Kevin? Rude! Really, really rude!
Monday July 07th 2008, 5:59 pm

go git 'im Lympie
Olympia Nelson – image: ABC-TV

Olympia Nelson, the now eleven-year-old model who appears at age six in a photo taken by mother Polixeni Papapetrou and which has been published on the cover of the July issue of Art Monthly Australia, has taken Kevin Rudd to task for his damning of her mother’s work.

“I’m really, really offended by what Kevin Rudd said about this picture,” seethed Olympia. “That was really, really rude. For him to be talking about my picture, the picture with me in it, it doesn’t feel very good.”

And she’s right. Rudd is entitled to his opinion of the work but he’s not entitled to hurt Olympia’s feelings. Be an 11 year-old girl for a minute- the leader of your country just said he ‘hates’ a naked picture of you. That’ll work wonders for any adolescent’s self-image, won’t it? Art critic and Olympia’s father, Robert Nelson remarked, “It’s a funny thing about so many of the people seeking to protect children that they have no compunction at all about saying that they look revolting in these pictures.” The Monash University Associate Art Professor said in another interview for The Age that Its interesting that if the Prime Minister comments on, say, the greenhouse effect, he gets expert advice first. I would like to know which art expert advised him on this. We can only conclude that expert was Hetty Petty or some equally art-literate person from the same school.

It’s a rare 6-year-old girl who hasn’t scuffled into a pair of mummy’s heels or put on far too much of grandma’s costume jewellery, and then sashayed around the room like Elle McPherson. Is this projecting adult desires on children, as claimed by Hetty Petty? No- this is simply what normal little girls do. Normal, doting mums have been known to take happysnaps of such impromptu fashion shows. Mums who are professional photogs are apt to take the opportunity to make great art.

How this innocent play becomes “sexualisation of children,” in the words of Brendan Nelson, who vows to make a police matter of this magazine cover, is beyond me. If Morris Iemma is out of touch, Brendan Nelson is living on Mars. The paedophilic pornography paranoia amongst politicians, all seeking to look tougher than the other on child sexual abuse, has now gone fully overboard. When a parent can’t even take photos of their own kid in an under-12 footy match, the lifeboats have been chucked over the side as well.

Politicians and the public need to get a grip on what the ACTUAL risks are to children from sexual predators. The greatest number of sexual abusers are not strange bogeymen hiding in the bushes but rather are either family members or persons well known to the victim. Lots of self-styled child protection advocates will tell you that they fear pictures like those taken of Olympia will sexually excite predators- but do they actually KNOW what is sexually exciting to a paedophile? You reckon they’ve interviewed a few? I’ll suggest not. These advocates are doing nothing but trading on fear of the unknown.

So, how do you protect your children against sexual predators, when an abuser could be practically anyone you know? You teach your kids what to look for in terms of inappropriate behavior. I’ve said it many times before on mgk- if you want to protect your kids from drowning, you don’t ban water- you teach them how to swim.

The magazine cover image has been forwarded to the OFLC for classification. Let me make a bold prediction- it will be rated G or PG… and a lot of wowsers will, for a second time, have a lot of egg on their faces.

– weez



Iemma out-of-touch? Why would anyone think that?
Sunday July 06th 2008, 5:12 am

The vast majority of NSW residents are opposed to Iemma’s obsessive desire to hand over control of NSW electricity generation to private interests. A similar proportion of residents thought Iemma (and Rudd) were off the mark for opining that Bill Henson’s art photos of nude adolescents are ‘revolting’ or ‘disgusting.’ Iemma has spent an inordinate amount of effort covering the arse of his minister Bosco the Clown in the wake of the ‘Iguanagate’ affair. Iemma’s further spent $86million of public money on a party for his pope and associated flying monkeys from the wealthiest religion on earth, when NSW hospitals are in crisis due to lack of funding. THEN Morrie passed absurd and draconian laws in NSW against ‘annoying’ or ‘inconveniencing’ World Youth Day Month attendees, which actually are more intended to prevent embarrassment to the NSW government than inconvenience to WY D M pilgrims, drawing withering fire from all quarters, Catholics included.

