Friday, February 22, 2013

swimsuit edition

As I was perusing the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue the other night in my recliner, I heard a voice behind me quip, "You enjoying reading those articles?"

Not much in the way of articles in this swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated. Not much in the way of sports either. And, not much in the way of swimsuits.

What you have in the "swimsuit" issue is skin.. Nobody is playing tennis or volleyball or basketball.  Models decked out in next to nothing adorn the pages. And you don't need to be a sleuth to discern that many of the women are exposed in a way that would get them arrested in a public place.

This year the women are photographed in their "swimwear" on each of the continents.  For example, the magazine's cover features a woman in Antarctica.  She is wearing a bathing suit bottom and a parka over her naked top.  She hasn't zipped up the parka.   She's working on getting her hood on and in so doing has her elbows pushing in on her chest. You couldn't mistake her for Hank or Louie.

As I flipped through the magazine I saw that one out of two of the models really aren't wearing bathing suits at all, just threads over portions of their bottom and something sort of covering the top.  One model with a name right out of an adult film cast-Cyntia Dicker--has, in one photo, nothing sort of covering her top, and  judging by her pose and facial expression, is not contemplating NFL rule changes.

The ads are also revealing.  One features a bird banging his head against a tree.  The accompanying text:  "A Clean Pecker Always Taps It."  The product is something called Fresh and Sexy, Intimate Wipes.

Taylor Made Golf Clubs peddles a driver with two photos taken from reverse angles. The text, "Nice top. Even Nicer Bottom."  The ad is adjacent to the photo of a model who has pulled a transparent tube around her naked top.

Does this bother me?

No. The photos in SI do not bother me, nor the intimations of sex. I've written before that I think our society is an adolescent one as it relates to prurient activity. Sex between consenting partners is healthy, natural, and a physical drive that should be encouraged and not repressed.

What does bother me is the hypocrisy.

During the broadcast of the NCAA Division I phony baloney college championship game which means absolutely nothing for reasons I have expressed here before, Brent Musburger, the announcer, commented on the pulchritude of the girlfriend of the Alabama quarterback. The woman was in the stands and a camera person got her in the lens. Musburger remarked that she was a looker.

He was excoriated in the next day's media.

I am not a fan of Brent Musburger and his comments could be considered a bit sophomoric, but still how can agents of the press cite his comments as an abomination when Sports Illustrated, not Penthouse, is publishing the swimsuit issue.

Last Sunday night I turned on the set at 8 ready to watch the NBA all star game. When I did this, I did not see the athletes. I saw instead the pre game show.  A singer was doing something akin to singing while a group of women dressed provocatively were dancing in a way that was just a notch less suggestive than the women I observed at age 16 when I snuck in to see a burlesque show at the notorious Wayne County Fair.

This bothers me not because I am concerned with the innocents who were watching.  I'd much prefer that kids watch gyrations than movies where people get shot or blown up.  What bothers me is that the same people who screamed foul when there was a "wardrobe malfunction" in the superbowl, who yelp for abstinence, who squawk when a school district wants to have a substantive sex education curriculum and who want to ban novels from school curricula because there are, omygosh, references to intimacy in them, a percentage of these same people must be watching the NBA dancers and buying the current issue of Sports Illustrated.

Got to be the case, or else the SI issue wouldn't be so filled with ads, and the NBA would not present women in thongs.  The people who wrote, edited, and published the copy for "A Clean Pecker Always Taps It" should scream bloody murder whenever some self proclaimed preserver of morality gets on a soapbox moaning about what happened to the cultcha.

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