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The evils of art?

rdawson808

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I just heard on the radio a story about a Texas elementary school art teacher who was fired after taking her 5th grade class to the Dallas Museum of Art where they saw a statue of a nude person. [I don't know if that was purposeful or just in passing.] Apparently a student told his parents, they complained, the school board put her on leave and told her they would not renew her contract.

The DJs asked what the listeners thought and the first woman to call in complained about her son's 8th grade class going to the museum and seeing paintings of nude people. She went to the museum herself "and then went straight to the principal's office to complain."

Thoughts?


b
 

Ivan Kipling

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Seems a little over the top, to me. Especially considering the fact that during jr. high and high school, boys were required at my school, to swim completely naked. This, before a leering creep of a coach who used to strip naked himself, strutting around the pool room, all hour. Even if for some reason, we couldn't enter the pool (planters warts were a common affliction,) the boys were required to sit naked, and watch the rest of the class. This, in a neighborhood teeming with doctors, lawyers, teachers; the city's most prominent citizens did absolutely nothing to change this age old practice.

Seeing a 'naked' statue, wouldn't have caused any of us, to bat an eye.
 

Alter

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It is sad and absurd that children would be so shielded from artistic nudity. Not trying to start a fight but it strikes me as a particularly American type of puritanism. I can't imagine the same situation happening here in Japan. How about Europe?
 

ted

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Ah yes Ivan I went to a similar school and my current athletic club is the same. It does seem however, that todays young men are so paranoid that they simply cannot bear to be seen naked or to see other males naked. Hence all the screens, dividers, etc. Our youth today are so insulated that they probably don't even know that we're all made the same way.
 

designprofessor

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It's a throwback to some mutant bastard of puritan values -a knee jerk reaction by the myopic. Helicopter parenting at its worst. In the end its usually not about the art, unless the intention is to push some censorship issue. It's about fanatical control by people who view culture as deviant and therefore a threat.
 

Ivan Kipling

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ted, your points are well taken. And I'll admit that those experiences, very early in life, did help to erect a wall around me. An emotional armor, that I've used ever since. College changing rooms and showers, were the same way, of course. By then, I didn't care. I figured, anyone desperate enough to want to look at me, is beyond any hope.
 

rdawson808

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What I think bothers me the most (set aside the problems she is creating with her own kids) is that if I have a child in that school district, s/he has now lost the opportunity to go to the museum as a school outing and learning experience.

In my time you had to have a permission slip signed by a parent if you wanted to go on a field trip. Now, a teacher that thinks of taking his/her students to the museum (or other cultural even) has to worry about what *might* be there. At worst you can get fired for it. So the teacher will just drop the plans.

And now MY CHILD doesn't get to go. So this one neurotic, over-bearing, puritanical parent gets to dictate my child's experiences. That pisses me off. For the "good" of one child, all children are affected.


b
 

Huntsman

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Originally Posted by designprofessor
It's a throwback to some mutant bastard of puritan values -a knee jerk reaction by the myopic.

This is very well said. It is as if there has been a confluence of a societal shift, symptomatically evidenced by the helicopter parenting, lack of responsibility, dissolution of any real family interaction, and the nebulous sense of any values that should be instilled and how to go about doing that, along with an increasing hypocrisy in the practice of religion, the adherence to form, of a kind, over substance, and the abandonment of understanding to zealotry.

I was raised, and am, Christian, in the Protestant sense, and my parents surely would not have thought twice about this. The human body is a very intrincsic part of humanity, and can be used for good or evil. How you can try to hide the entire dialectic from your kid is beyond me, for they will sense the falsness. Now if they had gone to the Manhattan Museum of Sex, my parents might have had something to say.

I can't help but think that this plays into the patheticism of our age. In the college paper lately there has been alot of talk about cheap sex, this backroom thing, the "she's pretty 'enough' after a few beers," the 'walk of shame' the next day, the grasping in the (literal and metaphorical) darkness. And it makes me wonder that this is a reaction to this kind of low-level fanaticism, where the kids get to college, or HS, and though they rebel against the falseness of the 'body=bad' idealogy with the 'hook-up,' they missed a chance to have learned appreciation of the beauty there, and continually, senselessly, keep searching for it. The parents don't know it, but they are making sex more 'free' but more distant, not only between the actors, but between the actors and themselves.

We need a 'I'm getting off the soapbox' smiley.

~ Huntsman
 

ted

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Ivan....oooooh, he's cute AAAAAAAAAAAAh, I may have called in sick every day.
 

Ivan Kipling

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I knew you'd love him, ted . . .

I guess it's up to parents to take their children to museums, galleries, etc., if they're concerned that their offspring will miss out on vital expressions of art. Perhaps the parents in my neighborhood were more enlightened than I wanted to admit, at the time. NOBODY, complained about the nude swimming, OR, about the naked coach in the bargain. As such, the students simply fell in line. We did what we were told.
 

denning

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I find this not surprising but a little odd. If you get a chance watch that report by John Stossel, "Stupid in America", where he exposes how the country's educational system is failing the children, due in large part to the teacher's unions. What concerns me is that the teachers union will not allow a teacher who has made identifiable, recorded sexual advances to children to be fired, yet for something like taking children to a museum it's "out the door". I really, really worry for our children and feel for you Bob.
 

ted

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Originally Posted by DocHolliday
Show children art and the next thing you know, they're gilding turtles to accent the carpet.


What?
 

LabelKing

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Originally Posted by ted
What?
A reference to Joris-Karl Huysmans's "Against Nature", which is not what Puritanical parents want their children--teens or otherwise--to read.

It was considered the Bible Of Decadence.
 

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