Archive for the ‘Movies and tv’ Category

Teddy Bears’ Picnic Day

November 17, 2018

On Facebook today, Anneli Meyer Korn posted this Bizarro cartoon from 11/17/14:


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

I was moved to declare November 17th Teddy Bear Picnic Day, in honor of Anneli and her husband Peter, but it turns out that (by whatever obscure mechanism these things happen) July 10th is already taken for this occasion, according to the Days of the Year site.

Well, of course, if you don’t know the song, you won’t find the cartoon particularly funny. (Suppose that the teddy bear’s message were “I’m sorry, the teddy bears are conferencing at Davos today”. That would be absurd, and so to some degree humorous, but nowhere near as funny as “I’m sorry, today is the day the teddy bears have their picnic”.)

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Cartoon understanding in parallel worlds

November 10, 2018

Two cartoons that have come by me recently that work only if you have a fair amount of cultural knowledge in two dfferent domains, which are presented in the cartoon as parallel worlds equally present there. A Brevity strip by Dan Thompson from 4/27/18 (thanks to Joe Transue for help in identifying the strip); and a Wayno & Piraro Bizarro from yesterday:

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Arousing the beast

November 7, 2018

In today’s comics feed, a One Big Happy that requires a double dose of pop-cultural moon knowledge to understand:

(#1)

A defiant gesture, a bit of lycanthropic folklore.

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Panda Puffs and Fruity Pandas

November 4, 2018

A few days ago, on the 1st, another adventure in sugary breakfast cereals (and their names and their mascots): “Sweet stuff”, with a section on Trix Fruity Shapes. From the conglomerate General Mills, with a hyperactive rabbit mascot and the — to some ears — suggestive fruity in the name, plus enough sugar to make the stuff eligible to be labeled candy.

Now, thanks to a visit to the cereal section of my local Whole Foods, I can report on lower-sugar alternatives from two small environmentally earnest companies — still with adorable mascots and cute names. On the panda watch: Panda Puffs (from EnviroKidz) and, I suppose inevitably, Fruity Pandas (from Wild Kratts). Yes, fruity poofs, playful and good for you too.

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News for penises: the Halloween gay porn report

November 3, 2018

(Discussions of men’s bodies and mansex in plain language, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

On AZBlogX today (this material is XXX-rated),  “In costume for Halloween 2018”, with this year’s TitanMen Halloween sale ad (#1 there); a posting on The Sword site on gay Halloween (illustration from the posting in #2 there); and a note on gay vampires in porn (two DVD covers in #3 there).

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Revisiting 20: X Places

November 1, 2018

The Scenes From a Multiverse of 10/9, entitled #NOTALLPLACES:

A riff on Michael Schur’s sitcom The Good Place, with Kristen Bell (as Eleanor, apparently sent wrongly to the place after her deathGood Plae modality is harsh.) and Ted Danson (as Michael, the designer of the place). Also a comment on social media (Twitter vs. Facebook).  And of course on the nature of reality and our perceptions of it.

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Famous wolf on the Yellow Brick Road

October 31, 2018

In today’s comics feed, the One Big Happy from 10/4, in which Ruthie mondegreens:

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Yes: the song “We’re Off to See the Wizard”, from the 1939 movie of The Wizard of Oz, with we’re off (mis)heard as Rolf.

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Three exercises in cartoon understanding

October 24, 2018

In this morning’s comics feed: a Zippy with the slogan “Kindness, Acceptance, Inclusion”; a Bizarro with a Discomfort Control mechanism; and a Rhymes With Orange about the facial recognition of a Mr. Banner. The first two can be understood at some level even if you don’t get the cultural references involved (though they’re much more entertaining if you do), but the third is probably just incomprehensible if you don’t recognize Mr. Banner.

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Taffy was a Turk

October 23, 2018

… well, sort of Turkish. In fact,

Taffy was a sweetmeat,
Taffy was a Turk,
Taffy came to my house
And shattered with a jerk.

From Ned Deily on Facebook yesterday, this vision of Bonomo Turkish Taffy, one of the vintage candies available at the (new) Hotel B Ice Cream Parlor on Main St. in Bethlehem PA (the place sells ice cream from the Penn State Creamery — yes, the commercial dairy division of Pennsylvania State Univ. in University Park PA):

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Affectionate childhood memories of Turkish Taffy — I remember only the vanilla variety — hard and soft at the same time, pleasantly sweet and chewy. Its relationship to (salt-water) taffy was unclear to me (beyond their both being chewy candy), and I had no idea what made the stuff Turkish (the presumably Ottoman minaret on the package might just be imaginative marketing).

So: about the candy; about the name and its semantics; and a bonus bit about Bonomo’s Magic Clown (on tv when I was in my teens).

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Contractualism, the sitcom!

October 11, 2018

From the most recent NYT Magazine (in print 10/7, on-line 10/4), “The Ultimate Sitcom” by Sam Anderson, about Michael Schur’s sitcom “The Good Place”:


(#1) Ted Danson and Kristen Bell

 “The Good Place” is not about philosophy in the way that “The Big Bang Theory” is about science — as a set of clichés to tap for silly jokes. A sitcom is not a grad school seminar, obviously, so the philosophy is highly abridged. But it is not insubstantial, and philosophical ideas actually determine and shape the plot.

I had been tangentially aware of the show (from its availability on Netflix), but didn’t appreciate its premise or its grounding in actual philosophy — a very specific brand of philosophy, as it turns out.

As embodied in a specific book.

By — moment of sheer astonishment — one of my oldest friends.

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