Archive for the ‘Movies and tv’ Category

A kiss before dying

November 6, 2022

My interpretation of Susie Bright’s complex feelings before Election Tuesday, as she reported them on Facebook yesterday by re-posting her FB image from 11/5/14 (cropped here to focus on the crucial bits):


(#1) From a theatrical poster for the 1969 cowboy dinosaur movie The Valley of Gwangi: on the one hand, exhilaration (above, on being kissed by, omigod, the young James Franciscus in cowboy gear; in the election, on exercising the power of the vote, which has been a big thing for me since 1961); on the other hand, fear of looming devastation (above, in that rapacious death-dealing giant reptile, a vicious allosaurus; in the election, on what could happen if (delusional and malevolent) brutes and bullies take over the government) — is this a kiss before dying?

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Crash blossoming: Doctor Who as abortionist

November 5, 2022

A headline sighting reported on Facebook yesterday

— Wendy Thrash:
(#1)

— AZ > WT: A lovely garden-path example (as they are known in the trade) — made worse by the line break in your posting (Doctor Who / Performed Abortion …)

Newspaper headlines, with their compressed, trimmed-down format, make a rich ground for garden pathing; garden-path headlines are then some of the most remarkable specimens of the type — so remarkable that they’ve gotten their own label: crash blossoms (after an exemplary species).

I will explain.

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Doctor F notes Baron F’s slip

October 27, 2022

Today’s Wayno / Piraro Bizarro strip, yet another in their long line of Psychiatrist cartoons (today with Dr. Sigmund Freud as the therapist and Baron Victor Frankenstein as the patient) — a conventional form that, in the hands of an ingenious cartoonist, can be used as the vehicle for almost any joke:


(#1) The Baron makes a Freudian slip; Wayno’s title: “Unexpected Insight” (if you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page.)

Doctor Doctor, this is no whim
I got a bad case of having created him
No pill’s gonna cure my ill
I got a bad case of having created him

Freudian slip, Frankensteinian slip: master, monster.

Yes, yes, a pile of bits and pieces jumbled together here (and full appreciation of the cartoon calls for lots of further background knowledge), so there’s plenty to talk about — and was, even before I introduced Robert Palmer into the mix. So grab your torches and pitchforks and let’s advance on this assemblage of oddly fitting parts.

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Pingu Pongu

October 17, 2022

Not remotely what I intended to post about today, but it figuratively leapt from the pages of yesterday’s New York Times Magazine, figuratively shrieking directly at me:

PENGUIN LANGUAGE! PENGUIN LANGUAGE!

Well, as it turns out, sort of penguin, sort of language. The sort-of-penguin is Pingu, a claymation tv character. The sort-of-language is Pingu’s variety of  grammelot, a performance art form of “speaking without words” (pronunciation note: in English, /ˈɡræməlat/).

In the Magazine’s Letter of Recommendation section, a piece by Gabriel Rom: on-line 10/11 with the title “This Kids’ Show Proves the Wisdom of Gibberish”; in print 10/16 with the title “Pingu”; and both with the subtitle: ““Pingu” teaches everyone, even adults, to find meaning in made-up language”


(#1) Pingu, a creature of affective utterance and non-verbal communication (illustration by Niv Bavarsky)

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All about /aj/: the trisyllables

October 4, 2022

The Zippy strip of 9/29 interjects:


(#1) The strip is all about eyeglasses (with the wonderful name Thelma Nesselrode as a bonus), but this posting is about oh!, interjections / yeah!, exclamations / and, like, discourse markers and stuff

So, what’s up with eye-yi-yi!? This is presumably an orthographic representation of an English exclamation /aj aj aj/, with the accent pattern /àj aj áj/, and pronounced as a single phonological word /àjajáj/. In fact, I’m aware of — and at least an occasional user of — three English exclamations /àjajáj/, with three syllables: one a borrowing from (Latino) Spanish; one in Yinglish (taken from Yiddish); and one in PDE (Pennsylvania Dutch English, taken from Pennsilfaanisch Deitsch, that is, Pennsylvania Dutch / German). (There are probably more, in other German-based varieties of English, in particular.) They have somewhat different contexts of use and a wide variety of ad hoc spellings, though ay-ay-ay seems to be the closest there is to a conventional spelling for all three of them (my childhood spelling for the PD and PDE exclamation was ai-ai-ai / ai ai ai, and it’s still the only one that looks right to me).

So: something about the range of the phenomena in this exclamatory domain, with special attention to my personal history. In this posting, just about the exclamatory triples, but folding in the de facto national ballad of Mexico, “Cielito Lindo”, and some Texas klezmer music.

