Brattleboro Selectmen Ban Public Nudity

In a truly astounding display of cowardice and pandering to conservative whining, the Brattleboro selectmen narrowly approved an “emergency ordinance” banning public nudity on city streets today. Vermont, and Brattleboro in particular have a long history of tolerating nudity in public. The state, along with many of its towns have absolutely no law requiring that people wear cloths in public so long as they are minding their own business.

The “emergency” that precipitated the ordinance was an elderly Arizona man who decided to attend the city’s gallery walk in the nude. Apparently the conservative blowhards can handle it when nude people are young and beautiful, but they draw the line and call it an “emergency” when it’s an old saggy guy. Nice going fellas!

I can’t say that I truly understand why these people enjoy being nude in public, but I’m totally sick and tired of this country’s uptight and irrational hangups about the naked body. Many news articles covering this story have quotes from people saying things like “I don’t think children should be seeing this”. I suppose they would rather our children learn to be ashamed of their bodies and perpetuate the misconception in this country that all nudity is sexual? Don’t you think the more casual attitudes towards nudity we see thru-out much of Europe are a lot healthier for our children than America’s ludicrous, Christian imposed complex about it? I don’t have children, but if I did, I would much rather they be exposed to nudity outside the sexual context so they could realize that everyone’s body is different and that it is OK for them not to look exactly like the models in glamour magazines.

A naked body is something that each and every one of us have, but for some reason we are taught to be ashamed of it. Like it or not, most of the body-image issues and eating disorders that prevail in this country can be directly traced back to our villification of the naked body. Wouldn’t it be great to see people from all over the country descend upon the streets of Brattleboro and stage a Spencer Tunick style installation of thousands of naked bodies in protest of this draconian ordinance? I certainly think so.

Duct Tape Prom Wear

Everyone really loves duct tape, but by when I realized that there is a national contest to decide which couple can make the best Senior prom dress and tux out of this magical adhesive, I quickly realized that some love it a great deal more than others!

This morning I heard a radio story about Cassandra Openshaw and Nick Carber, students at Narraguagus High School in Milbridge Maine who used used 45 rolls and 9 different colors of Duct Tape to make the attire for their tropical theme prom… And I thought the guy I saw selling duct tape wallets was cool!

Later I read about the “Stuck At Prom” contest that awards $6,000 in scholarship money to the couple with the most creative and original duct tape prom cloths. Past winners can be seen here.

Cassandra Openshaw and Nick Carber

Cassandra Openshaw and Nick Carber

I Want a Cargo Kilt

Over the weekend, I was listening to VPR, and heard a blurb about “cargo skirts”. Now, I’ve been convinced for a long time that women have had it figured out with respect to wearing skirts, and that men have gotten the short end of the stick by being more or less socially prohibited from wearing them.

One might ague that the Scottish have broken through this social barrier with the kilt, but those are made of wool, and I can only imagine that they are scratchy and really not that comfortable. Anyhow, I was happy to learn that someone was finally trying to tear down the male skirt barrier.

The guy who started UtiliKilt, was aparently working on his motorcycle when he dicided that “pants were just too uncomfortable”, and decided to develop a cargo skirt, which he named the UtiliKilt. Apparently, there has been enough interest in his product to turn his idea into a growing company. Here is what they say their mission is:

Mission Statement:
We are committed to pioneering a comfortable alternative to trousers by producing “Men’s Unbifurcated Garments” (MUG’s). Our patented utility design reflects the company’s high standards and integrity. Utilikilts seeks to set a global example, defining “business with a conscience” and channeling company gains and resources back into the community.

I especially like the fact that they are called MUG’s! I say to the American male: Break free from your chains that are pants and wear a MUG!