Sex change for a 12 year old “adult”

In the light of the Bill Henson saga, where the major argument against his work is that his 12 or 13 year old models and their parents don’t have the wherewithal to approve of their own images in an artistic context, we hear of the Federal Court’s approval of a sex change for a 12 year old.

The court felt it was in the 12 year old’s best interests, and that she was able to make the decision with the family responsibly.

In one of the most blatant shows of the incompetence and hypocrisy that are the hallmarks of ALL ALP governments, Family Minister Jenny Macklin said “I think we have to understand that these issues are extremely complex, so I don’t want to go into the details of it”.

Had the Rudd Government’s response to Bill Henson’s art been thus, then I think it would have been far healthier for all concerned. However for the Rudd Government to condemn Bill Henson and to condone what is, quite frankly, a totally ludicrous and dangerous act as a sex change for a 12 year old, shows how twisted their thinking is.

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?

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.

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?

Conservatory Hotel – Sydney: Do not stay there

It’s patently clear. Do not stay at the Observatory Hotel in Sydney unless you want news of your most intimate moments splashed all over the newspapers. Rowan Atkinson, Ralph Fiennes, Metallica – all exposed in this piece.

What ever happened to discretion? What a disgrace – those media hungry staff, looking for their 15 minutes of fame by talking about the celebs that stay there, should be sacked!

Monetising Quality

…So the challenges, I guess, are to get good at predicting ‘great’ before the market takes action, and to be clear with yourself and your colleagues about what exactly you’re trying to build.

Seth Godin is writing about monetising art, but he may as well have been talking about TV programming, film making or the music industry.

After all, the great decline in the record companies isn’t because of piracy, MP3s or anything like that – it’s about really, really bad A&R. Back in the old days, people LOVED music. Now the music industry is filled with middle of the road marketers and brand managers.

People who really, really love music and have “good ears” have been driven out or now work in management, venue operators or tour promoters; the only parts of the industry which are now booming!

The thing is – quality doesn’t scale. Never has, never will.