Archive for the ‘Movies and tv’ Category

Morning names: cavitation, Gwen Stefani

February 24, 2021

Morning names for yesterday (2/23). In both cases I found the names (one common, one proper) vaguely familiar but couldn’t recall actually having experienced the name in use (though obviously I must have, to have them pop up in my mind on awaking). I then made guesses about the referents of the names — and was well off the mark in both cases.

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Seeing the Invisible Man

February 21, 2021

Popped up on Pinterest, this Bizarro from 12/13/04:

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A pun that takes advantage of an ambiguity in see: ‘perceive with the eyes’ (something one does not do with the Invisible Man) vs.sense 4c from the  NOAD see entry:

verb see: … 4 [a] meet (someone one knows) socially or by chance: I saw Colin last night. … [c] meet regularly as a boyfriend or girlfriend: some guy she was seeing was messing her around.

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Chekov’s phaser

February 7, 2021

It came to me first through Jeff Bowles on Facebook today: this Mark Stivers cartoon, presenting a small exercise in cartoon understanding:

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Two contributions to the cartoon: a dramatic principle; and the Star Trek tv shows and movies.

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The Stranger

February 2, 2021

The Orson Welles movie of 1946, and today’s morning name. The theatrical poster:

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Ethical Surrealism

February 2, 2021

An antic cartoon by Tom Gauld in the latest New Scientist magazine. combining surrealist images with a famous ethical dilemma from the philosophical literature:

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Bert and Ernie’s 51st anniversary

January 30, 2021

Artist Tom Taylor’s portrait of B&E on the occasion:

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As puppets on the tv show Sesame Street, B&E haven’t aged at all in 51 years; but the characters B&E are human, so of course they have changed and developed over time. They were kids in 1969 (when Sesame Street started, 51 years before 2020, when Taylor drew this portrait); became a (closeted) gay couple about 15 years later (when writer Mark Saltzman, a partnered gay man, joined the show’s staff); and then came out and explored a new life as macho queers  — there are many varieties of homomasculinity — with Ernie taking a more dominant role in the relationship (the t role, in my writing on role differentiation in couples; see the Page on b/t roles on my blog); note Ernie’s proprietary hand on Bert’s shoulder when they pose as a couple.

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The Acting Corps: Cloris Leachman

January 28, 2021

Leachman, who died on the 26th at the age of 94, pretty much defined what it means to be a member of what I’ve called the Acting Corps, a bank of reliable actors with large numbers of acting credits (there’s a Page of links, on this blog here): her professional debut was in 1948 — I was 8 at the time — and she has nearly 300 credited roles on IMDb (a list that doesn’t cover all of her acting work).


Leachman in three of her roles: as Frau Blucher in Young Frankenstein; as Barbara June “Maw Maw” Thompson in Raising Hope; as the title character in the sitcom Phyllis (a spin-off of The Mary Tyler Moore Show)

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It started with a kiss

January 24, 2021

(Six male-male kisses, of different sorts and with different sociocultural meanings, plus a general suffusion of homoerotic content and undercurrents throughout, so this posting is not to everyone’s taste — but there’s nothing raunchy enough to make it plainly unsuitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

It started with a kiss in a poster (from Hana Filip on Facebook, long ago — 2/23/19) apparently signifying the union of the Soviet Army and Navy, but it turns out to be sheer invention, the work of the artist Igor Baskakov, whose specialties include a very uneasy blend of official Communism and high-commercial capitalism:


(#1) The caption: ‘Support/Strengthen the union of the Army and Navy’

Three things about this poster. First, it alludes to (as Hana put it) the fraternal socialist kiss trope, the most (in)famous of which is the kiss between Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev and East German leader Erich Honecker (1979):

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Western medicine

January 6, 2021

The Wayno/Piraro Bizarro for Epiphany (1/6) — Wayno’s title: “Lone Prairie Pre-Op” — plays on the ambiguity of Western, and taps into a bit of lore about the American Old West:


(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 5 in this strip — see this Page.)

Western medicine ‘the medicine in Westerns’ (illustrated above) vs. Western medicine ‘medicine characteristic of the Western region of the world, in particular of  Europe and the U.S.’ (contrasted with Eastern medicine, earlier Oriental medicine).

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Wigs and smog in Nevada

December 26, 2020

Today’s (Boxing Day) Zippy cartoon takes us to commercial strips in Nevada and to a Woody Allen (comic) homage to German Expressionist film:

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(Remember that Zippy is a notably surrealistic cartoon.)

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