Archive for the ‘Masculinity’ Category

Ascending and parting

October 13, 2017

Two cartoons from the October 16th New Yorker: a Jason Adam Katzenstein riff on the Ascent of Man cartoon meme and an Emily Flake & Rob Kutner absurdist updating of Rick and Ilsa at the airport:

(#1) “I’m going to e-mail you this op-ed about how your generation is ruining everything.”

(#2) “If you don’t get on that plane…there’s also the 5:43, then the 9:27, but that’s got a layover in Atlanta, then…”

To understand these cartoons, you need a lot of background information, and you also need to recognize the scenes depicted in them: in #1, the Ascent of Man meme; in #2, a specific scene from the 1942 movie Casablanca. (If you don’t know Rick’s passionate speech to Ilsa in that film, #2 might only seem ditheringly silly.)

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Husbands and wives

September 22, 2017

Three veins of spousal humor, starting in the early 19th century and ending in an edgily close-to-life comic stereotype realized in cartoons, tv shows, and movies.

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Irmas

September 8, 2017

Hurricane Irma works its way through the Caribbean, now aiming at Florida. There’s nothing useful I can do at this distance, so I’ve been frittering away my time recalling the famous Irmas of my world — your list might well be different — namely Irma S. Rombauer, the Irma of Irma la Douce, and, top of the list, the Irma of My Friend Irma, the apotheosis, oh alas, of the Dumb Blonde stereotype in American popular culture.

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Kangaroo Paste, the Australian hair gel

August 10, 2017

Viewed the morning of the 8th, S2 E9 (“Bounty Hunters!”, 2007) of the tv series Psych, with several references to a (fictional) Australian hair gel for men, Kangaroo Paste, which the central character of the series, Shawn Spencer, really likes. This bit of mischievous product placement led quite a few people to ask where they could get the stuff.

For the record: there is an Aussie brand of hair-care products for women, which offers (among other things) Aussie Instant Freeze Gel, Aussie Instant Freeze Sculpting Gel, Aussie Instant Freeze Sculpting Mousse, Aussie Mega Gel, and Aussie Headstrong Volume Spray Gel (I have no idea how these products are distinguished from one another); and there is a product called Kangaroo Paste, but it’s a Korean shoe polish (a Korean knockoff of Kiwi Shoe Polish).

To come: the tv show (with a digression on the actor Kevin Sorbo); hair gel; the Aussie brand; Kangaroo Paste shoe polish (with a digression on compounds like Kangaroo Paste shoe polish); Kiwi Shoe Polish; and product placement.

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Office Goofiosity cuisine

July 11, 2017

Yesterday’s Zippy:

(#1)

Themes here: cooking, masculinity, cartoonishness / cartooniness, the Disney cartoon character Goofy, funny laughs, office supplies.

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Rainbow Batman

June 27, 2017

At one end, Batman #8, Detective Comics #241, March 1957:

(#1)

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Three days in one

June 18, 2017

Mostly this posting is about Fathers Day, but today is also Commencement Day at Stanford and World Music Day in Palo Alto (and other places; here, music of all sorts — including shapenote singing in the Sacred Harp tradition — is performed in locations all over downtown Palo Alto). Then tomorrow comes Juneteenth, recognizing the emancipation of the slaves in the American South. Meanwhile, we’re in the middle of Pride Month.

Fathers Day is at root a commercial and sentimental holiday, officially devoted to a celebration of fathers and fatherhood, but equally devoted to a celebration of conventional, in fact stereotyped, modern American masculinity — gently mocked in this Bob Eckstein cartoon:

(#1)

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Pride Time #3: On the menswear watch

June 4, 2017

(Photographs of men in very little, but otherwise not alarming.)

For a month that has both Pride events and Fathers Day in it, two extremes of clothing for men: (2) high-macho sexy bodywear and (3) adaptations of women’s casual clothes — which will take us to (4) the gay rapper Cazwell, a study in outrageous, minimal, and sportsfan dress.

First, as lead-in, (1) a visit to the 2017 International Mr. Leather competition in Chicago on March 25th – 30th.

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Dad dogs

June 3, 2017

After several postings on this blog combining a (US) Memorial Day theme with a phallic hot dog theme, Pinterest recently moved the calendar forward from Memorial Day to (US) Fathers Day (June 18th this year), while preserving the focus on hot dogs, as a characteristically masculine food. Fathers Day and Mothers Day are not just (absurdly commercialized) celebrations of male and female parents, respectively, they are also massively gendered holidays (with a hefty infusion of class (middle) and sexuality (hetero) in the gender mix).

I’ll have more to say on the gendering of Fathers Day; here it’s just the hot dog thing, and more generally the gendered food thing.

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Macho Muffler Man vs. the elite geek

June 2, 2017

Today’s Zippy pits Griffy against a familiar figure in the strip, a Muffler Man roadside fiberglass figure — in this case a lumberjack figure, selling tires rather than mufflers, but still part of an automotive theme:

Not just selling tires, but presenting himself as hypermasculinely disdainful of analytic academics.

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