Of Michealangelo’s David in a museum, and bull gonads on the back of a truck
Michelangelo’s original David statue is in Florence, Italy, and numerous people told me after I left that it is a not-miss spectacle. I missed it, spending the first day walking with my friend around the city and seeing a mummy in another museum — which was the bomb — and the next day in nearby Pisa.
Michelagnelo’s David and so many other artistic masterpieces depict people in their birthday suits. Why, after all, paint the clothing fashions/artwork developed by others? Then again, I almost lost my dinner when I opened the wrong door at one of my college’s academic buildings while looking for the mountain club meeting, and instead happened upon an art class with a model in his birthday suit encircled by sketching art students. It seems that painting nude models is a common part of college art classes.
I have heard over the years about people eating Rocky Mountain oysters, a euphemism for cow’s testicles. They are a common byproduct of beef farmers’ castrating their bulls to tame them. For those wanting to eat meat without killing animals, perhaps Rocky Mountain oysters are an option, but that disgusts me gastronomically, and such castration is particularly unpleasant for the bull, and is part of the path to slaughtering the bull and its offspring for food and leather.
But I digress, other than to lead into the following connection between David, with his genitals hanging in full view, and the display of a bull’s testicles.
If I hang an image of Michelangelo’s David from the back of my car, will police stop my car and ticket me? No, so long as the image is not blocking my rear window.
If I hang a plastic duplicate of bull’s testicles (called "bull n*ts" where they are sold), will I be stopped and ticketed? Possibly yes if I do that in South Carolina. In at least two recent instances, police in South Carolina have stopped and ticketed people displaying bull n*ts on the rear of their vehicles, under the state’s obscene rear vehicle display law.
Praised be Virginia Tice for fighting back against this First Amendment/free expression violation, being stopped and ticketed for hanging plastic bull testicles from the rear of her vehicle, as Jonathan Turley reported in 2011. My Google search shows nothing by way of any court resolution of her case, other than that the case has been delayed three times as of last May 2012, whether or not her case still is ongoing.
One persons art is another’s vulgarity, and vice versa. The First Amendment is not needed to protect expression that everyone likes, but to protect expressing that is vilified by many.