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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

LEAFY DISPLAY OF LEWDNESS A DISGRACE! (article first published : 2005-11-22)

With reference to the Jack and his Big Stalk "Pornography or Pot Plant" poster debate:

As a keen theatre-goer and amateur indoor plant enthusiast I was looking forward to providing you with the benefits of my expert input in this ongoing matter of national import.

I keep a keen lookout, but alas the forces of darkness seem to have overlooked my neighbourhood entirely. Despite an exhaustive search of the phallic, upthrusting lamposts violating the Westville skyline, all I managed to turn up was the usual crop of adverts for Teazers discount specials, Ecstacy parties for teenagers and leftover posters from the last election. A wasted effort, that did however give me an opportunity to examine the latest efforts of our local graffiti artists - such artful use of four-letter vocabulary and a refreshingly liberated attitude to the depiction of male genitalia on council property.

I was about to abandon the search entirely but luckily an early morning trip into town to distribute inspirational literature to those female joggers who persist in wearing tight dayglo lycra in violation of all biblical standards, aesthetic sensibilities (and several obscure by-laws) produced results. Suddenly my dear wife shrieked, covered her eyes and, weeping with horror, pointed the hellish product of some cartoonist's drug-addled imagination out to me.

Unfortunately, at the time I was busily trying to avoid a nasty incident involving three unlicensed taxis, a drunken driver, two youths trying to string an illegal electricity connection and six gentlemen setting up for a cash-in-transit heist, so I confess I missed it the first time round.

However, a swift trip round the block saw us back at the offensive scene (after paying the requisite bribe to the traffic official who caught me doing 65 in a 60 zone) where we parked our money to the Congolese car-guard.

I was stunned! Admittedly the full impact was lost on me at first, due to the fact that the poster was partially obscured by a pair of glue-sniffing street children robbing an elderly couple, but once they had moved on, the awful truth was revealed! Who knows what damage this vile leafy display of lewdness had on the tender minds of the two teen prostitutes who passed us by, but the effect on the mental health of my dear wife and I was profound. Fortunately, my wife's church friends rallied around and took her off to a rip-roaring festive pant; I alas did not feel better until the late night e-tv movie Bridles of Passion which somewhat revived my flagging......spirits.

This "poster" Sir, is a disgrace!

I urge the Metro Council to make bringing the reposnisible parties to book an urgent priority. The future of our city and the morals of our proud nation demand it!

I remain, Your obedient servant

Reginald Crutchworthy Esq, Durban

PS: My wife enjoyed the show very much, something about a boy and a plant. So at least something good has come of this sorry affair.




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