Archive for the ‘Mascots’ Category

Magritte’s #9 Son

February 25, 2022

(Somewhat astonishingly, this is going to end up in over-the-line raunchy territory — not for kids or the sexually modest — with a celebration of a character who’s both a feminist and a dirty slut, who deserves the right to fellate men “in the bathroom at Acme on a Wednesday” (from Rolling Stone). I’ll issue a warning when it comes up.)

It starts with today’s Wayno/Piraro Bizarro, with yet another cartoon riff on Magritte’s painting The Son of Man:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 5 in this strip — see this Page.) That’s a green M&M candy where Magritte’s painting has a green apple (so the doctor’s message is that the Magritte character has been consuming too many sweets, like that piece of candy, and needs to substitute fresh fruit, like an apple)

Two things here. Thing one, this is (by my reckoning) the 9th cartoon riff on Magritte’s painting that I’ve posted about. Thing two, about M&Ms, and the green one in particular, which has its own life as a character in ads: a life as a sexy, seductive woman. So M Magritte (the cartoon character) might well desire to take her body into his mouth and, figuratively, eat her.

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Royal Melchior

January 7, 2022

A day late for the occasion — Epiphany, 1/6, the Feast of the Magi (Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar) —  an occasion in which I have a personal onomastic stake, as Arnold Melchior Zwicky, named for my father, who was named in honor of his father (Melchior Arnold Zwicky), who was, with two of his brothers, named after a Magus: Melchior, in one tradition king of the Persians, the bringer of gold to the Christ child, and the oldest of the three.

All of this was brought to my attention again yesterday, in a Facebook posting by Bert Vaux, which included this vintage advertising poster:


(#1) The Magus Melchior, roi des Perses, serving as advertising eponym and mascot for Royal Melchior vin mousseux (sparkling wine), in a poster (undated, but from early in the 20th century) by Leonetto Cappiello (sadly, this brand of sparkling wine is apparently no longer produced)

Now: refresher notes on Epiphany; and an appreciation of Cappiello.

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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:

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It’s a metaphor, son!

January 21, 2020

On Facebook recently, this supermarket snap, presumably from a store in Quebec, with a notable offering highlighted:


(#1) Five parts to the labeling: the name of the product in French (ailes de lapin); the name of the company (Canabec, a Quebec distributor of game — gibiers — and exotic meats; cf. elsewhere Plaisirs Gastronomiques, a Quebec company offering gourmet food, and Gaspésien, another Quebec fine food company); the name of the product in English (rabbit wings); the weight (in grams); and the price (in C$ / CA$ / CAD)

Much FB merriment over ailes de lapin ‘rabbit wings’, to which I responded:

Um, these are rabbit legs, right? Metaphorical? They resemble chicken wings and can be cooked in all the same ways. (Chinese rabbit wings are yummy.) M. Lapin: “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! for then I would fly away, and be at rest.” (Psalm 55) — later adding: “Oh, that I had wings like a rabbit! for then I would bound away, and be at rest.”

It’s a metaphor, son! A metaphor! Apparently one that is dead in Quebec, and so unremarkable in Quebecois — cf. Fr chauve-souris ‘bat’ (lit. ‘bald mouse’), Engl head of lettuce (where are its eyes and mouth?), and other dead metaphors that become entertaining when you attempt to breathe life back into them.

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Just one peanut

January 13, 2020

(Lots of off-color jokes, some of them gay-inflected, along with a number of peanut cartoons. So: crude, and perhaps not to everyone’s taste.)

Today’s Rhymes With Orange — entertaining if you get the crucial pop culture allusion, incomprehensible if you don’t:


(#1) An elephant at the doctor’s office, with an x-ray showing the contents of his stomach to be a top hat, a monocle, and a cane; in the face of this evidence, the doctor asks the patient if he’s sure that all he ate was one peanut (presupposing that the patient has claimed just that)

How does this even make sense, much less be funny? Even granting the poploric association between elephants and peanuts — which is actually pretty baffling (see below) — why do peanuts come up in #1 at all? We have a trio of men’s accessories and no visible peanuts.

There’s a hint in the bonus commentary on the left: elephant to elephant, “It’s a medical Mister-y”, where the clue is Mister. But the clue is useless if you don’t know your way around the symbolic figures of American commerce.

You have to be a friend of Mister Peanut.

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The sea eagle

September 30, 2019

Yesterday’s New York Times Magazine (in print) was “The Voyages Issue: Photographic dispatches from the extremities of the earth”, with one report from remote parts of Norway: “Majesty on the Wing: Enormous and indefatigable, sea eagles turn their daily hunt into a thrilling display of aerial dominance”. The introductory photo:


(#1) (photographs by Paolo Pellgrin, text by Helen Macdonald)

Notable to me because the sea eagle, or ern(e), is my onomastic totem animal, Arnold being etymologically the ‘eagle’ stem arn-/ern- + a variant of the ‘adult, strong’ stem alt-/ald-. I am eagle-strong (you may snicker at this; most people do). (In defense of my parents, Arnold is a common Swiss-German name; probably no one in the family had any idea of its etymology.)

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Chocolate-covered amidst the statuary

September 21, 2019

Today’s Zippy takes us to the shore of Lake Erie, in the roadside realm of Dolly Dimples (but, startlingly, it will end with the minstrel-show character Rastus and the Cream of Wheat box; you never know where things will go these days):

(#1)

DD is actually selling chocolates, statuary, and tchotchkes, not hamburgers. Her head is indeed unrealistically gigantic, but even with this selling point she’s probably not going to leave Silver Lake NY to pursue a failed movie career in L.A. (note the whimsical tense-aspect-mood semantics of intending to pursue a failed career).

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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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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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One more January 20th penguin

January 20, 2019

For Penguin Awareness Day, one more spheniscid moment, this time from Canada, where the creatures infest the banking industry.


(#1) Percy the Penguin, mascot of CIBC (formerly Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce; CIBC is now an orphan initialism), in a 2015 ad

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