Obviously I Am a Depraved Pervert

Let's start with the good news: lynda.com has made available fully half of my Photoshop CS4 New Features series, seven movies in all. Members have access to all seven of these movies (shown below). Non-members can watch the first (Working with panels) and last (Content-aware scaling).

(Non-members: Don't forget, you can sign up for a 7-day free pass to all 30,000+ movies in the lynda.com library by logging in here.)

As recently as yesterday, Adobe was barring us from posting more than two movies. Now we're up to seven. I credit us -- all the quite sensible bitching we did on this very site! (Who knows if anyone from Adobe looks at this site, but still.) Gosh, we rule.

What's equally interesting about the new videos is what's missing. As recently as Wednesday, LDC (lynda.com) was offering a movie called "The new tabbed window interface," which introduced you to the revamped CS4 workspace. That movie has mysteriously vanished. Why? B/c it contained nakedness. Allow me to show you:

Warning to those venturing further: Provocative photographs and sitcom references coming up.

The image above appeared briefly in the video as we switched between multiple open windows. Yes, it's provocative. Which is a good thing, yes? The excellence of life spurs us on to make excellent things! This is a classic young, fit, beautiful, study-of-the-idealized-human-form nude. Plus, she's rendered in dark makeup. For which I named her "I Am Petroleum," in keeping with l'events du current.

Sadly for me, within 48 hours of the video going live, LDC received a steady stream of ardent complaints. Which is why the video has been yanked. (No knock against LDC. I agreed to rerecord the video next week. Get psyched for puppies and lollipops, 24/7.)

Quite reasonably, we all worry about the images that appear on our systems at school and work. So I suppose it's predictable that the complainers say, "Good lord, I'm at school/work! I'm trying to catch up on CS4 and my colleagues think I'm surfing porn." My reaction: If this is your idea of porn, you are one amazing Thurston Howell III of masturbation, with your pinky extended and calling out loud to Lovey and fantasizing about Gilligan and everything. In other words, you are one hifalutin gets-turned-on-by-the-Sistine-Chapel pornographer. You ashamed? You should be proud of how evolved into the next order of primate you are. Homo Elevatus!

But see, it's not pornography. It's art. Let me 'splain: That somehow controversial Petroleum girl is just the first whisper of the work from my beloved Alexandra Alexis of iStockphoto.com. She captures some amazing images, including:

and:

and also:

My thinking is, they're all harmless enough. Someone with a dirty mind could say, "That woman with a bare bottom has a bare bottom!" Or "That woman covered in chocolate is really enjoying her chocolate!" Or "Those two women . . . ." Um, okay, there might be some subterranean context behind that one.

But they're all stunning, shot with loving, meticulous, deviant care.

And yet here's my point: I didn't use the pics that would obviously offend half of Americana. (Not me. I could learn an awful lot looking at that beau'ful butt.*) I used the one that is, without question, a lovely photograph of a lovely human being.

So here's my question: Why is what would be considered a work of obvious beauty in a coffee table book regarded as smut when delivered online? Why are we offended by the best of our bodies? Why is everything we are somehow everything we shouldn't see?

----------

* Original sorry-ass a cappella. Feel free to chant it.

Tagged with:

Comments

on top

Deke, Geesh, oh it's just the top one, never mind. You're good to go. You see more nakedness on billboards advertising Cheerios. But for my high school audience probably not. The potential for enraged parents - it's just not worth it. You're so right - humor is an amazing teaching tool + helps make a point - stick. That's why we're all fans of Deke, you're funny AND informative. Sometimes both. For someone to whine about 'that' photo, oh well, whatever. But for lynda.com to yank down yer vids, pffft. I don't like it because then Lynda is willing to buy into the whiners non-sense. And the whiners prance, dance & rejoice that they've won some little victory. For your redo, just show empty frames and "insert your image here" PS: I come from a family where mom drew clothes on the underwear pics in the Sears catalog. keith www.thephotoshopguy.net

