Archive for the ‘Signs and symbols’ Category

Gift postcards

October 21, 2017

Gifts: not just the tea towel, the purple plant mister, and the flared glassware reported on earlier today, but also three postcards from a Human Sexuality display at the Wellcome Trust exhibition centre (in London), sent to me by regular reader RJP. Two remarkable penis-bird cards, and one with a man in stockings — just one item from what turns out to be a rich vein of photographs of men in stockings, high heels, garter belts, bustiers, whatever from the world of gender-bending.

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The pizza boy as cultural figure

October 12, 2017

(Mostly cultural analysis, focused on gay porn. But plenty of very plain talk about men’s bodies and mansex, so this is not for kids or the sexually modest.)

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The pizza boy archetype, as depicted by young Melbourne artist Allain de Leon in DNA Magazine, April 2013

The figure is a package of symbolic content and associations, among them: the desirable youth; the delivery figure, someone who comes to your door bearing pleasurable goods for money; pizza as an American cultural emblem of warm informal social associations; and a cluster of associations of food with sex, some more general, others specific to pizza slices and whole pizza pies

The trigger for this posting is a recent ad for C1R/Catalina Video, with a sale on a new release — Pizza Boy 4 – Slice of Pie — and the three earlier films in the series, starting with Pizza Boy: He Delivers (William Higgins, 1986). The ads, which are way XXX-rated, are available in a posting on AZBlogX (“Another slice of pizza boy”). But here: a salacious image of pizza boy Steve Henson from the first film, a classic of gay porn:

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Two lx profs and two psych profs walk into a surgery center

September 27, 2017

… and a combat over brains and minds ensues. Well, no. Actually:

… and they talk about the infirmities and indignities of growing old. Kim Darnell (senior lecturer in psychology at Georgia State for many years) took me (adjunct professor of linguistics at Stanford, professor emeritus of linguistics at Ohio State) to the Surgery Center at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, where we ran into Eve Clark (professor emeritus of linguistics at Stanford) and Herb Clark (professor emeritus of psychology at Stanford). Usually shop talk would have ensued, but in the context our minds were on the rickety bodies of the three senior members of the group. (Kim is one generation younger than the rest of us.)

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A sapsucking planthopper

September 24, 2017

… and more; eventually there will be draft horses, covered bridges, and distelfinks. But first, a bulletin from my cousin Eleanor Severin Houck about the advance of the spotted lanternfly in southeastern Pennsylvania (Eleanor is in Berks County, county seat Reading, in the Pa. Dutch country, where we both grew up).

From the annals of noxious pests, double-team division, a pairing of the disgusting and destructive insect pest Lycorma deliculata with the rampant invasive plant pest Ailanthus altissima.

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Bear chairs

September 23, 2017

Today’s Zippy lumbers through some plays on bear, in a bear chair:

(#1) The bear figure as both comforting and threatening

Bear chairs, gay bears, flags, and more.

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Cat on a silken thread

September 12, 2017

My Swiss friend Guido Seiler (now professing linguistics in the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) just sent me the latest news from the Zwicky thread company, a firm I’ve posted about several times on this blog, partly because it’s a Zwicky company and partly because of this famous 1950 ad poster by Donald Brun:

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The fan, the spathiphyllum, and the impressionist garden

September 10, 2017

Juan came by on Friday to replace the left fan in my laptop (it had reached airplane takeoff mode) and bring me small birthday presents: some mini-cheesecakes from Whole Foods (one berry, one espresso), an excellent but hard to pronounce houseplant, and a visit to the Gamble Garden to view ranks of gauzy late summer and autumn plants in bloom.

The computer repair took only a few minutes — I am now enjoying the silence of the fans — so I’ll focus here on the vegetative side of things: the birthday plant, a spathipyllum (say that three times fast!); and those seasonal flowers, which are gauzy only to a cataractive guy like me (but the Monet impressionist-garden effect is actually quite pleasing, one of the very few positive consequences of gradual vision loss).

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Obsolete technologies and middle verbs

September 5, 2017

A pair of Zits strips, from yesterday and today:

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The theme is the looming obsolescence of technologies and their supporting infrastructures and social practices, in this case the system of mail delivery (cue Thomas Pynchon’s novella The Crying of Lot 49), with all its parts and accompaniments: postage stamps, envelopes and postcards, mail boxes, mail transport and delivery systems, posthorns and their tunes, delivery personnel in uniforms, mail slots, post offices, conventions for the form of letters, and more. If you’re young and well wired these days, this all could be as mysterious and exotic as analog clocks.

Jeremy is wary of the whole business.

And yes, Pynchon is relevant.

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On the food watch: iguanas

September 1, 2017

It starts in Miami, with this photo that Kyle Wohlmut took there last weekend and posted on Facebook:

(#1) Floridian street iguana on the prowl

Green iguanas are an invasive pest in Puerto Rico and south Florida; the obvious solution is that they be cooked and eaten, the way they are in Mexico (and elsewhere in Central America). So it was natural for a Facebook reader to ask what sauce you use on an iguana.

Well, clearly, Lizard Lick barbecue sauce.

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A tartan for my ilk

August 29, 2017

Alerted recently by Beth Linker to an announcement on August 25th from the Scottish Register of Tartans (a UK government agency) that the Pride of LGBT tartan (category: Fashion) has been registered: reference #11871, recorded 7/31/17:

(#1) Pride of LGBT tartan

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