Archive for the ‘Pop culture’ Category

Dramatic exits

May 31, 2018

A Leigh Rubin cartoon from the 22nd, illustrating an exit and a dramatic exit:

(#1)

First, this is a play on the ambiguity of exit, as a N referring to a concrete object (a door, used for exiting) or an act (of exiting). Then there’s another ambiguity, in the  sense of dramatic in the nominal dramatic exit: it could be taken literally, as ‘pertaining to a play’, but here it’s used with a figurative sense ‘melodramatic, stagey, flamboyant’ (note the man’s gesture). In its second use, dramatic incorporates a figurative sense of the N drama seen also in the (originally US gay) slang compound drama queen.

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It’s alive!

May 29, 2018

(Flânerie, strolling from one thing to another in Victor Frankenstein’s neighborhood — and, as it turns out, in mine too.)

At the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford, the exhibition “Betray the Secret: Humanity in the Age of “Frankenstein””, 4/4/18 – 8/5/18, which I viewed yesterday, as a Memorial Day treat. The image for the show:


(#1) Beth Van Hoesen, Stanford (Arnautoff Class),  1945 (graphite and ink on paper)

Just one part of a larger Frankenstein celebration at Stanford.  A mid-sized show, easily graspable within an hour or so — the Cantor is very good at this — and, thanks to its dependence on existing collections at Stanford, offering many works and artists you wouldn’t have predicted and might never have heard of (I’ll write about one of these artists below). In any case, thought-provoking, in line with the Cantor’s mission as a “teaching museum”.

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POP POP

April 24, 2018

Yesterday’s Zippy had a nutjob in a diner ranting:

Are you trying to lure me into a lexicographical, self-contradicting black hole of word play so heinous it defies logic?

And today, embedded within a thick matrix of allusions pointing in many directions:

a lexicographical, self-contradicting vortex so heinous, it defies Robert Mueller

(#1)

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Cartoons on SF earthquake day

April 18, 2018

Three cartoons in my recent feeds: a One Big Happy with a Southernism that Ruthie’s unfamiliar with; a Rhymes With Orange with tuxidermy ( = tuxedo + taxidermy); and a Zippy with a war of plush cudgels (and the munitions industry that it supports). Nothing to do with the 1906 SF earthquake.

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Return to Dover DE

March 18, 2018

Yesterday’s Zippy has Zippy and Griffy riffing, as they so often do, on some aspect of popular culture — in this case, on clothing these days:

(#1)

In general, the diners in these strips have no special relationship — via their names, themes, or locations — to the topic of discussion: they’re just places for Zippy and Griffy to exchange opinions.

This particular place is The Hollywood in Dover DE, and Zippy and Griffy have been there at least twice before.

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Aria 51

March 7, 2018

Yesterday’s Rhymes With Orange, with a challenge to cartoon understanding:

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For basic appreciation of the cartoon, you need to recognize that the event in it is a stage performance by a singer with accompanying trio; to recognize that all the figures in the cartoon are conventional space aliens from popular culture; to know that an aria is a song in an opera; and to know that Area 51 is a highly classified area in Nevada associated in popular culture with the investigation of extraterrestrials.

Then you can groan at the aria vs. area pun.

Your appreciation might then be heightened by knowing about the scifi movie The Fifth Element and the alien opera singer Diva Plavalaguna in it.

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There otter be a law

February 22, 2018

From several sources on the net (with no credit to a creator), this outrageous pun in a texty creation:

(#1)

You need to recognize otters (that’s easy) and know that pinochle /pínʌkǝl/ is a card game (slightly more challenging) and (most crucially) recognize the pop culture allusion, to the lyrics of “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)”.

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When is Doris Day?

February 6, 2018

It starts with a recent (January 4th) One Big Happy and will end with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention in 1967. In the cartoon, Ruthie and Joe are unfamiliar with Doris Day the person and take Doris Day to refer to a holiday (like Flag Day):

(#1)

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Annals of innuendo

February 3, 2018

Seen on a t-shirt in downtown Pao Alto this morning, this bit of coastal Californica:

(#1)

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The BP amputee

February 3, 2018

Today’s Zippy takes us to Elmsford NY, a village in Westchester County, just across the Tappan Zee Bridge from New Jersey and not far from Connecticut, and home to a BP gas station with a startling fiberglass Muffler Man mascot:

(#1)

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