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Let the Eagle Soar
June 26, 2005 6:29 AM   Subscribe

The Boob is back at the Department of Justice. The Ashcroft curtain has come down and the "Spirit of Justice" statue, commissioned from sculptor C. Paul Jennewein, can once again supply her breast for ironic photos.
posted by Otis (38 comments total)

 
I heard that Gonzales commissioned a new bust of Lady Justice.

Apparently, it's modelled on Lynndie England.
posted by orthogonality at 7:08 AM on June 26, 2005


[this is good.]
no, really. one less thing to attract the scorn of the adults at the world's table.
posted by Busithoth at 7:29 AM on June 26, 2005 [1 favorite]


Hehe, great title, Otis.
posted by grouse at 7:33 AM on June 26, 2005


As I recall, Meese announced his famous anti-porn report under that statue. (If elected president, I promise to install granite cocks at the entrance of every administration building. Just because. Something for the ladies and the Chelsea boys).
posted by Slagman at 7:34 AM on June 26, 2005


hooray for boobies! :D
posted by keswick at 7:41 AM on June 26, 2005


I feel that Ashcroft covering up a statue entitled "Spirit of Justice" should somehow be 'ironic' but suspect that that is an improper use of the word. Perhaps 'apt' is more accurate.
posted by Meccabilly at 7:41 AM on June 26, 2005


Slagman, your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. Also, click the "ironic photos" link.
posted by Otis at 7:43 AM on June 26, 2005


You might not be able to find Bin Laden
But you sure as hell found the hooter in the hall of justice.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:05 AM on June 26, 2005


Thanks for the photo of Meese, Otis. I had heard about it but not seen it.

And it is indeed Meese giving an anti-porn tirade under a statue with a naked boobie. That photographer deserves a pulitzer.

I believe Meese's report purported to show links between porn and delinquency, so that it could be used as a justification for strict porn laws.
posted by teece at 10:23 AM on June 26, 2005


a statue of the spirit of justice with an exposed breast is not pornography. There's no reason to consider that ironic; in many ways it's quite the opposite of pornography, which tends to fetishize nakedness instead of just considering the human body part of the natural beauty of the world. Yadda yadda.
posted by mdn at 10:34 AM on June 26, 2005


sure, mdn, it's not ironic, but you must admit there is a certain arbitrary silliness about it that makes it notable/humorous.
posted by fake at 10:43 AM on June 26, 2005


This shot must be taken from an awkward angle. The photographer has to approach the subject and then kneel down and point his camera up. There are two statues. You never see the other (male) statue in these photos. The WHOLE point is a frat boy prank: 'Hey look at the boob/prude standing in front of the boob'

This is win/win for the frat boys. Suppose you were trying to convey meaningful information at the press conference, but every time you held a conference the only thing people cared about was getting the prank shot. Readers will notice the shot, get the 'joke' and move on. A DoJ staffer decided this was getting old and put up a backdrop (as seen on MANY other press conferences). Now a legend is born. THAT gag never got stale. Who cares what all those press conferences were about anyway.
posted by bevets at 10:55 AM on June 26, 2005


bevets: no scripture or random cut and paste quotes to back that up? you're slipping, my friend.

I'm dimly hopeful that in 25 years historians will look back and see this as the moment the tide of Rightist Statist Puritanical Christian-but-not-Christly horseshit started to ebb.
posted by Rumple at 11:09 AM on June 26, 2005


You never see the other (male) statue in these photos.

Let the male statue sport some cock and I can assure you that would change.
posted by trondant at 11:09 AM on June 26, 2005


Suppose you were trying to convey meaningful information at the press conference

Then your arguement isn't really relevant is this case, is it? The Meese report was utterly trivial and baseless, therefore it doesn't meet the meaningful information test. QED.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:50 AM on June 26, 2005


Huzzah! Best news I've heard all week.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:34 PM on June 26, 2005


Right. The drapes were all just for "television or photographic aesthetics".

They had absolutely nothing to do with the Annointed-by-Crisco General's religious fetishes.

Heh.

(Nice links, Otis.)
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 12:57 PM on June 26, 2005


Interesting that the whole Janet Jackson flap happened while justice's boob was covered.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:32 PM on June 26, 2005


bevets writes "Who cares what all those press conferences were about anyway."

All too often the boobs in the background were vastly more interesting and intelligent (in their stasis) than the boob in the foreground.

That's certainly been the case for the last two AGs. It definitely was when Meese occupied the post.
posted by clevershark at 2:44 PM on June 26, 2005


No comment on where the Eight Thousand dollars will end up, though!
posted by Peter H at 2:45 PM on June 26, 2005


that's the Eight Thousand dollar CURTAINS will end up, excuse me.
posted by Peter H at 2:45 PM on June 26, 2005


If you haven't heard the David Cross routine about Ashcroft (which includes a bit about this), you should.

It's on the double "Shut up you fucking baby!" CD, it's the track misnamed (they all are) "Abortion doctor from Hell."

iPodists can even get it from Apple.
posted by centerpunch at 2:50 PM on June 26, 2005


The most famous picture of the female statue came in the 1980s, when Attorney General Edwin Meese released the final report of his commission on pornography.

What mdn said. Observing this particular "irony" plays straight into the hands of people who can't tell the difference between art and porn, which is probably what caused the whole stupid drape fiasco in the first place.

But maybe that's part of the problem. Maybe some porn fans can't tell the difference either.
posted by weston at 3:03 PM on June 26, 2005


No comment on where the Eight Thousand dollar (curtain)s will end up, though!
posted by Peter H at 2:45 PM PST on June 26 [!]

