Archive for the ‘Signs and symbols’ Category

News for penises and their simulacra

September 23, 2016

(Racy content — consider the title — so not suitable for everyone.)

Two new annoyances with the Penis Ban on WordPress, Facebook, and Google+. In two recent postings on AZBlogX: “Bear poets in 1963” on the 20th, with a Richard Avedon photo of poets (and lovers) Peter Orlovsky and Allen Ginsberg, in which Orlovsky’s (flaccid) penis is not at all the focus of the piece, but is important to its interpretation; and “Voluntary cuckoldry” on the 21st, with a striking graphic illustrating the roles of the three characters in such a relationship, a graphic with two stylized penises in it, one flaccid and one erect. (I will soon get around to posting on voluntary cuckoldry on this blog, but without the graphic.)

In both cases, the penises are central to the composition, and not as objects of veneration or erotic triggers; my fondness for cocks in these functions is well-known, and though in principle I think that that more open carnal sexuality would be a good thing, I’m willing to keep such images in a protected place. But in these two cases, I bridle at the Penis Ban.

Nevertheless, this blog is extremely important to me, so I don’t want to do anything that would threaten it. But I can still complain.

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Horns

September 19, 2016

As one of the rewards of making it through eight days of a super-lowfiber diet preparing for a colonoscopy last week, Kim Darnell brought me a box of Almond Horns, looking much like this:

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Massively fibrous, and delicious. Also unfamiliar to me. Though I instantly recognized the taste – like Mandelbrot, but in a different form. Kim added, in recognition of my sexual tastes, also distinctly phallic. Well, that’s not quite right: the almond horns, viewed not as crescents, but (turned the other way around) as horns (true to their name), are certainly masculinity symbols, representing stag horns. But then they are also (doubly-headedly) phallic.

Almond horns are very often presented with the horn tips dipped in chocolate, making the phallic imagery more intense, with the symbolic (engorged) cockheads standing out.

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The Mystery Man of Crotch Beach

September 11, 2016

(Some crude sexual talk, but some humor, too, and plants, several plants. Use your judgment.)

(Notice: Prunella vulgaris and Orchis mascula are real plants, and what I say about them and their names is, to the best of my knowledge, accurate. As for the rest, caveat lector.)

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Hunky Herb hides his
Puffy purple penis, his
Funky fleshy fruits, but fuck, his
Buddy Larry says, lewdly, a
Feast to eat, and pretty too.

The back story, in a recent press release:

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Rainbow ads

September 5, 2016

The latest (August/September) issue of The Advocate has two themes, one long planned — it’s the LGBT travel issue — and one responding to urgent current events, the June 12 shootings at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando FL. I’m still trying to reach a state of equanimity that will allow me to post about Orlando, but LGBT travel is easy, and there are three ads in the issue that take advantage of the colors of the Pride flag to invite LGBT travelers to Williamsburg and Miami and to encourage them to drive wherever they’re going in a Nissan.

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Sylvia Sleigh’s male art

August 26, 2016

A follow-up to the last, bonus, section of my posting on Michael Heizer and Lynda Benglis, a section about Sylvia Sleigh and her gaze-reversal paintings:

Around 1970, from feminist principles, she painted a series of works reversing stereotypical artistic themes by featuring nude men in poses that were traditionally associated with women, like the reclining Venus or odalisque.

I’ve now collected images of five of these paintings in a posting on AZBlogX — not only witty, but also sexually arousing and meant to be. The images of the men are all stylized, but only a bit; they are also portraits of their subjects.

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Two impressively eccentric artists

August 26, 2016

… in the current (August 29th) issue of the New Yorker: earth artist Michael Heizer (the subject of a profile by Dana Goodyear) and sculptor and painter Lynda Benglis, one of the arists in a current show “The Female Gaze, Part Two: Women Look at Men”. There will also be a bonus on artist Sylvia Sleigh.

(Mostly about art rather than language — plus another bulletin in the News for Penises series.)

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Linguistics and its orthographically related disciplines

August 26, 2016

Nathan Sanders writes on Facebook to display the nameplate for his new position at Haverford College:

There are few people in LINGUISTICS who have not been afflicted by the spelling LINQUISTICS, or else LINGUSITICS. But it is a little-known fact that these are actual names of academic disciplines quite distinct from linguistics.

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More on the David

August 23, 2016

News for Italian Renaissance penises, part 2. Material from the New York Times Magazine on the 21st — racy topic, but not officially X-rated.

Part 1 yesterday, with the cover of the issue, showing a crew working on a reproduction of Michelangelo’s David in Carrara, Italy (photo by Maurizio Cattelan), with David’s penis right in the center of the image. Then the story, “David’s Ankles: How Imperfections Could Bring Down the World’s Most Perfect Statue: My obsession with the flaws, reproductions and potential collapse of Michelangelo’s masterpiece” by Sam Anderson. Not ordinary reportage, but a “personal essay”, about Anderson’s experiences and emotions — though with plenty of research about the city of Florence (Firenze), its history, the artist Michelangelo, and the creation of the statue (which Anderson refers to as the David), also with Anderson’s interviews with significant parties in the current rescue efforts.

The penis of the David — probably the most famous and the most viewed penis in the Western world — is a recurrent theme in Anderson’s essay. A few words about the David’s genitals, and then on to excerpts from Anderson’s essay.

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The Fine Art Exemption

August 22, 2016

The media news for penises.

The cover of yesterday’s New York Times Magazine, illustrating a story about Michelangelo’s David:

Shocking! A penis in the NYT! The word penis, quite a lot, but photographs, sculptures, drawings, etc. of penises, no. They would be at the very least crude, tasteless, and offensive, at the worst dangerous, because viewing them (so the story goes) is by its very nature damaging to sensitive people: to women in general, to children in general, hence especially to girls.

There is a customary Fine Art Exemption to the general ban on penises (or accurate representations of them)  in “family publications” (where the sensitive might come across them). This clause exempts penises in fine art, especially of high reputation and considerable age, where fine art is

creative art, especially visual art, whose products are to be appreciated primarily or solely for their imaginative, aesthetic, or intellectual content (NOAD2)

I’ve always found the FAE baffling, at least in its application to children.

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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.

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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.

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