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).
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:
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.