Monday, June 7

Bad timing, Snakes in the Basement & Drunk Naked Girls

I have been on vacation. I'm back.

I also have the flu.

Both things happened simultaneously, which was not cool.

Also not cool is the fact that I'm on my lunch break now, waiting for the critter control man to come deal with the small snake problem in our basement. You see, I recently I killed a foot long snake with a floor squeegee while my husband was at work. It took a few 'make sure you cut off its head' texts but I got the stupid thing.

Anyways, since I have the flu this post is going to be a bit stream of consciousness. Okay?

I just heard this song on the radio. I love this song because it is about men not being metro. I do not go for metro-sexual. Straight men should not wear sandals, get facials, drink $6.00 iced coffees or attend wedding showers. Brad Paisely and I clearly are in agreement.

I also like this song because the first time I heard it in the car with my husband (who, on a side note, looks a lot like Brad Paisely, especially when he wears a cowboy hat) he laughed and said "I know that painting!" when he heard the line at 0:51.

I hate to break it to ya honey, but if I had a nickel for every drunk naked girl featured in a priceless French painting we could hire a professional to sit in our basement 24 hours a day to kill snakes for the rest of the year.

But, I do I think I know the painting that Brad and his look-a-like have in mind. Say hello to Olympia:

Olympia by Edourad Manet
circia 1863
Musee d'Orsay, Paris, France

Olympia (who was portrayed by model Victorine Meurent) is perhaps the most famous French prostitute ever. (That's saying a lot, France has produced many famous prostitutes!) When Edourad Manet painted this in 1863 he knew he was going to ruffle some fussy Parisian feathers. The French, who were no strangers to nudity and loose women, were caught off guard by this very direct work. In fact, when Olympia was first shown at a Parisian Salon in 1865, it was flanked by 2 policemen! (1)

Apparently, the French did not like being confronted with reality. (I know, shocking.) Olympia is clearly a part of the world's oldest profession. She is staring straight at the viewer saying "Hey there viewer, I have sex for money." This made the upper-crust salon going French very uncomfortable. While they loved to have sex for money, they did not love to talk about it so bluntly. (2) They didn't want to get into the nitty gritty details of the transaction if you know what I mean. For example, the fact that Olympia is receiving flowers as a gift from her next appointment would have sent the French salon ladies into a brie and wine glass throwing fit. 'How dare he paint that! Our men do not send flowers to hookers!'

As controversial as this work was, Manet safe guarded himself against censorship by quoting another famous work by Venetian master, Titian. Olympia's classical pose mimics that of Titian's Venus of Urbino.

Venus of Urbino by Tiziano Vecellio aka Titian
circa 1538
The Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy

Venus is alittle more relaxed and her glance, while at the viewer, is more coquettish. She may be naked but she is definitely not a hooker. Nope, she's just finished her bath.

Her nudity was perfectly acceptable, while Olympia's was scandalous. All because of profession. Sometimes the devil is in the details.

1) The Shock of the Nude: Manet's Olympia, PBS
2) ibid

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