Easily my most difficult post to date but there’s a bona fide point at the end of all this, so I’ll come right out and say it.
Around 38 seconds into this trailer for Joan Wulff’s Dynamics of Fly Casting, the high priestess of 11-to-1 is briefly frozen in her youthful prime, in the photograph you see alongside. This isn’t the place to go into detail but let’s just say that as a heterosexual male, I am not unmoved by what I see.
Oh, that this glorious amalgam of curvature, musculature and grace was sculpted in the courtyard remains of some Greek temple. I could then call it ‘art’ and stare to my heart’s content. Instead, I must walk on propriety’s eggshells and repeatedly wrestle with self-doubt at being rendered giddy by a woman who is now 82 years old.
Yet there’s a bigger issue here. All prurience aside, this is a fantastic photograph, iconic even. You want the essence of what we do, beautifully presented? Hell, if you’re a flyfisherman, this is your Marilyn-above-the-air-vent moment.
So why is it that when I Google ‘Joan Wulff’ images, I can’t find this one anywhere, yet when I make the same search for ‘tennis girl scratching her bum‘, I’m swamped?
Do I fear for my values, or just everyone else’s?