Marrow among the courgettes

September 19, 2020

(This moves pretty quickly to men’s genitals, so it’s not appropriate for kids or the sexually modest.)

From the distinguished phonetician John Wells (in England — the England part is significant) on 9/18, this garden photo, with John’s caption:


(#1) Look carefully, and you’ll see a big marrow hiding underneath the courgette.

A FB reader (since I’m not sure about privacy protections, I won’t use their name) then wrote:

[A] Oh what a beauty

to which John replied

[B] …never seen one as big as that before!

taking us right into the world of sexual double entendres having to do with penis size. I admired the move (John and I are both openly gay, and that too is significant), and John delicately provided me with the source of the A – B sequence; it’s a famous quote from BBC comedy.

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Born on the same day

September 18, 2020

Today is the birthday of my second mother-in-law, Monique Serpette Transue (born 1912). And also of Samuel “Dictionary” Johnson (born 1709). A coincidence of dates that entertains me. When I noted this on Facebook yesterday, Ned Deily wrote:

The interwebz assert that no single word exists, in English at least, to describe people who share the same birthday anniversary. Time to invent one? A lexicographer’s work is never finished.

After a digression on what lexicographers do and another on Samuel Johnson and a note about Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de Lafayette, I’ll make a stab at coining.

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Caillebotte’s garden

September 17, 2020

From Joelle Stepien Bailard on Facebook, this wonderful 1878 painting by Gustave Caillebotte, The Orange Trees, or The Artist’s Brother in His Garden:

(#1)

It’s like a snapshot photo — people caught in the midst of going about their day — while being carefully composed formally (the dog lying on the path is an important feature in the composition) and combining highly realistic elements (the metal chairs, in particular) with some impressionist elements (the flowers, in particular). Complex and satisfying.

Then an exchange with Joelle:

Arnold Zwicky: Caillebotte is underappreciated, I think.

Joelle Stepien Bailard > Arnold Zwicky: I agree. I often feel he was too sophisticated to be properly appreciated in his own time.

As it turns out, his time eventually came, but that was in the 1960s, long after he died, young, in 1894.

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Waiting for my man

September 16, 2020

(Men’s bodies and sex between men, in street language, totally not for kids or the sexually modest.)

He’s never early, he’s always late
First thing you learn is that you always gotta wait
I’m waiting for my man

(from Lou Reed’s “I’m Waiting for the Man”)

Today’s Daily Jocks ad, for a jockstraps sale, has yet another model posed as offering himself for anal intercourse, something of a DJ specialty; these ads show really handsome male buttocks, minimally clothed, and right up against the line with porn. In today’s case, I’ve chosen to spin a whole sex story (in free verse, as a caption) about the man in the ad. Under the fold.

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Modern still lifes: Darren Jones

September 15, 2020

(Some very plain talk about sex between men, so not for kids or the sexually modest.)

Thanks to my 9/13 posting on Stephanie Shih’s West/East digital still life in “Mid-autumn memento mori for the times”, Pinterest has been sending me modern still lifes. Among which is a way gay photo composition by Darren Jones:

(#1)

The image is dominated by the pump bottle of Gun Oil lube (more below).

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Cocktail music

September 15, 2020

Today’s morning name. Lounge music for the cocktail hour.


(#1) DJNTV’s (Disc Jockey News TV) Mobile Music with DJ Jason Jones features mobile DJs from around the country who are playing weddings, schools and bars to find out how and what they play and when they play it.

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Tom of Finland at 100

September 15, 2020

(Well, it’s Tom of Finland, so it’s all about men’s bodies and mansex, and not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

On the Advocate site on 9/14, “Happy 100 Years: The Tom of Finland Biography”, on a new book on ToF:

(#1)

ToF is flagrantly about huge penises and muscular buttocks, and about intense sex between men, but (more important) also about the emotional relationships beween those men. It’s all extravagant fantasy, but also a celebration of gay male desire and affiliation in all of its forms, and so it has provided reassurance to untold numbers of gay men who scarcely resemble the fantasy sexually heroic figures of ToF — we are, variously, indetectable in the straight world and effeminate and dorky and little-dicked and horse-dicked and insecure and out-and-proud and full of shame — but can find in these figures validation of their desires and practices (notably, receptive anal intercourse: Real Men Take It Up the Ass). Plus, a lot of it is funny.

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All they will call you will be “escapees”

September 13, 2020

Well, maybe also “escapers”, or even “escapettes”, as in this One Big Happy cartoon from 8/17, which taps into a much-studied phenomenon in English morphology:

(#1)

From my 1/9/15 posting “-ee” (warning: this goes, unavoidably, pretty deep into the technical weeds of syntax and semantics):

The great resource on [the English derivational suffix] –ee is a 1998 paper by Chris Barker in Language (74.695-727), “Episodic -ee in English: A thematic role constraint on new word formation” (stable URL here), which uses a database of “fifteen hundred naturally occurring tokens of some five hundred word types” to analyze the semantics of the suffix; it also has a full bibliography of relevant literature on the subject.

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Mid-autumn memento mori for the times

September 13, 2020

Stephanie Shih’s characterization of a digital still life she recently posted (reproduced here with permission), combining elements from Western and Eastern (especially Chinese) painting traditions and located both in mid-autumn times and in a time when we are surrounded by death in the pandemic:

(#1)

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Hard-core gendering

September 12, 2020

Now visible on tv and on the net: Manly Bands, wedding rings and engagement rings for real guy guys: deeply masculine bands that avoid the mere prettiness of so many of the usual rings (and any possible associations with femininity) — and are advertised with over-the-top testosterone-steeped prose.

An ad from the net:

Need a wedding band that’ll make you wanna run up a flight of stairs to the Rocky soundtrack? These bestsellers’ll do the trick.

The content is about achieving great physical prowess, emulating a winning prize-fighter. The style of the text is studiously informal (that’ll, wanna, bestsellers’ll) and slangy (do the trick) — guy talk.

The copy on the company’s site is in fact much more elaborately gendered as masculine than this.

And then there’s the name Manly Bands.

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