Suppose you want to raise a little money for a charitable organization. Suppose you do it by spoofing the premise of a comedic Hollywood movie, having yourself be the butt of the joke. Finally, suppose that you live in the so-called moral heartland of America, say Iowa. What could possibly go wrong?
It seems that Manning, Iowa superintendent Roger Schmiedeskamp had no idea just how dumb and humorless some folks can be. Schmiedeskamp, along with other men of the community, posed for a 2007 calendar which will be sold to raise money for the Rotary Club. The twist is that the calendar features “semi-nude” photos of local salesmen, bankers and others who happen to be “less than buff”, in a bit of self-deprecating humor reminiscent of the 2003 movie “Calendar Girls”. While you might expect a bit of good-natured ribbing about this, some folks were downright upset.
I saw several of the photos during an interview with the superintendent on the Today Show. None of them are remotely racy, unless you’re the sort of person who considers it immodest for a woman to be outside without wearing gloves. In fact, the men in the photos are wearing bathing suits, you just can’t see them. The photographs simply have something covering the bathing suit, such as a briefcase. Consequently, these photos actually show less than what you’d see at the local beach. The men were pictured on-the-job, so to speak. Schmiedeskamp was shown in a schoolroom in what can only be described as an absolutely slap-stick dumb photo, yet it elicited the following reaction:
“When I saw it I was so angry at the setting,” said Kathy Swanson, a parent and grandparent of students in the school district. “A kid is supposed to be safe in the classroom. This does not portray safe. It’s sickening.”
During the TV interview Schmiedeskamp indicated that there were some folks who were asking for him to resign. One person went so far as to declare that if the superintendent was a woman, she’d be asked to resign; therefore, it would only be fair for Schmiedeskamp to resign. My question is: Who would ask for a female superintendent to resign under these circumstances? Oh that’s right, the very same humorless dolts that are asking for Schmiedeskamp to resign. Nice bit of circular logic there.