Archive for the ‘Movies and tv’ Category

Felonious Penguin Appreciation Day

April 26, 2021

For Penguin Appreciation Day yesterday (4/25), the Half Moon Bay company (a UK firm offering themed merchandise: “Home to TV, Film and Popular Culture fans”) exhorted:

The only water bottle you need this #WorldPenguinDay…
Buy yours here: http://aard.mn/feathersbottle


(#1) The Feathers bottle, a metal water bottle modeled on the felonious penguin character Feathers McGraw from the Wallace and Gromit animated movie The Wrong Trousers

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Zippy’s pod-ophilia

April 25, 2021

In today’s (4/25) Zippy strip, our Pinhead — no podophile ‘foot fetishist’ — instead celebrates the linguistic formative pod — as a word, in one of its many meanings (here, its ‘small building’ sense); as part of a fixed expression pod people (using pod referring to a plant part); and as piece of the word podcast (where it’s a piece of the proper name iPod, and that takes it back to a functional unit on an aircraft or spacecraft):


(#1) There’s more, lots more, but the pods here are all trace back.in metaphorical flourishes, to the plant parts

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Baxter on language

April 22, 2021

Three more cartoons from the Glen Baxter collection Almost Completely Baxter, all having to do with language in one way or another: the study of vowels as religious observance in the abbey of the fabled town of Brocklehampton; the tragedy of empty speech balloons; and smoke signals pressed into service to spread higher literary culture.

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A mammoth revival

April 19, 2021

Well, yes, it’s a big thing, or will be if it works, but the story here is about a proposal to revive — de-extinct seems to be the technical term — the woolly mammoth, à la Jurassic Park.

Dinosaurs, no; see the scientist in this wry cartoon by Tom Gauld (originally from New Scientist, then reprinted in You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack and in Department of Mind-Blowing Theories):

(#1)

But woolly mammoths, sort of and maybe. And on that there’s recent news from Harvard (where is Tom Lehrer when we need him?).

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Assuming the position

April 7, 2021

(Men’s bodies as sexual objects — women’s, too — and sex between men, all of this discussed in street language, with edgy images, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

At the intersection of the pinup-girl world (AZ Page here) and the premium men’s underwear world (AZ Page here), two recent ads from the Daily Jocks people: from 3/28, under the mail header “Model of the week: Freddy”, an ad for OnlyJox subscriptions, already of interest to me for its display of male buttocks as sexual objects for a male audience and for pushing the line between softcore and hardcore porn in doing so; and from 4/2, an ad for the DJ Easter sale, already of interest to me for its display of the front surface of the model’s body as series of sexual objects for a male audience, from the framing of his penis in a jockstrap though the sexualized presentation of his armpits, pectoral muscles and nipples.

The 4/2 ad is also quite clearly the photographer’s carefully composed re-creation of a classic pinup pose using a male model. And then I realized that that the 3/8 ad was in fact a bow to yet another classic pinup pose.

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All about -ette

March 28, 2021

Diminutive, feminine (in some sense), both. In the One Big Happy strip of 3/4, in my comics feed on 3/36:

(#1)

In modern English — that’s important — the suffix -ette has two relatively productive — that’s also important — functions: as a literal diminutive, referring to a small version of the referent of the base to which –ette is attached (“diminutive” suffixes can have a variety of other functions, notably as expressing affection towards this referent); and as a literal feminine, referring to a female version of the referent of the base to which –ette is attached (“feminine” suffixes can have a variety of other functions, notably as markers of grammatical gender (ggender), as opposed to natural, or sex, gender (ngender); English doesn’t have ggender).

The big generalization about modern English is that –ette attached to bases with inanimate reference (like disk) tends to have the literally diminutive function (diskette), while attached to bases with human (or, more generally, higher-animate) reference (like usher), –ette tends to have the literally feminine function (usherette). Novel formations follow the generalization: a spoonette would be a small spoon, not a spoon in female shape, or a spoon intended for use by girls and women; while a guardette would be a female guard (perhaps viewed dismissively or derogatorily), not a miniature guard.

Ruthie’s brother Joe apparently fails to appreciate the big –ette generalization, and takes a bachelorette to be a miniature bachelor, rather than the female counterpart of a bachelor (in Joe’s terms, a grown-up girl — a woman — who isn’t married yet).

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Treading down the thorny path

March 16, 2021

Two evergreen topics in grammar and usage: so-called “split infinitives”, where some usage critics have insisted that they must always be avoided, however unnatural the results of this avoidance are; and modifier attachment, where jokes are often made about one of the potential attachments, however preposterous the interpretation associated with this attachment is.

The two topics are connected through their unthinking devotion to dogmas of grammatical correctness: avoid split infinitives, avoid potential ambiguity. A devotion that leads adherents down the thorny path of usage rectitude to using unnatural syntax and entertaining preposterous interpretations.

But first, the thorny path. The (tough) counterpart to the (easy) primrose path.

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By their consumer products you shall know them

March 11, 2021

The Zippy strip from two days ago (3/9) on the roadside culture of working-class (and largely white and male) North America:


(#1) By their consumer products you shall know them: gas, energy drinks, cigarettes, lottery tickets, candy, batteries, beef jerky — “everything anyone could ever need”

The strip is dominated by the Irving gas station, with its accompanying Mainway convenience store. Irving Mainway, which looks and sounds like a man’s name, and so has taken on  lives of its own. Beyond the gasoline from Irving, Mainway can offer Red Bull, motor oil, smokes, and maybe a frozen burrito.

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genealogy, genie-ology

March 10, 2021

The 2/10 One Big Happy, recently in my comics feed:


(#1) Bonus word play: the genie’s fabulous bottle and the idiom hit the bottle ‘drink heavily

Ruthie understands genealogy as genie-ology, or at least as a word with first element genie, the name of a mythological spirit that has come to play a significant role in American popular culture (and she recognizes both lamp genies and bottle genies). But genealogy is new to her.

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Gauld on adaptations for the screen

February 27, 2021

A vein of cartoonist Tom Gauld’s work that I’d been unaware of, but then #3 below turned up on Facebook today: cartoons on adaptations of books for the screen (movies or tv). In chronological order below.

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