Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Naked Truth!

Interestingly enough, I copied a picture of The Naked Cowboy and the Clothes less Fringle (does have an apron on, both standing the July Kettle in Times Square, NYC) off Facebook yesterday, to accompany what was going to be a fun post today (including the YouTube link, which unfortunately no longer exists). The subject matter, however, has taken a significant turn making this post a little more serious than it was meant and/or ought to be.

It appears that DHQ has ordered the Corps Officer, Billy Francis, to remove the photos and the link because there were a few complaints. Oh my! How the Army culture has changed over the past Century in New York City. Diane Winston, in her book, Red Hot and Righteous, details a bit of that early Army cultural flair; a panache highly objectionable to a plethora of puritans during that day. Had HQ listened and the antics of those early pioneers quieted, the Army would not be the powerhouse that it is in America today.

Winston quotes an 1896 editorial in the War Cry “…we have commonly preferred to engage a secular place for our meetings…our greatest triumphs have been witnessed in theatres, music halls, rinks, breweries, saloons, stores and similar places.” Oh my! Theaters, breweries, saloons, wonder what the purists had to say about that? Had those in authority listened, where would we be today?

She further writes, “Similarly, its evangelical street workers invented ever more dramatic ploys…staged ‘trials’ of the devil…preached from coffins…and appeared as ‘specialty’ acts with names such as the Golden Minstrel, the Saved Cowboy, and the Converted Pugilist.”

Saved Cowboy, Converted Pugilist! And the cowboy’s not naked; he’s wearing SpongeBob Squarepants briefs and cowboy boots for goodness sake. Is that a tattoo of Christ I detect on his left shoulder? The truth is, if we continue to listen to the objectors, where will we be tomorrow? Where are we today? Not to worry, the objectors are far and few between because we’re playing it a little bit safer today. Now that’s the naked truth!

Stay tuned for a continuation of this theme in the next post.