This Blog is Rated P for Perturbed.
Yes that's right...there's a fair amount of perturbation going on around here.

On the weekend I was waiting for a takeaway coffee and while I waited I happened to glance at the front page of a certain Sydney tabloid rag.

What caught my eye was the headline which screamed something like
"A Victory for Decency" accompanied by a shot of the burly butts of some police officers disappearing up the stairs of what I recognised to be a highly esteemed art gallery.
of course my interest was piqued. (They don't call the gutter press sensationalist for nothing).
Turns out that the cops had raided an exhibition of Bill Henson's work after
"complaints" it was "child pornography".

Now... censorship in the Arts is nothing new, so the fact that this had happened was only part of what saddened me, no what truly disturbed and depressed me was the language of moral outrage that was being used:

"Victory for decency"? ?

What the?

For a moment I thought I had slipped through some awful wormhole in the space/time continuum and had reconstituted in the early 50s with J.Edgar Hoover as head of the Australian Police Force heading up the good old Vice Squad.

I would like to think as a supposedly civilised society that we are beyond such reactionary rhetoric, but apparently we are instead going backwards.
It really does depress me. Bill Henson is undeniably one of the finest artists currently practicing in Australia. His profoundly intuitive grasp of highly charged emotive imagery coupled with his sheer technical brilliance is beyond comparison. I can only hope a good civil rights lawyer steps in to protect his
freedom of speech.

More here for the interested.

If you've just joined needle's edge after Lucy very kindly awarded me this . . .
well, you're probably feeling horribly alienated by now!

I don't usually get up on my soapbox and rant about such issues, but in this case I felt moved to.

There's probably some rules associated with this award thingie, but I'm not sure what they are (like which way to wear the tiara and sash, and so forth...) so if anyone knows, fill me in and I'll be happy to oblige.

A big thankyou to everyone who commented on the dog bed.

As I was making it a low-wattage light bulb did indeed begin to dimly sputter above my head. I'm considering this one a prototype, so even a modest production run would be a while away yet. Until then I'll be looking at a few elements including how it stands up to wear and tear, and most importantly how it copes with repeated laundering. I'd love to hear back from anyone who would seriously think of buying one (in the future). Watch this space while the R+D continues...

- a belly button in the rock, or worm-hole, taken at a harbour rockpool a few minutes before it started raining. For vessel wednesday. Yes it's still going!


Blogger Pikku- Kettu said...

That is simply unacceptable. I hope that he can find a good lawyer.

There was recently a similar case in Finland where an artist was found guilty of being in possession and displaying child pornography because she had displayed a piece made up of pictures found easily on the Internet to criticize how little society does to prevent child abuse in the 21st century.

Even though the court found her guilty she did not receive any punishment (not even a fine I think). She is still going to appeal and I really hope she wins.

28 May 2008 at 7:55 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I vote you P for principled and A for articulate and S for sane.

thanks for getting up on the soapbox.

28 May 2008 at 9:40 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ME!!! ME!!!! I would buy one. It would need to be a XS size, but I would totally buy one.

That sucks about Bill. I'm so sick of hearing about decency and moral outrage from creepy right wingers. Guess what? Now I'M morally outraged, ya know?

28 May 2008 at 9:59 pm  
Blogger MWM said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

29 May 2008 at 1:12 am  
Blogger MWM said...

just shows how little forward we have moved in society.

and about the dog beds -
I recently saw a feature on etsy on someone who makes dog beds. It was one of those features that highlight someone who "quit my job and now sell full time on etsy". You should check it out (I don't have time to hunt it down right now...). Your bed is way cooler.
and yes, my brain is mush and my language of critique has been reduced to phrases like "way cooler".

29 May 2008 at 1:15 am  
Blogger Lucy said...

Outraged, I am. My 65 year old mother was sitting on a bus when a bloke sat down next to her with that very rag and went on and on about 'decency'. She politely asked him to move over and sat somewhere else.

Think I've taught her well.

Thing is that Henson's work is deliberatley (sp?) ambiguous, eerie and very beautiful. The colour of a bruise. The cops are surely just doing as they're told, but I bet they know the difference between the 'real' thing and Art 'cos they're often busy chasing down those awful, horrid people who make it in secret...shudder.

It's embarassing, isn't it?

Anyhoo...thanks for letting me share your soapbox...

No rules, darls. Just an award for being Tops. Which you are.

29 May 2008 at 8:16 am  
Blogger kgirlknits said...

most offensive thing (or, one of, I should say) about the whole Henson media coverage is the calculated use of language to insinuate a sense of "shame" on the papers/tv part... I heard Allison (forgot her surname, terrible) talking on 3RRR this morning and she articulated the argument so well - worth hearing the podcast if it's up...

29 May 2008 at 10:48 pm  
Blogger Michele said...

sigh on the henson thing and lack of victory. just sigh. the world is such a bizarre place these days! the self righteousness drives me crazy. okay i guess i'm saying more than sigh.

big congrats on the E! you and your blog absolutely deserve it. wear that tiara with pride!

2 June 2008 at 1:38 am  
Blogger My name is none of your beeswax said...

1. censorship is bad. and his work is beautiful actually.

2. continuing to do research on the wear and tear/sellability of the doggie beds is good.

3. congratulations on your award. will you get it tattooed in the small of your back? :D

6 June 2008 at 4:58 am  
Blogger janine de waal said...

Hi. I wonder if you can help me. I am a fellow blogger and came across someone's blog to who you sent a list of cool places to visit in Sydney. Now of c ourse I can't get hold of that blogsite and have just written down your name. So IF you don't mind I would LOVE to get a copy of the list. I am from South Africa and will be visiting Sydnye and Brisbane after I attend the Glenn Murcutt Masters Class. So it will be GREATLY appreciated. As I love art, crafts, stationary and second hand book stores, and would hate to miss out on some nice finds. Thanks!

9 June 2008 at 6:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog IS excellent; as for the tiara, I would suggest it tipped to the side at a rakish angle.;-)

A VICTORY FOR DECENCY?!! ABOUT BILL HENSON? Sorry, I had to shout. We're certainly moving backwards.

12 June 2008 at 4:59 am  

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