Archive for the ‘Sociocultural conventions’ Category

Complimentary bread

October 17, 2019

In the 10/21 New Yorker, this sdf (Seth Fleishman) cartoon, hinging on an ambiguity in the adjective complimentary:


(#1) complimentary ‘praising, approving’ vs. ‘supplied free of charge’

It’s not just that it’s complimentary; it’s also that it’s complimentary bread.

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The trail mixer

April 6, 2019

Maggie Larson cartoon in the New Yorker‘s 4/8/19 issue:


(#1) (Dried) fruits and nuts meeting and greeting, under the disco ball

A POP (phrasal overlap portmanteau): trail mixer = trail mix + mixer. Combining two elements very much grounded in particular sociocultural worlds (plus that disco ball glittering overhead).

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Moon shorts 1: the Moons

March 31, 2019

(Hunky male models in very little; lots of lexicography to come in later postings, but here lots of plain talk about men’s bodies and mansex, so not advised for kids or the sexually modest.)

The 3/37 Daily Jocks ad in e-mail — with the header Bottomless Shorts 😳 — now with a caption of mine:

(#1)

He navigated the
Corridors of the Blue
Boy Bar, savoring its
Pygian gloom, signaled
Red in the smoky
Dusk of desire, whispered
Shoot me, please,
Shoot the Moon

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News for carnivorous penises

March 30, 2019

(No actual penises, but some decidedly peniform plants and lots of intimate anatomical references, sometimes in street language; urethras abound. So clearly not to everyone’s taste.)

It began with a Facebook posting by Jens Fiederer, with a photo of the Botanical Penis of Doom, from the Thailand-Secrets site:


(#1) Cheng Kam Wor: “This is a pitcher plant of the genus Nepenthes sp. The glans-like top is actually a lid for the bottom pitcher structure. A carnivorous plant like the Venus flytrap!”

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The dog therapist is IN

September 25, 2018

Today’s Bizarro/Wayno collaboration (entitled “Recurring Dream”) is, from the point of view of this blog, quite timely:


(#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 dog therapist ‘therapist for dogs’ (a Use N + N compound); see discussion in my 9/22 posting “therapist dog, dog therapist”. In this case, for a patient who’s had the canine equivalent of the common nightmare of being naked in public (especially in front of a class or while giving a speech).

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The cartoon milkman

September 11, 2018

… and a bad grandpa pun, in the One Big Happy from 8/14:

(#1)

(The characters, left to right in the first and last panels: the neighbor boy James; the son of the OBH family, Ruthie’s older brother Joe; and Joe’s grandfather.)

Grandpa reproduces a bit of culture lore, about liaisons between housewives and milkmen. The boys are no doubt somewhat vague about what would be involved in a woman’s running off with the milkman. But, more pressingly, they don’t know what a milkman is: the N +  N compound is scarcely transparent semantically, so unless you’ve actually had milkmen in your experience, tales of women and milkmen are just baffling.

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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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