Art under attack by Rudd the philistine

Superstar Australian artist Bill Henson has been the victim of a vicious and ignorant political / media witch-hunt that has led to the cancellation of his latest show in Sydney, and a rebuke from Kevin Rudd, who called his art “revolting”. This is the same Bill Henson who has been lauded the world over, representing Australia at the “Olympics of art”, the Venice Biennale.

Rudd, typical of most ALP figures (the myth that they are in support of art, but in fact are philistines and slobs), has no clue. Nudity and innocence depicted in art are totally removed from porn. To see an innocent, naked child in art and immediately think “sexual object” says a lot more about Rudd being a weirdo than it does about Bill Henson.

Since when does nudity automatically imply sex? What sort of a strange culture are we living in? What sort of strange value set is Rudd promoting?

Let’s compare some of Henson’s shots with those of other artists, times and eras:

Nirvana - Nevermind
No wonder Kurt killed himself – it was because of the hopeless attitudes of philistines like Kevin Rudd, who would have banned this album from the shelves were it around now.

The Bathers
Rudd would see no artistic merit in this, calling it “pure filth”, no question.

Bill Henson Untitled
Rudd would say: “Revolting”

Maybe Rudd has child sex on his mind right now because this week his former state ALP colleague, Milton Orkopoulos, was done for over 30 child sex and drug charges?

Or maybe he keeps thinking about former ALP Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bob Collins, and is worried about the ALP being seen as the party of child sex offenders?

Fred Stauder – “A hero to small business”

Today marks 20 years since the Supreme Court of Victoria awarded the Dollar Sweets Company damages in the fight against the thugs, bullies and standover men of the Confectionary Workers Union.

Dollar Sweets Fairy Bread

This article outlines the reasons why this case is so important – why it marked a serious turning point in the thankful erosion of union power in Australia.

My advice – get some white bread, spread some Western Star butter, sprinkle some “hundreds and thousands” or “dollars” over the bread and eat away while you read this article. You’ll be glad you did.

Increasing energy prices good for some companies?

How can BHP expand production at Olympic Dam without a new source of power? Can Australia really increase production volumes in its minerals and metals industry without increasing the number of natural-gas fired plants that run on gas from the North West Shelf? These must be the questions that keep mine executives up at night, among other things.

As always, a very interesting piece of analysis from the guys at The Daily Reckoning…

HOT or NOT: A judgemental person’s delight

HOT or NOT is one of the most interesting sites I’ve seen in ages. My good friend RGM at Me and Us alerted me to its presence.

So quick, so instant, a site which enables you to judge thousands of people out of 10 purely on LOOKS! This is an anthropological study in the making, some sort of perfect survey on “looks” in contemporary society. In years to come people will be using this site to judge how fashion and looks have changed over the aeons. What do people find “attractive”? What is “good looking? How will it evolve?

I’m genuinely fascinated.

Respect, tolerance and liberalism AKA No straights at The Peel

Our friend Andrew Norton has started a fascinating conversation about respect vs tolerance, framed within the context of The Peel refusing to allow straights and women in.

For a liberal, equal respect demands too much and more than is necessary. For passionate religious believers (and liberal ideas of toleration began with the problems they cause) it is very hard to hold other faiths in ‘equal respect’ without calling into question their own beliefs. But all it requires to tolerate them is to hold off from intimidation and violence.

Indeed, the shift from liberal tolerance to leftist acceptance, the logical result of equal concern and respect, takes us back to where we started before the idea of tolerance took hold. Tolerance challenged the idea that everyone must fit in with a common set of norms, and replaced it with the idea that everyone must abstain from certain behaviours.

The practical differences between these two views came out in the reaction to the decision to allow The Peel hotel to exclude women and straight men. The left blogs I read came down against that decision, because they think that everyone should be accepted equally. But tolerance means letting gay men have their own venues without lesbians who frighten them or straight men who won’t be attracted to them.

Travelling along nicely, thank you

In a mini little aside on this post from Russell Davies’ fantastic blog, he talks about helping others out to “save our souls”. Interesting. Have we (has Russell) been so conditioned by leftist media that in the simple act of providing for ourselves, building a better life, working hard and – gosh – making money, we should feel guilty and have to “give something back”?

