Column: Trash for all seasons

Column: Trash for all seasons

The stuff you can find lying around a newsroom is astounding. Sometimes you reach under a couch and pull out a full, furry frog suit. Sometimes you spend hours sifting through piles of awful, albeit free, CDs. And sometimes you come across a rare gem of Northeastern’s history in the making.

The Husky Hotties 2006 Calendar is that sort of diamond in the rough.

Organized and executed by senior economics major Millicent Coins, the calendar began as a project to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina – an incredibly noble and necessary cause. The task was to round up some of the hottest babes around campus and plaster their photos over each monthly spread. The profits from selling the calendars would go to charity and consumers would be left with a wall adornment to keep them hot all the way into December.

The “Hotties” – and I am using that term incredibly generously, who appear in the pages of the calendar are photographed in their Vegas-showgirl best, wearing enough makeup to make any drag queen envious (some girls wear so much makeup, even Mimi from “The Drew Carey Show” wouldn’t let them leave the house). The locales chosen are various familiar scenes like a classroom, afterHOURS and even the Christian Science Center.

That’s right, directly in front of a church (yes, a church) are two of our fellow classmates in skirts with slits-up-to-there laying on top of a Jaguar sports car. But the religious references don’t stop there, as the calendar opens with a Bible verse.

Don’t worry. I’m just as confused as you are.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no square. I am a huge supporter of the free expression of sexuality in art. This, however, is no art.

This is a cheap knock-off of auto-garage decor soft-porn. In fact, I don’t believe it qualifies as porn, since it fails to excite and arouse. In an unscientific poll of about 20 members of The News staff, even our horniest staffers could barely look twice.

Calendars of this sort can be successful. Emersive, Emerson College’s digital media group, produces a “Hott Guys” calendar featuring the bodacious bods of some of the best-looking boys at Emerson. The photos, while maintaining their wall-calendar campiness, are tasteful black and white shots.

The men here aren’t engaging in ridiculous acts, like feeding each other candycanes or cupcakes like our “Hotties.” They’re not squatting in the brush or awkwardly balancing on a couch at afterHOURS. Thought went into these Emersive pictures; more thought than “Let’s put girls in their underwear and have them make their best ‘Zoolander’ face.”

With greased-up hunks standing shirtless in various environments, Emersive’s goal is still to provide eye candy, but tastefully. Nudity for the sake of charity also has the possibility to become high-art.

“Four Inches” is a book showcasing celebrities like Rebecca Romijn, Nicky Hilton and Heidi Klum decked out in nothing but a pair of Jimmy Choo four-inch heels and Cartier jewelry. The proceeds go to the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the photos are exquisite. Each shot is a work of art one could see hanging in any gallery. While the radiating beauty of the famous subjects does help to make the images more pleasing to the eye, the artistic merit and design of each photograph is enough to stand on its own.

So why does the Northeastern calendar fall short?

All too often in any kind of art, it is assumed nudity and sexuality are enough to stand on their own. People think the shock and appeal of scintillating images are enough to grab people’s attention. Well, this is 2006, and girls wearing nothing but bras and panties no longer shock us. Girls wearing nothing but bras and panties wearing too much make-up and looking like street walkers don’t appeal to us.

Looking at Harvard’s sex magazine H-Bomb, Boston University’s Boink magazine and Emerson’s “Hott Guys” calendar, it’s a shame this is what we have to show for ourselves.

In spite of its flaws, you should pay for one of these calendars – after all, it is for a very worthy cause. But once you’ve forked over the cash, let them keep the goods and save yourself some wall space.

– Bobby Hankinson can be reached at [email protected]

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