Friday, September 28, 2007

Yet Another Cry for Censorship. It Doesn't Take Much For These Critics To Get Their Panties All In A Bind

A whole new controversy is brewing over the poster below that will be used to promote Folsom Street Fair this year. Personally I find it full of hot leather dudes and a gal, sharing a common table, breaking "bread" and wine together, like I imagine, in the purest sense, what the ideal image of leather pride events such as this, is all about. Your thoughts?????
Folsom Street Fair's photograph has led Miller Brewing Company to ask that its logo be removed. Photo: FredAlert

The photograph resembling Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting of the Last Supper used on the Folsom Street Fair program and its promotional posters drew fire Tuesday, September 25 from Concerned Women for America.

The anti-gay group issued a news release stating that the Folsom Street Fair is "reminiscent of biblical Sodom and Gomorrah."

"The bread and wine representing Christ's broken body and life-giving blood are replaced with sadomasochistic sex toys in this twisted version of da Vinci's 'Last Supper,'" said the CWA's statement.

In response to pressure from CWA's constituents, Miller Brewing Company on Wednesday requested that Folsom Street Events remove its logo from the posters displaying the leather last supper image.

"While Miller has supported the Folsom Street Fair for several years, we take exception to the poster the organizing committee developed this year," the company said on its Web site. "We understand some individuals may find the imagery offensive and we have asked the organizers to remove our logo from the poster effective immediately."

[After the print edition of the Bay Area Reporter went to press, a Miller spokesman told the paper that the company would continue to support the event.

"We are and will continue to be supportive [of Folsom Street Fair and the LGBT community]," said Julian Green, director of media relations of Miller Brewing Company, Wednesday afternoon.

Miller has not requested a refund of any sponsorship money, Green said. Green said that Miller's decision was based on corporate policies.

"[It] has nothing to do with public pressure," said Green. Green said that the company's decision was based on marketing guidelines at the corporate level that don't allow use of its logo on any "creative design" depicting a "religious connotation."

Until CWA's call to action Tuesday, Miller's corporate office wasn't aware of the use of its logo on the poster, Green said. "Our corporate offices was not made aware of the artwork, however, there may have been some awareness at the local level," said Green. "If it had been reviewed at the corporate level it would not have been approved."]

Folsom Street Events Executive Director Demetri Moshoyannis told the B.A.R. late Wednesday morning that they weren't concerned about Miller's request to remove its logo from the posters. When asked if they thought that they might lose Miller's sponsorship, Moshoyannis said, "Not to our knowledge."

People commenting on the Joe.My.God blog called for support of Miller rather than a boycott, stating that the beverage company has been supportive of the LGBT community for many years.

According to CWA, "Scripture says that God is not mocked, yet it doesn't stop people from trying," Matt Barber, policy director for cultural issues with CWA, said in the release. "As evidenced by this latest stunt, open ridicule of Christianity is unfortunately very common within much of the homosexual community."

"I guess it wouldn't be Folsom Street Fair without offending some extreme members of the global community," said Andy Copper, board president of Folsom Street Events, in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon. "There is no intention to be particularly pro-religion or anti-religion with this poster; the image is intended only to be reminiscent of the 'Last Supper' painting."

Copper stated, "... many of the people in the leather and fetish communities are spiritual and that this poster image is a way of expressing that side of the community's interests and beliefs."
"The irony is that da Vinci was widely considered to be homosexual," Copper added.

Copper pointed to the diversity in the photo, stating that it is a "distinctive representation of diversity with women and men, people of all colors and sexual orientations" which is a part of San Francisco's values.

Local gay clergy also weighed in on the matter.

"I disagree with them I don't think that [Folsom Street Events] is mocking God," said Chris Glaser, interim senior pastor at Metropolitan Community Church – San Francisco. "I think that they are just having fun with a painting of Leonardo da Vinci and having fun with the whole notion of 'San Francisco values' and I think it's pretty tastefully and cleverly done."

Glaser added, "I think that oftentimes religious people miss out on things because they don't have a sense of humor. That's why being a queer spiritual person we can laugh at ourselves and laugh at other people."

