Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Frank and John in 1971

December 8, 2017

A follow-up to my posting of the 4th, “A dark week in early December”, noting that the 4th is Frank Zappa’s death day, the 8th — today — John Lennon’s (and the 6th Wolfgang Mozart’s, but he doesn’t figure in today’s story). Now Kyle Wohlmut has posted on Facebook a Guitar World 10/8/17 story “John Lennon and Frank Zappa Jam in New York City in 1971” by Damian Fanelli:

Yoko Ono, John Lennon, Frank Zappa



November 23, 2017

A little (deeply inconclusive) exercise in judging the sociocultural status of a linguistic variant, in this case pillowslip (vs. pillowcase). On ADS-L today, Wilson Gray reported hearing pillowslip spoken by an Australian from New South Wales, commenting:

Mildly surprising. Pillowslip was the ordinary term that I used as a child, in East Texas. I have no idea whether this form is used anywhere else in the U.S., bedclothes not being a particularly common topic of conversation outside of the family. IAC [if anybody cares], it seems to me that pillowcase is the preferred term, in Yankspeak.

(Further information: Wilson is black and about my age, ca. 80.)

My own recollection is that pillowslip was the usual term among the working-class rural/suburban whites I grew up with in southeastern Pennsylvania, but that it was somewhat old-fashioned and was eventually eclipsed by the preferred commercial term, pillowcase.

But these are recollections (which might be skewed), of the usages in our personal experiences (which are tiny samplings of English usage at the time), colored by our impressions of more general usage (which might be completely off-base). So who knows what the actual story is?


A tale of two flowers

November 12, 2017

Plant 1 and Plant 2. They are both immensely attractive as nectar sources to pollinators (butterflies, moths, hummingbirds, especially). They both have spires of (often) purple flowers, which frequently arch over rather than standing erect; and both have opposite lancelolate leaves. They both often grow in clumps a foot or two high:

(#1) Plant 1

(#2) Plant 2

But viewed up close, they are clearly very different plants.


Z is for zip

October 4, 2017

Today’s Bizarro, with a prescription for Drug Z:


(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 4 in this strip — see this Page.)

The larger topic: Z therapies for aging.


Self-referential cartooning

August 2, 2017

Today’s Zippy:

An illeistic meta-cartoon.


News for penises: the Haring commemorative bathroom

June 16, 2017

(Sexually explicit images, but they’re certifiably Art, so they should be displayable here. If this is not the sort of thing you want to see, then pass on.)

More Pride Month news. From the Artsy site on the 13th, “Keith Haring’s Most Risqué Mural Is Hidden in a Public Bathroom” by Alexxa Gotthardt:

Masterpieces don’t often end up in public bathrooms.

But boundary-defying street artist Keith Haring didn’t care for the distinctions about where art could and should be made; his canvases were Manhattan’s buildings, streets, and subways. On them, he scrawled ecstatic, aroused bodies that radiated with bursts of energy.

Many of Haring’s public paintings have disappeared since they emerged from his prolific brush in the 1970s and ’80s. The city government treated them as acts of vandalism, or they were rubbed away by the wear and tear of time. Luckily, though, one of his most audacious, masterful murals still stands—and you can find it in a bathroom that’s open to the public every day of the week.


An early “is is”? Probably not.

March 27, 2017

Jon Lighter on ADS-L yesterday, offering “An early “is is”:

1964 Jere Peacock To Drill and Die  (N.Y.: Bantam) 257:

[(1)] “The thing of it is,” Waldron said … “is that this order was set up for you personally.”

The earliest example of Isis on record up to this point is from Dwight Bolinger in 1971 (details in a 2007 handout of mine, “Extris, extris”); 1964 would be an antedating, but not a remarkable one. Still, I’m dubious that  (1) is a report of Waldron saying:

(2) The thing of it is is that this order was set up for you personally.

More likely it’s a report of:

(3) The thing of it is, …is that this order was set up for you personally.


Sticks and stones

January 13, 2017

Two Calvin and Hobbes strips from a series in recent re-runs. Background: Calvin has called Susie names, deriding and insulting her. Susie tries to take solace in a proverbial rhyme, sadly without success:


And Calvin totally muffs an apology:



Two poignant cartoons

October 27, 2016

A mildly poignant Zippy, in which things have come to the point where Griffy almost misses Richard Nixon. And another deeply poignant episode in the Doonesbury account of Lacey and Jeremy’s adventures in senior dating.




Zippy on a cross-comic run

July 16, 2016

In the “Ask the Archivist” column on the Comics Kingdom Blog (from King Features) on the 14th:

It’s been thirty years since Bill Griffith’s underground comix star Zippy The Pinhead went above ground and joined King Features Syndicate. Zippy had been around since 1971, so he’s in the midst of a forty-fifth anniversary, too.

Zippy, as you might know, was inspired by Griffith’s real-life interaction with a Pinhead, as well as Pinheads in popular culture, like the co-stars of the infamous film, “FREAKS” (MGM 1932).

But Griffith has always been more interested in the way culture has impressed him, especially that which addressed kids many years ago. At any time, incomprehensibly, long-dead actors or forgotten corporate mascots might appear, and interact with Zippy or Griffith’s cartoon alter ego. It’s like a surreal dream, often punctuated with misty bits of philosophy and out-of-date advertising catchphrases.

Today I’ve picked some of the Zipster’s various encounters with comic characters