Friday, September 22, 2006

The Friday Follies

La Danse Macabre. See who joined in this week.

TGIF. It's been a week of the macabre, the nonsensical, and the just plain gross. With Hallowe'en but a few weeks away, the fun-loving U.N. invited two of the world's most comical monsters to dance across their New York stage. First there was the pint-sized Hitler wannabe Ahmud Ahdumjihad, who had everyone in stitches with his claim that a country practically made of oil needs nuclear power for fuel, not weaponry. Then came the prize piglet of Venezuela, Hugo "Stalino" Chavez, who jeeringly characterized the President of the United States as "el Diablo" and repeated the slur to a standing ovation in Harlem a day later.

More fright masks were on display when a couple of Dem leaders decided it was necessary to tap-dance around the fact that Yugo Chavez sounded more like a liberal member of the U.S. Congress than a big-time oil executive. Therewith Charlie Rangel and Nancy Pelosi waxed eloquent about how unthinkable it was for someone other than a Democrat to describe george W. Bush as the ultimate incarnation of evil. It was all very convincing until Rangel attempted to sell President Ahdumjihad the Brooklyn Bridge, discounted to the wholesale Jewish price. (Thankfully, Tom Harkin was more reasonable and faithful to the liberal ideal.)

Pelosi was shocked, shocked to hear Bush bashing.

In the Hallowe'en season, you can count on Christians being in the news. The Pope decided to be frank with muslims, then thought better of it when his characterization of Islam as violent caused immediate worldwide violence. As a German, he has the neo-teutonic flavor of courage, which is basically French but less adroit. For example, the Germans -- also this week -- at first thought they were going to object to Madonna staging a crucifixion of herself as part of her zillion dollar European tour.

Then they decided they wouldn't.

BERLIN - Prosecutors plan to keep an eye on Madonna’s weekend concert in Duesseldorf to see if the pop diva repeats the mock crucifixion scene that has drawn fire from religious leaders.

Johannes Mocken, a spokesman for prosecutors in Duesseldorf, said Tuesday that a repeat of that scene during Sunday’s concert could be construed as insulting religious beliefs...

Mocken said authorities would rely on media reports rather than sending observers to the concert and that the show might be covered by laws protecting artistic freedoms.

After all, what's the big deal? It's not as if Christians are going to start burning cities and beheading people just because some old trollop commits blasphemy on a worldwide media hook-up. That's why the Pope swallowed his words and the German authorities swallowed Madonna's line about artistic expression.

Yes, if you're a post-modern westerner, it's time to recognize that crucifixion is all about fun. The oh-so-civilized Brits know that better than anybody. That's why the irrepressible Channel 4 (of Bush assassination fame) decided it would be great to do a show about crucifying a corpse, courtesy of "plastination" (see graphic above) star Gunther von Hagens:

Channel 4 is to broadcast a documentary showing a human corpse being hung on a cross to depict Christ's suffering.

Anatomist Gunther von Hagens will use a real body to show how people died when crucified in the 90-minute film.

The programme, Crucifixion, is already causing controversy, with Christians condemning it as blasphemous and one group threatening prosecution.

Although Channel 4 insists the body will not represent Christ specifically, a memo leaked to the Evening Standard states that it would indeed portray Jesus.

Von Hagens, who created the Body Worlds exhibits using his preservation technique of plastination, has been widely criticised for his work, which included an autopsy on TV in 2002. This is the first time he has touched on religion.

Somehow, we doubt Gunther will be plastinating a Muhammed stand-in anytime soon. But everyone knows it's far more important to revere an enemy religion like Islam than the faith that has made total irreverence into a cultural ideal for half the world's most educated intellectuals.

And speaking of education, it's altogether fitting and proper that we should conclude the Friday Follies with a dance item from one of America's leading states in secondar education. The article speaks for itself:

A furor over what Concord High School administrators call an "overtly sexual" style of dancing at school dances has split the school community: There are those who defend the students'right to dance however they want and those who believe the moves are just plain inappropriate.

Principal Gene Connolly is with the latter group. He said the school will cancel all remaining dances, including the upcoming homecoming dance, unless students step forward to help halt the "grinding."

"This style of dancing is wrong," Connolly told parents at a Parent-Teacher-Student Organization meeting Tuesday night. "If you were to see it, you would be equally offended."

Asked by parents to describe the dance, Connolly offered this: The girl leans forward and the boy puts his pelvis against her backside. Then, he thrusts.

"It's feigning a sex act," Connolly said..

.But some students and parents don't see it that way. They say that like the jitterbug and disco before it, grinding is just a sign of the times.

"We were raised to dance like that," senior Kayla Bisson said.

Raised to do that? Raised by whom? Oh, yeah. By MTV, the outfit that's raising all the kids these days while parents pretend that kids just happen and don't require any guidance rules, discipline, or punishment. Who couldn't see that simulating doggy-style sex on the dance floor is just another variation on old-fashioned teen rebellion? They're kids, not monsters. Jeez.

If you're one of the the old fogeys who don't know what grinding is, here's a brief look.

Isn't that sweet? I'm sure when your daughter does it, you'll feel all nostalgic for the swim and the jerk. Dance, little sister, dance.

P.S Apologies to InstaPunk regulars. Last week's Instalanche apparently used up our bandwidth for the month, and we were so busy worrying about the space shuttle we forgot to update our account. The really good news is that the shuttle landed safely, despite the mysterious "debris" that was trailing them through earth orbit. Color us relieved that the orbital companion turned out to be nothing but worthless junk.

See you next week.

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