Friday, October 28, 2016

Hem and haw and Lois

[Hi and Lois , October 28, 2016. Click for a larger view.]

I like the way the perspective changes to match the dialogue (left to right). I like, too, the way Lois’s frontal curl shifts from the right side of her head to the left. Magic? Not really. The image, I’m almost certain, has been flipped, curl and all.

But what first caught my attention in today’s strip is “hemming and hawing.” Jeepers, maybe Chip will find his way to an Orange Crate Art post about that very expression. Is his connection strong enough to break the fourth wall?


11:25 a.m.: I played around with OS X Preview’s Alpha tool. Yes, Lois has been flipped.

Related reading
All OCA Hi and Lois posts (Pinboard)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Domestic comedy

[In the car, taking turns reading the back of a National Carriers semi-trailer .]

“‘Liberal, Kansas.’ Which is probably anything but.”

“‘Irving, Texas.’ Which is probably anything but.”

Related reading
All OCA domestic comedy posts (Pinboard)

Smells like teen spinach

[As seen in the produce section.]

Teen spinach is for real. The Classic Salads website explains the difference between baby spinach and teen spinach: “a week of additional maturity.” Yeah, right — like that’s gonna make you mature? One week? I’m sure.

Teen spinach is at times awkward, at times moody. It would just like to be left alone, in its bag, until it is time for dinner.

[Post title with apologies to Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic, and Dave Grohl.]

“No Cash”

[As seen in a parking garage.]

I would like to think that saying “No cash,” or more politely, “Sorry, I have no cash” would prompt the attendant to wave the driver through, saying “Your excuse or explanation or barefaced lie is good enough for me, sir. Have a pleasant day.” But no.

File under Unnecessary “quotation marks.”

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A tribute in dubious taste

In the aftermath of the Great Blackwing Fiasco of 2010, I’ve had little to say about the Palomino Blackwing pencil. This pencil doesn’t interest me. But I had to say something when the Palomino Blackwing’s manufacturer attempted to associate the pencil with the music of Duke Ellington and John Lennon. And now once again I have to say something:

California Republic recently began a line of limited-edition Blackwing “tribute” pencils. The latest one, “A Tribute to Dorothea Lange,” marks the eightieth anniversary of Lange’s photograph Migrant Mother. This pencil is a tribute in dubious taste — or a tribute to dubious taste. From the company website:

Blackwing 344 celebrates the 80th anniversary of this historic photo and the artistic legacy Dorothea Lange left behind. The deep red barrel, red foil imprint, bright red ferrule and black eraser reflect what a Blackwing 602 pencil would look like in a darkroom. The model number references Library of Congress LOT 344, which contains a number of her photographs, including the iconic “Migrant Mother.”
The arbitrariness (eightieth, 344) of this tribute aside, I have to wonder what it means to ”celebrate” a photograph that documents human suffering by turning that photograph into an opportunity to market high-end stationery supplies. And I wonder what Dorothea Lange would make of it.

See also Montblanc’s Gandhi pen.

Related reading
All Blackwing posts (Pinboard)

[I follow The Chicago Manual of Style in italicizing the title of the photograph.]

“One of the last joys in life”

From Mascots (dir. Christopher Guest, 2016). Greg Gammons Jr. (Fred Willard) is watching a pencil-and-sharpener mascot performance:

“That’s one of the last joys in life, sharpening a pencil. It’s hard to do that wrong.”
Mascots is streaming at Netflix. Not the best Guest, but still a pleasure, with all the usual suspects and a special Guest appearance.

Related reading
All OCA pencil posts (Pinboard)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

“Just teaches physics”

A biographical squib:

Alex Small is a tenured associate professor of physics at California State Polytechnic University at Pomona. When people are watching, he facilitates learner-centered activities for the accomplishment of learning objectives and engages in production of scholarly knowledge in interdisciplinary paradigms. When people aren’t watching, he just teaches physics and does research on biological applications of optics.

Alex Small, “Tips for Managing Curmudgeons” (The Chronicle of Higher Education).
Administrative types could benefit from Small’s advice.


From Honoré de Balzac’s story “Sarrasine.” La Zambinella speaks:

“Orgies do harm to my voice.”

The Human Comedy: Selected Stories , trans. from the French by Linda Asher, Carol Cosman, and Jordan Stump (New York: New York Review Books, 2014). This story translated by Stump.
She means, of course, wild parties — nothing more.

“Sarrasine” became the stuff of Roland Barthes’s tour de force S/Z (1970). I’m glad to have read, at last, the story.

Also from Balzac
“Easily five foot eight or nine”

Erasmus ekphrasis

From a description of Hans Holbein the Younger’s 1523 portrait of Erasmus:

Stefan Zweig, Erasmus of Rotterdam  , trans. Eden and Cedar Paul (New York: Viking, 1934).

The painting hangs in the Louvre. Wikipedia has a large, clear reproduction, much larger than this one:

[Portrait of Erasmus of Rotterdam .]

Other Zweig posts
Destiny, out of one’s hands : Fanaticism and reason : Happy people, poor psychologists : Little world : School v. city : “A tremendous desire for order” : Urban pastoral, with stationery : Zweig’s last address book

Monday, October 24, 2016

Awkward metaphor of the day

A campaign spokesman, speaking of his candidate to an anchor on CNN:

“He’s not going to be a wallflower that’s going to get pushed around.”
I can’t imagine what metaphor this spokesman was reaching for. But it certainly wasn’t wallflower . Perhaps he was confusing school dances, where the meek stand off to the side, and school hallways, where the meek get pushed up against the lockers.

The comments from Daughter Number Three and Pete Lit on this recent post made me notice the spokesman’s use of “with all due respect” — twice, each time prefacing a reply that said, in essence, You’re completely, totally wrong, you jerk.

Related reading
All OCA metaphor posts (Pinboard)

[“Where the meek stand off to the side”: if they’re even there. I speak from experience.]