Weird Universe

April 7, 2009

Herrings Workers on Romance Covers

I don't think anyone will accuse Jane Liffen's article, published in a recent issue of Social Semiotics, of being overly broad in its focus. It's title is: “A very glamorized picture, that”: images of Scottish female herring workers on romance novel covers. Here's the abstract:
This article analyses portrayals of Scottish female herring workers on the covers of romance novels and investigates how far these representations conform to, or subvert, the genre of romantic fiction. Covers are analysed to establish whether they accurately portray Scottish female herring workers at their labour. If romanticisation of the women's working role is evident, the ways in which this manifests itself and the possible reasons for this romanticisation are examined. Composition of images and the mise-en-scene of covers are analysed, as well as aspects concerning the narratives of the novels, and elements of herring processing work that are noticeably absent in the depictions are also considered. These elements excluded from the covers are examined through theory relating to the abject in an attempt to ascertain whether the covers potentially provide models of female empowerment for the reader.

And here are some of the romance novel covers in question.

I'll spare you the trouble of reading the article by summarizing its findings. Gutting herrings is smelly, dirty work. This is not accurately portrayed on romance covers. (Thanks to Dave Monroe!)
Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Apr 07, 2009 | Comments (8)
Category: Literature, Gender

Silence of the Lambs, the Lego Musical

I know there are some fans of Silence of the Lambs among our readers, so this is for them. A musical version of the famous Lotion Scene, done in Lego stop-motion animation. (via GeekTout)

Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Apr 07, 2009 | Comments (6)
Category: Movies, Video


Apparently, among the many specialized Japanese fetishes is a fascination with "buruma," the Japanification of "bloomers". These gym shorts for females can look like panties or hotpants. But they can also look like surprisingly unsexy old-lady underwear, as seen to the right. (Well, relatively unsexy, compared to other versions.)

For a galley of buruma images, most definitely NSFW, visit this site. You will probably have to click on the button labeled TOGGLE VISIBILITY OF MATURE CONTENT.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Apr 07, 2009 | Comments (3)
Category: Fashion, Underwear, Sexuality, Asia

An Aqueous Solution

Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Apr 07, 2009 | Comments (8)
Category: Death, Surrealism, Cartoons, North America, Weather

[News] Chuck’s Links for Tuesday, April 7, 2009

200 mosques in Mecca point in the wrong direction for prayers (but the prayers still count!) BBC News

In Arkansas, funeral-goers brawled after a lady guest holding a beer was turned away. Associated Press via Houston Chronicle

Another low-profile-oblivious guy: has outstanding warrants and drug stuff, but he still wore a bra and stockings to the park while baby-sitting his 2-yr-old. KOLN-TV (Lincoln, Neb.)

On a flight to London, as his girlfriend naps to his right, he gets a hum job from woman on his left. The Sun

A 23-yr-old woman borrowed her boss's Ferrari, and guess what? San Jose Mercury News [photo!]

"Florida is embarrassing itself," said a detective, describing the state's loose regulation of drug-dispensing by "pain management centers"' (as opposed to the hundreds of other things she could be referring to). South Florida Sun-Sentinel

A Colorado "Focus on the Family" media narrator was charged with focusing on a 15-yr-old girl. Colorado Independent [which by the way is not the Colorado Springs Independent]

U.S. aid to Italy's earthquake victims . . 50 . . thousand . . dollars! Agence France-Presse via Yahoo

Cool: Ten yrs of expletives in London's Guardian plotted and graphed for you (e.g., "_hit" is up since 2005). The Guardian

Courtney Love furious that movers mistakenly tossed out an artwork (a dead bird in a matchbox, but . . it's by a trendy Brit and thus fetches around $12k). Daily Mail

Today's Newsrangers: Ginger Katz, Bruce Alter, John Holsinger
Posted By: Chuck | Date: Tue Apr 07, 2009 | Comments (12)

April 6, 2009

Follies of the Mad Men #62

[From Playboy magazine for September 1971.]

Please parse the logic here for me. We'll use feminism to sell ugly shoes for men? I just don't get it....

Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Apr 06, 2009 | Comments (8)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Fashion, Shoes, Feminism, 1970's


Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Apr 06, 2009 | Comments (6)
Category: Aliens, Death, Cartoons

Sewer Dwellers

One month ago I posted a list of "things that have been found in sewers." To that list I now have to add 100 immigrants, including 24 Afghan children. They've been found living in the sewers beneath Rome. Seems they got down there by removing some manhole covers. I've watched enough horror films to know it's only a matter of time before they become cannibalistic and start pulling victims down into the sewers with them. (Thanks, Sandy!)
Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Apr 06, 2009 | Comments (4)
Category: Hygiene

Baby Sounds For Pets

I wonder if anyone buys this product just because they like to hear baby sounds:

These are the authentic recordings of infants and toddlers you often read about in magazines, but can never seem to find! Finally, they are all here on one CD - laughing, cooing, gurgling and cryng! Even the dreaded temper tantrum!

Baby Sounds For Pets is the simple way to ease your furry babies into the acceptance of change and keep them in their homes. I know several couples who have happier home with their pets after using this CD.

This is such an easy way to help the animals we love get used to their changing environment! And when pets realize that they are still loved and the new family addition isn't a threat to them, they easily accept the change.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Apr 06, 2009 | Comments (3)
Category: Babies, Pets

[News] A Note from Chuck

I've come into another project unrelated to News of the Weird that will require me to cut back on the ambitiousness of what I intended with NOTW Daily and the [News] posts on Weird Universe. Please don't think harshly of me. I still have to do the weekly News of the Weird column, which means I still have to scan lots of news sources daily and still need to be tipped to news from readers, and I'll continue to share the most interesting stuff daily on Weird Universe. It's just that I can't spend the time specially selecting for, composing, and editing posts in blog format. The post immediately following this one is what they'll look like from now on. There'll also be one Comment thread open, however lame that might work out. Again, please don't think harshly of me. I realize that this new format might not work for everyone, and I regret that (but if you're dissatisfied, I promise to refund your purchase price).
e-mail: Chuck at WeirdUniverse dot net
Posted By: Chuck | Date: Mon Apr 06, 2009 | Comments (4)
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.