This Week: September 11 – 17, 2011
The Week At Large
Last week, we heard that actor Mel Gibson is set to direct a movie about heroic Jews, which has many in the Jewish community a little worried. But I like Gibson, and am willing to give him a second chance. Kanye West, on the other hand, is a whole other bunch of bananas. News surfaced this week about a never aired hip-hop puppet variety show called Alligator Boots that West created and filmed back in 2008. Funny or not, I’m glad the project never saw the light of day—like crazy relatives, I think Kanye West is far from good and good from afar. Which is exactly what some might say about the never-ending cartoon, The Simpons. Back in the 90s, The Simpsons was satirical gold; these days it’s little more than an amusing yellow knock-off. Love it or hate it, however, word on the street is that The Simpsons (which is in its 23rd season) might be getting its very own TV channel sometime in the near future. And speaking of cartoons that just won’t go away, have you seen the video footage of a man wearing a SpongeBob SquarePants costume getting the snot kicked out of him by two women? No? Then click here for all the action.
The Close Up
I’ll be honest: I feel bad for Scarlett Johansson. This past week, the Hollywood actress became the latest victim of nude photo hacking. Just like Rihanna, Vanessa Hudgens, and Jessica Alba, Johansson’s cell phone was hacked, and self-shot naked cell phone pictures of her inevitably made their way onto the net.
And the world went wild…well, for some, I guess. Judging by many of the comments on the web, you’d think boobies made the world go ‘round. “Life is wonderful,” wrote one person. “I can die a happy man,” wrote another.
Apparently, the FBI is looking into who released the photos. But this news has some people scratching their heads. Really? they ask. Are our tax dollars really going toward this? Shouldn’t Johansson know never to take naked pictures of herself? I shouldn’t have to pay for her idiocy, right?
Wait, did I miss something?
For some people, boobies and bums and the specials down below are to be seen only at a distance and through a thick fog and while on the verge of sleep. After all, the sight of an unbarred breast turns men into wild, ravaging animals. For the sake of mankind, we must forever clothe ourselves and deny the luring evil beneath the buttoned blouse and zippered pair of trousers.
I mean, if not that, then the only alternative is pornography and buggery.
Well, maybe not.
Look, we should embrace nudity, and in all forms. We shouldn’t, for instance, be afraid of seeing more of it in film. The fact that Steve McQueen’s new film, Shame, opens with four minutes of Michael Fassbender fully nude is spectacular. Whether male or female, the nude form is captivating, and not simply because of its potential to arouse. There is something fully mesmerizing about the musculature, form, texture, and movement of the human body.
Cinema aside, our naked selves are our truest selves, and it’s important to celebrate who we are. If taking pictures of yourself in the nude helps you do that, then do it. Of course, do it with the knowledge that other people might see it, especially if you’re a celebrity.
But the possibility of the public seeing your nude photo does not make taking that picture idiotic.
Shame on those who think so.
The 168 Turnaround is a week-in-review column, a place for me to reflect on the week’s most interesting pop culture news items. If it mattered to me or I think it might matter to you, then it will be here. If I’ve overlooked an important news item, or if you have a comment or question, please leave a response below. Thank you for reading.