I must admit that I have become somewhat used to the ever-increasing displays of public exhibitionism in American society. But every now and then, a few examples come together at the same time and create a sort of critical mass in my mind. Today was one of those times.
I read the story on Drudge about the latest tempest in a teapot over John McCain appearing in the R-rated movie "Wedding Crashers." The outrage about the story I picked up on other blogs seemed to center on the fact that McCain, who has called on Hollywood to clean up its act, appeared in an R-rated movie, and on his response to criticism that he participated in a "boob fest." He replied that hey, he works with a lot of boobs in Congress.
I agree with the sense of mild outrage about all this, of course, but what really got my eyebrows raised was this paragraph from the news story:
"In one scene in the film, veteran actress Jane Seymour goes topless in an attempt to seduce Owen Wilson, who plays a divorce attorney trying to pick up women at weddings to which he has not been invited."
Excuse me. Did they say Jane Seymour, one of my favorite actresses, who played Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and writes books about genteel, romantic living and raising cute twin boys, has performed topless? Am I reading that correctly?
Who's next to bare their breasts? Angela Lansbury of "Murder She Wrote"? Barbara Walters? Aunt Jemima? Judge Judy?
I guess I should have seen this coming. Once Julie Andrews popped her top in the movie "SOB" and received kudos for her "courage" instead of the loss of future movie roles, I guess the door came off the hinges for good.
The same day I read about Jane, I also saw in Drudge that the first "live billboard" has debuted in Times Square. Yes, a huge multi-level billboard, looking like open windows in an apartment building, features about 40 models walking around as they live in the building where the billboard (for Calvin Klein, of course) is located.
The article says, "Young models on the billboard have been instructed to create an illusion of a big party 24 hours a day. The billboard features music as well. The models will work through shifts through Wednesday night. They were reportedly told not to drink on the billboard or perform risque behavior." Rats.
I imagine there are great crowds looking at this. To be perfectly honest, if I was in New York City, I'd have to take a gander myself. But I just wonder how far we'll go to show off our bodies and ourselves to each other. Is there no boundary line we won't eventually cross? I'm not so sure anymore.
Boy, don't I sound like a wheezy old fogey prude...
I had another thought. If this live billboard thing catches on, what other products will use it? I feel sorry for the poor little Coppertone girl, who will have to stay bent over for hours at a time while a dog pulls on her swimsuit. But hey -- maybe they'll put her in "Wedding Crashers II."
UPDATE: I am a bit naive at times, and usually the last to know. I just did a quick Yahoo image search for "Jane Seymour," and there's a bunch of nude photos of her on the index page, readily available. I guess this Wedding Crashers stunt was old hat for her. Probably a mid-life career move.