Sunday, October 10, 2004

The case of Rio's mooning director

Last month, the Brazilian federal courts effectively
dismissed the municipality of Rio de Janeiro's action
against the mooning director, and shelved the case.

Gerald Thomas -- this idiot's name is actually
"Geraldo," but he is so ridiculous that he changed
it to "Gerald," in order to make it sound more
foreign -- was the director of Rio de Janeiro's
Theatro Municipal's controversial production of
Tristan und Isolde. On opening night, the fragile
ego'd director mooned the audience and simulated
masturbation at curtain calls, in response to public

Thomas was charged for indecent public exposure
under article 233 in the Penal Code. But the presiding
judicial authorities on the matter cited that, while his
gesture was rude and tasteless, Thomas' actions did
not rise to the level of a criminal offense.

In particular, he was not seeking sexual pleasure
from his acts, but rather wanted to demonstrate that
he was indifferent to the public booing.

Standards of community decency were also invoked
in the court's decision. In Rio's libertine culture of
sexual open-mindedness, the public indecency display
in this case was a fairly mild one. Had it happened in
the smaller and more deeply religious towns in the
interior of Brazil, the offense would have carried a
greater weight. It was also argued that society provides
other mechanisms for ostracizing such indiscretions,
outside the penal code.

I think I agree with the decision. His acts were juvenile
and selfish, coming from a blatant lack of
professionalism, but did not rise to a criminal offense.


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