May 12, 2009
No matter how much you pay some people, they still want to take their clothes off. Yes, nudity can be really sexy, but it can also be profoundly disturbing. You can’t smear Vaseline on the lens of reality … well, actually you can smear it on your eyeball, but you’re much better off using K-Y Jelly, or better yet, just look the other way. Even partial nudity can make it hard to hold down your lunch. If you’ve ever spent more than a few minutes in the public showers at Barton Springs, you probably know that Sandy’s frozen custard doesn’t look the same coming out as it does going in. Real bodies are plagued with a mind-boggling variety of liver spots, scars, stretch marks, moles, pimples, cysts, sores, rashes, warts, and calluses; they’re hairy … sometimes furry, saggy, wrinkly, floppy, chubby, bulgy, sweaty, smelly, dirty; they’re disproportionate, misshapen, gnarled, palsied, augmented, amputated, and mutated. Still, there are plenty of people who believe that all God’s bodies are beautiful. Maybe. Any good televangelist would tell you, “God don’t make no junk,” which means that “all that junk inside your trunk” must be the work of the devil … or maybe the Cheesecake Factory. Regardless, the notion that we are all perfect as God created us is as solid as any. Think about it: God has been around presumably for millions and millions of years. It’s understandable that after a while he would want a little variety. In fact, you would expect God to have a serious freak fetish. That’s good news if you have one eye, a third nipple, a sixth toe, a peg leg, and you weigh 450lbs; bad news if you’re Brad Pitt. Mere mortals, on the other hand, aren’t nearly as jaded. For instance, most would happily do Brad Pitt – even with a third nipple, but if Brad Pitt was so big that his shirts were made from sewn together bedsheets, chances are even Angelina wouldn’t boink him, and she’s bumped uglies with Billy Bob “Would you say that to Tom Petty?” Thornton, which pretty much makes her the Mother Teresa of celebrity slummers. Seeing Billy Bob Thornton naked takes a saintly amount of compassion, which is probably why Halle Berry made him go doggy-style in Monster’s Ball: out of sight, out of mind. Sadly, people watching the movie didn’t have that option. They had to keep a laser-accurate, Zen-like focus on Halle Berry to keep from seeing Billy Bob’s old-man ass (aka “OMA,” as in “OMA GAWD!”). Moviegoers with wandering eyes ended up projectile vomiting their Junior Mints into the neck-brace seats. Moral: Never show up late to a Billy Bob Thornton movie. So … not all flesh is suitable for adult audiences, but with careful planning and preparation, nudity can be more than tolerable; it can actually be entertaining. If you’d like to see for yourself, check out this weekend’s Texas Burlesque Festival at Emo’s. Burlesquers from all over Texas and across the nation will converge and compete in categories such as Best Soloist, Best Ensemble, Most Original, Best Costume, Best Gender Bender, and Best Neo-Vaudeville and Miscellany. These aren’t tired old titty dancers just dialing it in for meth money. They’re stripping enthusiasts who do it for the love and the artistry, which makes it cool. Cool enough for Emo’s. Plus, it’s only $15, and there’s no drink minimum. Just don’t expect any lap dances.