Tag Archives: Censorship

Quick Shot – 29/May/2014

Shooting The Messenger Involves Shooting

I don’t have much to say about the gender-politic cries of misogyny pertaining to the mentally ill Elliot Rodgers who went on a spree-killing, and has made the headlines for the usual wrong reasons. I’m always bemused-but-incensed by the people who want to point fingers at computer games or books or music or films or TV shows for the reason a crazy person decides to go and shoot people. It’s like all the boring people on the planet want to make the planet boring down to their level of boring-ness when in fact life is pretty complicated and interesting when it involves the arts.

I collect media. I’m not a manic collector, but accrue them out of love, labour and legacy; and I have done so for decades with enduring respect and joy. I haven’t gone on a spree killing rampage at all. I do have my dark moods, and some pretty fucked up depressive thoughts that fucked up depressives get when the black dog comes barking. The crucial thing might not be the media I own so much as the fact that I don’t have guns. The most evil movies I own, the most radically obnoxious sounds I own, the most nasty books I own have combined to make me kill zero people. And this is true of 999 out of 1000 people. It might even be 999,999 out of 1,000,000. People who own media products, does not correlate with spree kills anywhere near as much as people who own guns.

People who go on a spree kill might have all  kinds of media experiences but it’s not what really enables them to do it. In the case of Americans going on a spree kill, we can safely say it’s the lax gun laws – and how could it be anything else, really. He had a gun in his hand. Not a DVD of Season 2 of ‘Dexter’. If the ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people’ argument holds any water, then surely nobody ever died from a fatal playing of ‘Cop Killer’.

I understand the impulse to blame something that seems like it’s related in some way, but the focus people give on media products after spree killings is ridiculous. Wade Frankum who went on the Strathfield massacre possessed both ‘American Psycho’ and ‘Crime and Punishment’. After the incident the media went to town on his possession of ‘American Psycho’ demanding it be banned – most likely because they couldn’t realistically mount any argument to ban a literary classic like ‘Crime and Punishment’. It’s amazing that the very same people say they can’t imagine what goes through the minds of spree killers. This lack of imagination might be alleviated if they bothered to read ‘American Psycho’ and ‘Crime and Punishment’, watched a season of ‘Dexter’ and played a bit of ‘Grand Theft Auto’. Contrary to this banal, asinine media construction, quality media products have gone a considerable way as to enlighten us exactly how these things go.

Seriously, it’s time America looked at gun law reforms.

That’s Not Misogyny, That’s Just Insanity

Oh why the heck not. I do have this much to say.

The other word that’s getting bandied about in the wake of the Elliot Rodger shooting is ‘misogyny’. It’s true, he hated women by the looks of his ‘manifesto’. He hated women for being women, so he probably was a misogynist. But once again there are plenty of people who go about their daily lives and don’t necessarily go spree killing. Seeing that we are using the word that got so famously re-defined by former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, it has to be said that even Tony Abbott – who is the walking-and-talking billboard example of a misogynist – most likely won’t go on a killing spree. I don’t know; it’s just a hunch. You can come shoot me if it proves to be wrong.

As with the media products that get faulted so much, I would have to say the misogyny of the man had less to do with the killings than the readily available guns. Once again, it seems unlikely that he killed the 2 women out of his 6 victims with the lustful hatred for women, he used his weapons instead.

If this seems really obtuse, I should direct you to this well argued piece by Helen Razer.

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Free Pussy Riot

Cast Out Putin

I’m a bit of a stickler for freedom of expression. I just can’t let issues of censorship go without a comment. It’s too easy to let the powers that be go after pornographers or performance artists and say, well, my work is not going to infringe with the authority so I’m okay. Every creative artist, every creative writer, every composer or musician, painter, sculptor or actor, is a canary in the coalmine of culture. If one goes down, we have to look at it as they’ll come for me next.

This is why I have a committed position in support of what the Nazis would term “degenerate art”. My own credo is that if it’s something the Nazis would have hated, then I’m on the right track. Equally, it seems if it’s something Vladimir Putin hates, then we’re on to something good.

