The Streaking reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Apr-2004
(provided by Fixed Reference: snapshots of Wikipedia from


See the real Africa
Streaking is the practice of running around in public places nude. A streaker will enter a hidden or out-of-the-way spot, undress when and where nobody is looking, and then will surprisingly and unexpectedly dart as fast as he can across streets, malls and lawns completely naked (or at least naked in the pubic area).

The practice was developed in the 1970s as a shocking pastime. The fad soon became a symbol of the decade. Some streakers made it all the way back home without getting apprehended, but others would actually aim to see how long they could go about streaking before they got arrested (some jurisdictions would charge streakers with indecent exposure, but one town voted to pass a law specifically targeted at streaking).

Perhaps the most widely-seen streaker in history was in 1974 when 33-year-old Robert Opal 'streaked' across the stage naked on national US television at the 46th Academy Awards. Opal flashed a peace sign as he crossed the stage, and National Broadcasting Company cameras cut away to avoid full frontal nudity.

Recovering quickly after the event, host David Niven quipped, "The only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping...and showing his shortcomings."

When David Niven's 1974 Academy Awards brush with a streaker was voted the top Oscars moment by film fans in 2001, it might have been read as a mild indictment of the entertainment value of Oscar Night itself.

This sign of the times was chronicled by Ray Stevens, who profited off the fad with his song "The Streak". His novelty hit about the guy who's "always making the news wearing just his tennis shoes" peaked at #1 on the sales charts. Dialogue with a male witness, in a news interview format, was interspersed with lyrics about the exploits of a streaker. The song's catchphrase "Don't look, Ethel!" became a kitschy joke and an instantly recgonized reference to streaking.

Late in the 1990s, streaking returned as a retro fad. Its popularity was given a big boost by Blink-182, big fans of the pastime who often appear topless in publicity shots and at concerts. Their proclivity for exposed genitalia was publicized in their 1999 music video for "What's My Age Again?", in which they tear across the pavement with their pubic and anal regions digitally blurred out.

This prominent resurgence for the activity has led some to argue that streaking should be considered an art form in and of itself, with the activity undoubtedly inspiring many artists and free thinkers. Proponents of this eyebrow raising theory have included the previously referenced Blink-182, and performance artist John Hassel, more popuarly known as Bunboy.

See also

External links