Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Ya gotta know the territory

August 25, 2016

Another chapter in the long history of cultural background you need to see why some cartoons might be funny, or even to understand them at all. Today’s Mother Goose and Grimm, cat to Mother Goose about dog:


Utterly baffling unless you know your 60s tv Westerns or are a big fan of Clint Eastwood.


Give me some men who are square-jawed men

August 20, 2016

Taking a break from the almost unrelieved despair of two dark British detective series (Broadchurch and The Fall), I returned to more entertaining murders, in the Canadian series Murdoch Mysteries, where I came across S2 E13 (“Anything You Can Do…”,  originally aired 5/27/09), in which Victorian-era Toronto Detective William Murdoch (played by Yannick Bisson) confronts Sergeant Jasper Linney of the Mounties (Dylan Neal) over a murder case. Here are Murdoch and Linney with medical examiner Dr. Julia Ogden (Hélène Joy):


You’ll see that both the men have notably strong jaws, Neal-as-Linney almost absurdly so; no doubt he was cast to be a caricature of the Mountie of myth: from Renfrew and Sergeant Preston on through the comic figures Dudley Do-Right (in Rocky and Bullwinkle) and Constable Benton Fraser (Paul Gross) in Due South (1994-99).

In principle, this posting is about square jaws on men, but there will be many side trips, including shirtless photos of Bisson.


Pink motels, Cadillacs, etc. etc.

August 19, 2016

Today’s Zippy takes us into the land of pink motels, pink fairies, and pink Cadillacs, which then takes us of course into the Forest of Pudendiana and sexual symbolism. There will be innocent drinks, plants, and animals, but mostly this is a world drenched in sex, gender, and sexuality.


We are in scenic Cherokee NC, home of a Pink Motel, with a fairy as its mascot — blue-winged in the cartoon, but pink-winged in older versions of the actual neon sign.

Symbolism I. Both fairies and the color pink have come to be symbols of femininity, and by extension, faggotry. But also, both of them, are symbols of kitsch: fairies and pink stuff are “cute”. Presumably the Pink Motel in Cherokee was designed not to bring in women or gay men, but to project a strong general senses of cuteness, like Tinkerbell and Hello Kitty run amok.


If you wanna be Zippy

August 18, 2016

Today’s Zippy, with a burlesque of a 1963 calypso-style song performed by gospel singer Jimmy Soul (hence the playful title “Saul Music”):




August 14, 2016

Chatting last week with a friend about changes in New York city, centered around the demolishing of Pennsylvania Station, the inadequacies of the current building known as Penn Station, and the endlessly unfulfilled plans (perhaps now moving forward) to turn the Farley Post Office into a new Pennsylvania Station. And my friend remarked that he’d been in NYC a few years ago and was astonished to discover that the Pennsylvabia Hotel still had the phone number PEnnsylvania 6-5000 — trusting that that reference would, um ring a bell for me (this only works for people of a certain age, or fans of swing music). So it did, and gave me an earworm for the rest of the day.


Sit right down

August 11, 2016

Today’s Zippy, with Mr. (the) Toad (that icon of selfishness) parodying a jazz standard for modern times:


Dick Deadeye in the morning

August 6, 2016

Today’s morning name: the Gilbert & Sullivan character Dick Deadeye (from H.M.S. Pinafore): the rough and ugly able seaman, the grim realist of the Pinafore‘s crew. In my consciousness through some connection from my posting on Iolanthe yesterday, I suppose.


Politically prescient G&S

August 5, 2016

Two days ago, a political portmanteau (about Herr Drumpf) committed by Susan Fischer on Facebook:

So when Donald goes off on a rant, is it a tantrump?

To which I replied, bowing to Sir Arthur Sullivan:

Loudly let the trumpet bray!
Tantantarump, tantantarump!


Zippy and the Edsels

August 4, 2016

Today’s Zippy, a little poem in three panels:

Or: Zipama Drama King Kong.


Arthur Godfrey and friends

July 27, 2016

Today’s Zippy appears to be just a surrealist melange of pop-cultural absurdity (and can be enjoyed at that level), but in fact many of those absurdities are knit together in a web of allusions to elements of pop culture — probably even more densely than I appreciate.


It all starts with Arthur Godfrey, who appears transformed as the central character of the strip, Siddartha Godfrey, with Arthur replaced by the phonologically very similar name SiddarthaSiddharth or Siddhartha is the birth name of the founder of Buddhism, Gautama Buddha.

Meanwhile, the title “Jerry Van Dyke Lives” introduces a secondary, parallel, theme having to do with Jerry Van Dyke.



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