July 13, 2007
They Laugh at Us for Our Freedoms

Thank God for Peter in Germany, who casts an anthropologist’s eye on the United States of Repression for we who dwell inside the bubble. He sends this from The Independent:

One of Germany's best-selling children's authors is embroiled in an extraordinary transatlantic row about nudity after a U.S. publisher refused to accept one of her books because it contained naive sketches of an art gallery with works depicting naked bodies …

The 59-year-old author said her American publisher had refused to accept her latest book for U.S. distribution because it contained elements deemed potentially offensive, including drawings of people naked or smoking. Berner said her U.S. publisher, Boyds Mills Press, had objected in particular to one of her illustrations which showed adults and children in an art gallery where the portrait of a naked woman was on show together with a seven millimetre high sculpture of a naked man exhibiting a barely discernible penis …

Berner said no other country had raised similar objections. In Germany — a country where nude public bathing is normal — the author's spat with her U.S. publisher met with blank incomprehension. “Micropenis excites U.S. publishing house” wrote Der Spiegel magazine in its online edition.

I’d tell you what I think about all this, but why bother? Human Too Human has said it for me:

But to show scenes of war and destruction, to go to church and see paintings of naked men tortured and flogged and crucified, to even hear gory and morbid details of torments inflicted on “saints”, to be exposed for hours to the vulgarity and superficiality of TV shows, quizzes, ads and so forth is OK in the USA …

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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at July 13, 2007 01:11 PM
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