Dirty Little Pictures
Let the more erudite blogs reflect on the one-year anniversary of the Katrina tragedy. Today, I have decidedly less important matters to discuss.
Here's a shout-out to precociousness. A friend and colleague was mortified this weekend to catch her 8-year-old son doing a Google search for naked pictures of Jessica Simpson. Evidently, the boy -- decorum precludes our using his name, so let's just call him "Porn Hunter" -- has been something of a tit man in the first place, at least according to his mother, but the dirty-picture search represents a new level in his Huckleberry Finn-like odyssey through sexualized self-awareness.
Now, aside from my disappointment at his conventional taste in cheesecake -- note to Porn Hunter: Google Mandy Moore next time -- I don't see what the big fuss is about.
I think I was roughly 8 or 9 when I saw my first porn magazine. My brother-in-law at the time -- for the purposes of this anecdote, we'll just call him by his inexplicable nickname, Dolphin -- had an impressive collection of Playboys and Penthouses, and, if memory serves, he freely allowed me to peruse the stacks of forbidden material. Dolphin was a different breed of cat, certainly a different breed of role model. The guy avoided work, was an amateur pornographer, sold great quantities of dope and fed an insatiable gambling addiction that eventually led to serious problems. My oldest sister ended up divorcing him for reasons that probably had something to do with his aforementioned proclivities.
Anyhoo, back to my tangential memory. When I was 8, I was very much into drawing anything and everything; I carried a trusty sketch pad with me everywhere I went. Dolphin, who apparently shared my artistic curiosity, taught me how to draw nekkid women, a skill for which I will be eternally grateful.
I remember distinctly that Dolphin would open to the centerfold in question and patiently explain to me the intricacies of capturing the female form.
My favorite sketching subject was Miss November 1974, Bebe Buell (left), the mother of one Liv Tyler) .
Who needed to draw crummy rainbows and unicorns and banal "I Love Mom" slogans to be plastered on refrigerators? I was creating art.
"Always start with the boobs," Dolphin instructed. "Always, always start with the boobs."
It was a lesson with applications that extended well beyond the parameters of sketch pads.