Monday, August 27, 2012

Booby Trap

by Drew Martin
Yesterday was National Go-Topless Day, which is all about equal rights to bare chests. It is legal in New York for men and women to be shirtless in public so the rally that formed at Bryant Park included a handful of women, younger and older, who were naked from the waist up. A friend invited me to the event (and I love a parade) so I decided to go into the city. I envisioned thousands of semi-nudists marching to Times Square and back, like a mobilized Spencer Tunick photoshoot, with throngs of New Yorkers cheering. How could I miss that? I even rode my bicycle fifty miles (round trip) to make the event more epic. The "happening," however, turned out to be one of the lamest things I had ever seen. The line at the supermarket this evening was more interesting than the string of people that participated. A topless flash mob would have been a better test of the law. Instead, the few bare-chested women were swarmed by dozens of men taking pictures of them casually posing. The only interesting thing about the afternoon was how this non-event had a large virtual presence in all the on-line hype prior to it and the social media postings that followed. After three minutes in Bryant Park, I was utterly bored so I sat down at a table and read some academic articles I had brought with me to illustrate for a journal. One of the topless woman sat down at the table next to me for a while. I asked to take her picture before she left because she had cartoon-eye pasties over her nipples, which made me laugh.