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Onanists take note: I've got links to pix this time!

Yesterday, I hypothesized a tenuous link between naked bicyclists in a Seattle parade last month and political consciousness.  I thought I was being off-the-wall and flip.  It was supposed to be a puff piece about vicarious thrills.  Links in comments to that diary entry showed me that nudity with a political message is a more well-established, world-wide phenomenon than I had thought.

If you just want to see over 500 pictures of nude bicyclists, skaters and solstice parade marchers, without any political clutter, just go here...
http://www.photos-naturistes.fr/...
...and click through 26 pages of thumbnails for "Fremont Summer Solstice d'été 2008".  It's a French site, but you're not there for the prose, are you?  The guys who took these shots just wanted to record images of beautiful, naked women, and didn't appear to give a rat's ass about politics.  Still, if you look closely, you will see a political statement here and there.

Now that we're reduced to those of you who might want to do a bit more than take the matter in hand and come to grips with your own sexuality, let's take a look at some pix of naked people with a message.  Open the link in another tab or browser instance and keep reading here on this page.
http://www.nudismlife.com/...
This site has a lot of ads. Check out "berkeley nude protest 2007" and "nude against war" for starters.  (Oh, Berkeley, Berkeley, Berkeley!  How I miss you!  Cal, my beloved alma mater is as controversial as ever!)

You may notice that the protesting women are not generally as attractive by conventional standards as those in the the solstice parade.  However, these women are all beautiful to me because I love them as sincerely as I agree with their political stand.  They are using their bodies to cut through the execrable distractions of media hype and government propaganda to get to the truth:  War is evil.  Their nakedness underscores the total honesty and genuineness of their message.

I accept and applaud their position instinctively, without hesitation, because I worship them.  They are goddesses, the objects of adoration and veneration in the cult of life.  My subconscious, non-intellectual, lizard brain beckons me to them so that we might join together and defeat the forces of evil and death.  Their procreative and nurturing power makes me a joyous and willing thrall to their cause.  How could I possibly spurn their siren's song?

Before you bridle at my straight male bias and point out that there are at least as many naked men in these pictures, take note.  I, and my lesbian sisters respond to what speaks to us at the deepest, least contrived level of our minds.  Straight women and gay men might have similar notions when looking at the naked men in the protest pictures.  I don't know.  You tell me.  I've been in a lot of locker rooms and don't pay much attention to naked men.  If I saw naked women as often I might be less obsessed by them.  Comment as you will, but please consider the issue I'm desperately trying to raise: How much does nudity and sexuality affect a political message?

Socio-political reform is easily conflated with erotic desire, especially those who are not shackled by cultural and religious inhibition.  Bodily freedom is emblematic of political freedom.  I got an incredible rush viewing a larger than life sized painting in the Louvre by Jacques Louis David of a bare-breasted woman carrying the tricolor and leading French revolutionaries at a barricade.  It got me hot.  I would have whipped it out and flogged it right there if I could have gotten away with it.

I stumbled onto the nexus between sex and politics earlier, while a student at the University of California, Berkeley, in the late 1960's.  I discovered early during that academic sojourn that radical political chicks were much more likely to have sex with me than more serious, academically-oriented women.  (It was OK to say "chick" then, you know.)  Not only that, but the closer to being a Marxist-Leninist you could appear, the more you could get laid.  At least two girlfriends dumped me for the purported reason that I wasn't "committed enough to the movement".  In truth, I wasn't, but if they were enthusiastic participants in the initial passionate coupling solely because they were under the delusion that our ardent shtupping was some sort of revolutionary act, then they were as delusional as I was deceitful.

Alas, they saw through my guise.  I was a disingenuous poseur, a shallow, fainthearted phony who raised a clenched fist at rallies and chanted slogans, but would cleverly avoid arrest by watching for police in riot gear and slyly withdraw before they closed ranks and charged,
encircling the unwary in an impenetrable cordon.  The hard-core activists and those lacking in my ghetto-bred "street smarts" were beaten with truncheons, placed under arrest and dragged off to jail.  I would escape, occasionally running full tilt with exploding, swirling canisters of tear gas dancing around my feet, all the way home to my humble student hovel.  Ah, those were the days!

Again, I'm overcome by nostalgia and am in danger of losing focus on my own topic.  I started on this thread of speculation yesterday by noting that topical political messages were rampant in the midst of a lot of naked and half-clad people in a parade.  My thesis is that nudity and implied sexuality amplify political messages.

This concept was also injected into my consciousness at Cal.  The big epiphany was delivered while viewing a really horrid film, Jean-Luc Godard's See You At Mao.  The famous French "new wave" director had just renounced bourgeois commercial movie making and joined a radical, Maoist-oriented communist collective.  This was his first film after he associated himself with that band of nut ball ideologues.  The entire movie was a relentless, non-stop communist rant.  The narrator droned on with the standard Marxist-Leninist claptrap to the point that it became almost funny.  It would have been if it had been less boring.

