Wednesday, 18 July 2007

"She's not coming back."

T he Black Diamond Detective Agency. Another finished page and its preparatory rough. This one involved business that had to be clearly readable just from the visuals, so I needed to know where everything was going. The sketch was adequate to my purposes.


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I just discovered this. Engrish.com, humorous mistakes made in Japan in the use of the English language. Some very amusing photographs. God only knows it works vice versa-- in fact, here's the very place: Hanzi Smatter :- dedicatd to the misuse of Chinese characters in western culture. I've linked to the first page of his blog in 2004, where he gives an introduction. I found the first site by accident and the second via the first.
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John C. draws our attention to "A 180ft image of Homer Simpson waving a doughnut aloft has appeared adjacent to the ancient Cerne Abbas giant, the 17th Century chalk fertility symbol in Dorset." (wiki), a current publicity stunt, and advises Americans to avert their gaze in case they catch a glimpse of the giant's willy.
But wait a minute. They can't have that both ways. Is it an ancient fertility symbol or a 17th century hoax?

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11 Comments:

Anonymous John C said...

Probably not what the ad people intended, someone has animated Homer so he's playing a game of Penis Ring-toss:

http://www2.b3ta.com/host/creative/46786/1184604040/HomerChalk.gif

18 July 2007 5:32:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Jason said...

It might say a little too much about me... but that was kind of my first thought too. Ring-toss, heh.

18 July 2007 5:36:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Johnny Walker said...

You can't help but wonder if it was deliberate... Homer's smile is a little too big, and did he need a giant doughnut with him? I wonder!

18 July 2007 6:09:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Johnny Walker said...

Interesting article in the Hoaxipedia, but I can't seem to find any references anywhere to Cromwell being referred to as a "club-wielding Hercules" by his followers.

Also, while it may well be a hoax, is there anything to really tie this to Cromwell? Would you draw him on the hillside with a massive knob to show how much you disliked someone?

Finally, why didn't the neighbours complain? I'm sure the hill-owner's insistence that the "giant with a massive willy" had "always been there, honest", convinced nobody... so why didn't this addition to the countryside make the news at the time?

18 July 2007 11:08:00 am GMT-5  
Anonymous John C said...

One thing that needs to be pointed out regarding these hill figures (there's also the Long Man of Wilmington and the Uffington horse/dragon) is that they get overgrown if they're not cleared regularly of weeds and grass. Also the chalk needs to be kept clean otherwise the figure loses its presence. The Uffington horse used to be cleaned every seven years by the local villagers. That figure is an unusual one since it can only be seen properly from the air.

If these figures were overgrown for centuries that would explain their absence in historical records. British turf mazes also need to be maintained this way. TC Lethbridge claimed to have discovered figures of Gog and Magog near Wendlebury, Cambs in 1954 but those claims are still subject to dispute.

18 July 2007 12:45:00 pm GMT-5  
Anonymous Steph said...

As a relatively frequent host-family for Japanese exchange students via Uni, I have been subjected to a great deal of Engrish, mostly in the form of T-Shirts. Some of my favourite slogans are:
"Jolly Summer Together Vacation Jolly Summer Vacation."
"Magic Music Bus Joy"
"Sexy Bastard"
"Punky Girl feel fun."
etc etc etc.
The Japanese teen mags we have are pretty excellent too. I adore Jap Pop Culture.

18 July 2007 6:10:00 pm GMT-5  
Anonymous Jody Macgregor said...

Did you hear about the kerfuffle over The Long Man of Wilmington? Some TV makeover show wanted to make him into a her. Pagans protested: http://news.independent.co.uk/media/article2737140.ece

My favourite part is the names of the Druids -- Greg Draven and Arthur Pendragon.

18 July 2007 7:10:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Johnny Walker said...

Never-the-less, John C, the sudden appearance of a gigantic penis on any hillside would be cause for some sort of consternation. If the hoax theorists are correct, and it was created/"unearthed" by the farmer who owned the field, why did it not made the news at the time?

Hmmm.

19 July 2007 6:59:00 am GMT-5  
Anonymous John C said...

The idea of complaint of consternation about our Cerne Abbas friend assumes people living in the area would be concerned by it in the first place. I'm not so sure they would. We tend to view the past through the lens of intervening Victorian prudery which not only makes it seem that everything slightly salacious pre-1963 (or whenever) was censored to death, but which also obscured the proper study of older English customs until very recently.

English folk songs are full of a bawdiness which shocked later music historians, for instance. Cathedrals in England and France have numerous carvings depicting sex acts since cathedrals were buildings of instruction for an illiterate populace (see Images of Lust: Sexual Carvings on Medieval Churches [1993]). Working class culture in England has always been bawdy and vulgar (see that Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue which Eddie linked to earlier); so it wouldn't surprise me if people merely shrugged or tittered at the hillside phallus. One indicator of the way it's been passed over is the fact that it still exists at all; many English standing stones in or around villages were destroyed at the behest of parish priests.

Another point: the giant's outline is far more visible to us since we view it from the air; seen from a distance it's more difficult to make out:

http://www.hows.org.uk/personal/hillfigs/

And the locals were happy enough to make hold their maypole celebrations beside it, according to that page. Some archaeologists believe that the penis has actually grown in recent centuries by having its tip combined with its navel.

19 July 2007 11:21:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Johnny Walker said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

20 July 2007 11:59:00 am GMT-5  
Blogger Johnny Walker said...

That's all well and good (and thanks for the links), but my point is that its sudden appearance would been newsworthy. Even if only worth a titter. I'm guessing not much exciting happened on a day to day basis back then (and I doubt much has changed in such rural areas), and a sudden massive chalk drawing (of anything) would still have been interest, if not necessarily offence (I probably chose the wrong word with consternation, sorry).

Afterall, we're all still looking at images of it today, even with our 'seen it all' eyes.

My point is that if, as the hoax theorists believe, it was a recent construction (and I don't disagree, I'm just noticing something), I just think it would have still made the news (of sorts) back then.

20 July 2007 12:06:00 pm GMT-5  

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