Archive for category News and current events
I think this has to be one of the best prom photos of 2013.
Below is one of the men who was reportedly deported from Saudi Arabia recently for being “too handsome.”
Omar Borkan Al Gala, an actor and photographer from Dubai, was supposed one of three men who were to appear at an annual cultural festival earlier this month, but Saudi authorities felt threatened by their good looks.
Specifically, they thought the men might corrupt impressionable women; they feared that because of their handsome looks, female visitors to the festival could “fall for them,” according to Arabic newspaper Elaph.
I wonder what the officials thought that women might do? Spontaneously orgasm? Strip naked? Try to drive cars?
Well, I’ll say a few things after finding the following photos of Omar:
- He is very handsome.
- He is probably not handsome enough to cause a feminist revolution in an entire nation.
- I’d probably do him, all the same.
- He certainly likes the Photoshop Gaussian blur tool.
Monsters who want to hurt innocent people and heroes who run over 26 miles and then reportedly keep running until they get to a hospital to donate blood; this is humanity at its worst and its best, all happening in one place. This is our world.
The writing in this article is hilarious in some ways, but the subject matter is an interesting one to me. Years ago I read that chefs consider it poor taste when people photograph their food. I didn’t understand why, as it’s a compliment of sorts. (The chefs I’ve talked to consider the art of presentation as important as the taste of the food.)
However, I remember going out to dinner once with a set of friends who got so obnoxious with their cameras that you’d think they’ve never eaten anywhere nicer than Applebee’s. That was annoying, and a little embarrassing, too.
Two celebrity posts in two days, wow.
The older I get, the more I feel like my intuition is pretty in tune. And speaking of that, I have disliked and distrusted Lance Armstrong for years. I couldn’t say why. Now I can.
It’s not that Armstrong was on performance-enhancing drugs that bothers me. And it’s not even so much that he spent years lying about it (although that’s lame). What bothers me is that Lance Armstrong created a huge PR machine that ruined the careers of anyone in cycling who wanted to be honest. He and his people crushed the whistleblowers, he ruined the careers of anyone who dared question him, and he indirectly took away sponsorships and contracts from young cyclists who wanted to win based on talent and pure athleticism rather than by cheating.
And that, in my opinion, makes Lance Armstrong a selfish and terrible person.
Jodie Foster is taking a lot of heat today, thanks to her acceptance speech last night at the Golden Globes, when she was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award. She’s very strange. She didn’t come out, because she didn’t use the words gay/lesbian. Here’s my take.
The fact that she spent a substantial part of her speech talking about her desire for privacy made me think that Jodie Foster is as shy, reserved and geeky as the press has painted her for 30 years. And if you were that shy and then had to give a speech to all your friends, professional peers, and an audience of millions of people, you might stumble and say some dumb things, too.
And while I used to think it was every gay public figure’s duty to come out, I don’t feel that way anymore. Jodie Foster coming out now is not going to make two shits worth of difference to a 12-year-old struggling with sexual identity.
None of this changes the fact that she’s made some of the best movies of my lifetime. I still adore her. I think her speech was wonderful and inspiring.
Combining all seasons, I’ve never watched more than 30 minutes of American Idol, but I do watch The Voice regularly. Last night’s tribute to the Connecticut school shooting victims with Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” was so beautiful; it had my crying like a baby.
And I’m wondering if it was so brief because the performers couldn’t have gotten through any more of it. If it were me, I couldn’t have even done this much.
Here is a link to a great BBC article about an art exhibition in Vienna that’s focusing on the male nude, and causing a bit of a controversy (even in relatively progressive Austria).
Below is an excerpt:
“It’s quite unusual for an exhibition to focus on the depiction of the male nude. Surprisingly we had many exhibitions dealing with the female nude body, but so far never an exhibition which features the male nude. Somehow it is a taboo.
“On the other hand, we see that the male nude is getting a new presence in modern contemporary society. He is now on posters, he is on stages, he is getting more and more normal.”
An image of naked woman is still regarded in a very different light from that of a naked man, Natter says.
Exploration of our society’s taboos and ethics is one of the factors that made me decide to shoot male nudes. In fact, the following statement has been on my photo site since the day it launched: I shoot the male nude form because it irritates me that thousands of years after the Greeks were carving nude statues of Apollo and Poseidon, today a male figure study is often dismissed as pornography. I believe that the human body is beautiful and I’d like to play a part in changing that stereotype.
I’m a little surprised that even in Europe, the male nude is considered taboo. Below is a poster by Pierre et Gilles of three footballers that was created for the exhibit, which caused enough of an outcry on the streets of Vienna that the museum put red sashes across the models’ private parts. (Kind of defeats the purpose for an exhibit about nudes, doesn’t it?)
Maybe things are changing, and maybe they’re not. I’m noticing more and more male nudity in movies and TV, but people are still funny about it. Just by saying the word “penis,” you can almost send some people through the roof; five minutes later, that same person might be talking about boobs. I’ve had so many people refer to my photography as “dirty pictures” that it hardly phases me anymore. Some people have even told me that my artwork is acceptable in France, but not in the USA.
And yet we American consume more porn than anyone.
Here’s another excerpt from the BBC article, which might explain it in a way that I hadn’t thought about before:
“Male nudity is very often linked to the exposure of sexual organs – the penis – and this is often done in a way that responds to the classical model of aggression and strength.
“While the sexual organ in itself does not necessarily have to appear as threatening or aggressive, the difference from the dominant model of soft female nudity is great.”
The male nude is more aggressive? I can see that. But that shouldn’t mean it’s something to be afraid of.
I’d encourage you to read the whole article.
Here is the photo of the week, for me: Whereas yesterday, candidate Romney made the news by staging a fake food drive to give himself good photo opportunities, we have a president who knows when someone needs a hug.
Tuesday! Don’t forget to vote!