Cut them up and sell 1" square pieces framed alongside a document that proclaims this date to be the fall of our own curtain of hypochristy®. Sell them on QVC. Rumple and I are betting they'll be worth a fortune and will only grow in value.
posted by hal9k at 3:10 PM on June 26, 2005


No comment on where the Eight Thousand dollar (curtain)s will end up, though!

I'd think an enterprising soul should make bikinis or tasteful evening gowns from them.
posted by weston at 3:20 PM on June 26, 2005


This shot must be taken from an awkward angle. The photographer has to approach the subject and then kneel down and point his camera up. There are two statues. You never see the other (male) statue in these photos. The WHOLE point is a frat boy prank: 'Hey look at the boob/prude standing in front of the boob'

This is win/win for the frat boys. Suppose you were trying to convey meaningful information at the press conference, but every time you held a conference the only thing people cared about was getting the prank shot. Readers will notice the shot, get the 'joke' and move on. A DoJ staffer decided this was getting old and put up a backdrop (as seen on MANY other press conferences). Now a legend is born. THAT gag never got stale. Who cares what all those press conferences were about anyway.


clevershark

All too often the boobs in the background were vastly more interesting and intelligent (in their stasis) than the boob in the foreground.

That's certainly been the case for the last two AGs. It definitely was when Meese occupied the post.


No sense going to the trouble of learning and critiquing their policies when you go for the easy boob jokes.
posted by bevets at 4:55 PM on June 26, 2005


Oh, here it is ... The Meese Report !

Check out the official History of Pornography!

Gov't issued, but ... NSFW?
posted by R. Mutt at 5:19 PM on June 26, 2005


bevets writes "No sense going to the trouble of learning and critiquing their policies when you go for the easy boob jokes."

Actually it wasn't so much a joke as a personal criticism of Alberto "Il Grande Torturador" Gonzales and John "Crisco" Ashcroft, but I know this sort of subtlety is more often than not lost on you, bevets.
posted by clevershark at 6:17 PM on June 26, 2005


bevets, why are you and your ilk so obssesed with tits? In Europe, it wouldn't be a big deal because they are, for the most part, sexually mature. Sometimes, a pair of breasts is just that.

/on preview: OK, a lot of them are pervs as well, but I'll never forget a lunch conversation I had with a friend from Austria. She'd been watching American television, and she asked me why there was so much violence and trash, but you couldn't show a woman's nipple. We are a country of strange values indeed.
posted by bardic at 7:22 PM on June 26, 2005


Wait just a goldurn minute here.

Does Gonzalez have a driver's license on file for Lady Justice?
posted by dhartung at 9:39 PM on June 26, 2005


Should I be scared as to my impinging age that I clicked the last link aimlessly and immediately recognized Ed Meese?
posted by moonbird at 9:40 PM on June 26, 2005


No. Worry if you recognize this one.

Wait. You used his first name. I changed my mind.
posted by tarheelcoxn at 1:10 AM on June 27, 2005


bevets writes "You never see the other (male) statue in these photos."

But he was heard from previously.
"A few photographers pushed their way to the front of the crowd and kneeled, aiming their camera up at the podium to take what might be the last shot of the strait-laced Attorney General with Minnie Lou's bare right breast floating over his head. The Attorney General shuffled his papers and cleared his throat again.....The Attorney General was cut off again by a metallic groan..."
posted by peacay at 1:28 AM on June 27, 2005


bevets, why are you and your ilk so obssesed with tits? In Europe, it wouldn't be a big deal because they are, for the most part, sexually mature. Sometimes, a pair of breasts is just that.

Regardless of what his attitude may be in other threads, in this particular situation bevets is not the one obsessed with the boob. That's the whole point here - the only reason it covered to begin with was because immature american attitudes about breasts made it into a joke for photographers.

Sure, they should have just let the stupid photographers have their silly prankish fun instead of covering it, but let's not pretend anyone was being mature or the least bit "european" about breasts.
posted by mdn at 4:08 AM on June 27, 2005


I mean, note the wording of the post:
...can once again supply her breast for ironic photos.

?You really think we're being sexually mature here?
posted by mdn at 4:13 AM on June 27, 2005


Boobies....
Mmmmmm....
Good.....
posted by nofundy at 7:39 AM on June 27, 2005


Before they removed the curtain, I hope they got all their paperwork that proves the subject of the statue is not a minor in order.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:06 AM on June 27, 2005


Kind of a metaphor for our fetishistic society really. Women in France used to have their bare chests exposed, nipple's rouged, etc. It took a while to turn what was simply a way to nurse children into a sex object.
-mdn's yadda yadda here.

But that's the thing - it's supposed to represent nourishment, motherhood, etc. and by analogy the continual (re)birthing of justice It's degrading - in every sense of the word - lowering of status, honor, scaling down in desirability, dragging down in moral and intellectual character, it even reduces the complexity of the subject matter, to even acknowlege the frat boy POV as something sexual.
Covering the statue acquiesced to that viewpoint. Albeit in the negative sense - in that they didn't revel in the sexuality but covered it in shame.

Any idiot can make light of something sacred - that's why they're idiots!

It's things like this that stop me in my tracks and shake my fist at the injustice of the world that smooth brained literal thinking idiots like Ashcroft and his ilk are in positions of power instead of sucking the shit out of septic tanks in Podunk, trailer park USA.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:07 AM on June 27, 2005


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