What’s Nue? Taxis are on Strike
Special note: We have taken the ‘liberty’ of censoring any nudity that might be rejected by you or your mail servers! So, we apologize for not letting nudity be ‘normal.’
What’s with everyone getting naked these days?
When my daughter, Erica Simone began her “Nue York: Self-Portraits of a Bare Urban Citizen” more than five years ago, it was relatively ground-breaking. Now, it’s almost the ‘norm.’ Performance artists all over the world have taken to challenging the world with the same questions she posed: “What if all we had was our natural state to express who we are? Could we overcome our self consciousness and become fully confident in our own skin? How would we assimilate or dissimilate? Could being naked in the world transcend sexual connotations and why is nudity so taboo that it is against the law?”
To cite just a few examples of recent nakedness, there’s the 21-year old in Times Square posing for photos with tourists; London’s naked lady on a rooftop; the artist who sits on a toilet facing Marina Abramovic’s Vanity at Bushwick’s Christopher Stout Gallery; the life drawing model who the Huffington Post quotes as saying “Sitting as a nude model reminded me just how much I rely on clothes to express myself” and of course, the recent shocking performance at the Musée d’Orsay by Deborah de Robertis as she “lay on the museum floor in front of Edouard Manet’s celebrated painting Olympia and adopted the same confident, staring pose as the reclining nude in the 1865 Impressionist portrait.” (She shocked us all 18 months ago when she revealed herself in front of Courbet’s painting, striking the same pose, but placing a camera between her legs!)
Nudity is not new (or should I say “nue?”) to France and the French. In June 2010 Johnny Hallyday performed live on the Champs de Mars with the Crazy Horse dancers performing as a ‘warm up’ totally topless. I was there and while the nudity wasn’t shocking, my first thoughts were, “This could never happen in America!”
French actress Brigitte Bardot gets credit for popularizing topless sunbathing in 1967 when she introduced it at the Byblos Hotel in St. Tropez in 1967. Not long after, it took Cannes by storm during a film festival when a horde of starlets dropped their tops to riotous attention by photographers.
Wikipedia.org says that “the history of nudity refers to social attitudes to nudity in different cultures in history.” Clothing was invented as protection from the weather, as decoration and for practical purposes, but when did it become illegal to be other than clothed? Every country has its own viewpoint on the subject. In some Islamic countries, women in public must completely conceal their entire bodies, except parts of the face and hands.
BTW, it hasn’t been popular to be topless on a French beach for a long time now…but now it looks like the trend may be coming back in style!?
OP ED: And while getting naked is “de rigueur” at the moment, about 1,200 taxis in Paris and many others nationwide are striking out for the second day in protest against unlicensed cab companies, such as Uber. Their beef (not “beefcake”) is understandable, as over-regulation and expensive licensing makes their lack of competitiveness seem grossly unfair.
But (in my opinion) companies like Uber and their customers are not to blame. These tactics will surely backfire. While consumers can’t get a taxi, they will have no choice but to call upon the private cars, furthering Uber and others’ gains, while contributing even more to losses by the licensed cars. In today’s world, Internet based companies, such as Uber, will grow and prosper. Antiquated systems need to learn from them and work with them, rather than against them, all of which will benefit both the industry and the consumer.
Governments (such as France) need to realize that they cannot stop the consumer from wanting a better deal and getting better service. Companies such as Uber offer that, and also offer a way for the drivers to earn a living at a
lower investment cost! If they de-regulate, reduce taxes, lower licensing fees and allow more free enterprise, they could create a win-win for everyone.
But will they? Probably not in my lifetime.
A la prochaine…
The Adrian Leeds Group
(photo by Michael Honegger)
P.S. There is still room for the FREE Financial Seminar tomorrow, the 28th. Speakers Brian Dunhill and Carl Mir will be featured, providing a quarterly economic update and pertinent updateson filling your US taxes while abroad. Deatails available on our Conferences and Seminars page.