February 5, 2007

About that silhouette.

Are you feeling outrage or amusement or not really seeing what the big deal is?



Reminds me of the hospital sponge bath scene in the famous "Seinfeld" episode, "The Contest":
(On the other side of a curtain divider, the silhouette of a shapely nurse can be seen entering)

NURSE: Hi, Denise. Six-thirty, time for your sponge bath.

(The shadow of a patient awakening can be seen)

DENISE: Mmm.. is it six-thirty already? I fell asleep.

(The two women go about preparing the sponge bath. George is visibly affected - breathing heavily, and staring at them through the curtain)

SHELLY: (Seems not to notice what's going on beyond the divider) So, George, what are you doing now? I hear you got some kinda television, writing - thing?

GEORGE: (Slowly backing away, he's not at all committed to the conversation) Yeah.. television.

(The patient, Denise, is trying to get her gown off)

NURSE: Let me help you out with that. Here, just slip it over your head..

DENISE: Oh.. thank you.

SHELLY: (Nodding) Well, it's about time. We thought you were gonna wind up on the street. (As the bath is going on, George is now completely mesmerized)

What is it you're doing, exactly?

(A moment passes. George seems not to have heard his cousin)

ESTELLE: George, you're cousin, Shelly, is talking to you!....


JERRY: So the nurse was giving her a sponge bath?

GEORGE: Every night at six-thirty. The nurse was gorgeous.. then I got a look at the patient.. (Laughs, then snorts) I was going nuts.

JERRY: Oh, man. Well, I guess you'll be going back to that hospital.

GEORGE: (Fake sympathy) Well, my mother, Jerry..

(Jerry nods)

JERRY: (Pointing) But are you still master of your domain?

GEORGE: (Arms out) I am king of the county. You?

JERRY: Lord of the manor.


ADDED: I have more to say about this here.


MadisonMan said...

Amusement. But what do you expect from Prince? G-rated Wholesomeness? Aren't artists hard-wired to push boundaries?

Ann Althouse said...

I thought it was pretty artistic and also funny, and it was fully backed up by great music, so it wasn't just to distract us from aural mediocrity. And it was big and fit the space of the venue and the occasion. It was just about perfectly pitched.

As for what one expects from Prince, let's all remember that it was "Darling Nikki" that tipped Tipper Gore over the edge.

bill said...

I'm stuck on the fact that your top image looks like an Easter Island head with an arrow sticking out the back.

Pretty much ruins any salaciousness for me. [Too obvious punchline about big heads redacted]

Anonymous said...

I think the tail is a nice touch.

paul a'barge said...

I couldn't decide between one pseudo-appendage or the other, and then chose the Satan Tail.

Hope I chose correctly!

KCFleming said...

Prince as Satyr.

David said...

They stole it from "Robin Hood-Men In Tights!"

Perpetual adolescence honored!

vbspurs said...

How soon we forget.

When I was a teenager, Prince's Lovesexy album was the most risqué thing out there. It's almost identical to this visual.

Well, you know what they say about 5'2" men.

The same thing they say about 6'4" men.


vbspurs said...

Prince as Satyr.

Quite so, Pogo.

Another anecdote for you: At Oxford, I took an history of sexuality course, where we had to read such great tomes as: "Discourse on the Worship of Priapus" (1786), the Kama Sutra (obviously), and the Priapeia (translated by Sir Richard Burton in the 1800s).

It starts out with the double pun:

In play, Priapus (thou canst testify)

Priapus, testify. Get it?

That was rip-roaring intellectual bawdiness in Victorian Times.


Todd and in Charge said...

But what about THE CHILDREN?

P_J said...

Wow. I must be entering early geezerhood. We watched the game with some friends (all in our late 30s) and thought Prince did a great job. I think we all missed the Fender-phallic images because we were busy reminiscing about Prince's glory days in the 80s and the Purple Rain movie and album (yes, on vinyl).

Victoria, his earliest stuff is even more sexually explicit. He's probably included in more recent course curricula.

I love the description from the previous thread -- a combination of Little Richard and Rick James. Too true.

Robert said...

I'm outraged that I don't see the big deal! ;)

High Power Rocketry said...

You are so right about that being seinfeld like.

John Stodder said...

Prince has been using that..."glyph?"...ever since his foray into not using his name over 10 years ago. Is this the first time he's used the silhouette effect to suggest he's got a penis shaped like an arrow from a Bugs Bunny cartoon?

