Archive for the ‘Race and ethnicity’ Category

Pushing the boulder up the hill

March 24, 2019

This week’s inspiring words on the social progress front, from Gloria Ladson-Billings, circulated on Facebook by H. Sami Alim on the 22nd:

I know that I am 4 generations out of chattel slavery, 3 generations out of sharecropping, 2 out of legalized apartheid, and I’m an endowed university professor. Not because I’m great, but because people kept on pushing the boulder up the hill.

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Film watch: men kissing men

February 18, 2019

As furors break out here and there over same-sex kisses in the media (especially in ads) and also in real life (in public places) — disgusting! THINK OF THE CHILDREN! get that out of my sight! — I move to celebrate them. Especially men kissing men, an act that enrages a fair number of people, apparently because they have been conditioned to view it as the functional equivalent of two sweaty naked men fucking. I view it as the functional equivalent of a man and woman kissing: an act of romantic connection with a spicy tang of sexual attraction (but no more)

And so I come to two recent British films viewed on Netflix: The Pass (Russell Tovey and Arinzé Kene as footballers) and God’s Own Country (Josh O’Connor and Alec Secăreanu as Yorkshire sheep farmers). Both are fraught love stories set in intensely masculine working-class social worlds. With wonderful performances. And man-on-man kissing, both touching and moving.

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Mandolin Orange

February 4, 2019

Alerted by NPR this morning and entertained by the band’s name, I checked out Mandolin Orange and really liked what I found.


(#1) Mandolin Orange recording “Wildfire” 11/2/16 at Paste Studios in NYC

And they’ll be playing at the Fillmore in SF next month:

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The party linguist

January 28, 2019

The 1/17 Wayno-Piraro collab on a Bizarro:

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

There’s a lot in this; I’ll start with the purely linguistic question: What does the N + N compound party linguist refer to? Then turn to the question of what’s happening in the cartoon, in particular how the notions of minority and diversity figure in it.

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Blue roses

January 25, 2019

Today’s ad from Daily Jocks, with a sale on men’s high-end underwear from Australian firms, in recognition of Australia Day (tomorrow, the 26th):


(#1) The 2eros Midnight Rose pattern (blue roses on a deep purple background), in a swim slip (Speedo-style swimsuit, but Speedo is a trade name) on the left and swimshorts on the right

Ad copy:

Celebrate Australia Day with DailyJocks and get 15% off your favourite Australian brands including; 2eros, Teamm8, Marcuse, Supawear & many more!

My parody caption:

Ooh, baby, do you know what that’s worth?
Blue roses are my place on earth

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Penguin Claus

December 27, 2018

A bold proposal in Slate magazine on 12/10/13 by Aisha Harris, “Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore: It’s time to give St. Nick his long overdue makeover”. No, she’s not proposing that Santa should be a black man; she’s saying Santa should be a black and white … penguin.


(#1) Mark Alan Stamaty’s vision of Penguin Claus

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Swine alive or dead

September 29, 2018

From the American tv show Gunsmoke, in the episode “Fandango” (S12 E21, first aired 2/11/67), Marshal Matt Dillon (James Arness) to a man he’s taken into his custody for trial:

Mister, you’re going back pig or pork, now make up your mind!

The colorful alliterative figure pig or pork, a version of the formula alive or dead (more often encountered in the version dead or alive, with the monosyllable before the disyllable). And an excellent version it is.

(It appears to have been a creation of the Gunsmoke writers: I can find no occurrences that aren’t quotations of, comments on, or allusions to the “Fandango” cite.)

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Mud, shit, and chocolate

July 30, 2018

Caught on re-run tv yesterday, in the Law & Order S19 E10 episode “Pledge” (from 1/21/09):

Your entire case rests on this girl’s testimony. If her only impetus to cooperate is greed, you’re in trouble. Who dangled money in front of her in the first place?

The cops. They knew she was in debt, so they pressed her pretty hard.

It’s going to look like we bought her testimony. What a mud sandwich this is turning into.

And only a few months before that, in an emotional  9/29/08 speech on the floor of the U.S. Congress by Rep. John Boehner in support of the TARP bill bailing out big banks:

None of us came here to have to vote for this mud sandwich!

(You can watch it here.)

Yes, mud sandwich. A euphemism for shit sandwich.

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24 Hours, 24 Kisses and 24 Magazine Covers

June 13, 2018

(Not much about language in this one.)

The title of the cover story in the NYT Magazine on the 10th, with this illustration:

(#1)

Las Vegas claims the title “Sin City”; this is New York’s bid to  be “Love City” — challenging Paris, Rome, and (in the U.S.) San Francisco, where Tony Bennett famously left his heart:

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Now We Are Nine, a Journey to the East

June 6, 2018

(Underwear and race / ethnicity / nationality / religion among gay men.)

News from Daily Jocks: a birthday for the Australian premium men’s underwear firms 2eros and Supawear (brothers in sexwear):


(#1) 2eros


(#2) Supawear

Notably, Asian models for the birthday celebration. Most sexunderwear firms are very light on black models, Latino models, Asian models (of all ethnicities and nationalities), and, for that matter, identifiably Jewish models. Andrew Christian is, on the whole, a stunning exception: his advertising reflects the use of “exotic” models in the fashion industry rather than the custom in the premium men’s underwear industry of relying on models whose looks are pumped-up mirrors of their customers’. The customers are mostly SAE-D — standard average European-descended — men (“standard average European” here is a little linguist’s joke, making reference to Standard Average European (SAE) languages, in Benjamin Lee Whorf’s terminology); the products either flatter their self-images or feed their fantasies of exotic men (for certain values of exotic).

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