Perhaps no one in history has genitals that have been as scrutinized as those of Michelangelo’s David.  An iconic piece of art considered by many to be one of the greatest, it also seems to be that fine line at which censors are universally derided for having their head up their rears.

However, when talk of the statue comes up, there’s always an unusual amount of attention paid to his package.  Such is the case in China when its state run TV channel with the ironic acronym CCTV ran a program censoring out David’s naughty bits.

The incident occurred during a noontime news broadcast covering the 100th anniversary of the National Museum of China who is celebrating with an exhibit of Renascence art from Italy.

During the piece they displayed the likeness of Michelangelo’s famous sculpture only with a garishly obvious opaque box covering his nether regions. The blowback was fast and furious with TV viewers and netizens alike crying foul calling CCTV’s move “a desecration of a work of art.”

There were a few supporting comments saying that early afternoon is no place for images of wieners where little children could see it, snicker for a moment, then go on with their day.  The support for CCTV, however, seemed lost amid a sea of discontent among the public.

What’s surprising is that the station operated by a government often criticized for its censorship and authoritarian methods had apparently yielded to the public’s demand.  When the item was rerun in the afternoon edition of the news it displayed David sans blurry box and flapping in the breeze in all his glory. The station made no statement about lifting the censorship.

There is one key element to this story overlooked by everyone that tends to make me side with CCTV, though.  That statue isn’t Michelangelo’s David. In fact it’s nowhere near the level of the David celebrated by art lovers everywhere.  This is just a statue of some slightly chubby naked dude in a pose somewhat similar but lacking all of the qualities of David.

The relaxed tension which was sculpted into David’s face and body that perfectly captures the feeling before battle, is replaced by what looks like some dude waking up and scratching his neck.

And so we have another case of people so focused on phallus they didn’t even know what they were looking at.  In other words, they couldn’t see the forest for the penises.  I wonder how many of those people would still have complained if they knew they were defending a run-of-the-mill statue of a naked dude instead of the classic masterpiece.

From this shot you can see David seemed to have put on a few.

I’m not quite sure what this David is doing… loofahing matbe.

[ Read in Japanese ]