Friday, September 15, 2006

Knowing It When You See It, Part II

On the heels of our discussion on warning the public about mature art, Tyler Green points us to an indication that one can indeed be idiotically prissy:

This notice ran on the front page of today's Raleigh News and Observer, North Carolina's second-largest newspaper and a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winner. [via] Here is the story behind the penis that threatened Raleigh, and here is (pretty much) the image about which they 'had' to warn their readers.
I'll accept that a pop singer's exposed breast threatens to burst the coquettish bubble some folks wish to live in, but the notion that any human on earth needs to be warned before viewing a work of art from the collection of the Roman Catholic Church, one of the most conservative organizations in the world, sexually speaking at least, suggests the Enlightenment was a fleeting human accomplishment and that Darwin was mistaken when he asserted that the members of a species who could not learn would be "selected against" by nature.

Now perhaps the editorial staff of the News and Observer was simply pre-empting complaints they knew from experience they would receive for publishing a painting of a penis, but that still doesn't make them look any less ridiculous for caving into such prudish predilections. An image of God Himself appears in that painting, for Pete's sake. Do the N&O editors really need to worry they're going to offend anyone (anyone whose objections are worth considering at all, that is) by publishing an image renown the world over as a masterpiece of religious art?

What's really bizarre (and truly sad) about this warning is that it suggests the editors assume that a significant percentage of the N&O's readership may have never seen this image before. If so, I submit that the fine folks of Raleigh have a much more immediate crisis to attend to than any potential PTSD (Post-Traumatic Schlong Disorder).


Anonymous David said...

Guess they'll have to be pretty careful about pictures of the Washington Monument too.

9/15/2006 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger paulraphael said...

Remember the Simpsons episode where members of SNUH (springfieldieans for nonviolence, understanding, and helping) protested the local tour of Michelangelo's David, because "it displays certain parts of the male anatomy, which, though undeniably useful, are evil."

9/15/2006 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Rywalt said...

Maybe the newspaper felt the warning was necessary because Adam's penis is so damned tiny.

I just remember Heinlein writing that it's funny, given Michelangelo's known predilections, that he invariably shortchanged his male creations.

9/15/2006 10:56:00 PM  
Blogger caleb said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/15/2006 11:31:00 PM  
Blogger painterdog said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/16/2006 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger painterdog said...

I don't think Michelangelo was gay is that what you mean by known predilections? If so you would think he would give him a larger penis, no?

Anyway in his time there was no such thing as being "gay". It was defined as a sin, you would be accused of being a sodimite. And you could be accused of this for having sex with women or men.

He lived to be 80 something, if you take into account that he did not die of an STD, (which is what killed his rival Raphael) and that he was deeply relgious man, it is highly unlikley that he was very sexually active in his life time.

9/16/2006 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger painterdog said...

As far as the warning to the good people of Raleigh on Michelangelo's great work, that is a very sad commentary on the state of there collective psychy.

How would they deal with a life drawing class?

9/16/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger painterdog said...


Today's Life section includes ideas that might make you think.

9/16/2006 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Svein-Frode said...

The USA is in a sad state these days. Just one of many signs that a country with so much potential is being wasted away by an elite that mixes politics, money and religion into an irrational and insane mess. I feel for you over there!

9/18/2006 05:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any of his fingers is bigger than his penis.

9/19/2006 09:29:00 PM  

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