Musical numerology: two days in May

May 5, 2021

5/4 (yesterday; yes, I’m late, but I was without internet access for about six hours and couldn’t finish assembling the materials for this posting); and 5/9 (Ann Daingerfield (Zwicky)’s birthday, and, this year, Mother’s Day). About the occasions, but also about the dates as 54 Day and 59 Day — in the pages of the Sacred Harp.

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With knitted brows

May 3, 2021

(Significantly about sex between men, often in street language, so thoroughly unsuitable for kids and the sexually modest.)

On 5/1, e-mail from HUNT magazine (which hawks gay video porn) featuring a new bareback release, Show Hard, all about t-room / tearoom sexual encounters — a recurrent theme on this blog (there’s a Page on postings about sex in public, especially focused on t-room sex). I’ll take up the flick (and its name) later in this posting.

But on viewing the still from the first scene of Show Hard in the mailing — muscle hunk Beau Butler getting pronged on a mensroom sink by equally hunky Sean Maygers — what really caught my eye wasn’t the sexual action, arousing though that is, but the expression on Butler’s face. One that is so common that we have a name for it in English: knitted / knit (eye)brows. It turns out that there’s more than one physical gesture that is so called; and also, unsurprisingly, that this family of gestures can convey a variety of affects. Also that there are a number of other closely related gestures, with a collection of vocabulary that refers to them; it’s a rich domain of meaning.

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Rollin’ on the roadway

May 2, 2021

The mobility equipment piles up. I now have a cool cane (with four feet); an indoor walker (fairly recently equipped with a tray for carrying things around the house); and now a big fancy outdoor walker — a Rollator! — that can, in seconds, be turned into a comfortable seat to rest in on the street.

And now a tour of my assistive devices, as they’re called in the trade.

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5/1

May 1, 2021

It’s a new month, so: 🐇🐇🐇

In a moment I’ll reprise “rabbit, rabbit, rabbit” and other 5/1 associations in a posting from last year, but before that I’m going to suggest a new association: in the tradition of 3/14 as Pi(e) Day (from 3.14 as the value of pi / π) and 4/20 as Marijuana Day (from 420 as slang for smoking pot, or otherwise consuming cannabis), I suggest that 5/1 should be celebrated as Alien Encounter Day, in honor of Area 51 in Nevada. (There already is a World UFO Day, celebrated by some on 6/24, by others on 7/2.)

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Musk, leather, and the lumberjack forest

April 30, 2021

… the smell of men fucking

(Clearly not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

The story begins with the Etat Libre d’Orange fragrance Tom of Finland:


(#1) Aromatic, woody, leathery ($149 for 100 ml, $98 for 50 ml)

From the perfumery’s site, with a certain amount of perfumer-talk:

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Alex Adams

April 29, 2021

(Some bits on sex between men, including in gay porn, so not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

Alexander Adams began as a pseudonym of mine for making restaurant reservations (“Arnold (Zwicky)” over the phone is perilous indeed, especially if the person taking the reservation isn’t a native speaker of English). Which turned out to be so useful that I abbreviated it to Alex Adams, sometimes just Alex, for more informal reservations — at the barbershop, at places where you leave a name with your order at the counter and then it’s used to call you when the order is ready. Eventually, I became ready to answer to the name Alex on any occasion. That was better than having to be prepared for Ronald, Harold, Donald, Alan, Alvin, Albert, Herbert, Robert, or whatever struck other people as being more reasonable than Arnold.

And Alex (Adams) gradually evolved from being just an occasional pseudonym for Arnold (Zwicky — Arnold as a problematic name is as nothing compared to Zwicky) to being the name of an alter ego. Used at first as my sex name: people engaged in casual sex with strangers sometimes exchange (first) names, usually using pseudonyms for these occasions, that is, sex names (partly to protect their identities, sometimes also using names that seem more emotionally satisfying than their real names).

So the name Alex (Adams) was invested with transgressive sexiness for me, and eventually became the name of my alter ego in writing participant-observer accounts of sex between men, as well as continuing as a more innocent pseudonym; in effect, the everyday Alex Adams developed a subterranean sex life that he then began exposing to the world.

Then it turned out that since Alex Adams is such an ordinary, regular-guy name — one like Eric Carter, Chris Tyler, Paul Walker, and Brad Mason, all attested pornstar names — it’s been adopted by gay pornstars at least twice, including one of some fame in the business, who was active in gay porn from 2012-15.

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Pictographs for dogs

April 28, 2021

A Mark Stivers cartoon from 4/20/19 (first encountered in the Funny Times for May 2021):

(#1)

Dogs also can’t interpret pictographs, certainly not such abstract ones as the slash of prohibition, the NO symbol (seen here in a non-standard orientation and missing part of its conventional accompaniments). It’s doubtful, in fact, that they can recognize dog pictographs, highly stylized representations of a dog — and incredibly doubtful that they can recognize a pictograph of a dog taking a poop, and understand that a prohibition against dogs pooping applies to them. In fact, it’s beyond doubtful that even if they recognize the sign above as a prohibition against dogs pooping, they understand that the sign is locationally deictic, applying not just to the spot where the sign is planted, but to some contextually (and socioculturally) determined area around the sign — in this case, applying to the whole strip of lawn on this side of the fence (but not to any larger area).

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A free cartoonist in Paris

April 27, 2021

Today’s Zippy strip has Griffy (Bill Griffith’s counterpart in the strip) drawing up a cartoon storm in fin de siècle Paris, in competition with a disdainful local painter (call him PP, for peintre parisien):

(#1)

Their dispute is about cartoons, in terms familiar to Griffy:

… but is it art?

(here, asked about cartoons). PP emphatically says no, calling them “gaudy daubings … dégoûtant!” — while Griffy returns the insult by referring to PP’s work as “post-fauvist, pre-cubist, elitist scribbling”, while Griffy’s own work “recognizes th’ absurdity of life”.

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LSA to announce award for LGBTQ+ linguistics

April 26, 2021

Details still to be settled, but the Linguistic Society of America will be offering a regular award for LGBTQ+ linguistics. With the permission of COZIL (the LSA’s Committee on LGBTQ+ [Z] Issues in Linguistics), which proposed the award and will administer it, I am pleased to give a little peek ahead:

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Houdini’s cat

April 26, 2021

Today’s Rhymes With Orange cartoon is a takeoff on Schrödinger’s cat:

Looking ahead a bit, a Schrödinger’s cat joke (SCJ) involves the pairing of a concrete object (in this case, a cat) and a pair of opposed states (in this case, present vs. absent (in a carrier)) and maintains, preposterously, that the object is simultaneously in both states (in this case, that the cat is simultaneously present and absent in the carrier). In the SCJ above we don’t have evidence that the cat is or was both present and absent at the same time, but instead some simultaneity of the two states is inferred from other facts: like Houdini in one of his escape tricks, the cat was in the carrier when its owner left the house and there was no way it could escape from it — see the chains and lock — but it’s now, at the vet’s, visibly no longer there.

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