something to ponder

Authors note to readers: This blog will ruin one of the jokes from the previous blog (possibly the funniest). If you haven’t read Battered and bruised yet, you might want to check that out first and come back to read this.

I think everyone does some of his or her best thinking in the shower. I know I do. Typically it’s because I’m thinking of nothing and due to that I’m open to new thoughts. This morning my blog from yesterday suddenly came to mind while I “shampooed, rinsed and repeated” (I’m aware this is a good sign that I’m an addict. However I refuse to accept that idea). A lot of positive responses had come in about that blog. I was basking, for the moment, in the glow of my own wittiness. I had nailed the old comedy formula:

   Naked women holding body parts

+ Over the top shock

+ Observational humor


   pure comic gold

Everyone loved it (not that everyone’s a lot, but I like to imagine that the entire world cares about my neurotic ramblings). But moments later, as I carefully waited for the 60 seconds to be up so I could rinse out the conditioner, a far less funny thought occurred to me: how screwed up our media is.

Check out that picture again. I’ll wait. Ok, we have lower-tier celeb (sorry Aly, I love you but it’s true) and pale goddess Alyson Hannigan in tribal dress posing next to a native woman. Said indigenous woman is cupping her naked chest. Why? Because showing breasts, regardless of the context and circumstance, in mainstream media is taboo. This woman isn’t topless for any sexual reason; it’s simply the way she dresses. It’s part of her culture. It could be argued, that Alyson’s deep blue shirt is far more out of place for the setting (please note: this is not some excuse for trying to get a naked picture of Alyson…)… (though now that I mention that…). Bottom line: to make this picture publishable for the mainstream, the photographer instructed the native woman to cover herself. Why? It’s the American moralistic view that naked breasts in just about any form are inherently indecent and immoral (sorry ladies). The sight of them is enough to cause unrest and possible rioting (especially among teenagers… well, that part actually is true).

I’m not writing this to make an impassioned pleas for either more boobs on TV or wide acceptance of public nudity. In the long run neither are very important to my worldview. I’ve passed my early teens, so the goal of naked breasts on TV is far less of a pressing social/political cause for me. And from my brief exposures to public nudity (Woodstock as an example), I have come to the conclusion that the formula for public nudity is one of inverse proportions: the more likely you are to engage in public nudity, the less likely people actually want to see you naked.

Here’s the real issue, the thing that gets me: the overall moral hypocrisy of our media. On September 11th and the days that followed, we were all repeatedly subjected to the image of a plane slamming into the already damaged Twin Towers and their eventual collapse. Once, twice, even three times and I might have let it pass as news. But it was a constant barrage for days, from multiple angles, often in slow motion. When you break that terrible image down to it’s core, you realize we were watching and re-watching over 150 innocent people murdered in an instant. With each replay of the towers collapsing we saw hundreds, if not thousands, die. Each of us witnessed a mass murder committed dozens of times (if not more) that week.

Doesn’t it strike you as odd that networks that refuse to show naked breasts displayed in a non sexual way, like the woman in the picture, have no issues with repeat broadcasts of mass murder. With that cheery thought I turned off the water, grabbed a towel, dried off, decided I was to lazy to shave today and started to wonder about what I was going to wear..