Monday, October 09, 2006

No Art For You. Next!

Apparently, a public school teacher was suspended for taking her children to a museum specializing on 19th century art of the French Academy. The Dahesh Museum has sculptures and paintings of nudes, which has upset the school authorities.

The times have changed since I was a child in New York City in the 1950s. When my mother took me to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, there was a giant sculpture in the lobby. When I pointed out the obvious, my mother explained it was art. You’ll find similar art in the Dahesh.

One of the Vatican’s favorite sculptures created this masterpiece for a piazza in Florence in the 16th century. But they’ll be no class trips to Italy, now!

Correction: It was the Dallas Museum not the Dahesh (where I read about it.)


Blogger Pastorius said...

I wonder what age does it become appropriate to allow children to know that other people also have genitals.

10/9/06, 1:03 PM  
Blogger Pastorius said...

By the way, when you make a society safe for children, you make it dangerous for adults. Not only do free speech issues arise, but also psychological issues of repression, and a general loss of enjoyment of life.

10/9/06, 1:05 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

How odd! Surely the parents signed a permission slip and the trip was approved by the administration.

10/9/06, 8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is`nt that crazy, I dont know where I saw it, hysterical soccer mom`s would be my bet.

10/10/06, 4:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fortunately I never went to the Met with my mother. But I well remember my own adolescent Irish-Catholic embarrassment when I first entered the Met and was greeted by that statue of Perseus. It was right at the top of the stairs to the main gallery and as I recall was the first objet d'art one saw entering the lobby. It was sort of the Met's way of saying, "Well, if you're offended by schlong, better get out now!" Of course, once I got a closer look at the statue, I felt better about myself. I nicknamed Perseus "Tiny."

10/10/06, 10:32 AM  
Blogger Jason Pappas said...

The odd thing is that classical sculpture isn’t about sex. Yes, there are explicit sexual images, too, but museums tend to have idealized human figures that depict the virtues of beauty, strength, grace, etc. But I’m not familiar with the Dallas museum and whether it was a classical painting.

I see bilwick remembers the statue, too. Before it was at the top of the staircase it used to be in the lobby at the bottom.

10/11/06, 10:18 AM  
Blogger Jason Pappas said...

Ah, you mention it was a Greek nude. I see a male nude on their website. Not much different than what you'd see in any major museum.

Thanks, there's the story.

10/11/06, 10:28 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Is there anything left that the powers-that-be are not going to ban?

They've bashed smoking to death. Next will come alcohol. Then, as you say, art. Between the PC policemen, the health freaks, and the Muslims, life is becoming a pain in the you-know-what!

I vote to stay at home and do just as I please. But the way things are going, I doubt that that will be an option for very much longer, either.

Perhaps the end of it will be that we will all have to be armed to the teeth, and we shall have to have our own plot of land, and defend it with our lives. Then, maybe then, we shall be able to do just as we please.

I'm sick to death of the lot of the bastards telling me how I should live my life. When I was young, my parents did it - naturally. When I became an adult, however, I thought - erroneously as things turned out - that I would be able to do just as I jolly well pleased. Well, I could for a while. Then these tossers showed themselves on the horizon, and now we cannot do as we please any longer, eventhough we are supposed to live in democracies which expound the virtues of freedom.

It's enough to turn a sane man to drink!

New York, by the way, must be one of the worst places on earth now. I used to love to visit New York. It was such an exciting city. I went there on several occasions. I doubt that I shall be visiting there anytime soon, though. I think just about every pleasure in life has been banned there.

10/13/06, 4:25 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/13/06, 8:16 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/14/06, 6:24 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

And I only had to wait for a few hours before being able to give you all PROOF of what I said: Wine bottles to get health danger labels!

10/14/06, 6:33 PM  
Blogger Mark said...


I have returned so many times to read your answer to my comments, but I find none. This is most unusual for you. Was it something I said?

Perhaps I should explain. My comment was a serious one. I wasn't joking at all. I find this obsession of politicians to ban everything in sight very dangerous for democracy. It also breeds intolerance, which is never a good thing. That, in my opinion, goes for smoking, drinking alcohol, and all manner of things.

We are all different. Some people smoke, some people drink, some people do neither. Personally, I do not wish to be a killjoy and spoil others' fun.

Bloomberg, who, I believe, is an ex-chain smoker, introduced legislation in New York to ban smoking in all public places. This set a precedent. Now the UK government has passed a law and will introduce it next year, as I understand it. They are now considering banning smoking on the pavement (sidewalk), too! Italy has banned smoking in all public places, including restaurants and cafés. France has just passed a similar law that will come into effect in the not-too-distant future. Switzerland has also done the same. And so it goes on. Whatever happened to joie de vivre?

I would be the last person to argue in favour of smoking. It is not a good, healthy habit. But there are so many unhealthy habits; but nothing is done about them. But it's open season on smokers.

As people, we are becoming far too over-regulated; and it's dangerous.

You, as I understand it, are an Objectivist. Objectivists believe in mimimal government, I believe. Don't you think that there is a kind of race going on here? Tony Blair, for example, has passed more laws in his time in government than any prime minister we've ever had. The problem is that each and every law is in some way restrictive of freedom. Each law seems to ban something or other.

From what you have written, Jason, it seems that you and I are of a similar age; so you must remember different times, as do I.

I believe in tolerance, in living and letting live. There is room enough for everyone on this planet. I suppose we could ban the whole damn lot. Then everybody would be healthy. Or would they be? Maybe, then, they'd find that people's mental health would be affected. After all, life isn't about just plain longevity. There's another dimension to life than that: Enjoyment of life's journey.

Mrs Thatcher came to power to free up the people. As did Ronnie Reagan. It seems that most politicians that have come after them have done their level best to take people's liberty away from them in one way or another, outlawing fox-hunting, correcting recalcitrant children, banning smoking in all public places, and soon restricting the consumption of alcohol. (That must be music to a Muslim's ears!)Where will all this nonsense end? When Islam takes over and bans the whole shootin' match?

I fear we are on a slippery slope that is leading us to no good place.

10/16/06, 11:24 AM  
Blogger Jason Pappas said...

I agree with you Mark. (I don’t always have the time to answer so I let the comments stand for everyone to enjoy.) I’m shocked at how people allow these laws to prohibit and regulate every facet of life. Even when I don’t care to do certain activities, I want to decide that for myself. It’s what adults do … think for themselves. Yes, some will fail. Self-responsibility allows for failure but also for cultivating the habits of character required to live well.

10/16/06, 1:26 PM  
Blogger Mark said...


I'm so glad you've responded. I thought I might have insulted you; and I wouldn't want to do that. I have great respect for you and your blog.

Yes, the thing that worries me most about all this is the banning phenomenon. It's become an obsession of the political élite. Encourage people, through education, not to smoke, not to drink too much alcohol, etc, by all means. But let's not ban everything in sight. It's going to be a very sad life if everything is simply banned.

As you said in your recent blog post, one is not allowed to use this pronoun or that, now, too. It's never-ending. Let adults decide for themselves.

The fact as I see it is this: This could possibly be the last few kicks of a wonderful civilization. The politicians are fiddling while Rome burns (I'm sorry to use that cliché). They can't find it within themselves to deal with the REAL issues; so they deal with the petit ones instead. This is really not a very good sign. It doesn't auger well for the future of the West at all!

10/16/06, 2:17 PM  

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