At one point, though, I sat up and started paying attention.  The visual image cut to a loop, barely a few seconds long, that was repeated again and again for what seemed like several minutes.  A beautiful young woman, totally nude, ascended a staircase.  My gaze was riveted to her meaty, Gallic buttocks and the full roundness of her slightly drooping breasts.  The shot was mostly from the back and I can't recall if we were even shown a clear frontal shot.  Whether we were or not is immaterial.  I was transfixed by the real or imagined image of the supple curve of her belly above the luxuriant, unshorn delta of Venus.  The film was in black and white, so her hair appeared to be jet black.  I imagined, or briefly glimpsed, an untrimmed, thick, matted thatch of black pubic hair.  (Women especially in Europe did not generally trim, let alone shave off their pubic hair in the 1960's.  A lot of them had hairy armpits and legs as well.)  All the while, as I longed to see more of the naked woman, the off-camera voice droned on about capitalist oppressors and the inevitable uprising of the proletariat.

That one scene is the only part of the film I remember now, 40 years later.  If there had been no naked woman, I might not have remembered the title, what it was about or even having seen it.  Walking out of the theater, I realized that Godard had consciously used the woman's nude body to get my attention and listen to his commie rant.  It worked.  I never joined the party, but I have to admit that I never again dismissed Marxist dialectic out of hand.  After that incident, it was not just hyperbolic rot, but a viable political philosophy that I had to ponder.

Has sex or nudity ever influenced your political thought?

Originally posted to DisgruntledCurmudgeon on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 09:15 PM PDT.

Poll

How do sex or nudity influence a political meesage?

5%2 votes
10%4 votes
7%3 votes
2%1 votes
44%17 votes
28%11 votes

| 38 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  The new RealityBias? (5+ / 0-)

    With a new topic?

    1-20-09 The Darkness Ends "Where cruelty exists, law does not." ~ Alberto Mora

    by noweasels on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 09:23:37 PM PDT

  •  whoa! thanx for all the pics!!!!!! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bensdad, wader, sunbro, jlms qkw

    ...and, oh yeah, was there something else you wanted to talk about?

  •  Can't possibly imagine why... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    noweasels, Texas Revolutionary

    The disgruntled curmudgeon is a marginalized computer professional

    who should delete this emabarrassing crap.

    "We Deliver Opportunities"

    by Karl Rover on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 09:25:16 PM PDT

    •  too bad you're embarressed (0+ / 0-)

      you might consider hanging out with Democrats, they tend to be more laid back.  The Libertarians used to be so too, can't say how they are these days. The Greens once were fairly cool, but seem to trying to outdo the GOP in uptightness these days.

      You should note that while this diary does contain discussions of topics with some sexual content, it is not of a scatological nature and therefor your labeling of it is incorrect.

  •  Nudity and sex should be combined with art. (4+ / 0-)

    And Voila!...Life can be better.

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 09:25:29 PM PDT

  •  Liberty is buck naked (5+ / 0-)

    and French!

    "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 09:27:57 PM PDT

  •  Like you think a title like that will get clicks (3+ / 0-)

    um, well, I guess it worked.

    That said, not sure what to make of the diary :-)

    "If another country builds a better car, we buy it. If they make a better wine, we drink it. If they have better healthcare . . . what's our problem? "

    by mbayrob on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 09:37:36 PM PDT

  •  Haven't formalized nudist communities, etc. (0+ / 0-)

    been necessarily associated with socio-political reactions in the past century or so?  At least, in the traditionally clothed, non-topless-women societies?

    Those representing their reasons for practicing nudism would often cite their "freedom of expression" or similar, gut rationale for such participation in the practice and/or philisophy of nudism.  It was usually a family thing, rather than just an individualistic expression.  In a way, I see traditional nudists as practicing and spreading political memes at best, and even then, quite subtly.

    However, the example in this diary seems more of a spectacle - so, it inherently garners attention.  For political events, that might be a one-time draw for media and onlookers.  I don't see it converting anyone beyond the effectivenes of any clothed demonstration or parade for politically-related causes.

    Nudists typically desired the opposite of close attention, IMHO.

    That lady in the aqua body colour has a greatly fun look.

    All those guys riding bicycles without shorts?  Not too comfortable.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 09:38:12 PM PDT

    •  superficial pleasantries (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      frankzappatista

      Gee, some of you are getting all serious on me.  I'm not really thinking this stuff through, you know.  It's straight off the top of my head in one take.  The Joycean stream of conscious technique, over time, improves the quality of that first take.  You should have seen some of the drivel I would post on-line a couple of years ago.  Believe me, I've improved a lot.

      •  Attempting to control the tone or direction of (0+ / 0-)

        comments goes far better when you participate in kind, rather than explain why you should not do so.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Wed Jul 23, 2008 at 09:06:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's a metaphor for honesty. (0+ / 0-)

    "I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." -Thomas Jefferson

    by delillo2000 on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 09:43:55 PM PDT

    •  Not a metphor (0+ / 0-)

      Nudity is honesty.  How can one be false unclothed?  Have you ever spoken truthfully to a lover as you lay in his or her arms when you might have been better advised to deceive?

