Archive for the ‘Movies and tv’ Category

That 70s style

July 8, 2020

In yesterday’s Zippy, Zippy and Claude celebrate the 1970s as the pinnacle of men’s fashions. Disco Duck, high-heeled disco dancing shoes, Bob Newhart’s collars (and more), the Bee Gees, lots of John Travolta (in and out of jeans), and the ubiquity of ripped jeans (more recently turned into an art form by Johnny Edlind).

(#1)

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Learn to Drawl

July 2, 2020

The Wayno/Piraro Bizarro from 6/20:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 2 in this strip — see this Page.)

The two big things in #1: the stereotype of Southern charm (associated here with the 2pl pronoun y’all and the “drawl” of Southern speech, plus a characteristic Southern drink, sweet tea); and the Learn to Draw family of advertisements (which evoke social worlds in which most people smoked cigarettes and in which earnest young people sought to advance themselves by taking risks to learn a new skill).

These are lost worlds: very few people smoke, and then only in highly constrained circumstances; and the US now appears to be close to be bottom of the developed economies for advancement in social class (of the sort that moved my family from the farm and factory floor to a distinguished university professorship in two generations).

Plus, a personal Wayno bonus in #1, an homage to Sam Elliott in The Big Lebowski.

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Spilled his seed on the ground

June 29, 2020

(You start with Onan, you’re going to get genitals and sexual acts. Not for kids or the sexally modest.)

The morning name for 6/22, a whole VP — which led immedately to the biblical character Onan and thus to levirate marriage and to onanism, in two different senses (masturbation and coitus interruptus, not to mention figurative uses as, roughly, ‘self-gratfication’, as in intellectual onanism). And from that to remarkably hostile attitudes towards masturbation in Christian churches, both Roman Catholic and Protestant. And, ultimately, through the work of scholars of masturbation, to Hollywood goddess Hedy Lamarr, doing an orgasm in a 1932 Czech film.

And then there’s the source of that VP in my subconscious mind, almost surely a result of my having just spilled — spread, broadcast — birdseed on the ground of my patio, in an attempt to lure birds to my new bird feeder (details in my 6/27 posting “Meet the Jays”).

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Higashi Day cartoon 3: sentence-initial anymore

June 9, 2020

Background, from my 3/12/20 posting “Higashi Day cartoon 1: grim Bliss surprise” about the series of 6 cartoon postings (of which this is the 3rd)

to celebrate March 15th: Higashi Day, formerly known in these parts as (spring) Removal Day, marking the day when, for roughly 10 years in the fabled past, Jacques and I set off to car-trek east, from Palo Alto (and Stanford) to Columbus OH (and Ohio State).

The Frazz strip of March 8th:


(#1) School custodian Edwin “Frazz” Frazier and 8-year-old bored genius Caulfield take on “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”

In more or less reverse order: (a) the positive anymore of Caulfield’s

(ex1) Anymore, I just believe what rhymes

in the last panel; (b) the song and some of its most famous performances; and (c) the quote in the first panel,

(ex2) Believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear

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To Serve Man

June 8, 2020

Today’s morning name, the crucial expression from a famous Twilight Zone episode, crucially ambiguous.

“To Serve Man” is episode 89 (#24 Season 3) of the anthology series The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series). It originally aired on March 2, 1962 on CBS. Based on Damon Knight’s short story of the same title, the episode was written by Rod Serling and directed by Richard L. Bare. It remains one of the best known episodes from the series, particularly for its final twist. (Wikipedia link)

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Death trap

June 5, 2020

The 5/27 Wayno/Piraro Bizarro collabo brings us two Grim Reapers confronting what might be a trap for them:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 2 in this strip — see this Page.)

If you want to catch Death in a trap, what do you use as bait? Obviously, not the conventional chunk of cheese, but dead cheese: moldy cheese. (Moldy cheese is, of course, not actually dead; in fact, the cheese is alive with the swarms of microbes.)

The cartoon nicely exploits an ambiguity, between the semantics of the conventionalized compound death trap / deathtrap, and the semantics of a compound Death trap, parallel to mouse trap / mousetrap.

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The flying fickle finger of foam

June 2, 2020

The 6/1 Wayno/Piraro Bizarro collabo, a medical cartoon:


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

The crucial thing here is a pop-cultural reference, involving that huge hand (in the drawing) and the reference to being a fan at sporting events (in the text); if you don’t know that connection, the cartoon is just baffling.

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The death of images

May 31, 2020

(Lots about men’s bodies and mansex, in very plain language. Not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Poetry inspired by a recent event in my life and by one of my favorite Frank O’Hara poems, “Lana Turner has collapsed!”. That will lead ineluctably to the Persian-born bodybuilder, underwear model, and gay pornstar Arad Winwin. Everything below the fold.

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Pandemic gifts

May 25, 2020

[some corrections from an earlier versiom]

From Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky on Sunday, some delightful small gifts for this difficult time: two face masks — a piece of op art turned into a mask, and a fanciful Emperor Penguin [Elizabeth insists it’s an Emperor, but I was convinced it was a King] with a crown — and a very large, very political tea towel.

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The Age of Anxiety

May 22, 2020

That was January and February and it was unpleasant. Then things got really bad (last day out of the house on 3/8, then two brushes with death, but that’s not my topic here).

So: the Auden poem; FPNs (faggot persecution nightmares), one set off by Torch Song Trilogy; and the astonishing devastation of Beethoven’s “Rage Over a Lost Penny”.

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