So, what does Morrie do when Art Monthly Australia runs this image on their current cover…


Olympia as Lewis Carroll’s Beatrice Hatch before White Cliffs,
from the series Dreamchild, Polixeni Papapetrou, 2003

…which Noise Ltd censored and also doctored by darkening it in a Hensonesque way, to make it seem as though it IS somehow inappropriate, at least for Henson haters:


The above, as displayed on the News Ltd website

well, of course… Morrie puts on his ‘moral panic’ facade.

Girl, 6, in nude cover protest

July 06, 2008

A TAXPAYER-funded magazine has put a naked six-year-old girl on the cover in protest at the “hysteria” over similar images by photographer Bill Henson.

The July edition of Art Monthly Australia also includes several provocative photos of children posing naked in adult jewellery as well as naked teenage girls.

This is 'provocative'? Pull the other one, it plays Jingle Bells
Olympia wearing her grandmother’s jewellery #4,
from the series Play, Polixeni Papapetrou, 2001

In the editorial, Maurice O’Riordan said he chose the 2003 picture of the young girl in the “hope of restoring some dignity to the debate” and to “validate nudity and childhood as subjects for art”.

The image, taken by Melbourne-based Polixeni Papapetrou, is believed to be her own daughter.

Mr O’Riordan, who does not have children of his own, told The Sunday Telegraph he did not care if it stirred community complaint.

“I believe the image is of a six-year-old girl,” he said.

“Maybe this is bold, but I don’t see the need to give in to that sort of hysteria or the prospect of complaint.

“I couldn’t really understand the furore.”

The artist, Ms Papapetrou, said she supports the use of her work for the magazine’s cover.

“We need to be clever enough to distinguish art from other types of images, otherwise we live in danger of eradicating any image of childhood in this culture for future generations to see.”

Art Monthly Australia receives more than $50,000 in funding from the Federal Government’s Council for the Arts and lists the New South Wales Ministry for the Arts under sponsors and partner. The State Government has issued grants to the magazine in previous years.

NSW Premier Morris Iemma immediately threatened towithdraw future funding after he was contacted about the images yesterday.

“Images of this kind are distasteful, exploitative of children – a cheap, sick stunt at the expense of a young child,” [Iemma] said.

“We’ve now reached a sad point where some people think naked kids can boost their sales and get them a headline. We will have no role in funding them while they use images that exploit children.”

More than 5000 copies of the magazine have been distributed across Australia. The magazine also includes images by Bill Henson.

In May, police raided the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in Paddington, confiscating several images by Henson including the photographs of a naked 13-year-old girl.

The photos sparked major national debate and angered several organisations, including child-welfare groups, with Premier Morris Iemma labelling the works “offensive and disgusting”.

Mr Henson was cleared of any wrongdoing following a police investigation. […]

Proof positive that Morris Iemma couldn’t catch a cluesave those expensive black boxes for better uses in a bucket- or is willing to pull the populism lever in the misguided hope that it will do something about NSW Labor’s abysmal approval ratings.

Papapetrou’s loving photos are an act of devotion and adoration for daughter Olympia, simple depictions of a child at play- not exploitation.

This is a bit of a Rorschach test. There’s nothing in the least ‘provocative’ about the Papapetrou images- unless, of course, the viewer has unresolved feelings about their own sexual attraction to children, in which case just about any image of a child could be called ‘provocative.’

Morris Iemma has proven over and over that he quite simply does not have the leadership ability nor sense of being the employee of the people of NSW necessary to successfully execute his office. If Iemma doesn’t quit soon, he’s simply handing NSW government to Batty O’Farrell. While Iemma’s at least as far to the political right as O’Farrell on any number of issues, a Liberal controlled NSW state government would be even worse.

