Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We adore you too

"While Playboy Mexico never meant for the cover or images to offend anyone, we recognize that it has created offense, and we as well as Playboy Mexico offer our sincerest apologies."

"The image is not and never was intended to portray the Virgin of Guadalupe or any other religious figure. The intent was to reflect a Renaissance-like mood on the cover."

So reads Playboy's mea culpa after this cover enraged Catholics everywhere.

Our response: "Yeah, right." The Playboy response is such obvious backpeddling bullshit. Larry Flynt would have just told everyone to suck eggs.

The stained-glass, the robe, the December timing, "We adore you Mary"....only an idiot would believe no reference to a the Virgin was intended.

But like the people who've already purchased over 80,000 copies of the issue, we're not offended. We're more offended by the easy self-righteous editorializing exemplified, for example, by the Los Angeles Times.

Uncensored version here.


  1. "Matter gave birth to a passion that has no equal, which proceeded from something contrary to nature. Then there arises a disturbance in its whole body."

    -- The Gospel According to Mary Magdalene, Chapter 4, v. 30

  2. btw, what's with the cupped hand? Is she supposed to be holding something?

  3. That's a good question about the cupped hand. Perhaps it's suggestive of the chalice Mary sometimes holds, or the baby Jesus?

    Brings to mind the ritualized hand gestures of Buddhist and Hindu iconography:


  4. Gad zooks, this hand iconography is fascinating! Well worth its own posting on the LoS.

    My new theory: Maria's cupped hand is a nod to the Egyptian goddess Isis, who was often portrayed with a cupped hand as she breastfed Horus.

    Thomas Peter Kunesh links the Isis hand iconography to the pseudo zygodactylous gesture (think of Spock's greeting) in Virgin paintings, and goes on to link the p/z gesture to breast feeding(the fingers are parted to squeeze the nipple):

    "Although there is no conclusive evidence that the Christian 'Virgin nursing the infant Jesus' motif was borrowed from the Egyptian 'Isis nursing the infant Horus' motif, a fundamental iconological difference exists between the ways each goddess holds her hand in nursing the infant. Isis always holds her breast with a cupped hand, whereas the Virgin Mary uses both the cupped hand to hold her breast and the pseudo-zygodactylous gesture to offer her nipple to the infant Jesus ... In all earlier Christian depictions of the Virgin Mary in which the [p/z] gesture appears, her breast is bared for nursing the child Jesus. In the late Medieval period and early Renaissance, Mary is seen to have removed her gestured hand from her breast, leaving her breast uncovered, as in the motifs of the "Intercessio Christi et Maria," and the "Mother and the Man (Son) of Sorrows," and Madonna Mediatrix. In later portraits, her breast is covered, but her hand remains in the maternal breast-feeding gesture."

    Kunesh makes these claims as part of a larger argument that El Greco's placement of the p/z gesture in "El caballero de la mano al pecho" was a nod to the Virgin. Note, however, that other researchers have interpreted Greco's symbol as a provocative flashing of the Cock's Comb.

  5. This 4th c sculpture of Isis/Horus is a lot less "Egyptian"-looking (even though it is in fact from Egypt) and more like a Madonna and Child. A lot easier to confuse the two than with the version (virgins?) in the Wikipedia image.

  6. Wow - that look very Greek, except for the stiffness of the baby which somehow rings Egyptian to me.

    But yes, had I not known better, I would have assumed this was a fat Virgin.

    Weirdly, that sculpture shows Isis with the p/z hand -- which is counter to Kunesh's argument, I think.

  7. "Weirdly, that sculpture shows Isis with the p/z hand -- which is counter to Kunesh's argument, I think."

    Makes you wonder who was influencing whom?

    Check out this other photo from Karanis

  8. Compare the Karanis painting (20 BC) to this one. (4th C. AD)

  9. "Larry Flynt and Girls Gone Wild founder Joseph Francis sought a $5 billion government bailout for the porn industry. 'It's time for Congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America,' said Flynt." -- Harper's Weekly, 1/13/09


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