The Moon is High when Boys will be Boys
You would think from the random street testimonials coming from young men themselves, that what they want to see more of in life is 'tits'. This unsolicited entreaty floating forth from passing cars and competing only in volume with their booming bass stereos, seemed to go hand in hand with this New Year's festivities.
Similar calls for feminine disrobing were infused with the kind of pro-feminist consciousness you would expect from young men of this generation: "More Pap Smears" I heard one fellow declare to anyone within ear shot - right on, women's health is clearly on their crowded political agenda.
At the Rock over the Falls concert a whole pack of blokes assembled under the skate ramp where a lone girl had bravely ventured where no girl has gone before. "Show us your tits" well over 300 of them chanted. She responded with a comradely wriggle at first but after a while, like half an hour, the insistently repeated chorus seemed only to cloak her in distinct discomfort.
If one of these fellows had been in her place, however, he would have been all too happy, from what I saw, to turn around and cheerfully drop his pants. The moon is high when Boys will be Boys. Mooning, or the more Australian 'dropping a brown eye', far excedes boys' desire for girls to show them their bozzies, hands down. Having seen more beer-engorged buttocks than I could count over the weekend, I am of the firm conviction that Boys Just Wanna Show Bum.
Now, exhibition spaces for bare breasts are highly regimented, even controlled in our 'liberated' culture. You don't see breasts lying around in parks dozing unperturbed as you do in Northern Europe. Here they are revealed within strict confines - beach, table top clubs, and the various advertising sites of commodity culture.
Mooning however, is expressely a boys own thing. Part of its game is to break through the accepted cultural locales of where bottoms are seen, which is pretty well everywhere. Its insignatory of celebration, of 'totally going sick'. Bottoms are naughty things to wave about in unlikely places, boys seem to have agreed, and the true cultural remark of the 'legend' who is accordingly 'huge' (though I found that more difficult to determine - unless they include 'the bulldog'). While the entreaties from boys for more breast visibility would suggest that they seek to liberate breasts from their ritualised and commodified exhibition spaces, dear lads, I suspect most boys would rather show their bums. By simply driving along the The Great Ocean Road to a rock festival I was involuntarily witness to the full spectrum of mooning activities.
Firstly there's the surfer's casual roadside genital towell down, invariably facing the van, knees out and bottom waggling to passing traffic. I saw reams of bottom, almost cheek to cheek all the way from Angelsea to Wye River. People say that stretch of road is among the most scenic in the world and I could only add, its truly startling at this time of year.
Then there's the random street moon, mostly making its appearance after dark, especially on New Years. I have to admire the cheekyness of these boys, targetting police patrols who couldn't keep up with those luminous, disorderly buttocks and must have decided to switch off their maglites and turn a blind eye.
Rock concert mooning is a logical extension of barely disguised pissing on anything upright, including passing crowds. I even heard one young man call out "Show us your piss". Just as I'd suspected, boy's scatological exhibitionism most certainly takes precedence over gathering in homosocial audiences for bosom gazing. And it is here that mooning comes into its own - it even includes stunts. Crowd surfing, for instance takes on new meaning when the pit hoists real surboards over their heads. The trick is to then stay on, pants down and doubled over for as long as possible.
Stunt mooning is an outstanding spectator sport that clearly merits consideration for inclusion in the Sydney Olympics. I mean, if we can include Aussie Crawl and syncronised swimming how can we leave out this worthy national pastime?
There are the Bum Puppets, a cabaret act that has two bums chatting and eating meat pies, and then there's Punk rocker's counter cultural mooning which involves lining the proscenium arch with audience bums, and all falling down, pants around their ankles, rutting.
What's it all about? Why don't girls moon? Why aren't we out there stretching the geographical bounds of our naked exposure like boys? Can we truly think of ourselves as libertated while still clinging to our G-Strings?
Mooning, as distinct from flashing, is thankfully not an indicator in police offender profiles of peodophilia. Its not about scaring lone kids walking home from school. Its not invested with some wanky sense of penile omnipresence - 'gee doesn't my enoooormous penis give you a dreadful fright', to which the most deflating reply was always, after discriminating scrutiny, 'well, (snicker) no'.
I can't say I've ever seen gay boys moon either, maybe its like stating the obvious; at least, the unashamedly eroticised bottom tends to appear in more nuanced fashion, and is hardly an insult. But it seems a touch defensive coming from hetero blokes, a bit like 'No Passeran!'. Maybe its another rite of deflection that all -hetro bloke have to undergo by way of saying, 'even though us being here together without girls might suggest we place undue emphasis, even desire on our single-sexdom, I just want to show you my bottom, to clarify our corporeal boundary lines, OK guys?'
Whatever the reason, bottoms are making a definite statement on behalf of the young man of today, 'bums 'r us', is the gendered identity declaration for the young aussie male. And who knows, maybe this generation will produce another larrikin Premier who commences press conferences with this Great Masculine Declaration of national identity - not to show us the moon, but rather his own appraisal of from whence the sun shines.