Sorry, Mo- but your approval ratings are not going up until you start behaving in the best interests of the people of NSW. Noise Ltd should be saving their black boxes for Morrie’s mouth.

-weez



Australian federalism under threat- again
Friday July 04th 2008, 6:32 am

Yet another trial balloon regarding disassembling Australian democracy, no more kings- in England or Canberrathis time from the Labor Party:

Abolish states, defence minister says

Australia is the most over-governed nation on Earth and reforms should include abolishing the states, Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon says.

Presenting the inaugural Edmund Barton Lecture at Newcastle University, Mr Fitzgibbon said the country was still paying heavily for the agreements by which the states passed some powers to the new commonwealth to achieve federation in 1901.

Barton, a leading figure in the push for federation and Australia’s first prime minister, was the first member for Hunter, although he never lived in the electorate.

Mr Fitzgibbon, the current Hunter MP, said the agreements on federation may or may not be described as a mistake – Barton and others were in no position to achieve otherwise.

But, he said: “It’s a system that leaves us the most over-governed country in the world”.

“Fourteen houses of parliament for 22 million people. In Tasmania, they have an MP for every 8,000 electors.”

Mr Fitzgibbon said the duplication, inefficiencies, buck passing and blame shifting cost the economy billions.

He said the Business Council of Australia put the cost at $9 billion a year.

Wholesale constitutional reform was long overdue and the starting point should be true independence, he said.

“It is past time for an Australian republic.

Fitzgibbon conflates the issue of dismantling federalism with that of implementing an Australian republic, ignoring the fact that the premises of the two are actually mutually exclusive.

Yes- it’s indeed well past due time for Australia to be a republic, with an Australian elected by the Australian people (NOT appointed by Parliament) as head of state.

No- we should not abolish states. Federalism decentralises authority, preventing Canberra from being the unfettered centre of power in Australia. Federalism is generally a good hedge against totalitarianism.

While John HoWARd did eventually find a route around federalism via the Corporations Power to force WorkChoices on the states, given he had control of not only government but the House and Senate as well, the fact that HoWARd had to fight his policies through the level of state governments forced debate on the issue rather than letting him jam it all up our noses wholesale, by edict. The debate itself, despite the states losing the case in the High Court, did eventually lead to HoWARd’s undoing at the 2007 elections.

HoWARd demonstrated that a PM with absolute power not only can but will defy the best interests of the Australian people to drive an ideological agenda.

Diversification of authority between Canberra and sovereign state governments, with many layers to the onion, is a good thing. A primary intent in establishing an Australian republic is to cut kings and queens out of the loop. Having a layer of state governments may be costly and may sometimes seem like a duplication of effort, but it’s simply a cost of maintaining a democratic government which answers to the people instead of the other way around.

Abolishing federalism by way of abolishing state governments permits a de-facto monarchy, with power just as absolute- there’s just no crowns.

-weez



NSW: Where free speech requires police approval or costs $5500
Wednesday July 02nd 2008, 6:32 am

You have GOT to be kidding me.

Protests need our blessing, say police

Joel Gibson, Jano Gibson and Linda Morris
July 2, 2008

POLICE have told organisations planning to campaign during World Youth Day events they need to have placards, banners and T-shirts pre-approved or risk losing their protest “rights” – even those groups representing victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests.

The State Government faced a public backlash yesterday after the Herald revealed laws had been quietly introduced to prevent people “causing annoyance” to participants in the huge Catholic event which will climax with the Pope’s arrival in Sydney in two weeks.

During a meeting with two leading victims groups yesterday, senior police said protesters would also have to include details of their planned messages.

Protesting without police clearance could result in demonstrators being charged under extraordinary new powers which came into effect yesterday. […]

OK, let me see if I have this right.

