Students at Carnegie Mellon say it’s freedom of expression, but the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh calls it inappropriate and disrespectful.Ok, ok. Let me jump right in to the first paragraph and say that YES, it's freedom of expression and because it was a public event during the day (more on that in a bit) one could say it's also inappropriate. But the part about dressing like The Pope and handing out condoms? Completely disrespectful - though completely deserving.
At an annual art school parade, a female student dressed up as the pope, and was naked from the waist down while she passed out condoms.
Even more, witnesses say the woman had shaved her pubic hair in the shape of a cross.
An astute reader sent in some more info on the event - it was the Anti-Gravity Downhill Derby. The event's facebook page has a flickr account for last years event - and event they describe with a witty:
last year got a little out of hand... we expect nothing less this time around.Well, they got their wish - hahahahaha!
Did you know that there's a flickr account for this year's event?
Well now you do - go see quickly. No idea how long the pics will stay up.
I checked out the pictures and I couldn't find anything closely resembling "a female student dressed up as the pope, and was naked from the waist down while she passed out condoms." However I did find this:
Not sure if this is a "safe-sex" or an "size (length OR girth) really doesn't matter" message so we'll just move on to the faux-Botticelli found here:
While I appreciate the point of deconstructing a Renaissance image of beauty I have to point out that her hands are all wrong:
But what do I know?
The only image I could find that could come close to what Andy Sheehan wrote about is this one:
While there are no condoms to be seen, the imagery (a woman dressed in papal garments kneels before a man who holds a banana and is dressed as an altar boy) points to something else completely - something completely valid in protesting and or satirizing and or mocking, regardless of what the good Bishop has to say about the matter.
Which brings me to my point. The CMU students are completely within their rights in mock what they choose to mock. Freedom of expression, especially on a college campus and especially in art is necessary to the proper functioning of a free society. Anything short of that limits freedom.
On the other hand to those students doing the mocking: don't be surprised if your otherwise well intentioned mockery is taken as offensive. This was during the day at a family event, remember. Not everyone is as hip as you and not everyone will be happy with your decision to ridicule those who deserve to be ridiculed - but doing the ridiculing in front of their children (who might not understand the issue) on a sunny Thursday afternoon.
Other than that, way to go.
UPDATE: Access to the flickr account has been yanked.