Stephen Colbert: What Is Art? What Is Porn?


#1

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#2

I thought it had something to do with the quality of the background music.


#3

The censored pic make it look like she’s lying on her back.


#4

Yes it is much more “Reclining Nude After Her Neck Was Broken” with the blur.


#5

“detittilated” , “penissippi” - so much greatness here.


#6

We had a great conversation about this in grad school, 1970’s slideshow of various images. It was great, I brought popcorn. But no matter how wrong he was, nobody has ever defined it better than Justice Potter Stewart.


#7

that and his “now you see them, now you don’t” hand thing, heh


#8

The blurring would have been more understandable if the picture in question had been Mel Ramos’s You Get More Salami With Modigliani.

Slightly more NSFW, although the link is to the Carnegie Museum of Art. I was doing research!


#9

Actually there is a very close relationship with art and porn. Of course not today porn, but the old school …

How to know when you watch too much porn! (loonyhumor)


#10

I’m guessing you’ve seen cafe flesh too… very blurred line between the two there!


#11

Recently I saw an episode of “Botched” where they did breast reconstruction surgery on a woman who’d had a double mastectomy. Right after the surgery, no blurring. Then they gave her nipple tattoos. They showed them once, and then blurred out the tattoos for the rest of the episode. Such an odd culture we live in.


#12

I remember when they played schinders list on network broadcast tv, sex scenes, boobies and all…


#13

On the last season of Hannibal, a show that regularly had nudity and extreme gore, NBC decided to blur the buttocks on Botticelli’s “Primavera.”

Such a strange Puritan country I live in.


#14

The pronunciation of “Modigliani” was a lot more shocking than the blurring (I know the Italian “gl” sound is hard, but at least they could have gotten the stress pattern right - it sounds like they’re saying “Modigli ani”, which is kinda fitting as ani means exactly what you think it does)


#15

Is the US public or the public censors or whatever only capable of thinking in extremes?

Just porn and notporn? Nudity or eroticism isn’t pornography.


#16

We’ve always been a pretty Puritanical country (makes sense, I guess, we were founded by Puritans), but in terms of recent history, I think coming off of a decade of hyper-neo-conservative rule has caused quite a bit of a backslide in maturity when it comes to this stuff.

When I was in (public) high school 15+ years ago, my French IV teacher showed us Manet’s Olympia, a frontal nude painting of a prostitute, as part of an “Art History of France” unit. The class didn’t flip out, there was no outcry from admins or parents. We had a brief discussion (in French) of the scandal caused by the painting in its time, how it compared to the other Manets we had been looking at, and moved on to the next piece. Now, as a public school art teacher, I would get fired for showing that painting uncensored to my class - it’s taken for granted that we’ll omit or censor nudity in our curriculum. And the students I get don’t have the maturity to handle that kind of imagery, giggling and tittering during field trips to the art museum, where encountering the odd nude is inevitable, or genuinely questioning why I have a particular young adult graphic novel on our class bookshelf, because it includes a scene where the protagonist is in a sex-ed class, and there are a couple of line drawings of breasts.

Meanwhile, this same school found it cute and hilarious to have an event at a pep rally where female teachers kissed blindfolded male student football players on the cheek without their knowledge or consent, as a kind of ‘prank’ (the male students had been told they were going to be kissed by cheerleaders, which is also fucked up, but in a different way…).

Basically, our cultural understanding of bodies, art, and sexuality is about at the level of a not-especially-intelligent 9-year-old. We’re doomed.


#17

Stephen wins my heart again


#18

No, you’ve allowed yourselves to be taken over by the Philistines (read Jurgen, by James Branch Cabell for the reference; the chapter on Philistia is brilliant, the whole book worth reading.)
The pity is that in the battle between the Protestantiban and the Internet with its free-to-view pornography, the loser is art, and the kids who will never visit, say, the Uffizi, and see Botticelli’s Venus in its full, massive reality and suddenly get what art is all about, because, as you say, they’ve been conditioned to think of nudity only in the context of porn.


#19

A few years back I was in a writing group. There was a 13 year old girl in the group which sometimes created some concern by the rest of us who were writing some more adult content and not comfortable putting it in her hands. Anyway, we had a speaker to the group who was writing a novel set in the turn of the 19th century. He was showing us how stereographs were the bleeding edge tech of the day and were, of course, used for the boobies. So he shows us some of the actual photographs but none of us felt they were titillating in the least since the women were just staring at the camera with their blouses down; the camera angles were not like what we associate with dirty pics. We even felt fine with the 13 year old girl seeing them.


#20

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