I first noticed how cool the silhouette effect was. Then I noticed the intended/unintended image and laughed. I watched the Super Bowl with three children under 12, and none of them acted as if they were scandalized.

If anyone objected, what would they be objecting to, exactly? Prince's music is mostly about sex. What did they think they were buying?

This is the first time since the Super Bowl started using big acts at halftime that I didn't find it embarassing. Prince was great, and the staging was incredible.

Adam said...

"Victoria, his earliest stuff is even more sexually explicit. He's probably included in more recent course curricula."

He was included in the survey course on rock music since 1970 I took last semester.

Finn Alexander Kristiansen said...

The halftime show by Prince was pretty good. He showed off his guitar skills and refrained from delving into his more modern catalog that many listeners would not be familiar with or necessarily enjoy. So a bit of humility there.

Then too, he incorporated the music of others into the mix which was a nice touch.

He stayed within the confines that the NFL probably legally bound him to, but still made it a Prince-like performance, what with the dancing faceless twins and such.

I have to admit though. At the beginning of the entire superbowl spectacle, I was quite confused, and thought I was in France at an Olympics, what with Cirque de Soleil's annoying nonsense that is better suited to an indoor arena (in France, or... Vegas). It struct me as not particularly fitting the mood of the event.

Billy Joel was so subdued to the point where I wondered if he was ever able to sing at all. It was like watching a ghost, or man who had all the life sucked out of him (by Christie Brinkley).

KCFleming said...

Re: "I think we all missed the Fender-phallic images..."

I saw the giant shadow cast behind him and said , Oh...my...gawd...., and
my wife said What? what? Ooooohhh..

1. If only Janet Jackson had been half this clever.
2. Maybe those Jehovah's Witnesses have more fun than I'd thought.

Melissa Clouthier said...

Great performance! Classic Prince. Two-thumbs way up!

As my husband noted, the electric guitar itself is phallic.

reader_iam said...

Wait--were people actually upset by that?

OK, now I'm listening to--hey, there, Ruth Anne! This part's for you!--Sexy M.F.--so loudly my china is rattling and the dogs are awake and growling.

(Obviously, the kid's at school.. .)

Oooooh, baby.

Bissage said...

So that’s what it looks like when Prince pops a boner!

I'd always wondered. Now I know.

(Pretty impressive, actually).

HaloJonesFan said...

I have to say: If people look at this shilouette and consider it phallic...I mean, talk about your fear-of-sex issues! "Oh god, whenever I think of penises, I think of things that are two feet long, come in pairs, and have a vicious triangular bulge at the tip!"

People who think that stuff looked phallic probably have a whole collection of David Cronenberg videos...at the back of their sock drawer.

HaloJonesFan said...

On the other hand, a while ago we were talking about the redesigns of the Audi TT and Mazda Miata, and I mentioned that they were "more masculine, more boxy and angular". Ann replied "yes, like the extension of a penis." I don't know what THAT was about.

KCFleming said...

Re: "...talk about your fear-of-sex issues!"

Who's afraid? This discussion has been rather laudatory, not one of anxiety or condemnation. Try again.

"People who think that stuff looked phallic ..."
People who don't probably have macular degeneration.

John Stodder said...

It so happens that earlier on Super Sunday, one of the HBO channels was playing "The Girl Can't Help It," starring Jayne Mansfield, a movie made in 1956. In the scene I watched, Mansfield walks past a milkman who was carrying a bottle of milk. The bottle of milk immediately boils over and a stream of milk squirts out.

As if anyone missed the point, a few minutes later, Mansfield encounters Tom Ewell in his apartment. She has helpfully brought his two milk bottles inside for him. She holds both bottles, unnaturally cradling each one against one of her enormous breasts.

Compared to those five minutes of a 1956 family film, Prince was being subtle.

(P.S. Word verification: WARTUFG)

Bissage said...

You know, that last one should be tidied up a bit, as follows:

First, Prince told us what it sounds like when doves cry. Now, he shows us what it looks like when he pops a boner.


There, that's better.

HaloJonesFan said...

Bissage: How about this..."In 1987, Prince told us what it sounds like when the doves cry. In 2007, he showed us what he used to make them cry."

PeterP said...

But where was the tassel?

R C Dean said...

Oh god, whenever I think of penises, I think of things that are two feet long, come in pairs, and have a vicious triangular bulge at the tip!

You peeked!