Barber called the photo an action of lashing out in a "hateful manner toward the very people they accuse," referring to gay activists calling Christians "haters and homophobes." He said that taxpayers are being "forced" to pay for the fair that allows "'gay' men and women to parade the streets fully nude, many having sex – even group orgies – in broad daylight, while taxpayer funded police officers look on and do absolutely nothing."

CWA called on California's elected officials, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), and Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer to "publicly condemn this unprovoked attack against Christ and His followers."

Pelosi was mocked for her "San Francisco values" in a Saturday Night Live skit last year that poked fun at right-wing attacks that she would bring "left of center" values to Congress.
Tuesday afternoon, Pelosi downplayed the right's uproar.

"As a Catholic, the speaker is confident that Christianity has not been harmed," said Drew Hammill, Pelosi's press secretary.

Barber urged the media to "cover the affront to Christianity with the same vigor as recent stories about cartoon depictions of Mohammed and other items offensive to the Muslim community."

Moshoyannis would not comment beyond the organization's news release sent out on Tuesday.

Copper stated that the leather last supper was the first FSF poster inspired by cultural classics in a series of posters forthcoming from FSE including "American Gothic" by Grant Wood, Edvard Munch's "The Scream" and even The Sound of Music.

Photographer FredAlert, who produced the staged leather last supper, declined to comment.

I admire Fred for his creativity and hot composition. WOOOF.

It has been too long, (5 years), since I've been to Folsom. Got to get my barebutt and chaps back out there some time in the future.

Mega hairy muscle leather pride hugs. Hoping all the guys attending Folsom have a great time. Party hardy and play safe.


BIGMallrat said...

Now remember, the Concerned Women of America consider gays to be an affront to Christianity and anti-Christian in their very core. It should come as no surprise that any organization that has ties to gays or people who accept gays comes under CWA's crosshairs. Examine Barber's statement: "open ridicule of Christianity is unfortunately very common within much of the homosexual community." An unfortunate set of lies. One could argue those in the Jewish or Islamic faith are also anti-Christian, yet it is not political advantageous for the CWA to publicly ridicule them.
The truth of the matter is that this is another volley in the culture wars by the CWA. Anything associated with gays or acceptance of gays is fair game. The CWA's narrow definition of what is "right" for Western Civilization is just that, narrow. Brigadoon does not exist.
As a regular attendee of the Folsom Street Fair, I can tell you Barber is incorrect in his assessment that the Fair allows "Gay men and women to parade in the streets fully nude, many having sex - even group orgies - in broad daylight." The fair also allows straight men and women to parade in the street fully nude. However, most people, gay or straight, do not. "Many having sex" is such a shortcoming, most do not (including the ones we wish would). Although I'd like to believe Barber is speaking from personal experience, I wouldn't at all be surprised if he, in his Larry Craig disguise, did attend (in leather chaps, no less).
I've also never had the opportunity to view orgies in the streets, to my regret.
I'm also pretty certain the City makes much more money in tourist revenue than the fair costs for police services. By noon the fair is wall-to-wall with money-spending people.
The CWA needs to re-read the Bible, which teaches love for all people. Their brand of hate has no place in America.

JB said...

Whilst it is indeed hot, I have to admit it is kinda asking for trouble...

Lemuel said...

The blog/website Thought Theatre pointed out how hypocritical these groups who condemned this ad are. There have been many other parodies of da Vinci's painting including Star Wars, M*A*S*H, etc. But there have not been any peeps of protest against these. But this one - this GAY one - is of course majorly and suddenly offensive.

Sweating Through fog said...

jb: yes - it is asking for trouble. It was intended to offend so they could claim 'look how edgy, how brave we are."

The fetish community isn't the only group that knows how to mock and parody. I had some fun with the Folsom Street Fair's press release:


September 25, 2008


Poster image draws inspiration from the annual Islamic Hajj, in a poster entitled: Masjid al-Harem.

Folsom Street Events has released its latest poster design for the 25TH Annual Folsom Street Fair. This year, the official poster, drawn by renowned artist Theo van Gogh, uses well-known community members as players in a strikingly original interpretation of the annual, worldwide pilgrimage to Mecca. The poster is the second in a series that draws from well-known paintings, album covers, movie posters, or other iconic images. Community members celebrate exuberant sexuality by donning their S/M regalia, and dancing around not the Kaaba, but a 10 story phallus.