1) Morris Iemma spends millions of dollars of public money on throwing a party for a certain denomination of a religion, without consulting the taxpayers.

2) The taxpayers represent dozens of religions… and it’s highly likely some would not be afforded the same consideration.

3) Now Morrie has moved to suppress public dissent on the matter with the force of the NSW Police, again without consulting the citizens.

And guess what? He can… whether the suppression was requested by the Catholics or whether the rather coincidentally Catholic Mr Iemma merely volunteered to surrender our flimsy few free speech rights of his own volition.

This whole World Youth Day (month?) thing stinks to high heaven- and should go before ICAC, sooner than later.

It’s no wonder the NSW government are opposed to a constitutional Bill of Rights, where citizens have some opportunity through the courts to enjoin government from abuse of power- and do so in a timely fashion.

Imagine how complex it would be for government to abuse power if we did have a constitutional Bill of Rights.

-weez



Ratzfrangers: The hole-free holy ‘C’
Wednesday July 02nd 2008, 5:21 am

Keep the altar boy poo off your wanger with a Ratzfranger!

NEW! With pope-hat reservoir tip!

Don’t have a crazy downunder World Youth Day fling without one!

-weez



Won’t somebody think of the lions?
Tuesday July 01st 2008, 8:59 pm

From James in Melbourne, a contributor to Dunlop’s Noise Ltd blog:

image: James in Melbourne

Might I remind James that there’s laws in this country against animal abuse.

-weez



Fuck the evil nazi pope! Only $5500.
Tuesday July 01st 2008, 10:10 am

image: thanks to Martina

When you don’t have any constitutional protections for free expression nor against government sponsorship of religion, this is what you get when the government has spent $86 million of taxpayer dough for a sectarian shindig- and doesn’t want to be embarrassed:

Thou shalt not annoy on Youth Day

Jano Gibson, Linda Morris and Joel Gibson
July 1, 2008

EXTRAORDINARY new powers will allow police to arrest and fine people for “causing annoyance” to World Youth Day participants and permit partial strip searches at hundreds of Sydney sites, beginning today.

The laws, which operate until the end of July, have the potential to make a crime of wearing a T-shirt with a message on it, undertaking a Chaser-style stunt, handing out condoms at protests, riding a skateboard or even playing music, critics say.

Police and volunteers from the State Emergency Service and Rural Fire Service will be able to direct people to cease engaging in conduct that “causes annoyance or inconvenience to participants in a World Youth Day event”.

People who fail to comply will be subject to a $5500 fine.

The president of the NSW Bar Association, Anna Katzmann, SC, described the regulations as “unnecessary and repugnant”.

The Greens MP Lee Rhiannon said if someone exposed themselves in public, they faced a fine of only $1100 or six months’ jail under the Summary Offences Act.

“So if someone flashes a WYD participant they will face a $1100 penalty but if they wear an anti-Catholic T-shirt they could face a $5500 penalty,” she said. […]

Alan Jones can demonise Muslims at will- which surely causes them annoyance and inconvenience. Will there be a $5500 penalty the next time the Parrot ‘leads this charge‘? Not bloody likely.

Just because cathlicks are obligated to believe that their ex-nazi, Hitlerjugend!paedophilia-concealing pope is infallible doesn’t mean I’m under the same constraint. Here we have a gang of sexist and homophobic idiots who condemn thousands of their own members to a slow, lingering death from HIV because- get this- they say that god hates condoms (it’s in the Bible, you know). This regressive teaching is infinitely worse than parents who think vaccination is some sort of evil conspiracy and whose children go on to become a public health hazard through their susceptibility to and carriage through the community of easily preventable diseases. According to John Watkins, this anti-community practise isn’t deserving of free public comment nor protest.

That’s but one valid critique of the cathlicks and how their dark-ages preachings affect people who wouldn’t set foot in a church in a million years… but their rights to free expression and rights to move freely through Australia presently exceed my own.

Bullshit!

-weez