Times Square Topless (Social Karma)


Not exactly sex, there must be something about the social karma of the place and the porous public border between inside and outside. Years after the seedy strip clubs and porn shops were closed and cleared out, topless young women in thongs and body paint strut freely around today in Time Square posing for pictures. Exposed and hard at work, the cheerful young women demonstrate remarkable self-composure. You can read about them here in the NYT. The dictionary definition of raunch is “energetic earthiness” and “vulgarity.” In the company of three minor, it’s not like I went out looking for it the other night. And that’s the point. There they were, on view and perfectly legal according to New York State law. Once upon a time, how much of it was kept indoors? Now the raunch has moved outside, indiscriminately in the full public view of tourists, children, and Christians alike.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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