Then, in a later posting (bear with me, my life is over-full), my discovery that OED3 has relatively recent entries for the interjections ai, aie, and ay, and my subsequent disappointment in the content of these entries — as against, say, the rich OED3 entries for the interjections oh and ah. And finally, some aimless wandering about in the world of interjections, exclamations, discourse markers, and related phenomena.

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FUBU, fubu, FuBu

September 27, 2022

(Content warning: the F-word and the F-act (especially between men) figure prominently, though not vividly, in what is to come. So do hiphop clothing and tofu burgers, but if you’re uncomfortable with the harder-core F-stuff, you should skip this posting.)

Caught in passing on Facebook, a guy reporting something he heard from his FUBU, which baffled me; I was dimly aware of a FUBU clothing line, but this guy must have been talking about something else.

I realize that many of my readers will have recognized the (complex) acronym immediately and so think I must be dim-witted, but I had to go look it up. The acronym is a distant cousin of FUBAR, and its abbreviatum is something I have fairly often written about on this blog, but always spelled out in full.

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The refuse joke

September 25, 2022

Passed on, back on 7/21, by a friend on Facebook, a dumpster texty (of murky origin) with a (N vs. V) pun that works in spelling (REFUSE) but not in pronunciation —

N /ˈrefˌjus/   vs.  V /rəˈfjuz/

— plus, as commentary, Dylan Thomas expanding on the improbable (not to mention grotesque) V reading of the text (as opposed to the obviously intended N one). Which will then take us to Harry Diboula’s “Je refuse”, a French zouk song of lost love, which ended up in romantic Paris from the Kingdom of Kongo by way of the French Caribbean.


(#1) Like all right-minded people, I reject the idea that I — or, more precisely, my bodily remains — should be stored in black plastic sacks and placed in dumpsters. Ick. Je refuse!

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Bedroom eyes

September 2, 2022

(Below the fold, a hot guy flashing bedroom eyes in nothing but a white low-rise basic brief that leaves little to the imagination: a matter of taste.)

A Daily Jocks flash sale — their term — for the Labor Day weekend. Work it, thick Nipaman!

I post this here for Nipaman’s lean, muscular body (very much to my taste) and of course for his remarkable bedroom-eyes performance, but also as a playful release at the end of a 9/2 day that began with a 12:30 am automated message informing me that my adjunct appointment at Stanford (and my use of Stanford e-mail, library services, and more) would be terminated on 9/4 (actually, the library services — access to the OED! — had already been terminated on 9/1), setting in motion 8 hours of heart-pounding Woo(l)ly Mammoth Crisis Time, temporarily resolved by my department’s paying for a year of these services for me while the issue of my appointment by the dean is settled.

But now I am yours, Nipaman. Work your sex magic on me.

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Linebacker or congressional reporter?

August 28, 2022

From MSNBC’s American Voices with Alicia Menendez this morning, under the header “Republicans criticize Justice Dept. for protecting state secrets in Trump documents”:


(#1) Screen shot: Murray, Broadwater, Menendez, Dowd

Former President Trump’s allies are demanding more “transparency” from federal authorities about the stash of classified records at Mar-a-Lago. “This seems to me the weakest part of their argument,” says CountryOverParty founder Matt Dowd. “The more things are put out, the worse it is for President Trump.” Dowd joined New York Times congressional reporter Luke Broadwater and New York University law professor Melissa Murray to unpack the newly unsealed Mar-a-Lago affidavit.

Broadwater’s reporting was nicely done, but my attention was captured at first by the thickness of his neck, closer to a linebacker’s than to a congressional reporter’s. Are the NYT‘s front-line reporters subjected  to repeated head confinements and impacts, as linebackers and wrestlers are? The sort of thing that would build up solid neck muscles supporting their heads? Are Broadwater’s excellent reporting chops just a cover for a secret — or former — life as a jock who can take a lot of abuse?

Broadwater has what is known, informally and metaphorically, as a bull neck (or bullneck). He’s not as extravagantly bullnecked as some linebackers, but, still, he’s definitely a bullneck boy (about his cheeks I cannot say).

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It’s a nose! It’s a thumb! It’s a dick!

August 21, 2022

It’s a nose! 👃 It’s a thumb! 👍 It’s a dick! (well, it’s an eggplant 🍆 but we all know what that means)

Solanum melongena  that’s all of these, and more. Because that aubergine is a symbol.

The brinjal in question, posted by Bob Eckstein on Facebook yesterday:


(#1) Bob Eckstein: You have to be looking for it to find it.

And then we were off:

— Kimberly Krautter: It’s like a Rorschach test or one of those “what do you see first” optical illusions. I first saw a thumb and a mitten. Then I saw a face with a big nose.

— AZ: Is it a nose? Is it a thumb? Is it a penis? Is it a handle? It’s all of these, and more [and more will come, below], ’cause it’s a symbol, and symbols can stand for many things.

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