Archive for the ‘Signs and symbols’ Category

Annals of phallicity: symbol and simulacrum

August 22, 2019

(Warning: consider the subject; penises will be under discussion, so some will want to skip this posting.)

I’ll start with the logo of Herb’s Plumbing & Heating, 2562 Noble Rd., Cleveland OH:


(#1) Brawny man, a plumber, with a big wrench — the symbol of his trade, also (like wrenches in general) a phallic symbol, intensifying the masculinity of the image

This is garden-variety phallicity. But on Herb’s trucks, we get something more substantial: a phallic simulacrum, a representation of a penis (which is, however, also symbolically a wrench):

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News for penises: ocean edition

August 20, 2019

(Consider the title as a content warning.)

Widely reported: Chace Crawford’s monumental moose-knuckle in the calendar for the new tv series The Boys:


(#1) Dick and the Dolphins

From Yahoo! entertainment, “Chace Crawford’s superhero suit in ‘The Boys’ calendar has eyeballs popping: ‘This cannot be real, can it?'” by Suzy Byrne on 8/16/19:

Chace Crawford’s new role in The Boys has him giving fans an eyeful.

A promotional calendar for the Amazon Prime show was sent out to the press this week and March has sent the internet into a tizzy. Crawford, who plays Kevin/The Deep, is in his very tight superhero suit and it didn’t go unnoticed.

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Cheeseburger mouse

August 10, 2019

Today’s Zippy takes us to restaurant or diner whose mascot is a mouse offering a cheeseburger:

(#1)

The intersection of two genres: the cheese mouse mascot, in fiberglass images indigenous to Wisconsin; and the fiberglass cheeseburger, as advertising icon or pop-arty work.

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On the lawn

July 26, 2019

In the July 29th New Yorker, two cartoons about things for American lawns, each requiring one key piece of knowledge for understanding: Bob Eckstein showing a moment of silence; Farley Katz featuring a distressed bird.

(#1)

(#2)

Both cartoons are complex — several things are going on at once, including allusions to American political life — but you can’t get anywhere with them unless you recognize the repeated images in them: the shuttlecocks of the game badminton in the Epstein, the plastic lawn flamingos in the Katz.

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4th of July displays

July 6, 2019

(Much about men’s bodies and mansex, in street language, so not for kids or the sexually modest; also about military displays for Independence Day, but that comes after the raunchy stuff — Erst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt die Moral.)

So we have the 4th of July as a celebration of commercial mansex (every holday is a sales opportunity): selling premium men’s underwear by hawking men’s bodies; and offering gay porn sales, usually with a holiday-themed image (naked bodies wrapped in the flag are a conventional presentation, but there are many other possibilities). From this year’s rich crop of ads, I’ve chosen one of each type: a holiday ad for DJX homowear in the Trough line; and an ad for the political-satire gayporn film Cauke for President from TitanMen.

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Oh Canada baby, ripple my maple leaves!

July 1, 2019

Today is Canada Day, Canada’s national day, celebrated in many ways, perhaps most remarkably in this display of national pride — “hot shirtless muscle jocks in Canadian themed pants”, according to one of the many Pinterest sites on which it’s reproduced — which came to me from Tim Evanson, who thought that they might be a Canadian sports team of some kind (they certainly are fit):


(#1) The Canadian Thunder team: Bobby Ryan, Carlo Spina, Michael Scratch, Daniel Bennato, Vince Johansson and Malcolm Foster

Yes, a team, and yes, certified Canadians (I’d feared they’d turn out to be American male models hired for the photo, but, gratifyingly, not), and the men are no doubt accomplished athletes, but they aren’t a sports team.

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Torus! torus! torus!

June 25, 2019

A Mr. Lovenstein comic, on the bagel and the donut hole:


(#1) “Oh, you don’t look Jewish”, said the donut hole to the bagel [AMZ]

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On your knees for St. George Michael

June 24, 2019

(Mostly about men’s bodies and mansex, flagrantly, in street language, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Every year, as a lead-up to Stonewall Day, June 28th, comes a much more specific — male and sex-drenched — observance, a celebration of fellatio by men in public places: June 25th, the feast day of St. George Michael of the Beverley Tearoom:

(#1)

While the topic might strike you as mere gratuitous raunchiness, or this take on it as mere flippant cleverness, and I’ll cop to both the sexual vulgarity and the ostentatious playfulness, I’m also serious about mansex in public places as a set of social practices worthy of both systematic study and a celebratory appreciation of its values for its practitioners.

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Over the edge with formulaic language

June 22, 2019

It looks simple at the start, but then (as Mark Liberman explained earlier today on Language Log, in “[REDACTED]’s “cocked and loaded”: a tangled history”), it gets intriguingly convoluted.

It starts with Iran shooting down an American drone, upon which Helmet Grabpussy first ordered a military strike on Iran and then called it back. Grabpussy tweeted:

(#1)

And with “cocked & loaded”, we were off into the worlds of technical terminology, formulaic expressions, and speech errors — and then, thanks to Bill Maher, gay porn videos.

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Mickey gets stuffed for Pride

June 21, 2019

A week from today (on the 28th) is Stonewall Day, this year the 50th anniversary of the original event, which helped to catalyze a long tradition of homophile organizations and protests into annual Gay Pride events all over the world: events that are protests, defiant demonstrations, celebrations of community, and parties, all in one.

The occasion has presented the Disney companies with a public relations opportunity — if they play their cards right, they can be seen as celebrating diversity — and a business opportunity as well — they can sell Disney-identified products to the lgbt community (in special locations, for a limited time, not out in the public eye). Which brings us this carefully calculated Pride sale:

(#1)

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