Archive for the ‘iconography’ Category

I’m a researcher – or perhaps I should say I’m an information broker – someone who finds and sells information to clients around the world [insert shameless plug here]. It also means that I spend much of my day surfing the Net and trolling through databases of various kinds, together with other online and offline sources and newspapers. The rest of the time I play Warcraft, read blogs and buy things off eBay, but that’s beside the point. What I wanted to talk about was some of the very surprising things I find while surfing around cyberspace, a great deal of it pornographic. The other day, for example, I was searching for something innocuous, like the standard medical treatment for some disgusting disease or other, and although I usually use some highbrow source like the National Library of Medicine for such a search I often drive off the info highway down a side-road and Google it as well – just to be thorough and have a little fun looking at all the wacky advice and info out there – such as can be found on Wikipedia for instance [Oh sit down you at the back – yes I know you love Wikipedia – but did you know the last entry was probably inserted by your addled old granny and has as much authority as my six year old grand-daughter reading the back of her crisps packet hrrrumph]. Anyway, as I was saying before I rudely interrupted myself for a bit of a rant – yes – I was looking for something to do with the treatment of scurvy or some such [don’t ask – but sailors have info needs too you know, and not all of them to do with dalliances with ladies they met in Thailand].
I clicked some innocuous sounding link and before I knew it – rather like rubbing Aladdin’s Lamp – oops wrong metaphor – up popped [stop it] the most improbable [and possibly impossible] images I have ever seen. Come on guys out there – tell me how it is possible for one man – black of course because racial stereotyping is alive and well in the porn industry – to have an – ahem – member [nudge nudge wink wink] thicker than a tree-trunk and twice as long as his leg? I did pity his unfortunate girl-friend – or six actually, all of whom were wearing bright red lipstick, red shoes and nothing else and doing a lot of pouting and mouthing and licking of lips with what I take was meant to simulate orgasmic expressions on their Barbie-Doll faces. The last time I saw a male member [and I’m not talking about the Masons] that size it adorned a Greek pot in art class and belonged to a Satyr who would obviously have had some difficulty running to the Bacchanalia had he jumped down off his rock in a hurry.

The Internet porn industry aside we have always liked to adorn our houses and gardens, not to mention our offices and our cars and just about everything else with phallic symbols – that and the apotropeic eye to ward off evil but now of course we just have CCTV cameras. The Romans used to place bloody great stone replicas of penises around their arenas and outside the door – just in case someone came along and accused them of being weeky weedy wimpies or something. They just couldn’t resist a bit of male posturing in some sort of sublimated territorial display that said – keep off – this is *my* patch –grrr [cut to shot of caveman beating his chest while wifey – clad in fur bikini of course – looks on admiringly]. Today they would just be driving around in Corvettes or some other enormous great expensive car shaped like a torpedo to demonstrate just how big *theirs* is. It doesn’t take much to see what I mean – look around you at that tube of toothpaste, that car, that missile, that jet-fighter, the CN Tower, the Post-office Tower, Cleopatra’s Needle, all those ancient Greek columns, that microphone clutched in the hands of some blond bimbo singer with her red lips so close … need I say more? You don’t have to be an iconographer – let alone a pornographer – to get the symbolism there now do you? Anyway – now I’ve got you thinking I’m going off to go get some lunch – hot dog anyone?


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