Archive for the ‘Signs and symbols’ Category

Pictographs for dogs

April 28, 2021

A Mark Stivers cartoon from 4/20/19 (first encountered in the Funny Times for May 2021):

(#1)

Dogs also can’t interpret pictographs, certainly not such abstract ones as the slash of prohibition, the NO symbol (seen here in a non-standard orientation and missing part of its conventional accompaniments). It’s doubtful, in fact, that they can recognize dog pictographs, highly stylized representations of a dog — and incredibly doubtful that they can recognize a pictograph of a dog taking a poop, and understand that a prohibition against dogs pooping applies to them. In fact, it’s beyond doubtful that even if they recognize the sign above as a prohibition against dogs pooping, they understand that the sign is locationally deictic, applying not just to the spot where the sign is planted, but to some contextually (and socioculturally) determined area around the sign — in this case, applying to the whole strip of lawn on this side of the fence (but not to any larger area).

(more…)

Cellblock ephebe with a big package

April 19, 2021

(Underwear models doing their thing, seductively. Plus Michelangelo’s David and a naked Venus by Bouguereau. So not to everyone’s taste, but not over the line.)

Today’s Daily Jocks ad (for the Cellblock 13’s Cyclone 2.0 Singlet) reproduces poses of head and body from classical Greek sculpture, poses that previously appeared on this blog in another Daily Jocks ad, in my 6/20/20 posting “Ephebe with a big package” — the big package being, in both cases, the model’s genitals, covered but also ostentatiously on display.

(more…)

smouldering

April 11, 2021

Recently received: Almost Completely Baxter: New and Selected Blurtings (New York Review Comics, 2016), a collection of absurdist cartoons by the artist Glen Baxter. There will be more drawings from the volume; today, one (p. 30) about smouldering:

(#1)

From NOAD on the verb smolder / smoulder:

[no object] [a] burn slowly with smoke but no flame: the bonfire still smoldered, the smoke drifting over the paddock. [b] show or feel barely suppressed anger, hatred, or another powerful emotion [AZ: notably including sexual desire and sexual invitation]: Anna smoldered with indignation | (as adjective smoldering): he met her smoldering eyes. …

Clearly, #1 illustrates sense a, but some might see the burning as also an eruption of a powerful emotion (sense b) — and, since Hank is a handsome young man putting on this display for an assortment of cowboys, rough older men, you might see that emotion as sexual (and some commenters on the cartoon have seen it as camp humor).

(more…)

The elephant and plum

April 9, 2021

Not Frog and Peach, but Elephant and Plum, in a kid joke as told by Ruthie in the One Big Happy strip from 2/22 (in my comics feed on 3/21):

(#1)

Four things: kid jokes, of which the Elephant and Plum variant above is a particular clever example; the saying about elephants on which it depends; elephant jokes, of which the joke above is not the classic Elephant and Plum exemplar; and the ambiguity of “When did you laugh at it?”, which turns on the defining property of deictic elements like the interrogative when.

(more…)

Assuming the position

April 7, 2021

(Men’s bodies as sexual objects — women’s, too — and sex between men, all of this discussed in street language, with edgy images, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

At the intersection of the pinup-girl world (AZ Page here) and the premium men’s underwear world (AZ Page here), two recent ads from the Daily Jocks people: from 3/28, under the mail header “Model of the week: Freddy”, an ad for OnlyJox subscriptions, already of interest to me for its display of male buttocks as sexual objects for a male audience and for pushing the line between softcore and hardcore porn in doing so; and from 4/2, an ad for the DJ Easter sale, already of interest to me for its display of the front surface of the model’s body as series of sexual objects for a male audience, from the framing of his penis in a jockstrap though the sexualized presentation of his armpits, pectoral muscles and nipples.

The 4/2 ad is also quite clearly the photographer’s carefully composed re-creation of a classic pinup pose using a male model. And then I realized that that the 3/8 ad was in fact a bow to yet another classic pinup pose.

(more…)

Tramp stamps

March 30, 2021

and odalisques (with their erotic lumbar regions, aka lower backs) and rhyming disparagements (like tramp stamp and slag tag). It starts with the Zits comic strip of 3/26:


(#1) The rhyming (and disparaging) idiom tramp stamp had passed by in the fringes of my consciousness, but this strip foregrounds it

(more…)

A jointed-limb portmanteau and a sugary front-clipping

March 18, 2021

Two recent Wayno/Piraro Bizarro strips, from the 15th and (for St. Patrick’s Day) the 17th, both of linguistic interest: among other things, the portmanteau arthropodcast in the first; and the front-clipping ‘shmallows (for marshmallows, of the psychedelic sort) in the second:

(more…)

Phallicity: Nick Cave’s Soundsuits

March 7, 2021

From Pinterest on 3/5, on the Business Insider site, “Frist Center [in Nashville TN] Presents Visual Artist Nick Cave’s Soundsuits, Installations, Video, and More in Dynamic Survey Exhibition”, in a 9/6/17 story, beginning “Chicago-based artist Nick Cave (b. 1959) creates works at the intersection of sculpture, dance, and fashion”:


(#1) From the Nashville show, a soundsuit with phallic components

(more…)

An uncanny object at an elevation

February 28, 2021

An example: the Reading (PA) Pagoda (a feature of my life from age 5 through age 18). Which will take us to uncanny objects of many sorts and also to one specific cultural function of elevations, affording a scenic viewpoint.

The Reading Pagoda, with people using the site to view a section of the city and some surrounding areas:

(#1)

(more…)

Golden Boy does a cock tease

February 27, 2021

(Hunky men performing suggestively in remarkable underwear, with a caption alluding to sex between men, so probably inadvisable for kids and the sexually modest.)

In an ad for a Daily Jocks late February sale, the model does a cock tease in his extraordinary golden shorts (DJX Liquid Shorts in gold, from the Circuit collection), with this ad copy:

Our ever popular Circuit Shorts, now available in metallic gold!

Stand out from the crowd in these unique liquid metal effect shorts, made from a premium foil-print fabric.

Featuring a secret pocket built into the waistband, perfect for storing your party essentials in. Also includes a drawcord at the waist for optimum fit. These shorts are designed to be form-fitting but still comfortable, with a light stretch in the fabric.

The ad’s image, with a caption of my own devising:

(more…)