While visiting Paris in 1986, in an effort to become fully immersed in contemporary French culture, this columnist decided to rely on his anemic ability to speak and understand the French language to go to a movie there.
The two leading contenders were "Betty Blue" and "http://www.answers.com/topic/descente-aux-enfers - Descend Aux Enfers." The latter was chosen and the selection turned out to be a bit of serendipity luck. When we got back to the USA we saw Blue in Los Angeles, two weeks later. Descent en Enfers had gained some notoriety in the Paris newspapers because an ingenue actress' first nude scene was one of that film's cultural milestones. It, to the best of my knowledge, never was released in the USA.
To the French it was no big deal for a young actress to play a scene nude. Did or didn't America get all riled up over some photos of Miley Sirus, a short time ago?
Americans will criticize Middle East countries for requiring women to wear burkas, but then when they are in Australia, they will be shocked by women who go topless at the beach. (Go figure.) A member of the American military recently caused a ruckus by sending a letter to the editor of an Australian newspaper complaining about the scanty attire Aussie women wear (at the beach?). That American, apparently, did not make any suggestions mentioning donning a burka.
Americans are terrified by the prospect that a bad guy will smuggle explosives aboard an airplane and yet they are more traumatized by the full body scan technology. If questioned, Americans will titter ("He said "titter,' Beavis!") when considering this question: What if the answer to airline security is nude check-in at the point of departure?
Americans are adamant that such a scandalous suggestion should not be taken seriously. Hence it is literally true when prudes say: "I'd rather die than let a stranger see me naked."
Jay Leno can talk about it, but heavens forbid, if Keith Olbermann should offer that solution, America would freak out like an Arab seeing a woman's face. We understand that the burka update to their other, older religious beliefs was added during the 19th Century.
Given a hard binary choice: nude check-in or terrorist incident, which would Americans choose? Obviously the Republican defenders of Christian family values would do everything in their power to avoid being ambushed by any direct answer to that question. ("Yes or no? Don't wait for the translation, answer the question!") "Look! Look! The Hindenburg! Uh, what were we discussing?"
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