The verb of the American moment

October 12, 2019

The verb is depose — actually two homophonous verbs, with very different senses (though they share a history). Currently in the US news in one sense because of Helmet Grabpussy’s shrieks that movements towards impeaching him are attempts at a coup, attempts to overthrow him, depose him from office; and in another sense because House committees have been summoning witnesses to give sworn testimony, to be deposed formally.

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The existential question

October 11, 2019

In today’s Zippy strip, Zerbina and Zippy contemplate their existence — ever an issue for self-aware cartoon characters:

(#1)

How do we know we exist? And if this perilous sort of existence, created in the mind and (literally) at the hands of an artist, fails to be validated by those in the outer, non-cartoon, world, are we nothing but a dream (sweetheart)?

Perhaps a concern for all of us, but especially pointed for cartoon characters. Who will speak for them, especially now that Mad Magazine is gone?

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Der Migros-Sprecher Gabriel Zwicky

October 9, 2019

In the Swiss German-language daily Blick, a 10/6 story by Marc Iseli, “Neues Gastro-Konzept kommt nach Zürich: Migros bringt den Metzger zum Anfassen” (‘A new gastronomic concept comes to Zürich: Migros makes the butcher accessible’), about a new program — some combination of Retail, Gastronomie und Event — that is somehow supposed to bring the consumer closer to the producers of food (the butcher, the baker, the fisherman, the farmer), at least in the giant supermarket by the main railway station in Zürich:


(#1) From the butcher’s hands to yours, in the new “Meet Food” (yes, with a name borrowed from English) program (note: I didn’t choose this photo; Blick did; I will, however, inventory it in my files under “Phallicity: The Wurst”, where it deserves some sort of vividness trophy)

The story is about this still not fully defined program, but its primary interest for me is that it comes from der Migros-Sprecher (‘the Migros spokesperson’) Gabriel Zwicky, who gets his name in the news quite a lot, Migros being a very big thing in Switzerland. Zwickys, we are everywhere.

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Two old cartoon friends

October 9, 2019

… in recent mail: border-collie-bereft medicos (from Scott Hilburn on 8/12/14) and Egyptian spelling contests (from Rhymes With Orange today), bringing the return of two familiar cartoon themes:


(#1) The POP (phrasal overlap portmanteau) from Doctors Without Borders + border collies


(#2) A spelling bee done with hieroglyphs

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A rich internal life

October 8, 2019

(The beginning of this posting is about the complexities of conscious experience — attentional foci and internal lives — but midway through it veers into sexual matters, eventually into a raw account of steamy mansex, entirely unsuitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

The Zits strip from 10/5, about Sara and Jeremy’s fugitive thoughts:


(#1) Sara’s conscious attention is on her homework, but anxieties about her academic life and about current events intrude; meanwhile, Jeremy is consciously focused on listening to Sara’s lament, but finds thoughts of food intervening

What’s involved is a division between two parts of the stream of consciousness: an attentional focus, the central concern in what you are doing at the moment; and any number of peripheral concerns, matters that crowd your consciousness without being chosen for attention, these peripheral concerns together constituting what I’ll call your internal life at the moment.

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Suit and tie

October 7, 2019

The One Big Happy for September 8th, which came by in my comics feed recently:

(#1)

Miss Avis gives Ruthie career advice, and once again, Ruthie is up against the sense of a word — here, suit, roughly ‘costume in a masquerade’ — that she’s most familiar with, as against another sense — in the conventional collocation suit and tie, roughly ‘business apparel for men’ — that’s the most frequent one in the larger culture. A bunny suit for play, especially at Halloween, is a familiar part of her everyday world; she’s certainly seen men in suits and ties, but they’re from a different world, one that she merely sometimes observes from the outside, in much the same way that she views suits of armor.

Of course, becoming acculturated in the conventional adult world around her means learning that the default sense of suit has to do with business wear, especally for men, and that the costume-play sense is restricted to certain special social contexts.

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Penguin aerodynamics

October 6, 2019

(Not much linguistics, but there are penguins and mammoths.)

A late birthday present on Friday, wrapped in rainbow tissue paper:


(#1) From the Sock It To Me company in Portland OR: “Penguin Taking Flight” crew socks (artist: Tara Gildow)

The back story from the company:

Blue men’s crew socks featuring a steampunk penguin wearing headgear and a jet pack launching upwards

Tired of being mocked by other flying birds, this flightless penguin is taking matters into her own hands…err wings. Steamed she couldn’t fly, she built herself a marvelous flying contraption and finally took flight. Wear these magnificent penguin socks when you feel a little too earthbound and need to take things to the next level.

Just strap it on and take off.

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A man, his hands, his pants

October 5, 2019

(That’s AmE pants, roughly equivalent to BrE trousers. This posting is about men’s clothing and men’s bodies and gets fairly racy — it starts with a guy with his hands in his pants and sex on his mind — so some readers might want to exercise caution.)

So you’re a straight white guy, from North America or some place culturally similar. A photographer wants to take your picture. How do you pose your body? In particular, what do you do with your hands? More generally, what do you do with your hands when they’re not actually involved in your current activity? Then, what role do your lower garments — trousers, shorts, maybe underpants — play in the placement of your hands? And what, if anything, does your choice of placement signify?

So: adventures in hand-pants (or manual-bracal) kinesics.

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Pat-SU fuck: new visions

October 3, 2019

Yes, this posting is about fucking — specifically about the syntax, semantics, and sociolinguistics of the sexual verb fuck in English, especially with reference to male-male anal intercourse (that is, men fucking men), so despite the high amount of technical linguistic content (NERD FLAG), it is (RAUNCH FLAG) thoroughly unsuitable for kids or the sexually modest. I mean, I’m going to talk about a lot of fucking in this piece, and I’m going to start with a guy getting (quite movingly) fucked by another guy, so some of you are going to have to, or want to, get the fuck out of here.

The impetus for this posting is a line from a short gay porn video on the IceGay site, “Brad McGuire And His Piggy [Dawson]”; McGuire, a dominant top into barebacking, is unloading a line of dirty sex talk onto the sexpig Dawson, whose aching desire is to get a load of hot cum in his ass after being enthusiastically screwed, doggie-style:


(#1) McGuire and Dawson, moving close to climax

McGuire: Work that dick, man. C’mon. Fuck me with that ass. [Big spangly note: McGuire fucks Dawson with his dick; Dawson fucks McGuire with his ass.] Yeah, c’mon, hungry pig. Yeah? That’s it. That’s it. C’mon, work for it [the desired load of cum]. Yeah. … Yeah, you work for that load. C’mon, fuck me with that ass, man. Fuckin’ pig.

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Up to the line, and sometimes over

October 1, 2019

(About men’s bodies in very plain terms, and about the fantasy world of steamy male underwear models, and a bit about the social and sexual practices of gay male life, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Refections on yesterday’s Daily Jocks ad, officially for a Varsity mesh shoulder harness for men, but also featuring a mesh trunk — and a sexual gesture involving that trunk, which together with the model’s facial expression frames the scene as a fantasy of cruising for sex (between men).

The gesture skirts the line between covering the genitals and revealing them and also, independently, the line between protecting the genitals and fondling them, so it involves us in the question of what is permissible for display in various social contexts (in particular, in WordPress blogs like this one); the central photo might well be over the line in WP, so it appears here with the details of the gesture fuzzed over (though it’s reproduced unaltered in an AZBlogX posting “Skirting the lines” accompanying this one, along with another problematic photo and three unquestionably WP-unsuitable images).

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