Saturday, August 31, 2019

Naked States Film Reaction Paper Essay

The idiosyncrasies of photography are nothing new in my book, I happen to have a cameraphile (for lack of a better word) sister, who prides herself of having taken pictures of every little monument, statue or building she stumbles upon. Every time our family goes on a holiday on a new location, she takes it upon herself to take anything â€Å"worth† storing in her camera (in almost every angle), which means everything and we stopped every time she has to take a shot, which means every mile. I thought I knew all the quirks of photography until I gaze upon several dozen naked people lying in the streets of New York City and a cynical guy casually taking pictures of them. Wow, it hit me, now this is a different story. â€Å"The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others†. In a liberal society like ours (sort of), I have found that this principle provides reasons for limiting free speech when doing so prevents direct harm to rights. This means that very few acts should be prohibited. It recommends very limited intervention in the realm of free speech. All forms of speech or expression that are found to be offensive but easily avoidable should go unpunished. Public nudity, for example, causes offense to some people, but most of us find it at most a bit embarrassing, and it is avoided by a simple turn of the head. The same goes with sex and coarse language on television this principle doesn’t support criminalizing bigamy or drug use, or the enforcement of seat belts, crash helmets and the like. As we all know, nude photography is a subject to the freedom of expression and unless that form of expression is obscene or offensive in nature, it is completely legal. Nude photography is no more different from nudity. And like I said, nudity is a prime example of a possibly offensive but victimless state of being. It is not even an activity or act, since it is not behavior, but simply the absence of clothing. The nude and the naked should therefore be protected by civil rights and liberties, including natural rights, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of association, and private property rights. And throwing photography into the mix is, again, no different. Of course, most folks don’t want naked people to walk down the street. But anti-nudity laws extend way beyond this to prohibit nudity in one’s property and even inside one’s own house, and some places make it illegal to be nude in the company of a child even at home. In some place, breast feeding is treated as a crime. Art depicting nonsexual nudity is banned in some places and many shops that develop film routinely destroy any film that depicts nudity, and if a child is shown nude, no matter how innocent the context, the shop reports it to the authorities. Before you get the wrong idea; I think Spencer’s philosophy is complete crap. Utter crap, liberation through nudity? I don’t have a slightest desire to be â€Å"liberated† because, well, as far as I’m concerned, I am liberated. I feel liberated. I don’t have to strip down to the waist and have someone capture that moment to feel good about myself or to wash away any misgivings I have in the past. And I think its enormously unpleasant seeing naked people lying down in a pavement road like Jewish victims straight from the concentration camps of the Holocaust. Contrary to popular belief, the clothing we wear doesn’t promote shame and reservation in the human body but it intensifies the respect for human sanctity of our own body. In other words, the clothing is not here to hide or disguise your body like a cloak but to preserve them and treasure for someone you loved like a wedding veil. Heck, I guess you can even say that we humans, by our very nature, are evil and lustful. And our clothing, on most cases, serves as a cushion from our lecherous individuality we all share since the beginning of adolescence to each other until you have met the right intimate companion. Although unlike many people, I know better. Or at least I did after a brother of mine did his very best to enlighten me. I remember asking him quite a long time ago, out of curiosity, about â€Å"the big deal on stopping nudists from walking around all nude and all†, and he said that apparently in California, they are considering a â€Å"local option† law that would let local governments determine their own â€Å"community standards,† replacing the current state-wide standard. This means publication depicting nudity in a non-sexual context, or even a photo of one’s naked baby in a bathtub, could be classified as obscene by the local standard. Electronic communications and web sites showing non-sexual nudity, such as people at a nude beach, would become criminal in that locality. Such laws are being pushed and passed throughout the world because most folks are not a free-thinking activist (or more likely, a cynical artist) like Spencer Tunick, or even a determined nudist and think it does not affect them. But these laws are not only unjust to these people, but set terrible precedents against free expression and private property rights. This abridgement of the freedom of expression is a foot in the door to the suppression of all our rights and liberties. Spencer might not have meant it intentionally but his actions will take a greater resonance in the annals of freedom of expression than anyone can imagine. And by the way, if anyone had the witless audacity to approach me and ask me to pose nude for artistic reasons I tell them â€Å"S— no. Find someone else who desperately needs a boost on self-esteem or a misguided publicity stunt†. Couldn’t have said it more eloquently.

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