vertical) aligned at right angles to his fellator (bent over at his task), with two flanking men (nearly vertical) serving as bookends, so to speak.

The larger topic is the alignment of bodies in photography, painting, and drawing: alignment to one another and to features of the physical context, and the direction of gazes in these scenes.

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More male dancers flying in mid-air

June 11, 2016

(Mostly about dance and male bodies.)

Passed through several Facebook sites, most immediately Michael Palmer’s, this fabulous photo of four dancers from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, captured flying in mid-air:

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Other male dancers flying in mid-air were featured in my 1/10/16 posting “Dance Time”. All of these photos are tributes to the skill of the dancers, the choreographer, and the photographer, who undoubtedly had to have the dancers run through their performances many times to get these remarkable shots.

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Ballad of beef

May 25, 2016

(Not much about language.)

The Daily Jocks ad from yesterday, with a caption of mine:

(#1)

His name was
Drogo, after the legendary
Horseman, but everyone called him
Oxo, because he was so
Beefy.

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Joe Dallesandro

May 17, 2016

(About art and gay porn, but not much about language.)

A tribute to the Warhol superstar Joe Dallensandro in his youth, in preparation for writing about two very different art books from 2011 — Kevin Clarke’s Porn from Andy Warhol to X-Tube (a survey of American gay porn and the business that creates it) and Christopher Reed’s Art and Homosexuality: A History of Ideas —  that nevertheless share several points of interest, of which Andy Warhol is a prominent one.

JD is pictured in the Clarke book, in a stunning full-page reproduction of a Bruce of L.A. photo (a full-frontal shot of JD in a pitsntits pose, with a half-hard penis), from Bruce’s only photo-shoot with JD (in the 1960s)  — viewable in a posting (“Joe Dallessandro in his youth”) on AZBlogX, along with another photo from the same session, showing a naked and pensively tumescent JD in profile (with an inscription to Reed Massengill).

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Female parts

May 17, 2016

Female parts: relatively transparent (and stylistically neutral) name for the sexual organs of a female (person, animal, or plant), with male parts as its counterpart. But there’s also a whole world of slangier, more euphemistic, or “cuter” expressions (the effect depending on the context) for this purpose: lady parts, lady bits, girly parts, girly bits, girl parts. And most of these are up for playful manipulations in proper names.

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