      •  You are well-named, Curmudgeon! :) (0+ / 0-)

        I don't see why you argue, when we seem to agree.  Yes, nudity is honesty (that is the structure of a metaphor, by the way - when one thing is simply equated with something else).  When nudity accompanies a protest, however, the honesty of the participants' bodies is not the main point - raising consciousness/speaking the truth about a political situation is.  Hence, the nudity is symbolic.  It catapults the audience viscerally into the wider territory of radical honesty - something that becomes necessary when political, social, and governmental lies and deception are unconsciously accepted as normal.

        Unaffected displays of nudity also reconnect us with what is natural and human, when so many things being done within our country and beyond it are so clearly unnatural and inhuman. (Torture, war, ecological rape and pillage, etc.)

        Clothing is required by law, and therefore wearing it represents obedience to the law.  When one feels that the government is illegitimate and is making bad laws or taking wrong actions, throwing off one's clothes can be seen as throwing off oppression.  It is a very clear and potent defiance of authority.

        (Sorry if that's not quite sexy enough for you, but if what interests you most is talking about the hotness of naked people without all the "clutter" of politics (you're words), there are plenty of other websites to accommodate you.  I'm sure you'll concede that the main thrust of this site has always been politics. ;))

        "I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." -Thomas Jefferson

        by delillo2000 on Thu Jul 24, 2008 at 01:50:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, you're right. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          delillo2000

          I like to construct a false difference of opinion to add an edge to a comment.  Your clarification about the word "metaphor" shows me up as the kind of person who gets excited during my Warholian 15 minutes of fame and says silly things just because I can.

          It seems so vapid to blithely agree with someone and (metaphorically speaking, of course) get together for a big group hug.  I don't feel witty or clever when I do so, and this scares me.  If I had a shrink, I'm sure he/she would tie this up in a bow (hah! another metaphor!) and link this to my unresolved feelings of abandonment from the death of my mother when I was three.  No kidding.  I believe there's a lot to Freudian analysis and it can go a long way to explaining why anyone does what they do.

          It's too bad this thread has gone cold and no one is perusing it except me now.  But, for what it's worth, I stand rebuked.

  •  Miss living near center of universe (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    N in Seattle, wondering if

    And trolloween, the Freemont art community and of course, the Buckaroo. I heard they banned the nude guys on bikes years ago. I'm glad they didn't. Nothing funnier than naked bike riding.

    •  they were banned for awhile. (0+ / 0-)

      the city cracked down on them, arresting several of the rather small group that showed up.  The next year a number of riders obayed the 'no nudes' regulation, roding clad but protesting in a variety of ways.  Note the the nude bicyclists have never been an official part of the parade, it's possible that the crackdown was encouraged by Fremont Arts Council members who didn't like the way the riders were becoming the main image of the parade.

      A year or two after that the city gave up and tolerated the riders.  This brought in protesters from several out-of-town conservative churches; the confrontation between these and the crowds was more entertaining than the parade or bicyclists.

      The number of riders grew slowly once the city took the hands off approach, to the point that the bike riders nearly outnumber the actual parade participants.

  •  Nudity begets honesty (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbman

    It's a lot harder to tell a lie to someone when you're both naked.

    Anything done naked comes across to me as more earnest than if it were done fully clothed.

    Unfortunately, I think nudity limits you to preaching to the choir.  Anyone who gets it is probobly on your side to begin with.

    ---
    Fight the stupid! Boycott BREAKING diaries!

    by VelvetElvis on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 10:00:14 PM PDT

  •  Your own experience proves the point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David Kroning

    You weren't really being political. You were just trying to fit in and get laid. Clearly in your case,

    "Gratuitous nudity and sex distract attention from important ideas."

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Tue Jul 22, 2008 at 10:08:33 PM PDT

  •  Ok...you better not fuck it up this time... (0+ / 0-)

    my pants are down.

  •  Recommended. Full of gems, like... (0+ / 0-)

    ...this one:

    Walking out of the theater, I realized that Godard had consciously used the woman's nude body to get my attention and listen to his commie rant.  It worked.  I never joined the party, but I have to admit that I never again dismissed Marxist dialectic out of hand.

    Thank you for one of the best pieces of naked prose I've ever read.

    Isn't it a good feeling when you see the paper in the morning, it says 'Axe Slayer Kills 19' and you say, "They can't pin that one on me!" - Jean Shepherd

    by razajac on Wed Jul 23, 2008 at 04:42:24 AM PDT

    •  Thank you! (0+ / 0-)

      That was some of the highest praise I've ever had for my writing.  It's not as much the idea that you might feel I can express an idea as the feedback telling me that you "got it".  I've been telling that story for 40 years and rarely got any more than a response to the idea that the woman had no clothes on.  Usually, the tag line about my epiphany regarding Marxist dialectic is lost in the boisterous ribaldry triggered by my description of the naked woman, which was my point all along, but which nobody ever seems to get, until now that is.

      You give me hope and provide the impetus to write up more of those little vignettes from my past that were crucial in forming my outlook on everything.

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