The myriad representations of the unclothed ideal male form made me glad I'd spent an hour running around the Spree River in the morning. While I was staring at one of those ideal male forms, a nude and drunk Dionysus (my favorite male god, as he represents bacchanalia -- a word derived from his Roman name, Bacchus) holding on to a satyr, I slipped into a fantasy in which the god of wine and I were skipping the wine and hitting the hard stuff -- vodka and carbonated water -- in his unholy domain on Mount Olympus.
As an art purist, I'm still not sure how I feel about how some of the sculptures were cobbled together -- body from one century, head from another to suit prevailing tastes at the time. The arms of The Praying Boy (main photo), for instance, were added later, well after the completion of the rest of the statue, to reflect, one must presume, the era's prevailing prayer pose (which, to me, looks more like rejoicing than praying). It's art as pastiche, and studying the collection, I almost felt like I was walking through the sculptural equivalent of a sample-heavy hip-hop record.
Were the Greek, Roman and Etruscan masters exercising religious restraint or extreme modesty when sculpting the ideal nude male form? Maybe size didn't really matter back then, but one would expect Apollo, of all Greek divinities, to be, if nothing else, well-endowed. At least that was the myth going through my head every time I stumbled upon yet another representation of his unclothed form.
What is it about Icona Pop's "I Love It" that transcends language, country and cultural barriers? It's hopelessly high school, the kind of song I could imagine every girl in my graduating class singing along to every time it came on the radio had it been released circa 1984 to 1987. But unlike Madonna's and Cyndi Lauper's greatest hits from that period, I haven't grown tired of it since the first time I heard it, on a Melbourne TV commercial just a few days before its inclusion in a January episode of Girls led to its U.S. ascent.
The single just became a U.K. No. 1 hit upon its release there, several months after it peaked in the U.S. (at No. 7 on Billboard's Hot 100) and a full year after it made it big in Australia (reaching No. 3 on the ARIA singles chart), the first English-language country to fall for the charms of the Swedish duo. Yesterday I heard "I Love It" in a German commercial, which means that apart from plays on my iPod, I've heard the 14-month-old single in every country I've been in this year, except for the United Arab Emirates, which no doubt would have been blasting it, too, had it not been for Ramadan's restrictions on music and dancing.