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.

Storm in a G-string?

April 22, 2007

The May 2007 edition of Dolly magazine in New Zealand has been recalled by its publisher, Australian Consolidated Press, because an image of a model strutting the catwalk sans g-string as her skirt billows open was deemed too offensive for the publication’s “tweenies” audience.
I’ve included a small-ish version here, but it has been doctored, if you’re offended, close your eyes before reading the rest of this post. If you want to see a bigger version of this image, it’s here at this interesting blogspot for Today’s Apathetic Youth.
Was it an accident?
ACP is claiming that the “little spot” they used during page makeup to cover the model’s (let’s call it what it is) vagina “fell off”. Just exactly how this can happen using digital image management in a program like PhotoShop or InDesign escapes my thinking processes.

According to a New Zealand Herald report, a spokesperson for ACP said the picture was the result of a printing error and the new, censored editions of the magazine would be distributed shortly.
But what about this?
The picture had an arrow pointing to the girl’s crutch with the caption: “Umm … we think you forgot something.”
Some accident…the subs put a caption on the photo with an arrow pointing to the model’s crutch, but then they were going to cover it up? OK, I’ll buy that.

What I really want to comment on is the poor state of our society when such a harmless image can cause such a fuss. Most readers of Dolly actually have the body part in question and so wouldn’t be too surprised that a female model has one too. They might even see the humour in the sub-editor’s little joke.
Where’s the offence in this?
I can’t see why it had to be censored. Unless of course ACP feared a backlash from those odiously hypocritical “family first* types who want to continue belting their kids as a way of “teaching them a lesson”, but who don’t want their children to grow up with a healthy attitude towards vaginas, penises, anuses and breasts. In short, the very same uptight and twisted parents and deluded religious “do-gooders” who want to shut down any discussion of healthy sexuality, in favour of some made up taboos that effectively destroy young minds and reproduce the same repressed mentality that they suffer from.
“Get your hands off our bodies,” we used to chant. And off our magazines.
And while we’re at it, keep your bloody hands off our (and your) children too, you sadistic perverts.

* My apologies – this link leads to perversion and may rot young minds, parental guidance required. However, I make no apologies for linking to Richard Dawkins talking about the “God delusion”. In fact I encourage young (and old) minds to go there and listen to his podcasts.