Sunday, 17 June 2007

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Nice Breasts Tour The Creation Museum My friend John—a self-professed "atheistic, post-Mormon, freethinking-Quaker, pro-feminist, aspiring SF writer and some time religious studies grad student"—wrote a post about two atheists who went to the Creation Museum undercover. One wore this shirt, the other this one (front, back). The whole set's worth a look, as it's the most exhaustive documenting of the museum I've yet seen. Just as I was about to write a little something about the museum itself, however, I made the mistake of looking at the comments on the first picture of the shirt. The first is: nice breasts. GOD. nice breasts. Who would spend their time trawling Flickr for photos and commenting on the appearances of strangers? The "GOD" is doubly egregious, since the couple's clearly there to mock the Creation Museum. Granted, I'd still have been off-put if it'd read: nice breasts. NATURAL SELECTION. nice breasts. That granted, I'm tempted to leave that comment, but I'm understandably gun-shy this week. Would the context be clear? Would I be commenting on the comment, or on the woman? Would an additional comment be required, something like: nice breasts. ACQUIRED CHARACTERISTICS. nice breasts. I could start multiple fake accounts, such that the first comment would be left by "dArW1N lu\/3r," the second "lA/\/\aRc|< r00lz," but that'd be excessive. The context would be clarified, but the time invested would've been better spent reading more Edith Wharton. Which, I should add, is reason I find such an everyday slight so galling. Consider: a few days before her wedding, Wharton was seized with such a dread of the whole dark mystery, that I summoned up the courage to appeal to mother, & begged her, with a heart beating to suffocation, to tell me "what being married was like." Her handsome face at once took on the look of icy disapproval which I most dreaded. "I have never heard such a ridiculous question!" she said impatiently; & I felt at once how vulgar she thought me. But in the extremity of my need I persisted. "I'm afraid, Mamma—I want to know what to know what will happen to me!" The coldness of her expression deepened into disgust. She was silent for a moment; then she said with an effort: "You've seen enough pictures and stataues in you life. Haven't you noticed that men are—made differently from women?" "Yes," I faltered blankly. "Well, then—?" I was silent, from sheer in ability to follow, & she brought out sharply: "Then for heaven's sake don't ask me any more silly questions. You can't be as stupid as you pretend!" The dreadful moment was over, & the only result was that I had been convicted of stupidity for not knowing what I had been expressly forbidden to ask about, or even to think of! To lurch from that to the lewd remarks of random strangers is quite the fascinating ordeal. I'm not so judgmental as Wharton's mother, but the impropriety of those remarks, the casual disregard of vestigial decorum, seems all the more offensive...

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