Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Postings Coming Soon

Sorry about the lack of postings lately, due to Google Blogger's technical difficulties, my computer burning out a power supply, and a very busy holiday weekend. Look for new posts beginning Wednesday, June 1!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Ageing nudists looking for young recruits

NAC Blasts AANR Over San Onofre

Any regular reader of this blog knows that I have repeatedly supported the Naturist Action Committee and their efforts to save the clothing-optional status of San Onofre State Beach in California, while at the same time being aghast at AANR's appeasement of the California Parks and Recreation and refusal to join in on the NAC lawsuit.

In the latest issue of the NAC newsletter, edited by Bob Morton, an article proclaims that a total of ten dismissals and no convictions for defendants cited for nudity have been achieved with the help of defense attorney and NAC Board member Allen Baylis, who has insisted on jury trials for his clients. In each case, the San Diego County District has been unwilling to proceed to trial.

The NAC is to be commended for standing up for naturists at San Onofre, thus showing that they truly represent nude rights and are not merely presenting meaningless words on paper.

In the same article, AANR comes under fire.
NAC invited AANR to sign the petition for designation, but AANR refused. Forgetting AANR's own history of litigation on behalf of nudists, and overlooking the fact that AANR-West had donated thousands of dollars to support NAC's lawsuit, former AANR Executive Director Erich Schuttauf declared publicly that he didn't wish to be seen as "signing on to a petition presented by an organization associated with legal confrontation."
The California Department of Parks and Recreation desperately needs a nudist organization to endorse its fraudulent crime statistics and accept the shameful fact that nudists and naturists at San Onofre State Beach have been thrown under the bus. AANR is positioning itself to be the nudist partner that unquestioningly endorses the Department's manufactured crime statistics, while it quite noticeably turns its back on the naturists and nudists at San Onofre.
Meanwhile, the Naturist Action Committee is defending those who have been cited for nudity at San Onofre - and is winning those cases. Proactively, NAC is pursuing a petition that would result in statewide designation of clothing-optional areas in California state parks.
AANR's Government Affairs Chair Dave Graber wrote recently: "The Naturist Society and the Naturist Action Committee have a different philosophy than AANR and its Government Affairs Team."
That much is obviously true.
I've said many times that naturists at San Onofre have been "thrown under the bus" by AANR, but it's still a bit surprising to hear naturist leaders using the same language.

This does illustrate quite pointedly the deepening rift between the two major American nudist/naturist organizations, and the lessening likelihood that they will ever see eye to eye on major issues like that at San Onofre.

The Nude and Natural Newsletter May 2011 pdf

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Naturist Society Owner Denies WSJ Quote

Nicky Hoffman Lee, co-owner of The Naturist Society, denies that she made comments attributed to her by a Wall Street Journal article.
"I NEVER said "The whole lifestyle will just disappear unless we attract a younger crowd. NEVER!!!! I did say that most resorts are not geared towards younger people, because they aren't I DID NOT say they've become like retirement homes; they've sort of calcified. I don't believe I have ever used the word calcified in my life...The people who know me, know that I would never had made the above statements."
Hopefully Nicky will sue and get the WSJ to print a retraction. I have offered Nicky a chance to rebut the article on this blog, so we will see what happens.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Naturist vs. Textile 5/03/11

Naturist Society Head Likens Nudist Resorts to "Calcified Retirement Homes"

Nudists/naturists are notoriously inept at public relations.

In an article published in the Wall Street Journal, Nicky Hoffman Lee, co-owner of The Naturist Society, made the following comments about the state of organized nudism today:
"The whole lifestyle will just disappear unless we attract a younger crowd," said Nicky Hoffman, head of the Naturist Society, one of the two big organizations of U.S. nudists. "The problem is, most of these resorts aren't geared to young people. They've become like retirement homes; they've sort of calcified."
Nicky, Nicky, what on earth were you thinking? Your ill-advised comments are now the centerpiece of an article which skewers nudists and naturists, painting them as basically dirty old men that are best to be avoided.
John Whitehead, 22, visited the Sunsport Gardens resort for the first time last year. He enjoyed being naked until he spotted a man his father's age he knew from work, then spent the day avoiding him."It's not that I have anything against old people," Mr. Whitehead said. "I just don't really want to hang out with them at the pool."
The article is a disaster, outlining the history of nudism as a series of arrests and beatings, and defining nude recreation as "undressing in front of strangers". Even worse, the Spring Break Bash at Sunsport Gardens organized by Florida Young Naturists is painted as a segregated event to avoid turning the younger people into "eye candy" for older people.

This story has gone viral and has appeared on many prominent blogs and does real damage to the image of naturists and nudists everywhere. From Jezebel:
If people of all ages can't come together to enjoy the freedom of standing around and feeling cold and slightly awkward, perhaps it's time to accept that the younger generation's interest in public nudity is mostly limited to occasional bouts of drunken toplessness.
The Village Voice even proclaims that "people should just wear clothes."

The Miami New Times reports:
That Spring Break Bash, held at a resort on the edge of the Everglades, only attracted 55 people, and the group's Facebook page keeps getting shut down because it's tricky to run a group with both "young" and "nude" in the title.
But if you really want to lose your lunch, read the comments section of the Wall Street Journal article, where Robbe White of the Florida Young Naturists adds his two cents:
Great article. Thank You WSJ and Doug Belkin for shedding some light on the nudist/naturist community. Check out our website: http://www.FYNude.org 
Great article? Really? Just because you got your name in print?

John Whitehead claims that his comments were twisted out of context, which is not a surprise considering the state of journalism today.
I am the John Whitehead mentioned in the article of all the things I said, they mention me seeing a guy from my work who I avoided the first time because he knows my dad. They seemed to leave out that I talked with him about it later on and then he said "Don't worry I won't say anything". Not only that but my second quote was explaining why I never went prior to the FYN event and I was saying I was glad about FYN because I could be around people my own age. I think they made me sound like kind of a jerk...I talked to the journalist for around 30 minutes. I said all kinds of things. Why of all things things that I said would you mention that I saw a guy from work. I casually mentioned that. I mostly talked about how great the event was and how I met a bunch or friendly and interesting people. Why couldn't you mention that WSJ?
The comments are filled with loathing for nudists in general, and Susan Weaver, President of The American Association for Nude Recreation, is smart enough to realize the negativity of the article.
It is unfortunate that this article makes a generalized statement about nudist clubs, campgrounds and resorts. Among the 267 that are affiliated with AANR, there is tremendous diversity. I have found them to be enormously relaxing and fun, and there has never been any criticism of my own body jewelry. The people I have met at AANR clubs are interesting people, much traveled, with fascinating hobbies and histories. The aanr.com website is much visited by people of all ages looking to discover where there is a club nearby to visit.
AANR has worked for 80 years to promote and protect nude recreation, and will continue to advocate for the rights of nudists for as many years as it takes to assure public awareness and acceptance of social family nude recreation as a joyful life experience.
Thank you, Susan, for showing some class in the middle of a disaster. There's not too much to salvage from this train wreck of epic proportions.

UPDATE: Time Magazine agrees with me that Nicky's comments were a total gaffe.
"The whole lifestyle will just disappear unless we attract a younger crowd," Nicky Hoffman, head of the Naturist Society, recently told the Wall Street Journal. "The problem is, most of these resorts aren't geared to young people. They've become like retirement homes; they've sort of calcified."'
With statements like that, we can see why young, vibrant Americans aren't clamoring to join ranks and take their clothes off.
Nicky needs to apologize for her disparaging remarks, or at the very least, she should explain that she was misquoted, or taken out of context.