Friday, June 22, 2007

Nefs, Nudes, and Symbols of Power

Nobody’s Opinion: Today, my husband and I went to the St. Louis Art Museum because the current exhibit called “Symbols of Power” was free. (Free Fridays) Most of the people in the city go on the “free” day because let’s face it, paying ten dollars to see four rooms full of old stuff, while too many people are standing forever in front of you with absolutely no intention of budging due to the fact that they are listening to a twenty minute tape explanation of why the object two inches in front of them is so interesting…so that you have to wait ten minutes just to look at it too…thereby getting angry that you actually PAID to be annoyed…is not a smart thing to do. Better to get annoyed for free.

Mainly, it had stuff owned by Napoleon or his wives: old chairs, old dresses, one old sword, old dishes---and all the items had “symbols” of power on them, thus the theme.

Napoleon took the eagle from the Romans, and we took the eagle from the Romans too. It was the grand incumbent empire symbol everyone knew at the time.

Now we bow before Nike.

Napoleon made sure he had lots of symbols on everything he sat, ate, slept or wore, because he was a short guy and needed lots of intimidating symbols to make sure no one ever messed with him. He even had bees representing the French monarchy on his wallpaper.

Yeah---intimidating bees. That defines the French people right there.

The one thing they did NOT mention was that most of the stuff, whether it was a clock, or a candelabra--- the one thing every item had in common was that somewhere on the item was a nude women with very prominent nipples. Lots of nude breasted women holding up tables, or lights…with bronze gilded nipples…in fact, Napoleon even had his own sister’s breast copied and made into a gold drinking cup.

Protected by a laser sensor.

The French maybe started something here.

There was one item in particular that we thought was a pretty nifty toilet. (See above picture)

Hey--- it says here Napoleon and Josephine had these things next to them at the dinner table. It’s called a nef.” I said. “I wonder what nef means?”

“Well, it must be a toilet. Look at it. They must sit on it,” said my husband.

“You think? Well…okay, maybe the top comes off.”

Instantly of course, we were both trying to picture Napoleon sitting on his Empire toilet.

Yes, there we were, convinced that Napoleon and Josephine had so much power, they just got up from their meal, did their business on their golden nefs, (which was right next to their thrones) while everyone else probably stopped eating in respect, then when done, went back to scarfing down some more food.

Some slave came in and took it away, only to bring it back all shiny and pretty.

Not until the NEXT room did I read...that a nef was actually a fancy bin where they kept their spices and salts and stuff to take if they were poisoned.


Anyway, tonight I got to thinking about this “symbol of power” thing. And then I came upon these nude photos by a man named Spencer Tunick, who has only one symbol of power----and I bet every leader on the Google Earth wishes he had it.

He may not have Air Force One: He may not live in Buckingham Palace, or have the vast treasures of Versailles…but…

For only the incentive of a “copy” of the picture, he has gone all over the world and gotten many thousands of people to come out and stand in front of him, take off all of their clothes, and wait patiently for instructions.

Now that’s power.

For some strange reason all kinds of people seem to have a burning desire to take off their clothes in front of complete strangers. It’s beyond this nobody’s comprehension.

Has this guy got a gimmick or what? And how many dates has he gotten from this?

In 2004, in downtown Cleveland, 2,754 nudes sat for hours in the cold…and beat the record of Montreal. In Barcelona, he managed to get 7,000 nudes to come out. In fact, this practice of “getting to be in the next nude picture” seems to be catching on all over the planet.

The picture with the anti-war message, was taken in Australia…it’s has 300 nude woman.
No men.

So what does this all mean? That in the West some people just love to go naked. In the Saudi Arabian’s hot desert, women are hiding themselves in Burke’s and walking around covered from head to foot in long black gowns, while in the west we have people just dying to get to Miami Beach, or London, and get totally butt-naked. They just had a nude festival picture taking session in London last week.

What does this mean? Which people are crazier?

Anyway, if you would like to participate in the next mass gathering of nudes for Mr. Spencer, he is planning his next one in Mexico. Bring your taco's.

And IF you go, be sure and take that one magnificent symbol of power that even a common man can have…(okay guys, don't even go there.)

Your camera, which is even better than a puppy I’d say for picking up girls.

I’m not sure if Spencer lets you bring YOUR camera, after all, then he wouldn’t make any money off his great “art” if he did.

But, you could always take a nef and hide the camera in it (or cell phone) and tell him, since you are going to have to wait around for his picture taking, you brought your own port-au-potty.

Something tells me he will not bother to check it.

The moral seems to be: Even a nef can be a symbol of power, or a camera, if you know how to use it.



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