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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nude Protest: Russia Weighs In

Posted By on Tue, Sep 27, 2011 at 11:20 AM

click to enlarge Святое Дерьмо! Вы видели это? - JOSEPH SCHELL
  • Joseph Schell
  • Святое Дерьмо! Вы видели это?

What could possibly make the recent "nude-in" demonstration of withered, naked men protesting a call for them to cease placing their bare buttocks upon seats even more bizarre? How about a writeup in a Russian media outlet in full "Emergency! Everybody to get from street!" dialect, lecturing the audience on the tenets of democracy? And could that Russian article be unabashedly swiped from the New York Times? You got it

"Public protests are a necessary element of a democratic society, allowing people to express their social and political will. However, sometimes this measure is used as a reaction tool to such ridiculous causes that it denounces the very idea of protesting." That's the opening stanza of a piece in today's edition of the Voice of Russia. And it just gets better after that.

To wit: 

... [S]everal dozen protesters wearing nothing but their birthday suits, gathered last weekend in Jane Warner Plaza, trying to draw public attention to the legislation introduced by a city supervisor Scott Weiner. The proposal would require those going nude in public to cover public seating when sitting down and put on clothes before entering restaurants. When the introduction of such a bill would hardly spark any disputes in most of the world cities, in San Francisco, known as one of the world centers of tolerance, the proposal made people get to the streets with protest signs and banners.

Does author Vladimir Gladkov think his audience knows where Jane Warner Plaza is? But wait -- there's more!

While there may be a temptation to describe the participants of the nude-in as a bunch of perverted old men, they are definitely not. For them the right to remain nude is a declaration of tolerance and open mindness. However, everything, including tolerance, should have its limits, otherwise it risks to get turned into an abuse of other people's rights.


While some praise the naked activists may as the crusaders of human rights, the whole situation looks ridiculous. When the real crimes against humanity occur all over the globe, the protest of old people against the obligation to wear clothes in restaurants sounds like a scene from a comedy show.

click to enlarge You can keep your nude protests, Mr. Western Imperialist!
  • You can keep your nude protests, Mr. Western Imperialist!
Book report-like summations about the nature of democracy and tolerance don't apply to intellectual property rights, it would seem. Large swaths of the Voice of Russia article are unabashedly ripped off from this Times story.

But that only makes Gladkov's profound summation even more apt: The whole situation looks ridiculous. Everybody to get from street!

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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