Eartha Kitt. Photographed by Gordon Parks. (1952)
Eartha Kitt. Photographed by Gordon Parks. (1952)
Mighty Moments In Slash History: A Strategically Positioned Scabbards Special
In the curious world of neoclassical art, a strategically positioned scabbard is a must-have accessory for any legendary nude warrior. For best results, it should be teamed with a plumed helmet, a dramatically draped cloak (preferably red), a brooding frown and a gaggle of swooning admirers.
Now, in practical terms, this is a very silly way to wear a scabbard, since it’d be hard to draw your sword without slicing your own nose off. Admittedly, this wouldn’t have been a problem for Achilles, the star of three of these paintings, whose nose was impervious to harm, but even then, no one wants to hear an epic poem about the time you unheroically smacked yourself in the face with your own weapon.
Of course, the real reason for these awkwardly angled accoutrements is to hide the rude bits, or at least divert attention away from them. When artists did include wedding tackle in their paintings, they were generally obliged to make it small for reasons of Good Taste (TM), leading many art historians to interpret the scabbards as substitute representations of phallic power. In other words, they are Compensating For Something. But I’m sure we all guessed that, right?
Most entertainingly of all, classical scholars among you may know that the Latin word for “scabbard” was vagina, so strangely enough, these guys are hiding their penises by prominently displaying their vaginas. I’m not sure about the symbolic ramifications of this, but I’m pretty certain that Sigmund Freud is doing cartwheels in his coffin as we speak…
Gosh, thank you for saying so! I’m now doing this expression, only a teensy bit less sinister.
Let’s be honest, the real question isn’t “To be or not to be?”, it’s what is Benedict’s Hamlet hair going to look like?…
Toupée or not toupée, that is the question –
Whether ‘tis kinder to Ben’s head to suffer
The fronds and flounces of outrageous wiggage,
Or to wield combs against a sea of tangles,
And by diffusing, groom them? To dye, to cut –
How short? – and with this style, to hope we end
The quarrels and the oft-conflicting feels
That fans are prone to? ‘Tis a costume concept
Devoutly to be wished. To dye too dark,
Too light, perchance too red; Why should we fear?
For when he steps on stage, with hair all done,
When he but ruffles up those errant curls,
He’ll make us swoon….
I heard that all the cool kids were coming up with coffeeshop AUs these days so I decided to do the same. I fear I may have misunderstood the central concept, though…
To begin, it should be pointed out that, despite the fact that he’s surrounded by twelve adoring chums who are hanging on his every word and flashing the flesh in his wise-yet-mysterious direction, the fully clothed chap in the middle is NOT Jesus. No, it’s the Greek philosopher Plato, famed for his views on issues such as the ideal state, the nature of knowledge, and two-man action, and the “disciples” are his pupils. But don’t worry: I’m sure it’s all totally Platonic.
I suspect that the full title of this painting should be The Hairdressing and Beauty School of Plato. Here we see the student body (in a very real sense), taking a break from their hectic schedule of perming, blowdrying and flower-crown weaving in order to listen to Plato telling one of his fascinating anecdotes (“This one time, when I was at rhetoric camp…”). Or at least that’s what Plato thinks: actually, they’re too busy giving each other the glad eye, nursing their hangovers from the night before, or wondering whether they’ll make it through to the next round of Greece’s Next Top Philosophical Beautician.
My personal favourite is the dazed-looking guy second from the right; it’s quite entertaining to follow the line of his gaze and speculate about what he’s gazing at in such a dreamy fashion. It seems to be something located in the lap of the lad wearing the pink roses. Perhaps it’s a philosophy textbook that’s impressively overdue…
I’m currently working on rounding out my mini-Doctor Who collection with mini-companions, all freshly redrawn for a fancier internet age! Admittedly it’s going to take me a while to work through the full set, but I do plan to get there… eventually.
Not for the first time, my brain woke me up in the middle of the night and this time it whispered “What lessons would they teach at the Sherlock School of Dance?” It then refused to let me go back to sleep until I’d written this silly list. So are you prepared to burn… the dancefloor?
No problem, I can add Esther from Miracle Day! Here she is, and a sticker version is available here.
I’ve finally got around to turning my ancient mini-Torchwood icons into a collection of stuff for my Redbubble store! The following things are now available:
In other news, I’m now working on expanding my mini-Doctor Who collection to include companions. Rassilon only knows how long this task will take, but watch this space…
Today is Diana Rigg’s 76th birthday, so it’s a good time to remind everyone that when the question is “who’s the prettiest kick-ass in all the land?” the answer is almost always “Emma Peel”.