Tuesday, June 08, 2004

OK, this is just funny. The UN General Assembly has finally decided to discuss Israel's bombing of the Iraqi reactor. This brings to mind Reagan's comment on the matter, amid all the condemnation: "But what a terrific piece of bombing!"

Saddam is gone, Iraq has changed, Begin and Reagan are dead, Ilan Ramon became famous for quite other matters and then tragically passed on himself- but bureaucracy moves along at its own pace.

Moving right along, I was watching the original Fantasia this Sunday. Apart from the thought that this movie was made for DVD- who wants to hear introductions?- the thought occurred to me that it's a bit, well, risque. Certainly modern Disney movies wouldn't feature topless female centaurs being chased (OK, once they cover up a bit) by a leering Bacchus (for that matter, I doubt they'd be as mythology-heavy at all these days), or prominent buttocks on animals and pan-figures, or, for that matter, a cupid peeking at a centaur couple between curtains, his bare buttocks, facing the camera head-on, turned into a heart shape. And that's just on the surface- my filthy mind could find much more, I'm sure, if I so desired (which I most emphatically do not).

Maybe I'll check out Fantasia 2000 again to see what goes on there. It does have my favorite sequence of both films- Donald Duck herding animals onto Noah's Ark to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance, losing and then finding Daisy. I guess I'm a mushy romantic way down, fixation on naked mythological creatures notwithstanding. Then again, the Rhapsody in Blue "Hirschfeld" sequence is another favorite. And seeing Roy Disney on the commentary always brings a bit of a laugh, considering his recent history with Eisner.

P.S.: Pausing to consider, it makes me wonder about our standards. I think Wendy Shalit points out the distinction between nudity and immodesty (being sexy when fully dressed, boring or, conversely, modest when nude), and that seems to be at work here. Our tour guide at the V&A pointed out that, contrary to popular belief, Queen Victoria didn't add figleaves to, say, Michelangelo's David (the copy at the museum, of course)- some princess did. Perhaps it's our standards- seeing prurience in actually innocent classical images- that have grown perverse. I'm not saying that people should run around in the nude, but perhaps we should consider art- and even Fantasia- in a different light. Of course, I don't trust modern artists to have that much tact.

A friend has made a similar point about the publicization of homosexuality- it's ruined male friendships. Now that we've been conditioned into seeing such things as "normal," we can no longer look at, say, Holmes and Watson- and the real love they shared- without sex coming to mind. Nor can we establish such relationships today. And we are the less for that.

No comments: