Archive for the ‘Narrative’ Category

No-name cats, cats of dubious art, monstrous cats

August 7, 2022

Cats 3: Cats Ripped My Flesh. The previous installments were about the names people choose, or might choose, for their cats:

— Cats 1, my 8/4/22 posting “The Complete Book of Cat Names”, about Bob Eckstein’s new book, with lots and lots of names, arranged in entertaining categories, plus of course Bob’s own cat drawings and cat cartoons

— Cats 2, my 8/5/22 posting “Cats, names, art”, with the names (Russian, Sanskrit, Estonian) of my cats; with Bob’s musings on Roman names for cats, with a side trip to Egypt, and his own cartoon art; and with the Swiss-thread poster by graphic artist Donald Brun depicting Silken Cat.

Earlier (on 7/26), in what I guess I’ll have to call Cats 0, “O tasty Tweety! O Tweety, my prey!”, I looked at a few familiar cartoon cats — all with names, of course — casting a side glance, in the cat Sylvester’s comic attempts to capture and devour the canary Tweety, at the predatory and destructive aspect of cats, including the little Felis catus, which dispatches billions of birds and small mammals.

Meanwhile, on Facebook (on 8/5), cinephile Tim Evanson explored the dark side of cats in pop-cultural art: murderous cats, cats en masse, cats without names, cats in badly made movies. All of these together in Night of a Thousand Cats.

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What I tell you three times is true

July 16, 2022

Today’s Zippy strip takes us to triple Dinerland in Rockford MI (as it was before it closed in 2011), in a celebration of the rule of three — a narrative principle that favors trios of events or characters in all sorts of contexts:


(#1) The Three Musketeers (in the Dumas novel and the movies), the Three Little Pigs (vs. the Big Bad Wolf in the fable), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (the 1966 epic spaghetti Western), and the Three Stooges (the vaudeville and slapstick comedy team best known for their 190 short films)

The rule of three in a little while, but first, the diners of Rockford MI (a town of a few thousand people about 10 miles north of Grand Rapids).

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The reverse of me

July 5, 2022

(The customary warning: male sexual parts, man-on-man sex, and street language about all of it, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Zach Astor, a porn name that caught my eye this morning (while I was engaged with various recent CockyBoys porn offerings, for reasons both personal and professional) — because it’s ZA, while I’m AZ. The reverse of me. (Alas, the bearer of the name isn’t from South Africa, and I’m not from either Azerbaijan or Arizona, but then nobody’s perfect.)

It turns out that ZA is (of course, being a gay porn actor) young, young enough to be my grandson, or maybe even my great-grandson; with curly hair that is sometimes mostly blond, sometimes brown with blond highlights (vs. my very fine very straight brunet-gone-gray); with a slim build (vs. my fat one); with a smooth body (vs. my hairy one); with a really big dick (a thick 8ʺ — vs. my svelte 5ʺ); and he’s a devoted top (while I’m an enthusiastic bottom). Well, we’re both gay men, both born in Pennsylvania (ZA in Philadelphia, AZ in Allentown), and both circumcised — but that’s not a lot of common ground. I should ask him if he’s thought about trying … linguistics:


(#1) Not, as you will soon see, ZA, but a different porn actor, the one I put in this collage (set on Potrero Hill in SF) long ago

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Thrifty, Brave, Clean, & Flammable

May 8, 2020

Wayno’s title for today/s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro, in which the world of summer scout camp for kids intersects with the complex fictional world of the animate marionette Pinocchio. To understand the cartoon, you need to recognize both of these worlds (a matter of considerable cutural knowledge); and to understand why it’s funny, you need specific detailed information about each of these worlds.


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page

The key words are kindling and fibs.

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Alex’s Locker Room

April 7, 2020

(Men’s bodies and mansex, in very plain language, so not for kids or the sexually modest. There will be a surprise detour into literary analysis.)

You can get anything you want at Alex’s Locker Room, including Alex. As depicted on the front cover of the DVD for Falcon Studio’s gay porn flick Tales From the Locker Room (2020):


(#1) Four heavy cruise faces, which is what caught my eye and led me to this posting. Dick (one barely concealed, one fuzzed out here) and ass. Black and white. Muscles. Plus a pair of icepick-erect nipples. Something for everybody. (The full photo in my 4/5/20 AZBlogX “In the fantasy locker room”)

You don’t often get to be the object of four industrial-strength cruises at once. (On cruise faces, see my 7/19/18 posting “Get your cruise face on”. And on those nipples, see my 2/25/17 posting “Displaying your nipples”, with its section on nipple erections.)

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Two diversions

August 4, 2019

… provided by friends in a time of unspeakable violence, though neither is a totally unmixed pleasure: from Mike McKinley, the 1962 boys’ space adventure yarn Lost City of Uranus, just for the cheap but evergreen double entendre in its title; from Betsy Herrington, a link to the rainbow dreadhead stone lions of Monza, Italy, an admirable exercise in yarn bombing.

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Oh that’s good

July 22, 2019

Following on my 7/7 posting “GN/BN”, about the Good News Bad News joke routine, which the hounds of ADS-L traced back to the early 19th century (at least). Other commenters offered formuations of the idea that there’s a good side and a bad side to everything, the bad comes withthe good, and lots of other things that, however interesting, are not instances of the joke formula (in any of its variants). But then on 7/16, Bill Mullins posted about an entirely different joke formula hinging on the opposition of good and bad.

Bill wrote:

Are you familiar with Archie Campbell’s “That’s Good/That’s Bad” routines? He used to do them on Hee Haw.

And we’re off!

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Lilo & Stitch

March 23, 2019

Today’s morning name. I really have no idea why. I haven’t even seen the movie and was only vaguely aware of its theme. Maybe the sound-symbolic values of the names, the contrast between the /l/s of Lilo, voiced liquids, symbolically flowing; and the /s t č/ of Stitch, all voiceless obstruents, symbolically spiky and aggressive. And the /aj/ of Lilo, long and with a low nuclear F2; versus the /ɪ/ of Stitch, quite short and with a very high F2. Lilo is female, human, and family-oriented; Stitch is male, alien, and destructive.

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The musician, the mayor, his instrument, and their vermin

June 24, 2018

The Bizarro/Wayno collaboration on the 21st is another exercise in cartoon understanding (but a relatively easy one):


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

You need to know the basic outline of a European legend (the major clues to which are the reference to ridding a town of rats and the unusual word pied in the title), and you need to know something about musical instruments (to recognize that the sousaphone — named in the title — plays the role of the (musical) pipe in the legend).

Then there’s more to be said about the parallels between the cartoon world and the legend world, with special reference to wind instruments (of which the sousaphone is the largest). Which leads me to the rich world of the legend and its connection to the real world. And the fictivity of stories; there’s a fair amount of factuality, or at least real-world context, in the legend. And from there — surprise! —  to St. John and Paul’s Day next week (June 26th). And from there — another surprise! —  to eunuchs and the social world of the Roman Empire.

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Narrative theory at the therapist’s

June 1, 2018

Today’s Rhymes With Orange, a fresh take on the Psychiatrist cartoon meme:

You don’t get a lot of narrative theory in cartoons, but here’s some basic stuff from Wikipedia:

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