Technology writer Robert X. Cringely has a wacky family tradition: every year, his family poses nude for their annual Christmas card.
This year, a clerk at their local Kinko’s refused to print the cards. Her reason: she thinks they’re obscene.
Cringely points out that their holiday photo shows no more skin than any family’s beach photos would.
The Cringley family is appearing naked without revealing anything. Models and pop stars get away with this all the time. But a middle class family playing that game? Obscene.
At least by the standards of one Kinko’s employee.
The difference, of course, is that there are kids in the shot. Kids+Nudity+Photography has become a social taboo on par with practicing Witchcraft in the Middle Ages. You might not be up to no good, but you go there at your peril.
And what of the Cringely children? Will these kids ever forgive their parents for these stunts? Are they being scarred for life? Or are they in on the joke?
Cringley readily admits that posing nude for holiday cards is not exactly the kids’ idea of a good time. They’re happy enough to pose if they’re well paid, though. This year’s bribe was $2 worth of gummy candy per child.
Personally, I think Kinko’s was in the wrong here: the card is clearly a joke and doesn’t actually show any naughty bits. Equating it to child porn seems paranoid and silly. I wouldn’t do this with my kids, but I would rather live in a world where the Cringely’s weird taste in family portraits is not “obscene”.
What do you think? Would you pose like this with your kids for a holiday card? Would you print the cards at Kinko’s? Is it hilarious or obscene? Something else?
Photo: Robert X. Cringely