Archive for the ‘Sociocultural conventions’ Category

Chez Le Fourmilier

May 29, 2018

Yesterday’s Bizarro/Wayno collaboration:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 5 in this strip — see this Page.)

A strenuous exercise in cartoon understanding: you need to be familiar with a certain kind of (seafood) restaurant, and to recognize both anteaters and a children’s educational toy known as an ant farm. And then to understand that the cartoon embodies a metaphorical translation from a seafood restaurant world to an anteater world.

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On the fisting patrol

April 11, 2018

Things you can do with a fist.

Yesterday, in my posting “Two cartoons from friends”, significant uncertainty about whether the verb to fist in the second cartoon was intended merely as a contact-action verb (roughly, ‘to punch’) or as a reference to a sexual practice. Right after that, friends posted photos of this t-shirt, on sale (in a range of sizes, from infants’ on up) in Walmart:

(#1) The fisting love t-shirt, available from many sources on amazon.com and elsewhere

Apparently intended as a joke, but possibly understood by some as an innocent reference to fist-bumping.

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More cartoon comprehension

November 19, 2017

Today’s Mother Goose and Grimm:

(#1)

What do you need to know to appreciate this cartoon? Three stereotypes, to start with: stereotyped Pilgrims, stereotyped (American) Indian (the label comes with the stereotype), stereotyped Thanksgiving food. Then you need to recognize the roulette wheel (and put “Place your bets” — “Faites vos jeux” — in its cultural context). And then you need to connect the pieces: to do that, you have to know about Native American gaming (in street language, Indian casinos). Except for the roulette bits, all of this is exquisitely American.

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Rat and Pig in Santa Rosa

October 20, 2017

Yesterday’s Pearls Before Swine:

(#1) 10/19/17

My comment on Facebook: “A double doleful “Awww”. One for panel 3, one for panel 4.” Pig cries out for help in the third panel, Rat sympathetically stands with his friend in the fourth.

Then discussion took us to Lucy and Charlie Brown in Peanuts (and incidentally to Calvin and Hobbes in their eponymous strip), and so to Peanuts artist Charles Schulz, and so to Santa Rosa CA, where Schulz lived and worked from 1969 until his death in 2000, and so to the geographical and cultural regions of northern California (the North Coast / Redwood Empire, the Wine Country, and the North (San Francisco) Bay), in all of which Santa Rosa is by far the biggest town.

Santa Rosa is in the news because of the devastation there in the current spate of wildfires in northern California. The Charles Schulz Museum there was spared, but the family house (with all of its memorabilia) was completely incinerated. The cartoon in #1 is pretty clearly Pearls artist Stephan Pastis’s homage to Schulz in these terrible times.

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Two musical flash mobs

October 2, 2017

Some weeks ago YouTube brought me a delightful video of a flash mob performance of Ravel’s “Boléro” (in a town square in Toluca, Mexico). About the same time, my Enhance Fitness class (aimed especially at older and disabled participants) at the Palo Alto YMCA conceived of the idea of converting one of our regular exercise routines — done to the original Billy Ray Cyrus recording of “Achy Breaky Heart” — into a flash mob performance in the lobby of the Y (all this achieved at 5 p.m. on Wednesday September 20th).

Both musical flash mobs were “cumulative” — starting with just a few participants, with more and more added in stages until there was a true mob. Especially effective for the Ravel, which starts with a snare drum ostinato to which a flute is added, and then further instruments, a few at a time, as the piece builds to a crashingly loud finale.

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Sea foam

September 4, 2017

The Zits from August 31st:

(#1)

About color naming, and its association with sex/gender. The stereotype is that males use only a small number of color names, but that females draw on a much more diverse collection of names, and that this difference follows from differences — perhaps learned, but perhaps inborn — in the interests and inclinations of the sexes, with females engaged in fashion and interior decoration (where a rich color vocabulary is useful) in a way that males are not.

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On the food watch: Texas fried

September 1, 2017

State fair time is coming to an end, and I haven’t posted a word about fair events. But now, reports from my Austin TX friends from the state fair there. Featuring the award-winning Funnel Cake Bacon Queso Burger:

  (#1)

A combo of two fair favorites: funnel cake (deep-fried dough) and a bacon cheeseburger.

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Surreal juxtaposition

July 15, 2017

One of Dan Piraro’s specialties in his Bizarro strip. Today’s strip brings Pinocchio to the beach, offering to exchange favors:

  (#1)

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

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From a child’s viewpoint

July 4, 2017

Three recent cartoons: a Calvin and Hobbes for the 4th of July, and two One Big Happy strips in which Ruthie copes with the language she hears:

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Hitchhiking

April 1, 2017

(Lots of mansex talk in plain terms. Not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

You find that you’ve wandered into a gay porn flick and you’re on the road: in fantasy L.A., on Santa Monica Boulevard or on the Pacific Coast Highway along the beach or somewhere similar; or in fantasy Country & Western territory, maybe outside of Nashville or along Route 66 south of Bakersfield or on the West Texas plains or somehere similar. You’re either driving or hitching.

If you’re driving, there will soon be a hitchhiker by the side of the road, and he will your fantasy man, a William Higgins SoCal twink or a Joe Gage blue-collar hunk. When you pick him up, he’ll give you what you need. You do him, he does you, you trade, whatever. You get whatever you need.

If you’re hitching, there will soon be a driver along the road, and he will be your fantasy man, a SoCal twink in a red convertible or a blue-collar hunk in a dusty pickup. When he picks you up, he’ll give you what you need. Same deal: you do him, he does you, you trade, whatever. You get whatever you need.

One manifestation of the fantasy: grease-monkey boy in board shorts and ballcap. Curly hair, SoCal spread-lip smile. Ready to roll.

(#1)

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