You might have thought, like us, Dear Reader, that July 14th is most famous as Bastille Day. But no. Apparently, it’s National Nude Day!
Really? Who knew? But it’s true. For one thing, as you can see, serial Instagram poster Lara Bingle posted a topless photo of herself for all her enthralled followers in celebration of the day.
The website that lists all national days excitedly tells us that “National Nude Day is a way to keep cool on a hot, sticky summer day.” Which is fine, well and dandy, unless you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, a rather obvious fact which has clearly escaped the enthusiastic compilers of the website.
If you went nude in Melbourne right now you would rapidly turn blue and any male protagonists would look somewhat emasculated quick smart. It’s about 50 Fahrenheit here, and bloody windy.
Nevertheless they plunge on to tell us that “Nudist groups around the world celebrate this holiday and take it quite seriously! Nudist’s (sic) are not perverts (good to know – Ed) even though their desire to go “au natural” might be offensive to the conservative population! (“Which conservative population?” we are minded to ask, but never mind.) The website excitedly continues to advise us that “Nudists are individuals who believe the human body is most beautiful in their natural state. Whether or not you agree with them, nudist’s (sic, again) encourage people to strut their stuff.”
Do they? Lots of good looking nudists persuade us to do the opposite of strut our stuff, frankly, but maybe that’s just us.
We note that the immortal painting by Eugène Delacroix, of Liberty Leading the People at the storming of the Bastille was nothing like as coy as Ms Bingle.
Still, those crazy whacky Frenchies, eh?
The French revolution inspired a lot of great art. Austrian composer Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf wrote his Symphony in C Major to celebrate the storming of the Bastille, indeed, the First Movement is specifically dedicated to it. Should you feel the need to overthrow any royalist dictatorships near you today, here’s 20 minutes of audio inspiration. Enjoy.
Dear ol’ Ditters was an interesting chap. As a curious aside, he finished writing his autobiography just three days before he died. Probably thought there wasn’t much else to do.
About 1785, Haydn, Dittersdorf, Mozart and Wanhal played string quartets together, Dittersdorf taking first violin, Haydn second violin, Mozart viola and Wanhal cello. Eminent Irish tenor Michael Kelly, for whom Mozart created the lyric tenor roles of Don Ottavio and Ferrando in his great da Ponte operas Don Giovanni and Cosi fan tutte, was of the opinion that although they played well their performance as a whole was not outstanding; but the image of four of the greatest composers of their time joining in common music-making remains an unforgettable vignette of the the second half of the eighteenth century.