Thursday, October 05, 2006
Nudity: The latest workplace craze
Here I am, presenting a full frontal to my monitor. I know it's silly, but my computer is neither shocked nor disappointed. I wanted to try the latest workplace fad in as neutral a setting as possible. I'm referring, of course, to the practice of stripping while at work.1
The Swedish abattoir
You can count on the Swedes to be out front in a movement like this. The Local reports that
Five young Swedish men decided to have a bit of fun on the job, and photographed themselves nude in their workplace.
Of course in an over-regulated quasi-socialist country like Sweden there's always some inspector to spoil the fun. The men, you see, were working in a slaughterhouse and "what was meant to be their private little joke among the carcasses and entrails got out of control when the pictures were spread on the internet."
Now they're in trouble with the police—not for the nudity but for the lack of protective clothing. It was probably for want of a hairnet—or hairnets.
Some pointers from the National Guard
The movement is spreading like wildfire. Andrew Wolfson of the Louisville Courier-Journal bowled me over last week when he reported that
The U.S. Army is investigating allegations that women in a Kentucky National Guard unit posed nude for pictures with their M-16s and other military equipment....
I don't give a damn about the rifles, but the "other military equipment" piqued my interest. Just what, I'm wondering, are our soldiers coming equipped with?
The newspaper had been independently provided a compact disc containing 232 photographs of at least a half-dozen nude and seminude women in various poses, including kissing one another, posing suggestively with military rifles, and covering their breasts with American flag decals.
The unit commander learned about the pictures just 10 days before the unit was to ship out for Iraq. To everyone's relief the "pics" didn't interfere with the deployment. Now they're in Iraq where American soldiers are accustomed to taking off their clothes at work.
Aaron Belkin, director of the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at the University of California, Santa Barbara, noted that there is “a long history of service members behaving in sexually graphic ways to release tension.”
As well they should.
Editor & Publisher says that "U.S. Army officials are taking a close look...."
A Congressman tries it
When a fad like this gets going you know there'll be some Senator or Representative trying to prove how cool he is. And this movement's no different. Why, just yesterday I learned that ex-Congressman Foley had taken up the practice of disrobing at work.
Here's what ABCNews revealed—
Former Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) engaged in Internet sex with a high school student who had served as a congressional page while waiting for a House vote in 2003, according to new Internet instant messages provided to ABC News by former pages.
Congressman Foley goes online as "Maf54." The page with whom he's chatting is represented only as "Xxxxxxxxx," which is way beyond triple-x.
Maf54 (6:25:43 PM): i miss you
Xxxxxxxxx (6:25:47 PM): ya me too
Maf54 (6:25:50 PM): we are still voting
Maf54 (6:25:59 PM): you miss me too
Now there is a 43-minute gap in the exchange, at least as reported. ABC picks up with this—
Maf54 (7:19:21 PM): ok..i better go vote..did you know you would have this effect on me
Xxxxxxxxx (7:19:28 PM): lol i guessed
Xxxxxxxxx (7:19:38 PM): ya go vote…i dont want to keep you from doing your job
Maf54 (7:19:44 PM): can I have a good kiss goodnight
Xxxxxxxxx (7:19:50 PM): :-*
Xxxxxxxxx (7:19:55 PM): (kiss)
I don't know what else they talked about, but that kissy-kissy business is just icky. Nudity affects some people in the oddest way.
Don't try this at home
But back to my own little attempt to learn what it feels like to go naked at work, I can report that it's strangely exciting. There's a warmth, a glow. I just don't know. I really don't know how to describe it. It's —
Oh, damn it! Now I've got to clean the monitor.
Army cover-up? (11/9/06)