The FCC is looking into the NBC broadcast of this summer's Olympic opening ceremonies--after receiving complaints about the nudity of male dancers representing kouroi...This appears to be the initial story, from Reuters; the NY Post has the most entertaining take:
It all began at the Olympics ceremonies, where about a dozen men were hired to pose as ancient statues in bizarre, anatomically correct rubber get-ups, while a toga-clad pregnant dame posed with a glow-in-the-dark belly.
Indecent? No. Hilarious.
This craziness was still enough to cause nine — count 'em nine — indecency complaints from scary loonies who must have seen photos of the men in the opening ceremonies. They'd have to have seen photos because NBC (tragically!) never showed the rubber men in their coverage.
I don't know about you, but nothing would have knocked me out of my opening ceremony stupor faster than a bunch of guys with green genitalia who look like they escaped from the 1950s grade-C flick "Plan Nine from Outer Space."
Doesn't the FCC have better ways to waste our money? People are dying in wars, children are going hungry, schools are shamelessly underfunded — and they're wasting tax dollars investigating a ceremony that took place in Greece but was never even shown here? I think NBC should get fined — for not showing what sounds like the best part of the whole Olympics!
Excuse me, but the ancient Olympics, which began in 776 P.L.E. (Pre-Lycra era), all took place in the nude (except the equestrian events — obviously!). And if it were not for the invention of rubberized, stretch fabrics, they probably still would be.
Well, in all fairness, the ancients weren't totally naked. Ancient boxers wore thongs called himantes. On their hands.
And the runners? They wore loin cloths, which they usually discarded after the first few miles because according to ancient text, "a naked man can run more easily than one girt [in a girdle]." And really, who likes a man in a girdle — right?
If you ask me, the ancient naked Olympics were a lot more fun, not to mention decent, than the modern games.
For one thing, without pricey uniforms they didn't need to whore themselves out to official sponsors. And laundering consisted of a shower.
Oh, almost forgot. For pictures, see Yahoo and the Classical Values blog, where I first read about the controversy (in the middle of an long post on art, censorship, Graeco-Buddhism, the Taliban, etc.).