According to Andy Copper, Board President, “We are extremely pleased with the outcome of this poster, and we are looking forward to a particularly inspirational event season. There is no intention to be particularly pro-religion or anti-religion with this poster; the image is intended only to celebrate the sacred roots of raw sexuality. It is a distinctive representation of diversity with women and men, people of all colors and sexual orientations. Just as Mecca draws people of all races throughout the world, we hope people from all continents will come come celebrate with us!”

Folsom Street Events acknowledges that many of the people in the leather and fetish communities are spiritual and that this poster image is a way of expressing that side of the community’s interests and beliefs. This year, Folsom Street Fair is dedicated to “San Francisco Values,” previously used against the San Francisco community for its support of sexual diversity and now used by Folsom Street Events as a way to reclaim power by the fetish community.

Andy Copper, adds “We hope that people will enjoy the artistry for what it is – nothing more or less. Many people choose to speculate on deeper meanings. This is one artist’s imagining of a pilgrimage that is at one both sexual and sacred - all we did was adopt the iconography of Mecca and make it our own. The irony is that homosexuality has a long and wonderful history in Islam. In truth, we are going to produce a series of inspired poster images over the next few years. Next year’s poster ad may take inspiration from American Gothic by Grant Wood, the flag raising at Iwo Jima, or even Raphael's 'The School of Athens' - community members are already preparing for roles in that one!"

When asked about the murder of the poster artist, Theo van Gogh, and the worldwide rioting that has claimed dozens of lives, Copper said: "I guess it wouldn’t be Folsom Street Fair without offending some extreme members of the global community, though.”

Robguy said...

I'm glad Miller isn't pulling their support, even if they are removing the logo. CWA can't be taken seriously. I think what the Folsom group has done to the da Vinci painting is like what Mel Gibson did for the crucifixion myth, only with better taste.

Sh@ney said...

Even if it didn't resemble that which was scribed by who know's & back when, anit-gay chritians & a million other fools would find something in it to start a malicious & disparaging attack on the LGBT community. What they are actually doing is causing the families & friends of gay men & women to question the morals of the Christian/Religious society.
I know those who love & care for me would NEVER let anyone come between who I am & how I live my life. I am really baffled as to what they think will be achieved by trying to change what cannot be altered. Hypocrisy at it's best!

I think the advertisement ROCKS!

Leonard said...

I'm not religious (well I am but my own Native culture), so I didn't even get the reference to the Last Supper....I think it's a cool poster though.

Teddy Pig said...

I personally would like to applaud Matt Barber for speaking out for Concerned Women for America as Policy Director for Cultural Issues.

As he represents "concerned women" he must thus be transgender or sexually confused concerning his identity. I would like for all transgender counselors to help this man in his time of obvious need.

Doug McEwan said...

"The CWA needs to re-read the Bible, which teaches love for all people. Their brand of hate has no place in America."

Have you been to America, Scott? I've lived here for over half a century (Since birth. I'm a Son of the American Revolution on both sides.), and clearly, their brand of hate is as American as Japanese Determent camps, "In God We Trust" on our money in violation of the First Amendment, genocide of the Native Americans, and of course, slavery and it's lingering after-effect, rampaging racism. Hatred is what America does so well, and so lavishly, and it's prime promulgators have been Christians from the days the Evil Puritans first landed here, fleeing Europe, where they weren't allowed to persecute other people for not belonging to their particular form of religious delusions.

Let's face it; if they had brains, they wouldn't be Christians, so you can't really expect intelligence, or even an eshewing of hypocracy from them. They're hateful, hypocritical morons.

As for Miller's claim that "[It] has nothing to do with public pressure," well, we all know that's just a lie. Of course it has to do with public pressure. As for not drinking Miller's, well I don't drink at all, so I don't have to make a chioce there. After all, alcohol is just as virulent and deadly a drug as religion.

I think the poster's hot, myself. And anything that enflames the Chritians is likely to be good.

cola boy said...

I'm sure they think Kathy Griffin was behind this after her "Jesus" comment at the Daytime Emmies.