I don’t feel I’ve sucked the world dry, nor do I feel that in the selfish act of taking care of myself, my family and my friends, I have made anyone worse off. Quite the opposite in fact. My hard work and creativity has provided the people I have worked with and worked for with great products, great concepts and great outcomes. More money, more jobs and more success. And people have benefitted as a result. I have provided choice, quality and a better life through my actions. Marginal, I know. I’m don’t think I’m that powerful that I’ve actually generated a quantum shift in any person’s life. But if through my work and kinship I have minutely and marginally improved the lives of even ten people, then I should feel happy about myself. Was it intentional – was my aim solely to improve their lives? No, not really. It was ultimately to improve my own life. It was about being selfish in my wishes and in achieving them, improving the world around me as a result. I don’t go to bed at night thinking that my white collar career trajectory has somehow contributed to the suffering of countless African children, or the oppression of “the workers”, because despite what you’d read in countless leftist, anti-Capitalist papers, LIFE and personal happiness begets life and happiness.

Why are we made to feel guilt by some sections of the media and society for simply living a happy life? Is Michael Leunig so unhappy and ashamed of his life that he must remind us all that we should share in this guilt? That he has “seen the light” and in living, in pursuing whatever goals and aspirations we desire, that we are all bloodsuckers?

This is ultimately what the “black armband view” of Australian history tells us. That instead of standing on the shoulders of giants, we are actually standing on the heads of those around us and before us.

I’m sorry, I don’t buy that view. I follow Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill’s view – that we all in our own way pursue our own interests (whatever they may be), and in doing so enhance, enrich and build a community, a world around us. We as humans seek our own welfare and best interests. That includes a STRONG element of societal congregation, love and acceptance. We temper our extreme selfishness or greed with an understanding and compassion that we should and ultimately do think of the others around us. But we can only contribute to the wellbeing and happiness of those around us if we have invested in ourselves enough. We treat others as we would be treated, but we can only treat others in the best possible way if we ourselves understand and expect a particular level of treatment. Self respect begets respect of others. Self love begets love of others.

Yeah I’m sure there are people who are nasty, or screw others over as a point of interest (and I’m sure Russell Davies is NOT one of these people); they should atone for their sins.

However the rest of us nice people, we “unwashed masses” that the elites will tell you are unenlightened, unfulfilled and in serious need of re-education, well, we’re travelling very nicely thanks very much; loving life.

Alfred Chandler – GONE

Alfred Chandler, the man who almost singlehandedly invented the field of study in Business Management, has passed away.

In the past few months, we have seen the deaths of many a great contributor to our thinking and society (namely, Milton Friedman) – Alfred Chandler was one of these “gurus”.

A man who has helped so many of us work our way through the wonders of corporate strategy. Long may his thinking live on.

AFL Players Union vs Liberal Party vs Drug Testing

The papers are leading with news that senior AFL players such as James Hird and Brendan Gale have “hit back” against the Federal Government’s attack on the AFL’s drugs policy. This drugs policy, which will allow players who have taken drugs on more than one occasion to continue playing (three strikes and you’re out), has come under attack from the Federal Government, who believe that the policy is too soft on illegal drugs. So Hird and Co. have come out and attacked the Federal Government.

No surprise Hird would attack a Liberal Government – Hird was raised by Whitlamites in Canberra; James’ own mother dragged the little two year old to the steps of Parliament to protest Whitlam’s sacking, a story recounted by Greg Baum in this piece from The Age.

So what a surprise! Brendan Gale, the potential ALP preselection candidate and James Hird (Whitlamite) come out against the Liberal Government!

But let’s not stop there – not only are these two ALP to the core, so is much of the AFL board:

Bill Kelty
The man the ACTU calls “A key figure in the Union Movement for over 30 Years”

Mike Fitzpatrick
Millionaire, would be ALP Senator for Victoria, private advisor to ALP politicians and Labor Party figures.

Sam Mostyn
Former staffer to Paul Keating, she replaced Anne Keating (Keating’s sister) on the board of the NRMA. Her involvement in the Labor Party takeover of the AFL is best articulated in this piece.

And let’s not forget Andrew Demetriou of course.

Joost – a brand new way to watch TV shows online

I’ve been spending a lot of time on Joost lately; I got a Beta invite. And I can’t get enough. I reckon it’s the greatest internet based invention since Skype. No coincidence considering it was invented by the same guys. Like Skype, it uses peer to peer distribution in order to deliver video blindlingly fast.

Basically, it’s TV on demand in full screen, high resolution on your computer. Imagine Foxtel, but instead of waiting for the next show to start, or the show which is due in five hours, you simply look into the schedule and say: “that looks good”, click it and within 5 seconds, it starts.

Content from Sports Illustrated Swimsuits to Fifth Gear car reviews. From documentaries to cartoons. Sports broadcasts to Bridezillas. It’s great, and will only get better once more content providers come on board. Will Telstra use Joost as a distribution platform for AFL broadcasts?

So… Who wants an invite to beta test it?