so there's this father complaining about the statues at hamilton's te parapara garden (aka the maori garden, at hamilton gardens, cobham drive). his complaint is about the penises being too large, and him feeling uncomfortable about his children being confronted with these carvings. he somehow doesn't mind european art because the penises are smaller. hmm. i think it's best to leave this mine of humour untouched (though i'm sorely tempted).
then there's the gratuitous use of muslim families at the end of the piece, none of whom appear to be complaining themselves, but our erstwhile father seems to feel concern on their behalf. (um, we'd rather speak for ourselves when and where we need to, kthxbai). for those who are unfamiliar with this usage, let me explain it to you. our complainant is saying "see, i'm so culturally sensitive that i care about muslims. this means i can't possibly be accused of being culturally insensitive in complaining about these particularly carvings.
there is much mirth about this on facebook and the predictable penis jokes (mostly by blokes BTW, to ward off our trolls). but it led me off on a tangent, thinking about a teenage girl who stopped studying art in the 3rd form purely because of such graphic depictions. she wasn't ok with the european art being graphic either. in fact i know of more than one young person in this category.
of course we can tell such young people to suck it up (sorry, unfortunate turn of phrase there, but i just couldn't resist) and get with the local culture, appreciate the beauty of the human form etc etc. but for those who really don't feel comfortable and aren't interested in becoming comfortable with this kind of thing, their punishment is to not have access to art at school. this seems to me to be a rather harsh punishment, particularly if you love art and have talent.
i'm wondering if there is scope to have something suitable for such young people, because i hate to think of the talent being lost. there are, of course, a whole lot of cultural issues mixed in with this, and considerable scope for offence to be caused by those who take offence at other people's artistic expression. i understand that. but i also think that people should have the choice to study art in a different way, if that's what they feel most comfortable with.
or maybe this one just needs to be filed in the too hard basket.