'dobe ban

I passed your link on to John Nack so yea maybe folks over there are aware of readers whines about the delay in releasing video tutorials on lynda.com. Gosh you pump everybody up to run out and buy the latest and greatest software & then restrict tutorials that might make customers even more interested & now they totally have to buy it because they saw some amazing feature in your video. (Especially since its not shipping yet). As for the photos causing your videos to be yanked, hmmm. Well I like 'em and their arty. But as a photography teacher 8-12th graders 20+ years and adult ed now I would have definitely heard about the photos if I were to include them in my lesson plans or handouts. Guess you just need to be aware of who your audience might be. Curious Deke, did you include all of them? Or just the top one? keith www.thephotoshopguy.net

Just the top one

The later ones are too racy for a general audience. (Can you imagine watching a 5-minute lesson built around the banana image? I'd love to include it in a dekePod, tho.) So anyway, Keith, you might be the level-headed devil's advocate I'm looking for. Here's the skinny: I purposely employ provocation and humor as teaching tools. They're not every student's cup of tea, but they capture attention and inspire retention. Which means I need to be aware of exactly where that line is so I can stay right next to it. The uproar over this specific image (I Am Petroleum) has me thinking I lost track of the line. Perhaps naively, I was thinking nudity + craft + modesty = OK. I have all kinds of examples of exposed backs and shoulders in other videos, all of which have passed without comment. Even one where a woman is wearing only a sash. But it would seem complete and total nudity, however it's presented, is off limits with a certain segment. So Keith, based on your experience in mainstream education, would that first image have landed you in the teaching brink? Teachers are one of my key audiences; placing them in harms way is not one of my goals. (Obviously this has nothing to do with the content of this site or dekePod, which are intended as adult fare.)

Vanished??? Crazy,

Vanished??? Crazy, intolerant, insecure prudes!

Shocked

I am utterly shocked that so many complaints were made about your video over that beautiful image! I'm a regular user of deviantart.com , which has millions of users, and that, as far as I understand, wouldn't even need to be flagged as mature content over there. Why? Because nothing is actually showing. In fact, less is showing than if she were wearing a bikini down the beach!!

That was my argument

In fact, we see less than we would were she wearing a modest swimsuit. As I understand it, the first complaint came from a guy at the University of Nevada. In Las Vegas. The city where every taxi is covered in raunchy girlie advertisements. I'm told the "The new tabbed window interface" movie is still up on YouTube. If so, I'll embed it into a future post.

Better Quality.

Hi there Deke, Referring to what you said about embedding the video of YouTube allow me to direct you to a much better quality source for that particular video. It just so happens that I found the video in it's original quality after a short Google session, just in case you might need it I thought I'll share it with you. If you don't want me posting the link here [which will pretty much take the sting out of you posting it on your next submit] I can E-mail you the link, if it's OK, then just say so.

Post or email

Tell me all about your short Google search. Take out the sting. I don't mind. I'm all about enabling the visitor. Whatever yoyo want. Tell us all. (Seriously, if you give me the link, I can embed so everyone can watch it from the site.)

Okie dokie!

Here's the direct link to the video: http://files.lynda.com/files/marketing/cs4/pscs4_nf/pscs4_interface_promo.mov And this is the site I found it on: http://www.photoshopsupport.com/photoshop-blog/08/cs4/photoshop-cs4-tabbed-windows-interface.html For some reason I'm not able to watch on-line at the moment [I used to be], but I was able to download and watch it. Enjoy :).

bent outta shape over this!

I'm glad I watched the video before it got pulled! But seriously, people are getting bent out of shape over these photos! Have any of these people read a newspaper lately? I hope they are as concerned about the problems in the real world, and complain to the appropriate people about those issues as forcefully. Signed, an idealist PS: Deke, using these photos doesn't make you a depraved pervert, that's a completely different issue, ha ha!

The way things are

Pure hipocrisy and false moralism.

dead on, deke, dead on.

I feel like there's very little to add here except for exactly, precisely, and right on, dekester. When did everyone get together and decide to be offended by glimpses of the same bodies that we are all so lucky to have? Pure silliness, I say. I mean, sure, outright pornography has its place, (hidden safely in the depths of a hard drive, perhaps) but come on. Seriously? I say to those who get all bunched up over an obviously great piece of art because it shows a hint of a nice, young, human body: get a life! Please step aside, as you are impeding the flow of work among the intelligent, open-minded folk. Thank you.

petroleum girl

I think "i am petroleum" is a lovely study of the human form. If we exercised self censorship because someone is going to be offended by what we create then there would be no art. Keep up the good work.