Stop Australia, Please, I Want To Get Off

Next weekend I’ll be attending a protest rally to speak out against the Australian government’s ludicrous ISP filtering plan. Meanwhile, today has seen several news stories that just make me shake my head in disgust. What’s happening to this fucking country? How did the sex panics get this hysterical?

First: Man charged over viral baby-swinging video. A guy who shared a video of a child being swung in the air is now facing charges of “using the internet to access and publish child-abuse material.” The video shows the baby being swung by a carer and some have raised questions over whether the guy in the vid may have hurt the baby by swinging too hard. The man who has been charged had nothing to do with the video’s production. He simply uploaded it to a sharing site because he thought it was newsworthy.

What the…?

Second: Simpsons-style cartoon is child porn. A judge has ruled that cartoon depictions of Bart and Lisa having sex qualifies as child pornography and fined the guy possessing the pics.


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Justice Adams said the purpose of the legislation was to stop sexual exploitation and child abuse where images of “real” children are depicted.

However it was also to deter the production of other material, including cartoons, that could “fuel demand for material that does involve the abuse of children”.

Yes folks, the thought police are well and truly active here in Australia.

The child abuse/porn hysteria is now at a point that police are wasting time rounding up people who haven’t actually done any child abusing. It’s now a crime to look at or upload images or videos that resemble abuse, even if no child was actually hurt by these images.

Stop and think about that for a second. The hysteria has moved on to making sure people don’t look or even think about it too much because even cartoons and home videos are like a gateway drug and won’t somebody think of the children!!!

It’s just fucking insane that we’ve got to this point.

The weird thing is, I think I may have seen those cartoons or something similar – they were doing the email rounds quite a few years ago. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were plenty of Australians out there that have those cartoons on their hard drives now. Hell, I suspect there might be similar things lurking in humour files, like dirty versions of those “LOVE IS…” cartoons. Actually, never mind dirty versions, those LOVE IS things have got nude kids in them! Aaargh. My eyes! Gateway drug! Quick! Arrest me before I turn into John Wayne Gacy.

OK, enough sarcasm.

Remember the original argument about why child porn is abhorrent? It’s because the production of it hurts children and that’s a crime. Simple. That is where the police should be focusing their time and efforts, rather than this “fuel demand” crap that is the very essence of thought crime.

And now… I’m off to check my humour file for anything that may look dodgy in the eyes of the law. Those funny pics of Shrek and Donkey with Princess Fiona… well, how old is Fiona, anyway? Or Shrek for that matter?

Added: Now the British can’t get to Wikipedia because of an article about a 1976 Scorpions album cover. Has the whole world gone mad?

Also added: Now I’ve posted this I need to add some caveats. I started thinking about what happens when the cops turn up on my doorstep, search my hard drive and find those cute photos of my nephew in the bath. And here I am posting about CP and someone could quite possibly say I’m defending it.

I’ll say it AGAIN. I am not defending child porn or child abuse, far from it. I am simply pointing out that our natural concern for the welfare of children seems to have crossed a boundary and we’re now in witch hunt territory. The Bill Henson thing was one example and now we have this. I am a free speech advocate and I am also opposed to the situation where people are being arrested for thought crime. Because anyone can think horrible things but it’s actions that the law should be concerned with.

I should also say – I can’t really remember if I did see those “Simpsons” pics in an email that did the rounds. If I did, I most likely found them to be unfunny, distasteful and offensive and happily deleted them. But if someone found those same pics to be a turn-on… well, that’s very unfortunate but again, no illegal action has actually occurred there.

The assumption of cause and effect that has happened with this legal judgement is very worrying because it can easily be applied to all sorts of other things. Essentially we get the Dworkinesque “porn leads to rape” argument and the inevitable censorship that follows. So the idea that cartoons are equivalent to photos and that simply seeing an illustration of an illegal act leads to replicating that crime… well, it’s a pretty disturbing line of reasoning, don’t you think?

2 Replies to “Stop Australia, Please, I Want To Get Off”

  1. “In my view, the magistrate was correct in determining that, in respect of both the commonwealth and the [New South Wales] offences, the word ‘person’ included fictional or imaginary characters,” the judge said, later adding, “The mere fact that the figure depicted departed from a realistic representation in some respects of a human being did not mean that such a figure was not a ‘person.'”

    Have you packed yet Ms Naughty?

  2. I have to say, I’ve woken up this morning feeling distinctly less “safe”. I want to comment on a news site about this but now I’m wondering whether I should draw attention to myself. What I do is perfectly legal but shit… the police aint gonna care about that if the fundies across the road make a complaint and suddenly I’m raided. Because all it takes is a complaint now.

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