Archive for the ‘Movies and tv’ Category

BOY Party!

September 12, 2019

E-mail from the Stanford linguistics department on the 10th, under the header:

Save the Date: BOY Party 9/27

Whoa! I thought, conjuring up images of a department party featuring attractive young men — as entertainers (maybe some lesser-known boy bands), as guests of honor (very young up-and-coming NLP entrepreneurs, perhaps), as party staff (a phalanx of Ganymedes, in costume), purely as eye candy (twinks on parade), whatever — things are really loosening up in Margaret Jacks Hall!

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Revisiting 34: sing out, Arnold!

September 9, 2019

From my comment on yesterday’s posting “Greetings”, about well-wishings for my 79th birthday:

[At yesterday’s Palo Alto shapenote singing] I did indeed lead both 79 and 272 [in the 1991 Denson revision of the Sacred Harp], and others chose suitably gloomy songs in my honor. Plus 285t Arnold, which begins “Come, let us join our friends above / That have obtained the prize; / And on the eagle wings of love / To joy celestial rise.” I somehow hadn’t noticed the “eagle wings” — potentially relevant because Arnold is etymologically ‘eagle-strong’ (English erne ‘sea-eagle’). Maybe just a fortunate accident, maybe on purpose; I’ll need to look at some sources.

I’ve now looked at sources, and, as I suspected, just a fortunate accident.

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Big sexy prime birthday gay ice cream

September 7, 2019

(References to gay male life, men’s bodies, and mansex, so not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

Yesterday was my birthday, my 79th, 79 being, as I noted in a 8/29 posting for the day, a sexy prime. 8/29 is also, every year, National Coffee Ice Cream Day, and coffee is my favorite ice cream flavor. Put all this together and you get this birthday present, delivered by Kim Darnell yesterday:


(#1) Coffee ice cream, plus a selection of Big Gay Ice Cream flavors for Big Gay Arnold

This will take us to the pornstars of the end of summer, to Greenwich Village, and to South Park, with a final side trip to visit with the Marquis de Lafayette.

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The news from Nadoland

September 6, 2019

The 9/3 Pearls Before Swine:

(#1)

Great big themes:

anti-intellectualism: the distrust of, and rejection of, learning;

the ignorance of the young, elevated to a form of resolute stupidity;

mass hysteria: the amplification of irrational beliefs and behaviors in crowds

All packaged into dumbnado, with the libfix –nado, that entertaining pop-cultural product of the Sharknado movies.

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Revisiting 31: That’s Good / That’s Bad

August 26, 2019

My 7/22 posting “Oh that’s good” looked at Archie Campbell’s That’s Good / That’s Bad joke routine from the tv show Hee Haw. Now Tim Evanson points out a somewhat later appearance of the routine, in an episode of The Simpsons.

(#1) From “Treehouse of Horror III”, The Simpsons S4 E5 (first aired 10/29/92)

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Annals of phallicity: symbol and simulacrum

August 22, 2019

(Warning: consider the subject; penises will be under discussion, so some will want to skip this posting.)

I’ll start with the logo of Herb’s Plumbing & Heating, 2562 Noble Rd., Cleveland OH:


(#1) Brawny man, a plumber, with a big wrench — the symbol of his trade, also (like wrenches in general) a phallic symbol, intensifying the masculinity of the image

This is garden-variety phallicity. But on Herb’s trucks, we get something more substantial: a phallic simulacrum, a representation of a penis (which is, however, also symbolically a wrench):

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News for penises: ocean edition

August 20, 2019

(Consider the title as a content warning.)

Widely reported: Chace Crawford’s monumental moose-knuckle in the calendar for the new tv series The Boys:


(#1) Dick and the Dolphins

From Yahoo! entertainment, “Chace Crawford’s superhero suit in ‘The Boys’ calendar has eyeballs popping: ‘This cannot be real, can it?'” by Suzy Byrne on 8/16/19:

Chace Crawford’s new role in The Boys has him giving fans an eyeful.

A promotional calendar for the Amazon Prime show was sent out to the press this week and March has sent the internet into a tizzy. Crawford, who plays Kevin/The Deep, is in his very tight superhero suit and it didn’t go unnoticed.

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Melon eaters of 1937

August 13, 2019

In the NYT on the 11th (in print on the 12th), the entire editorial page given over to an opinion piece by Brent Staples, “The Radical Blackness of Ebony Magazine: The publication was revolutionary for its depiction of middle-class African-American life”, in the middle of which comes an astonishing observation:

As a close student of Life [magazine], [Ebony founder John H.] Johnson would no doubt have seen the dehumanizing images of African-Americans that appeared in the infamous 1937 issue of the magazine whose cover caption read “Watermelons to Market.” The cover photograph showed an unnamed black man — shirtless and well muscled — sitting with his back to the camera atop a wagonload of melons [on a dirt road alongside a cotton field]. The inside photos offered what Ms. Greer describes as a hierarchy of watermelon eaters, with white bathing beauties at the top and pigs at the bottom; in between was an image of a black woman holding a slice of melon to her face with one hand and nursing a baby with the other. The equating of blackness with sub-humanity is unmistakable in the photographs. The photo caption drives home the point:

“Nothing makes a Negro’s mouth water like a luscious, fresh-picked melon,” it reads. “Any colored ‘mammy’ can hold a huge slice in one hand while holding her offspring in the other. … What melons the Negroes do not consume will find favor with the pigs.”

You will say that things have changed, and to some extent that’s true: these days you wouldn’t find such flat-out unthinking racism in a publication aimed at a large audience primarily of the middle class. But the attitudes and images lie just below the surface today, to bubble up in barely coded form for mass audiences (as well as in undiluted form on flagrantly white-nationalist sites).

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Deux clouseauismes

August 11, 2019

Morning names from early this past week: fondly remembered quotations from Peter Sellars’s Inspector Clouseau character in The Pink Panther (1963) and the series of movies following it. Both involve a bold effort by Clouseau to fix or remedy some situation, resulting of course in devastation — and clueless insouciance on the inspector’s part.

Besides the absurd situations, there’s Sellars’s deft timing and his control of the physical comedy, and, delicious cherry on top: his way-eccentric Clouseau-franglais syntax and phonetics (with pronunciation governed largely by a rigid constraint against back vowels, especially rounded back vowels, though even [ʌ] is affected, as in monkey > minkey). The transcripts below are in standard English orthography, so you should listen to the film clips.

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Annals of social learning

August 8, 2019

Two recent One Big Happy strips about the cartoon’s kids in the process of acquiring — internalizing, rehearsing, and displaying — two sociocultural complexes of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors.

Ruthie is learning to fit into modern American commercial culture, where she is urged to judge products not on their intrinsic qualities (such as the taste and nutritional values of breakfast cereals) but on their symbolic associations as pushed in their marketing (cartoon characters as the representatives of breakfast cereals in commercials).

Meanwhile, Joe is learning normative masculinity in modern America, absorbing the lesson that successful manhood requires the stringent rejection of everything feminine — both anything associated with girls and also anything associated with the conventional role of the mother as taming boys, civilizing them.

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