Times are tough in Spain, the Eurozone's fourth-largest economy. After its construction bubble popped and the rest of Europe realized that Spain needed a bailout like whoa, unemployment skyrocketed and now hovers stubbornly around 25 percent. The government's plan to assuage the country's creditors with a round of austerity is starting to affect everyone, especially schoolchildren, who have seen their bus routes eliminated and the price of their school lunches jacked up way too high. What can a distressed Spanish mother do to make sure that her kids aren't getting totally screwed by the banking sector's past profligacy? Get naked, Calendar Girls style.
The Telegraph reports that a group of Spanish mothers, in an effort to raise awareness about the crippling cuts to Spain's education spending, has posed for a "racy" calendar. Racy, in this most euphemistic instance, means that the mothers have posed in states of undress along a now-defunct bus route. In an effort to cut spending, Spanish authorities did away with the bus service, an unfortunate turn that has forced many Spanish students to trudge as far as four miles to school over unpaved roads. That, according to the calendar moms, is bullshit, and if posing semi-nude for a calendar is the only way to raise awareness that Spain is bankrupting its children to pay for the mistakes of its finance ministers, then, one mom told the Telegraph, so be it: "I´ll do anything for my child and if I have to undress, because in Spain that´s what has to be done to get attention, then I´ll do it."
The moms hope to raise some 43,000 euros to pay for three months of the bus service, and, so far, the calendar has sold like naked hotcakes, which is cool because it means the plan is working, but also sort of bullshit because the simple fact that kids need a ride to school should be enough of a donating rallying cry to spur people to action. Don't worry, though, because there is a group expressing its outrage over the existence of these naked calendars — the Catholic Church! As naked calendars become a more popular way to raise money in Spain, the Church is increasingly white-knuckling its rosaries, and damn near had a conniption fit last year when, according to the Telegraph, a group of enterprising young Catholics posed nude for a calendar recreating scenes from the Passion.
The lesson here, of course, is that naked bible-themed calendars are, of course, a recession-proof cottage industry, something we should all remember as we get ready to hurl ourselves over the fiscal cliff (dibs on the Lazarus story — that whole thing is a boner metaphor ripe for the exploiting).
Spanish mothers strip off for austerity calendar [Telegraph]