Friday, February 26, 2010
Naked gun set on Sydney Beach
A well known, yet unofficial nudist beach bearing 140 people, 80 and of them stark naked, was visited by police this week brandishing guns and the intent to rid the beach of all of those tanning their rude bits. While the police puffed out their chests and canvassed the sands of the Little Congwong Beach at La Perouse, they warned the nude sunbathers that if they did not conceal their offending appendages they would be in violation of the law and in turn, arrested. A flurry of nipples, genitals and testicles was to follow as the naturists hid their bits and the police wielded theirs.
Phallic symbols aside, to concede, children were present and the beach is not a designated nudist beach. Not being a recreational nudist myself, I am unable to relate to those who are, however, what does give me an uncomfortable indigestion was that the initial reaction to solve the conflict was to use force akin to a drug raid. Were the guns really necessary? Perhaps a diplomatic reminder would have done the trick to begin with. Why is the government taking such desperate measures to cover us up? to think of all the effort our parents and grandparents of the 60s put into the freedom of baring all in public. It can be assumed of those behind the new push for clothing on beaches- the politicians, the regulators, the police force- that they have only been the spectators of such freedom.
I was speaking to an elderly fellow named Andy on the train who said he has been sun baking nude there for years. He cried ignorance, ‘I didn’t know that it was a crime to sunbathe naked there, then all of a sudden police turn up and tell me to put my trunks on. Quite rude bastards they were’. Andy was present amongst the 80 other Adam and Eves who seemingly were oblivious to their need for a leaf. Cue in: a Wave of the finger and a tutting of the tongue.
For a nudist, this is the stuff that inspires revolution! A call to arms for a mass nude protest in response! Arm in arm, united in nakedness, no armour, no weapons but that which has been naturally bestowed upon us. Let us take the beach hostage. Fight for our right to a seamless tan! To have the salt water as close as can be! To have nothing inhibiting the sand invading crevices of our body we never knew existed! and when they point their guns at us, threaten us with our lives we shall not be covered, we shall not yield, but rather we shall jump up and down and keep jumping until they cannot endure the bounce of all our wobbly bits anymore.
The naked body is a beautiful yet intimidating weapon! ahhmmm I digress.
I draw attention to this episode not to inspire such measures, yet to drag a felt tip pen under the pattern which seems to be emerging of over-regulation and over- policing leaving us only a hop, skip and a jump away from something smelling as nasty as that of a police state. As I read this back, I realise myself at risk of sounding like a prima donna left-wing political evangelist…something as exaggerated as using a gun to defend yourself against somebodies bare bum. The issue taken at face value is trivial. However, as our newspapers and our governments constantly justify the sacrifice of our freedoms for the sake of our safety and for the fight against almost everything- fight against terror, fight against crime, fight against drugs, fight against global warming, fight against teenage suicide, fight against nudity- we must take caution to not fall asleep, exhausted from all this fighting, or from the droning repetition of the tone this constant call to arms induces. We must not grow accustomed to it, we cannot accept it, to then wake up in a comfortable yet confined bubble from which we are unwittingly fighting against freedom, therefore our individual selves.
These reflections came to me after my conversation with naked Andy as I left the train and made my way up the stairs of Newtown station. They stopped short at the top when met by police, hands on guns and a sniffer dog going at my crutch. I went to pat the dog, but was barked at by the male officer not to do so and to keep moving. I smiled and flirted with the idea of stripping naked right there and then.
Be sure if you are in Sydney to check out Spencer Tunick’s next photographic installation, The Base. He will be photographing thousands of daring nude people on the Sydney Opera House forecourt. This sort of nudity is commissioned. http://www.mardigras.org.au/tunick/