Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Floating Naked Guy

Ok, I'll admit it. This Fox News headline totally grabbed me...

It's a Bird! It's a Plane!
It's a Floating Naked Guy!

I was hoping beyond hope that there were pictures of SUPERMAN RETURNS star Brandon Routh hovering naked over a city.

I mean, as Dolly Parton says in 9 TO 5, "You got a nice package. You might as well show it off."

And Brandon definitely had no problem filling out the red & blue tights. No problem at all.

(Pause as Stephen puts SUPERMAN RETURNS into his dvd player... And... we're back.)

But that wasn't what the article was about. Apparently a Polish artist named Pawel Althamer has installed a 70 foot floating balloon sculpture of a naked man that is hovering outside of the Renaissance Palazzina Appiani in Milan's Parco Sempione.

And this balloon sculpture of a naked man - - it's Mr. Althamer's self-portrait.

Take that Vincent van Gogh! THE STARRY NIGHT's night so bold now, is it?

Apparently, the installation has caused more than a few double takes, some chuckles and in just three days, has encouraged over 3,000 people to attend the artist's show of video and sculpture self-portraits entitled "One of Many." The locals, however, aren't shocked by the 70 foot tall naked balloon man at all.

"To be honest with you, it's nothing new," said Rosaria Mirabelli, mother of 3-year-old Tommaso who stared at the sculpture from the back of his mother's bicycle.

"He sees his father naked. In this park we see so many worse things than a naked man," she said, referring to the park's reputation
as a haven for drug users.

God, I love Italians.

Why? Well, the quote from American Adriana Spatafora, an English language teacher passing by, says it best...

"This wouldn't fly in the U.S."

That's the understatement of the decade. Americans can show a mass murderer on national television pointing his gun at the camera over and over and over again after he has just slaughtered dozens of people and nobody says a thing, but Janet Jackson shows one breast for a second and a half and it's anarchy.

What are we Americans? In the third grade? Giggling at wee-wee's and tah-tah's? Geez...

That said, it's no surprise that this is the only picture that Fox News - - and every other news agency that I could find - - ran with the story. No wee-wee in sight.

Notice how the guy on the bicycle just HAPPENS to obscure the gigantic, dangling balloon penis. What is this? An AUSTIN POWERS movie?!?!

But, never fear. A quick google search found these pictures of the sculpture and I have to say, I would love to see this installation in Millennium Park next summer.

And Macy's take note: Put THIS balloon in Chicago State Street Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and I might - - might! - - consider forgiving you for erasing the name "Marshall Field's" from Chicago department stores.

And if you need any help... ummmm... "blowing him up," let me know.


petermavrik said...

So delicious. And just in time for Mother's Day!

Stephen Rader said...

Peter - You're so right! My mother is actually a size queen. How she ended up with my father, I'll never know...

Not that I've seen it! She's just complained about it for a long, long time.

Alex said...

I think I dated him.

I think I used that joke already.

Stephen Rader said...

Alex - You dated who? The artist or the balloon?

If you say "the balloon," I'm going to be VERY jealous.

Aaron said...

The only bad part of dating him is if you bite his neck, he farts and flies out the window.

I know someone else told that one first. But they're probably dead by now--so what're they gonna do, sue me? :-)

Stephen Rader said...

Aaron - I had forgotten that joke! I love it.

Isn't that an old Bette Midler / Sophe Tucker joke? About her buying a blow up doll for Ernie as a surprise? She puts it in the bed and when he goes into the bedroom, she doesn't hear a thing. A few minutes later, he walks back out and Sophe asks him what he thought of his surprise and Ernie says, "Well, she was beautiful, so I climbed on top of her and bit her on the neck. Then, she farted and flew out the window."

I'm probably wrong about that but that's what my "Senior Moment" brain is telling me.

Aaron said...

It sounds perfect for a Bette/Sophie joke. It's almost as good a joke as the "legs in the air/vase" joke...

Stephen Rader said...

Aaron - Or the "20 goes into 80 a HELL OF A LOT MORE than 80 goes into 20!" joke.

I have a feeling those Bette Midler cd's will be making their way into my player tonight. :)