Alabama bans wine with nude label, gets egg on face
Those wacky ‘Bamans are at it again. Now, the Bible thumpers that run the former Confederate state have banned Cycles Gladiator, the wine brand, from their pious state, because the label depicts–Gasp!–a nekkid lady!
Only in America, folks!
This brings back memories of when the old BATF banned a David Lance Goines label on a Kenwood wine, arguing that “the drawing of the young lady must be deleted.” The lady, you see, had the misfortune to have, ahem, a pair of breasts that were not adequately and modestly hidden from covetuous view. But then, this is the same government bureau that banned an imported French Bordeaux, Chateau Haut Gay [irony duly noted], “because the label is ‘an incentive to debauchery,’” according to the blog of the well-known legal scholar, Jonathan Turley.
What is it about this country and prurience, anyway? We have some of the dirtiest movies in the world. Advertising agencies use sexy models to persuade us to buy furniture polish or have our rugs steam cleaned. Little girls go running around dressed like ladies of the evening, apparently with their parents’ blessing. Everybody’s doing it but nobody’s allowed to talk about it. And then a winery comes out with a tasteful image of a woman on the label, and all hell breaks loose!
A naked body! Gotta hide it; might cause the kiddies to go crazy. Don’t want Grampa seein’ that pervert stuff! This is the same instinct that caused our God-fearing ancestors to use drapery and bushes to cover the genitals of people depicted in Michaelangelo’s The Last Judgment, and made some self-appointed Protector of Family Values glue a fig leaf over the mid-area of the statue of Mercury, in the Vatican.
Hahn Family Wines, which produces the enormously successful Cycles Gladiator brand, isn’t taking this silliness lying down. Their company president, Bill Leigon, issued a statement saying “We were unaware of the new ruling until now when it was deemed pornographic” and vowing to comply with Alabama law, but the cheek has a tongue firmly wedged in it: At the bottom of its website is a new link, “Buy all of your Banned in Alabama Products here in our Banned in Alabama Shop.” As usual, all that this anti-nudity stupidity has succeeded in accomplishing is (a) driving sales of the very products they wanted banned, (b) depriving the good people of Alabama of a perfectly good, affordable wine, and (c) making Alabama the laughingstock of a nation with far more to worry about than “a person posed in an immoral or sensuous manner,” in the words of the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. No wonder the official state bird of Alabama is–the turkey!