Was cafe scene obscene? It’s in mind of beholder
Ihave never, to the best extent of my memory, been one to fall about the floor laughing. Nor have I when communicating electronically ever used the acronym ‘ lol’.
A manly smile is all that is needed to indicate an amused mind.
There were two items in last week’s edition of this noble organ, however, which might well have provoked an uncharacteristically extreme reaction.
I refer, of course, firstly to the piece on page four about a prurient mind’s interpretation of a piece of artwork displayed on the wall of the Designer Outlet’s Caffe Nero shop.
Three young men, we are asked to believe, are shown ‘leering’ at a young girl approaching a motor scooter as she walks along a passage, presumably an arcade. One explanation, I suggest, is that the men in question are the girl’s brother and two of his pals whom she has asked to keep an eye on her scooter while she does some shopping.
A picture - any picture - is open to any number of interpretations. The artist Toulouse Lautrec painted a picture of a lady sitting at her dressing table, watched by a man.
The obscenity police reacted with outrage. ‘This’ they said, ‘clearly depicts a prostitute and her client’. Lautrec’s explanation was very different; the painting was of a common domestic scene, where a husband waits impatiently for his wife to complete her cosmetic prepara-
‘Three young men, we are asked to believe, are shown ‘leering’ at a young girl.’
tions for a night out at the opera.
Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is obscenity in the beholder’s mind.
Smile number two came on page 18, where a headline ran; ‘Police chief says iPads can replace lost bobbies’. This fatuous statement is credited to our new Chief Constable, Alan Pughsley, who is shown grinning widely, presumably as the connotations of his declaration hit home to him.
He tells us that issuing coppers with iPads is the way to keep them on the streets where we’ll be able to see them, rather than having them nip off to the police station to do their paperwork.
Our streets are already made hazardous enough by girlies of all ages and both sexes scuttling along, heads down, texting their immortal thoughts to the world. Are we now going to be ploughed into by bobbies doing the same thing?
Whatever the outcome, it’s good to know we have a Chief Constable with a sense of humour.