Statement on Charlie Hebdo

January 10, 2015

It is always sad to witness the murder of journalists. Killing the messenger is never a solution if you don’t like the message.

The murder of 10 Charlie Hebdo journalists and cartoonists by Islamic extremists was a violent hate crime with no justification.

The perpetrators of this outrage seek to clothe themselves in the garb of Islam and claimed to carry out the murders in the cause of defending the Prophet.

They failed in that aim.

Instead, all that the murderers have achieved is to strengthen the resolve of Western powers to prosecute their own war on the people of Aghanistan, Syria and Iraq.

Intensifying the US-led bombing raids (in which Australia is a willing participant) against Da’esh or pouring more Western military aid into the hands of illegitimate governments in Yemen and the Arabian peninsula, will not reduce the threat of further attacks like that against the French satirical magazine.

Only three things are certain as a result of the Charlie Hebdo incident:

1. Western governments will use it as an excuse to continue prosecuting the so-called “War on Terror”, which, by all reasonable accounts is an abject failure and the major cause of increased terrorist attacks inside Western nations

2. Despite all the moralistic outrage gushing from the pages of Western newspapers and dripping from the lips of Western politicians our freedom of speech, our freedom of assembly and our freedom of thought will be further curtailed by the so-called guardians of liberty.

3. The hypocrisy of those in the West now calling for the re-publication of some of Charlie Hebdo’s more racist and vilifying cartoon front pages will know no boundaries; but they will pretend it doesn’t exist.

Charlie Hebdo was no saint. But satire alone is not a defence for racism and misogyny

Charlie Hebdo was no saint. But satire alone is not a defence for racism and misogyny

I will attempt to explain these three points quickly and then link to some of the better commentary on the issue.

Read the rest of this entry »


Those "dirty" Europeans, MySpace, YouTube, censorship and the Thai Military Junta

July 4, 2007

I’m always amazed about how hot under the collar some people get when the topic of s*x is mentioned. Haven’t prudes got anything better to do than be offended by a bit of nudity and rumpy-pumpy? The latest shock-horror outrage is a fairly harmless little advert produced by the European Commission to promote “art house” films.

According to news reports today, the clip, one of the most viewed on YouTube at the moment, has attracted the unwanted attention of the dirty (on the inside) raincoat brigade.

In the interests of balance – that is offending everyone equally – here it is. Nothing to it really, though it does show gay couples embracing the “beast with two backs” position. Oh, and if you look closely I think the woman in the first shot has a Brazilian – they’re everywhere now, so common. Nothing risque anymore in a close and personal shave, a bit like tattoos really. There’s someone who looks under 18 (to me anyway) in the audience, mouth agape (as you do in “art house” cinema). And, just by the way, aren’t there any non-whites living in Europe these days? It would be far more offensive to the neo-nazis to have black and brown people doing the rhythm thing.
Nothing to see here folks, keep moving!

Perhaps the only sensible thing to do is to take a leaf out of the Thai military junta’s playbook and ban bloody YouTube altogether. That way no one can be offended. In May 2007 YouTube agreed to remove four clips from its site that the Thai government said were insulting to the king. YouTube agreed! Why?

Well, advertising revenues might be one answer. The world of “DIY” video-stardom is also expanding. MySpace last week (29 June 2007) launched a rival site, MySpaceTV.

Our obsession with self-celebrity is destructive to say the least. Not to mention making it easier for the forces of Laura Norder to keep a weather eye on the trouble makers.