This is an update of the amazing trip I took to Europe last summer
. Slowly but surely I’m posting about every day I spent on that excellent continent. To read earlier updates, click here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. And here. And here and here and here and here and here and here.
Paris is oft called the city of love, but perhaps a more appropriate tag would be the city of extreme public displays of affection.
Now, I know I’m more prude than the average mid-twenties North American coed [this fact due to 1) my upbringing in a conservative Mormon community wherein even my borderline liberal parentage could not save me from thinking sex was a dirty word until well after my eighteenth birthday, and 2) the general nature of myself, which is prude with a capital PRU], but even the most love-promoting hippie would probably agree that the outbreak of PDAs among this city’s youngish population is a bit much.
Within the space of a one-hour jaunt through the Luxembourg Gardens I stealth-snapped a few photos of some of the more extreme cases, but they were everywhere! And not just at the one garden, either, but EVERYWHERE: on the Metro, at the Louvre—I even saw a teenage boy and girl go into one of the public potties outside the Eiffel Tower the other day.
Okay, so some of those were pretty innocent, but others—the only thing preventing them from consummating it right there in the middle of the parc were a couple of layers of jeans and underwear!
But really, it’s no wonder these people are so sexually charged. I mean, look at what they are indoctrinated with from the time they are infants (and truly, I have seen more grade-school field trips at museums while I’ve been here than I could possibly number, which is on the one hand awesome but on the other hand, well, see for yourself):
And that was just Rodin! He’s a dadgum saint compared to some of the stuff I’ve seen here.
Luckily I also snapped a few photos of myself along the way, so I’ll post a couple here to cleanse your visual palate. My face is like the coffee beans of the digital world:
I myself have become much more liberal with this sort of thing since taking so many art history classes over the past seven years. Not much shocks me anymore (at least when it comes to art). Back in my senior year of high school when Mrs. Johnston projected the first slide of the nude Venus di Milo, you better believe I was blushing—but now, not so much.
Yet for all my grown-up attitudes when it comes to art, I still have a bit of a rough go of it when I see kids petting in the park for all the world to see.
There’s art, and then there’s reality.
And it’s not often the two are the same.
What do you think? Are you more, less, or equally offended by the photos of the kids in the park versus the photos of Rodin’s statues? Or not offended by any of them at all?
I’d love to know!