The Big Penis in the Sky

By Zeus, Dick rules the heavens!

Zeus shakes his thunderboltYes, several sightings of the Celestial Phallus have made the news this month.

Certainly you've heard of, if not been visited by, the miraculous Divine Penis.

That Wing-ed Divinity, its proud erection and stiff little winglets so like those of the Christian dove or the Rococo cherub (its later appropriations) was beloved of the Ancients -- and is still worshiped by many a Modern today, hey boys?

1. Down from Mount Olympus

First up this month was the rebirth of Zeus, Apollo and all the gang in the annual party dance-show Broadway Bares, a charity event to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

This year the theme was Myth-Behavior and so laurel wreathes and just a hint of toga, no more than a few shipwrecked shreds, covered Broadway's most sensational boys and girls of the chorus. Everywhere gods, demi-god and just plain hunkeroonies stripped down to their raw, near-naked talent, in obedience to those tenets so oft repeated on Inside the Actors Studio, peel away the layers, serve the character. Yes, boys and girls, Art was in her temple.

Featured was a jaw-droppingly salacious number, Heroes, in which a roll call of the major Greco-Roman beefcake came to life (Hercules, Odysseus, Adonis) and went against humpy reimaginings of the Minotaur, the Cyclops and a campy Harpy played by a comic actor.

Broadway Bares - StripathonOur favorite moment: the Sirens, appearing in all their Neptunal, sea-weedy weirdness, singing -- this, the genius touch -- the theme from Love Boat ("Aw-hhh, Love. Exciting and new. Come aboard. We're expecting you...)

In addition was the annual Stripathon, right, which needed no theme more eternal than cowboy hat, boots and a jockstrap. (More Myth-Behavior photos and details )

This year's show was so successful (a record-breaking $740,000 haul) that Variety reports talks are now ongoing with an unnamed Las Vegas casino to bring the show permanently to the Strip, rebaptised for a less New York-centric audience, Peep Show.

Not bad for an event that started out in a gay bar as the brainchild of eight hot-bodied chorus boys from the Broadway show The Will Rogers Follies. Hoping to raise money for Equity Fights AIDS, they decided to dance one night atop the counter at the famously beauteous Chelsea hangout, Splash.

"We all did solo strips," recalls Jerry Mitchell, now the choreographer for Legally Blonde. "And I choreographed an opening number. We had flashlights and black hats and it was all very Janet Jackson."

The gyrating thespians raised $8,000 back in 1991, pretty spectacular when you consider they were dancing in an average-size bar. Now, as major money beckons, all posing straps and g-strings turn expectantly to the great neon nightlights of Fabulous Las Vegas.


2. Dick Licking: It's a Holy Thing:

Penis festival in Japan"In the West, mainstream religion has often been overly serious and sanctimonious," begins this casual and wonderfully gratuitous aside from the Japan Times .

"In Japan, by contrast, there are 'religious' events such as the spring Big Iron Penis Festival in Kawasaki in Kanagawa Prefecture, in which a 3-meter-high statue of a pink penis is paraded around the center of town while onlookers happily lick phallically shaped lollipops.

"In other words, religion and modernist art, which has often been seen as its substitute, can both be said to take themselves much less seriously in Japan than in the West."


3. Homer Erectus

New 2As a rule, we find animated gifs vulgar and obtrusive, in every way immoral, a corrupter of children, and each one destined to be humiliated and handcuffed on some high-minded TV show like To Catch a Predator.

But -- fools for fun that we are -- we so often break the rules.

So it is with joy that we make an exception for Homer Simpson. We just love the way he's tossing his donut.

The base image is, in fact, real and caused quite a commotion when Homer's chalked outline appeared on a quiet English hillside, next to an antique -- and apparently still revered -- icon of male fertility.

Donut in hand, with his unremarkable hinter parts covered by a "Y-front" -- as the Brit press charmingly put it -- Homer's appearance was seen as a mockery of the Cerne Abbas Giant -- or desecration, depending on whom the BBC was interviewing.

"Young girls used to pray at the feet of the figure so they wouldn't become old maids, " scolded a spokeswoman for the Pagan Federation. Now, she said, "they've carved this darn great eyesore." In fact, the Homer chalking was intended merely as a bit of inspired ballyhoo, timed to promote the release this week of the new Simpson movie.

Pagan groups throughout the British Isles vowed to conjure some "rain magic" to wash away the evil interloper -- a case, it would now seem, of careful what you wish for. Anyone who watched the calamitous flooding that hit parts of England this past week may wonder if the Giant hadn't answered that prayer with a much too monstrous sense of giant proportion.

And yet: "It's been raining buckets and the thing's still there." complained the federation spokeswoman .

One thing's for certain. That giant is not going to lose his glorious pagan erection anytime soon. He's been hard since the 17th Century, if not, say some, since the days of Merlin.

©2007 Nightcharm