I picked up this story in The Independent newspaper today.
Essentially, France is in uproar over a children’s book, Tous a Poil (Everybody naked) that depicts (drawn) nudity. By ‘uproar’, I mean a little known book until the hand-wringers and conservatives get a sniff of it, after which it becomes one of Amazon France’s best selling titles.
And the hand-wringers, the loons and conservatives are getting their welded-on knickers in a twist about it, led by Jean Francois Cope, President of the UMP political party. Quite why isn’t clear, other than he’s hitching his wagon to a conservative, right-wing train.
Essentially, as you turn the pages, different professions strip off and finally (see above) go for a collective naked swim. The policeman gets naked, the school teacher gets naked, the baker gets naked.
And so what?
The final scene probably shows an accurate reflection of social nudity. Smiling faces, imperfect bodies, everyone different.
There appears to be a train of thought that Mr Cope has an agenda here, using it to (inaccurately) suggest there’s some sort of socialist agenda to undermine French family values. Excuse me? France has long had an easy relationship, in real life, in the cinema, with the naked body. You can hardly blame recent socialist governments for appearing to embrace the naked body. Unless you’re a right wing politician with an agenda of sorts.
From what I can gather, Mr Cope’s remarks about the book ‘making his blood boil’ have been widely mocked in the French press, and rightly so.
The blog of Clementine Beauvais probably gives the best description of this moral crisis in France, to the point of being laugh-out-loud funny at the hilarity of Mr. Cope’s (and other conservatives) views.
While researching the background into this storm in a teacup, I discovered the following hilarious cartoon depicting Mr. Cope and an elderly couple.
Come on now, people! Books, cinema, art, the news are filled to overflowing with graphic images of death and destruction. I find it nauseating and depressing that ‘the news’ can sometimes be reduced to the role of officially sanctioned snuff movie preceded by a warning and a voyeuristic intent, particularly if those doing the ‘snuffing’, or killing(s), don’t meet with our ‘democratic’, Western agenda. We’ll never see a European or American soldier killing anyone. We will see Africans or Arabs do it all the time, as if to reinforce the agenda that we’re right, they’re wrong, and we should all follow the political agenda being sought in our own countries.
Ultimately, the book shows a few drawn willies, vaginas, boobs. Those depicted are (accurately) shoown as having enormous grins on their faces as they indulge in social nudity. Aimed at children, it is going to demystify the naked body and show social nudity as normal. These are values we, of course, wholeheartedly endorse at SLN. These are values we wholeheartedly endorse in SL. It’s possible to be naked for purposes other than sex, in RL or in SL.
*the French title to this post (hopefully) reads ‘Please, no nudity! We are French!’