Readers of this blog will know that Mad Dog is on the leading edge of news--"you heard it hear first" is our motto.
On May 22, Mad Dog posted about the depredation of the art work on Rte 27 near the Old Salt, which defaced a perfectly nice sculpture on the grounds that exposed female breasts constitute a public indecency, a threat to town morals and would likely unhinge the children passing by it in school buses, who, up to that point had barely noticed the breasts, being otherwise occupied, texting their friends and playing games on their smart phones, as the buses whisked by the sand sculpture.
Now we have the "Free the Nipple" movement, coming to Hampton tomorrow, an effort to liberate female breasts and all minds with respect to the the idea that female breasts are inoffensive.
To his great credit, the Hampton town manager, Fred Welch, has said the law is on the side of the women who wish to go topless on Hampton Beach. In this, Mr. Welch is far ahead of his less sophisticated brethren some 300 miles down the road in New York City, where Mayor Bill De Blasio has convened a commission which includes the Police Commissioner, the Manhattan District attorney's office, the City Planning Commission, the Department of Consumer Affairs, the deputy mayor for housing and economic development, among many others, to deal with the problem of women in Times Square who have painted their breasts and then pose for photos with tourists, for pay.
As the New York Times points out, "The size and firepower of this task force are more appropriate for an Ebola outbreak." The Times also notes the women posing for these photos are far tinier than the "towering images of near naked models preening and pouting on the digital billboards all around [them.]"
Two years ago the seacoast suffered through "Nipplegate" an episode at a local hospital in which a confused post partum nurse on the maternity ward delivered the wrong baby to a mother for breast feeding. The mother, drowsy in her dark ward room, breast fed a neonate belonging to some other mother. This was not a case of "switched at birth" in which the wrong baby was sent home with the wrong mother, but it did prompt some high tech solutions. Mad Dog cannot recall exactly how the high tech got done, but he does not recall chips being implanted under babies' skins (as they now do with dogs). It was something less aggressive, a chip in an ankle bracelet or a Fitbit or something. Breasts were involved in that story and it had the catchy "nipplegate" tag line, which is why Mad Dog thinks of it now.
But here in provincial New Hampshire, we are, most of us, apparently, unfazed by the prospect of actual, living women exposing their breasts on our most iconic beach. It's just the idea of a sand sculpture depiction of a languorous mermaid that disturbs us.