in General

Culture Wars: A Fear of Beauty in America

Recently it came to light that complaints have been launched against the opening ceremonies of the 2004 Olympic summer games, held in Greece, to the American Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Male and female nudity and a mild simulated scene of lovemaking were the main targets of the filings. It seems that some people could not understand the beauty and benign displays of the Greek heritage from which the games originated. Rightfully, Gianna Angelopoulos, head of the olympic committee, warned the FCC not to pursue punishment for the displays.

“Far from being indecent, the opening ceremonies were beautiful, enlightening, uplifting and enjoyable,” Angelopoulos wrote in a weekend commentary in the Los Angeles Times titled “Since When is Greece’s Culture Obscene?”
“Greece does not wish to be drawn into an American culture war. Yet that is exactly what is happening,” she said.
Complaints focused on a parade of actors portraying naked statues. Among them were the Satyr and the nude Kouros male statues, both emblems of ancient Greece’s golden age.

Angelopoulos, who said the handful of U.S. complaints were dwarfed by the 3.9 billion people who watched the ceremony, had a blunt message.
“As Americans surely are aware, there is great hostility in the world today to cultural domination in which a single value system created elsewhere diminishes and degrades local cultures,” she said in her commentary.
“In this context, it is astonishingly unwise for an agency of the U.S. government to engage in an investigation that could label a presentation of the Greek origins of civilisation as unfit for television viewing.” (Reuters)

I find it increasingly troubling that a nation that once held freedom high is now crippled with authoritarian, repressive thought and governance. Terror takes many forms, and it’s so sad that America is intent on cultivating a hatred and fear of beauty, of the human body, of breasts and genitalia.

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28 Comments

  1. I didn't see the opening ceremonies, but I wish I had. The fact that folks are flipping out over the nudity surprises me in a very sad way.

    What a society this has become.

  2. Very well said. I agree completely. Moreso because I am pagan and already revere the human body as sacred and see NOTHING wrong with the beauty and pageantry that was the 2004 Olympic Games opening ceremonies. I am incredibly fearful of the future of Americans (I myself am Canadian), especially in light of their current plight, ie dealing with a government that seeks to repress even their basest nature!

  3. yeah… the fcc just seems to be getting worse and worse. not becuase of themselves, but becuase various government officials keep telling them to make it stricter. most of whom tend to be political women. what ever happened to women like elenor roosevelt who thought that a little nudity helped society.

  4. I didn't see the opening ceremonies, but I wish I had. The fact that folks are flipping out over the nudity surprises me in a very sad way.

    What a society this has become.

  5. Very well said. I agree completely. Moreso because I am pagan and already revere the human body as sacred and see NOTHING wrong with the beauty and pageantry that was the 2004 Olympic Games opening ceremonies. I am incredibly fearful of the future of Americans (I myself am Canadian), especially in light of their current plight, ie dealing with a government that seeks to repress even their basest nature!

  6. yeah… the fcc just seems to be getting worse and worse. not becuase of themselves, but becuase various government officials keep telling them to make it stricter. most of whom tend to be political women. what ever happened to women like elenor roosevelt who thought that a little nudity helped society.

  7. yeah thats true, i completely forgot about our wonderful evangelicalist who deem it neccessary to enforce there beliefs on the sinful society of the rest of us

  8. Day by day as the world falls into darkness my sadness grows. It seems that every second a new rule or law appears to constrict. Americans are the new Victorians. Sad times with freedom on the rope. When money and “things” rule the hearts and minds of the masses.

  9. Sorry – me again!

    Forgot to say that this is a great blog. You write very well and I like your thoughts.

    Best Wishes
    Luna

  10. yeah thats true, i completely forgot about our wonderful evangelicalist who deem it neccessary to enforce there beliefs on the sinful society of the rest of us

  11. I agree with Ms. Angelopoulos that it's really poor foreign policy to be perceived as labeling a presentation of the Greek origins of civilization unfit for television viewing. Especially when the ceremony was very beautiful.
    Way cool blog! 🙂

  12. Day by day as the world falls into darkness my sadness grows. It seems that every second a new rule or law appears to constrict. Americans are the new Victorians. Sad times with freedom on the rope. When money and “things” rule the hearts and minds of the masses.

  13. Sorry – me again!

    Forgot to say that this is a great blog. You write very well and I like your thoughts.

    Best Wishes
    Luna

  14. I didn't see it, but truthfully this doesn't surprise me. These are the same types as those going after spongebob as some “pro-gay cartoon.” I mean seriously, they are sexualizing the culture as much as those they criticize

  15. I agree with Ms. Angelopoulos that it's really poor foreign policy to be perceived as labeling a presentation of the Greek origins of civilization unfit for television viewing. Especially when the ceremony was very beautiful.
    Way cool blog! 🙂

  16. I didn't see it, but truthfully this doesn't surprise me. These are the same types as those going after spongebob as some “pro-gay cartoon.” I mean seriously, they are sexualizing the culture as much as those they criticize

  17. I could be equally bigoted about this and say that there is no culture in America, only McDonald's and Disneyland. This being so one will understand where FCC is coming from.

  18. Puritanism is at the root of this problem in America and many of us are influenced by it in some way due to culture. What a better world this would be if we could stop seeing the human body as nasty and sinful.

  19. I could be equally bigoted about this and say that there is no culture in America, only McDonald's and Disneyland. This being so one will understand where FCC is coming from.

  20. Puritanism is at the root of this problem in America and many of us are influenced by it in some way due to culture. What a better world this would be if we could stop seeing the human body as nasty and sinful.