Jackals and Jackasses

Контент 18+ (использование обсценной лексики, описание сексуальных сцен без подробностей)
So. Stupidity mounted atop stupidity. By now everyone has heard about the Maxim magazine model Ksenia Kalugina who, along with the editors of "Sovetda Lyubov", is facing a possible three-year prison sentence for posing in an old out-of-use church in Gari, Tatarstan, wearing a transparent bridal gown that revealed her 'sexy' underwear. Do I really need to retell the story?

No ? OK. My take on it is this: both parties are to blame. First, this bullshit whereby a person can wind up doing serious jail time for offending somebody's possibly very obscure religious sensibilities HAS GOT TO STOP. We all know by now that the current Russian government is in bed with the Russian Orthodox Church for Political Reasons. Take that as a given. And whether this government likes it or not — and no matter how many people it casts into prison — we are NOT going to see Russia turned back into a medieval state just because a few guys with long beards would have it so. (More likely, from a political standpoint, we will see a re-enactment of the 1930s, the difference being that back then it was "scientific atheism" that was being rammed down everyone's throat and now the catechism is the exact opposite: same impulse of "correctness" at diverging extremes.)  Religion throughout the world, especially state religion, has been singularly responsible over these great many centuries for most of the blood-letting, hideous tortures, burnings at the stake, warfare, psychological damage, and sexual disorientation that the planet has known. That has been the contribution of the Church — all the while accumulating untold, fabulous wealth — and every time some ultra-conservative, self-interested, totalitarian government decides to use religion as one of its main tools of repression and oppression, the results are horrendous, tragic, and primitive in terms of the advancement of civilization.
On the other hand, the fools who arranged this photoshoot are just as culpable. Why in the name of Jesus Christ Almighty did these idiots decide to place this woman, wearing such sexy gear, amid the ruins of a once venerable old church? Had they never heard of Pussy Riot? Did they think they were being cool? Being 'grungy'? It illustrates much of modern media-oriented mentality. Be as outrageous as possible. Do anything to get attention. Aggravate people. Agitate them. Piss them off. Just HOOK them. If you get their attention, you have won. That is marketing mentality, and I pretty much despise the purveyors of what is mostly such crap — not because they think 'out of the box', not at all !!! — I admire creative people, and I know enough about the process (being to some degree creative myself) to understand that we HAVE TO push the limits — no, no, no, I dislike most marketers because they are ultimately manipulative and CYNICAL. There is nothing sacred to these clowns, and if they come up with some gimmick that will SELL, they will use it in a heartbeat without a tremor of conscience or consideration for anything but filling their own pockets. They are so proud of being NAUGHTY and making money doing it.
Pussy Riot was the supreme example. This motley collection, euphemistically called a "feminist rock band" — they were NOT musicians, all they did was jump up and down. — entered a church during services and deliberately set out to be disruptive and offend people. It was childish, to say the least. No less than the 'fat' ballerina Anastasia Voluchkova (am I the only person in the world who thinks she is sexy?) had the answer: "Let them scrub the public toilets for a month." Nice advice, Nastia, but what did our stupid government do?  Put them in prison for three years, thus turning them into international celebrities (earning them lots of money from the gullible West), and so inspiring no less than that lip-synching old hog Madonna from showing up for a concert here with "Pussy Riot" painted on her back (God, these kinds of people nauseate me), etc. etc.
In Paris, 'creative' cartoonists wound up getting wasted because, without any provocation whatsoever, they set about publishing funny (hahaha) caricatures of Allah. They got their asses blown off for their troubles. Then we had to sit through all the "We are Charlie" parades. But why did they deliberately offend people that they KNEW were liable to be outraged and who were not beyond taking violent reprisals? Why? Because they were media types who were willing to try ANYTHING just to get attention. They got attention all right.
I have said before: it is ok to be gay. But if you want to go into a working class section of Liverpool and kiss and hold hands with your boyfriend, you had better expect trouble.
The editors of this magazine had to know that what they were doing was dicey. Dangerous, given all the religious mumbo-jumbo that suddenly has government-sanctioned POWER in this country. But they did it anyway. And now they are in deep shit.
Do they deserve three years in prison?  Of course not. Were they offensive and stupid? Of course, they were.
Moreover, the photos are not all that great. There is no meaningful or artistic imperative in what we can see in them. The girl is pretty, but her poses are stiff, false, mannequin-like. I will not claim to adhere to the idea that women should have to cover their heads before entering a cathedral or mosque or whatever (to me just a bunch of old world chauvinistic nonsense), but on the other hand, the concepts of 'marriage' and 'church' do indeed conjure up time-honored images of faith, commitment, and devotion which are no longer trendy. Had these photos skillfully blended the beauty of this modern woman with the 'sacred' remains of the battered, decrepit old house of worship (and they might have done — just as Edouard Manet ingeniously placed a contemporary French woman (of his era, 1863, to be precise) in the traditionally classical setting of his pastoral "Luncheon on the Grass") — then we might have had something worth looking at. But the photographers weren't good enough, and the young woman was nothing special. Ah, it was supposed to be SEXY !!! That was the whole idea. Because that's how marketers think.
Ironically, the only thing really beautiful in these pics is the church itself. That crumbling yet somehow ineffable old edifice is positively magnificent. I see this because I am an artist, not an editor of a sexy magazine.


===Eric Richard Le Roy===

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