Characters, most of them cute, from Japanese anime, manga, animated cartoons, computer games, books, and consumer goods of all sorts, in news that’s come my way recently: an Economist story about Mario; California license plates featuring Totoro; plus a note on perhaps the most famous of these characters in the U.S., Hello Kitty; a news story on a new character, Aggretsuko; a note on one of my favorites, Afro Ken; a look back at Tarepanda on this blog; and a glance at the character Pingu, who’s not Japanese.
Archive for the ‘Sociocultural conventions’ Category
(References to male bodies and man-man sex.)
Another chapter in the annual celebration of cultural, as opposed to religious, Christmas — a set of customs and practices that includes, among other things (in the U.S.), Christmas trees, mistletoe, eggnog, Christmas cards, Christmas presents, garlands, Christmas cookies, fruitcake, sentimental reverence for snow, gingerbread, roast turkey (or duck or goose), Christmas songs, Christmas ham, secret Santas, colored lights, red and green everything, candy canes, television shows, a zillion Christmas movies (more appearing every year), wreaths, and of course human Santa Clauses: soliciting charitable contributions on the street, taking gift lists from children in malls and stores, and handing out gifts at children’s parties.
Plus gay Santa Claus images, some of them of men just posing in Santa drag with a homoerotic subtext, many of them behaving flamboyantly gaily: cavorting with the three gay reindeer (Dancer, Prancer, and Vixen, but especially Prancer), exposing themselves in public, molesting handsome young men, and kissing Daddy under the mistletoe (or more flagrantly, performing acts of enthusiastic m2m sex with him under the Christmas tree).
From the stupendous array of gay Santa goodies available, I’ve chosen only five this year: all but one found on Tumblr; three photos of men in costume, two drawings; all with beards; none of them X-rated (despite a rich lode of phallically explicit images to choose from), but one just barely not; all but one showing Santa with his characteristic cap; and several combining the gay Santa theme with a gay geek or nerd theme.
The cover of the May 30th New Yorker, “Commencement”:
A standard exercise on this blog: what do you have to know to understand what’s going on in this drawing? To see why it might be funny? (It could, of course, just be an affectionate portrait of an event of the season, not meant to be funny.)
I have need (for a posting in preparation) to talk about the classification of urinals, the naming of the types, and the sociocultural conventions that surround their use.
Start with Wikipedia:
A urinal … is a sanitary plumbing fixture for urination only, predominantly used by males. [And mostly used in public places rather than in private houses, where toilets serve as fixtures for urinating while standing up.] It can take the form of a container or simply a wall, with drainage and automatic or manual flushing, or without flush water as is the case for waterless urinals.
The different types of urinals, be it for single users or as trough designs for multiple users, are intended to be utilized from a standing position (rather than squatting or sitting).
One crucial distinction is clear in this: single-user fixtures vs. multi-user fixtures. The multi-user type is sometimes called a gang urinal (parallel to gang shower), and that’s the label I’ll use here ; the single-user type, as the most common form of urinal in many places, has no standard name; I suggest the name solo urinal.
The other crucial distincrion is not clear in the Wikipedia passage above: between urinals that are hung from a wall (which I’ll call mounted urinals) and those with their base on the floor (which I’ll call standing urinals); again, mounted urinals are the most common type in many places, so that in many places unmodified urinal refers to the default type, a mounted solo urinal.
In any case, that gives us a four-way distinction, with many design details possible for each type.
A charming and perceptive piece from Sunday’s NYT Book Review : “Please Look After This Bear” by Pico Iyer, about the Paddington Bear books, which Iyer sees as (among other things) social commentary. The beginning:
When Paddington Bear landed in London in 1958, it was still quite a provincial place. Safe, settled, a little gray — no sign of the Beatles or the swinging ’60s yet — it upheld the ceremonial proprieties immortalized in [the film] “Brief Encounter” and [the book] “84, Charing Cross Road.” Men wore ties to dinner, women skirts; the post-nuclear nightmares and beatnik explosions of America were barely visible on occasional television screens. Yes, the likes of the Trinidad-born novelist Samuel Selvon were beginning to give voice to other realities in works like “The Lonely Londoners,” but if a British family’s name was Brown, you could be fairly sure its skin was not.
From Jeanne Dusseault, a link to the eccentric webcomic Breaking Cat News by Georgia Dunn. The latest installment (headline: “The man is taking a shower”), of August 6th:
The conceit: The strip shows bulletins from Cat News, a program by and for cats — in particular, the three cats of Dunn’s household (Lupin, Puck, and Elvis). The cats view everything from their point of view, and the views of the humans in the household (known to the cats only as The Woman and The Man) are either irrelevant or inscrutable. Many cross-species failures of communication result, as in the fourth panel above, where Puck (the black cat) can’t understand why The Man stands in a closet to get clean when he has a perefectly good tongue.
The Bizarro of 3/20/14, which I seem to have missed when it came up in March, but caught yesterday reproduced in the July issue of Funny Times:
An ambiguity — Miss France as a (NP) title in a beauty pageant vs. Miss France as a VP remnant of a declarative S, conveying ‘I miss France’. This gross difference in syntax and semantics corresponds to a pragmatic difference, whether the expression is viewed as printed on a sash (as in beauty pageants) or as the equivalent of a t-shirt slogan — very different sociocultural contexts.
A business card (two-sided, mounted here on an ornamental card) from an establishment in British Columbia, picked up by a friend visiting there: a private place for men to enjoy sexual connection. These range from the gay baths, for relatively short-term liaisons, to those that label themselves as hotels or resorts (some in urban locations, some rural), offering everything from tricking to vacations for couples. Hung Homo Homestay (despite the slangy alliterative name) is definitely at the high end.
I’ll eventually post some about male body types and tastes about them. Here I merely note that these men have exceptionally, indeed abnormally, developed musculature — not to everyone’s taste (think of it as ornamental rather than necessarily arousing), and certainly not found routinely at homo hook-up havens.
(Warning: This posting has an image of man-man sex that is right at the X line — that’s one of the topics of the posting, in fact — and some frank description of gay sex, so it might not be to everyone’s taste.)
In my e-mail yesterday, a stirring ad from Lucas Entertainment (Michael Lucas’s porn flick company, not George Lucas’s film company) for its film Lovers in Paradise, with a shot of Wagner Vittoria penetrating Tiziano Fuentes — an image that I’ll show some distance below the fold; it’s technically not X-rated (there’s no penis, testicles, or anus visible in it), though no one could mistake what’s going on there. As in my posting “X or not?” of 5/19/13, I’ll muse some on where the X line gets drawn.
First, though, a description of the scene and some information about three remarkably named pornstars (these two and Vittoria’s pornstar boyfriend Diego Lauzen).