Archive for the ‘Social life’ Category

Is it all in the framing?

November 20, 2016

Today’s Doonesbury, with Helmet GrabPussy (GP) consulting with the Gröpenführer (GF) about their mutual female-assault travails:

(more…)

If you see something,…

November 6, 2016

Today’s Bizarro, with a play on the slogan “If you see something, say something”, plus the opposition of PRS see and PST saw, plus the homophony of PST saw (of SEE) and BSE/PRS saw (of SAW), plus the idiomatic name see-saw / seesaw (aka teeter-totter):

(#1)

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 6 in this strip — see this Page.)

From Piraro on his site:

Sometime after 9/11 (the infamously tragic one, not the one two months ago) the New York City Metropolitan Transit Agency (the folks that run the buses and subways) started a public safety campaign urging citizens to report suspicious behavior with the slogan, “If you see something, say something”. The campaign was later adopted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and used nationally. A longtime Bizarro Jazz Pickle [presumably Imad Libbus] suggested turning the phrase to what is displayed on the sign above. It made me chuckle, so I turned it into this cartoon. As a tip of the hat to the contributor, I named the sawmill after him.

(more…)

Emoji days

October 28, 2016

Emoji(s) are hot news these days. In the NYT yesterday, “Look Who’s Smiley Now: MoMA Acquires Original Emoji” by Amanda Hess. And just a bit earlier, two cartoons linking emoji to hieroglyphics, one by Cameron Harvey, the other by a cartoonist I haven’t identified. And before that, an article about emoji scholars, including our local specialist, Tyler Schnoebelen.

(more…)

Halloween exposure

October 28, 2016

Today’s Bizarro, with a low form of trick-or-treating:

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 2 in this strip — see this Page.)

But what’s going on here? Quite a lot.

(more…)

From a Maine diner to Southern squirrel stew

March 29, 2016

Today’s Zippy takes place in the Brunswick Diner in Brunswick ME, with a side trip to bowling balls; meanwhile, the Pinheads and the Roundheads each regard the other (somewhat surreptitiously) as exotic creatures:

(#1)

Lots of stuff about names to come, taking us from Brunswick ME to Brunswick stew with a lot of stops in between.

(more…)

A hard-working metaphor

March 29, 2016

Passed on recently on Facebook, this Wondermark cartoon from 6/25/15, “Throw Back the Dead Man’s Coin” (#1135), with two of David Malki’s top-hatted characters who are deeply contemptuous of their social inferiors (as evidenced in other strips), one of whom is given (as here) to arguing for the sake of argument:

This strip introduced the Earthworm Bucket metaphor that was then the basis for a series of four strips (#1136-9) that I posted about here in “Disruptive conversation” of 7/8/15, about (among other things) the troll of arguing for the sake of argument.

(Cartoonist David Malki has given names to his recurring characters — like the black-hatted asshole in this strip — but I don’t know this one’s name.)

Meanwhile, the strip gives some freshness to the figure labored metaphor.

Social meanings of clothes

March 13, 2016

On the heels of my posting on the “Ivy League shirt” and its complex associations with class, status, masculinity, and sexuality, I finally got to a thought-provoking piece by Troy Patterson in last Sunday’s NYT Magazine: “The Politics of the Hoodie”, beginning:

On a recent night, shopping online for a light jacket or a cotton sweater — some kind of outerwear to guard my body against a springlike breeze — I clicked on the ‘‘new arrivals’’ page of the website of a popular retailer and encountered, unexpectedly, another instance of the complex oddity of race. Here, projecting catalog-model cordiality in the sterile space of an off-white backdrop, was a young black man in a hoodie.

On the street, a black guy in a hoodie is just another of the many millions of men and boys dressed in the practical gear of an easygoing era. Or he should be. This is less an analysis than a wish. The electric charge of the isolated image — which provokes a flinch away from thought, a desire to evade the issue by moving on to check the sizing guide — attests to a consciousness of the hoodie’s recent history of peculiar reception. In a cardigan or a crew neck, this model is just another model. In the hoodie, he is a folk demon and a scapegoat, a political symbol and a moving target, and the system of signs that weighs this upon him does not make special distinctions for an Italian cashmere hoodie timelessly designed in heather gray.

(more…)

Prefix + FN

November 14, 2015

In yesterday’s posting on “Address terms in service encounters”, I looked at an unfortunate confluence of two patterns of vocatives: one in address terms used to me by some Hispanic servers at the restaurant Reposado in Palo Alto (in particular, the address term Mr. Arnold), and one in address terms used by slaves to their masters in plantation days (in particular the address form Mr. FN, as in Mr. Simon used by slaves to address their master Simon Legree) and (historically, a continuation of the slave practice to post-slavery contexts, but still involving blacks addressing whites) by employees in some parts of the South to their employers (again, the address form Mr. FN, as in Mr. Keene used by a stableman to address his employer Keene Daingerfield in Lexington KY a couple generations ago). The two address forms are formally identical, and both are used by speakers providing a service to the addressee, but the sociocultural contexts are very different, and the (inadvertent) echo of slave usage in a Mexican restaurant is unpleasant.

Now it turns out that Prefix (Mr./Miss) + FN turns up in a number of circumstances where providing services is not at issue, including some in which the form is not at root a vocative, but functions instead as a kind of professional name, which can be used referentially or vocatively. In these contexts, race is not in the mix, and there are no unfortunate echoes of slavery. Get ready for teachers of young children, psychics, and male hairdressers.

(more…)

Address terms in service encounters

November 13, 2015

A Bizarro from long ago (May 25th), with a groan-worthy pun on senior and señor (roughly ‘Mr.’ in referential use):

Now some words about referential vs. vocative uses of names (Arnold Zwicky, Arnold, Zwicky, Mr. Arnold, Mr. Zwicky, Prof. Zwicky) and prefixes (like Mister or Professor on their own), both in English and Spanish, all this as a preface to some discussion of address terms in service encounters, where servers have a complex task in balancing the desire to show respect to the customer and the desire to express closeness and friendliness.

(more…)

Diversity officer

November 4, 2015

Today’s Scenes From a Multiverse:

Two things here: the adaptation of the Star Trek characters; and diversity as a sociocultural concept, including diversity officers in organizations.

(more…)