For my three followers here, you might recall a similar post I did a while ago but for the rest of you it will be new.  It deals with one of my favorite beefs.

We were up in NYC this past weekend mainly to see the new Whitney Museum building down in the Meat Packing District.  I rather liked the old Whitney up on Madison and 75th Street, because it wasn’t all sleek white walls but had some odd shaped rooms that didn’t really lend them selves to first class exhibition space.  But never mind.  Since we wanted to spend an entire day down at the Whitney we went up to MOMA Sunday after we took care of some business at B&H camera.   There was a Lawrence Jacobs exhibition I particularly wanted to see, his “The Great Migration” series.  It was good. I particularly liked his captions to is drawings he wrote nearly seventy years ago years ago as a young artist. 

But on the same floor, Fourth as I recall, was a photographic exhibit called “Shunk-Kender, 1960-1971.”   There was a disclaimer sign just outside the entrance door warning those with weak stomachs or particularly sensitive sensibilities that some of the material might be objectionable to them.  Me, I was expecting pictures of starving skeletal children, Syrian chemical war victims, dead bodies with intestines spilling out into the streets, Viet Nam photos of napalm victims.  I mean to me these photographs might be disturbing.

As I entered the first room of the exhibit, there was a long wall of portraits with nothing that anyone might call distributing.  Second room?  Nothing much really, mainly a bunch of rural Americana stuff that certainly no one could take offense at.  But there – finally – in the third room were the offenders.  A group of 8 X 10 photographs of nude men and women.  Mainly out on the streets just sort of cavorting around in playful poses.  Now if you think that perhaps the nude men and women were doing “stuff” that might cause offense – like fornicating, like the men were whacking off in the middle of the street, like the women were masturbating on the sidewalk – well you’d be wrong.  There was none of that “offensive” stuff.
What there was, however, were three pictures that showed a couple of men with their penises hanging out in a group of men and woman cavorting on the sidewalk.  Flaccid, to be sure, but exposed to the atmosphere just like the day they were born. 

I actually double checked to see if I’d missed some flagrantly disgusting pornography somewhere along the line.  But, no.  It was the 8”  X 10” of maybe four guys where you could ACTUALLY see their PENISES that were apparently the pics that the warning sign was warning about. 

I mean really?  Look, folks, these were 8” X 10” photos.  You couldn’t even tell if the guys were circumcised or not.  And not to brag or anything but I’ve seen larger penises in real life whether you are talking about the 8 inch or the 10 inch measurement.  Sheeesh.  Get a grip!!       

I simply so not understand America’s fear of the male penis.  European’s aren’t afraid of them because in French, German and Scandinavian films, for example, they are often just naturally on display.  This Puritanical bent in American culture is really hard for me to understand.  And you women out there, how does it make you feel that the female breast, ass and vagina are often fully displayed in photos and in film and yet male genetalia are somehow protected from the public’s (pubic?) view?  Doesn’t seem very egalitarian to me.

Anyway.  That’s it for today.  Have a good one.  


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