New York: November 23, 2009


The nude news most gabbled about in the press makes even less sense than usual. We learn that Carrie Prejean, the once-upon-a-time Miss California and more recently poster girl for the religious right, made a “solo sex tape” that she sent to her boyfriend and then conveniently forgot. Earlier, she forgot a panty ad photo that she had posed for, showing most of her, including one-half a breast and the arc of her buttocks. Maybe she should be dubbed Carrie Nojeans? The rude reminder of the solo sex tape–guess what was she doing? –took place during settlement negotiations between Prejean and Miss USA Pageant execs. She claimed the pageant had denied her the title because she spoke out against gay marriage, and she was suing for a million or so. Those mean execs ran the tape in front of Carrie, her mother, and a lawyer or two. Reports TMZ: Mom “instantly turned sheet white as she watched her daughter give herself a hand.”  

Carrie and her counselor dropped the case. Now biblically correct outfits have begun to drop Carrie. Her own minister is more forgiving. Pastor Darren Carrington from The Rock Church in San Diego says, “Everyone is a work in progress,” adding everyone has “something we’re not proud of.” Here’s the rub: What’s to be ashamed of? All Carrie, no great beauty, has got going for her is her bod. The world’s largest porn company, Vivid Entertainment, has legally acquired the tape, but they want to do a deal with Carrie before releasing it. Rather gentlemanly of them. Our advice to Miss Nojeans: Sell your ass-ets, pronto. We understand you have a book coming out–all the better. Show ’em what you got, girl, and you may become the next Sarah Palin.

Speak of the devil, Sarah’s former almost son-in-law Levi Johnston will NOT be showing the full monty in Playgirl‘s January issue. A spokesman for the mag said: ” “[Johnston] did not give ‘full-frontal’ as his manager reported he would. We’re thrilled with the photos we got, and are confident people will love them. Although there may be glimpses, we did not get full on frontal nudity.” Has Levi gone back on his word? He responds: “We don’t want no bad boy image. I don’t want to be looked at as someone who is getting naked for fame.”

Okay, Levi, you’re stripping for the money. That puts you in a grand tradition of taking it off, one that dates back to Adah Menken in Civil War days. She became the highest paid performer in the world just by running around in see-through tights. We see you’ve even learned the “tease” part of striptease. Could it be, Levi, you’re stripping less for the money than for revenge? That’s an even older tradition, dating back to Salome in the Bible, who had it in for John the Baptist.

Levi, where, oh where, is your book? If you’re not going to show all, at least tell us all. “She knows what I got on her,” the lad said about Sarah Palin. If you’re not just teasing, that we would like to hear. Off with her head!

Bollywood bareback

Finally, a story that really interests us–from India. Bollywood, their film industry, reminds us of Hollywood some time ago. The stars, whose doings are on the front page of the Times of India, suffer scandals, enjoy triumphs, and live out their lives not only in public but for the public. It all seems so innocent compared to today’s Hollywood, where the survival of the shittiest rules. Looking at a recent cover of US Weekly, the story heads blare “Cruel Lies,” “Final Insult,” “Betray,” “Fight.” We prefer flight–across the world to the romantic subcontinent, where we breathlessly learn that Akshay’s chasing Katrina! And Shilpa ties the knot with Raj Kundra, while Hrithik, Suzanne and Barbara sport the same tattoo. This last is either a love triangle or a menage a trois or something in-between, nobody’s sure. Of course we don’t know much about these Bollywood stars, or care to. It’s a fantasy with song and dance, like one of their movies. They need this fluff to distract from bloody terrorism, the danger of atomic war, and the ever present poverty of the masses. So what’s the latest story on nudity from Bollywood? It’s the movie Kurbaan, in which the female lead Kareena Kapoor bares–her back.

The headline reads: Is Kareena’s bare back in ‘Kurbaan’ poster obscene? India’s religious right (Shiv Sena) thinks so, claiming “the supposed ‘nudity’ is against Indian culture.” In some venues they tied a sari round the poster, to cover up the so-called obscenity. Kareena replied: “If they are planning to gift me a sari, I’d like it as saffron is my favourite colour.” Two points appear obvious to us Westerners: First, Kareena’s co-star Saif Ali Khan shows more uncovered bod than she: frontal, down to below the belly button. And his intentions are obvious. Once again the old male/female double standard. Second, the comments by readers were split half and half on whether the poster was “obscene.” But as one smart cookie named Baapoo remarked: “She looks sexy. We the people will decide what is and what is not Indian culture. This is the land of Vedas and the Kamasutra. Please give us the liberty to act and think.”

Amen. The Hindu right appears as ignorant of their own traditions as the Christian right is of the Bible, that magnificent tale of lust, incest, adultery, and the Song of Songs, the sexiest thing ever written.

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