|4 Aug 2006 @ 01:37|
A photographer wrote to me and asked me to remove some pictures I had posted of his. Which is enough of a first to give special attention. It only happened one time before, some Iranian artist who had done some pictures of half-nude women in burkhas as some kind of political statement.
Actually he didn't just write to ask me, he sent some nasty legally sounding thing, threatening with the FBI and so forth. Which doesn't exactly score any points, so I sent back a nasty lecture about the Internet, and about how it is usually a good thing to get free publicity on a popular blog. And honestly, I get a lot of thank you notices, and messages from photographers who'd like to be mentioned.
But, really, I don't normally ask for permission. No time to bother with that, and, anyway, that's an artifact of the old-time publishing system, before the Internet. If you've written something on the net, it is pretty much to be expected that somebody else will feel they can quote it in their blog. With proper credit and linkage, of course. But there are still artists and photographers around who would consider it stealing if you show one of their pictures, no matter what nice things you say about them, and whether you spell their name and their link right, and no matter how many thousands of hits I send to their website.
Anyway, after the first nasty exchange, the guy sent back a nice enough letter and explained that his issue was that this blog has pornographic and near-pornographic content too. And his photography was more in the "tasteful nude" category. Exquisite photography, btw. But he felt it was bad for his image if he was associated with anything like that, and that his models certainly wouldn't appreciate it. Which is perfectly alright, of course, and I'd respect that and remove pictures when people ask for it.
Now, the point I'm trying to get around to making is how this is so obviously an American way of looking at it. You know, that for it to be considered ok to show nude pictures, you'll try to insist that it has nothing whatsoever to do with sex. That you're not at all trying to stimulate anybody in any kind of erotic way. It is just natural nude bodies for the sake or art. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy that greatly. But in part because I find it erotic. Which to me means that it stimulates some kind of sexual feeling, in some kind of also mentally and emotionally satisfying way. That I look at a beautiful naked woman doesn't mean I have to go from there to instantly think about fucking her. But, hey, I like looking at it not just because she has nice skin or something. But to be politically correct in the officially puritanical United States, you have to pretend that these things have nothing to do with each other. Whereas in European countries one tends to not lose much sleep over such a difference. An artful picture of two people having sex is not in a totally different category than a picture of a nude woman on a rock in the sun. It is erotic, maybe aesthetically pleasing, maybe stimulating. Sex isn't dirty.
Maybe I'm rambling, but I guess I needed to. My target here is what is erotic. Preferably with some kind of artistic quality. That most of the time will include tasteful nudes. Sometimes kinky stuff. Sometimes it is pornographic. I don't really care if your community standards finds this website tasteful or obscene. So, I guess it isn't this site you should show to your local pastor in Idaho to convince him that nudity is perfectly natural and harmless.