Such is the case with Russian Punk Rock band Pussy Riot, who find themselves sentenced to two years in ‘prison camp’ as a result of their political stunt in a Russian Orthodox Cathedral. A lot of people are saying they got what they asked for and that they are undeservering of world attention. I beg to differ. We ca only surmise from the sentence that Russia is still a place with medieval sensibility about performance and art – that they should be things sanctioned by the state and church, never questioning authority. It  is ironic that the Soviet republic was once progressive and modern and would not have had a bar of this kind of reactionary thinking until Stalin seized control. Now we seem to have ‘Putinism’ which is just as reactionary in spirit.

There’s no dressing up the verdict. The women from Pussy Riot are political prisoners f conscience, and thus it is the duty of every creative person to stand in solidarity with them. This injustice is intolerable to all of us who work within freedom of expression and freedom of speech.

And so, this is my little contribution in support of Pussy Riot: Free Pussy Riot

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Censorship Blues – 13/May/2011

How About Arguments Based On Intellectual Merit?

Where does one start with the idiotic submission by Bravehearts to the Senate?

ONE of Australia’s most prominent child protection advocate, Bravehearts, has weighed into the art censorship debate, calling for the Classification Board to be overhauled and for matters of ”artistic merit” and expert evidence to be scrapped when deciding if art is pornography.

Bravehearts’s submission to a Senate inquiry into the film and literature classification scheme was one of several submissions highly critical of the board for allegedly sanctioning the exhibition of photographs of children that would otherwise be illegal, and for failing to halt the proliferation of images that demean women and pressure young girls to act in sexual ways.

Other community and Christian groups wanted the board’s power increased so it could censor outdoor advertising, which is at present self-regulated by an industry body, the Advertising Standards Bureau.

The executive director of Bravehearts, Hetty Johnston, an outspoken critic of the work of the photographer Bill Henson, called for NSW employment laws that ban taking photographs of naked and semi-naked children to be replicated across Australia and said such photos should be refused classification by the board.

”How is it that it was illegal to take the photos but not illegal to exhibit them?” she said, referring to photographs Henson took of a naked 12-year-old girl that were exhibited at a Sydney art gallery in 2008, sparking a ferocious debate about pornography and art.

That sound you hear in the distance is me grinding my teeth. I don’t exactly do art with nude teens in them, so it’s not a problem that sits in front of me, but I have written songs about an Orangutan sex slave prostitute and Josef Fritzl so I can see this sort of thing being a problem for my work as well. It may very well take Frank Zappa recordings off record shelves.

The problem is threefold.

The first problem is that the censorship board can’t be the board that decides if there is artistic merit or not. neither can it proceed with the notion that there is no such thing as artistic merit. Asking for it to discard notions of artistic merit and place judgments based strictly on whether there is a minor depicted in the nude or not, is grossly censorious and has terrible ramifications for ALL freedom of expression. It places too much under the blanket of a taboo, just in case there’s a pervert out there who gets aroused by art. Nobody would be able to discuss anything in fiction or art, because sure as hell it won’t stop at fears of paedophilia.

The second problem is that of defining pornography when removing the framework of art. In any age of history in age of differing societal standards is that it’s strictly in the eye of the beholder. It’s up to the beholder to decide how they respond to an image or an object. By Johnson’s logic, it’s only acceptable art if one doesn’t get sexually aroused. I don’t think that is going to work as a definition of art. And this has a corollary:

Let’s consider for a moment the humble rock melon. Most people on the planet don’t conceive of a rock melon as a sexualised object. Some people who use them as sexual aids for purposes of masturbation might consider otherwise. By Hetty Johnson’s logic, it would become illegal to display melons in shops because somebody might get aroused.

Similarly, if there are in this world bestial perverts and they were likely to be aroused by sheep, then why should there by all those naked sheep allowed to roam our countryside available to the person? How does Hetty Johnson suggest we enforce this issue? Putting diapers on all sheep in Australia? It’s clearly an idiotic position to take on what things are in the public view.

The third problem is that should it be possible to enforce censorship without notions of artistic merit, then where would such a revision stop? The naked cherubs in Renaissance paintings? The statue of David by Michelangelo and Donatello? David was a teen when he slew Goliath by biblical accounts, so by Johnson’s logic any statue of David should not be in public view, lest some pervert get aroused. Well, there happens to be a replica in a shopping centre on the Goldcoast, and it’s been there for years. She is really arguing that we shouldn’t consider the artistic merits of a Michelangelo, or Donatello, just focus on the exposed genitals.

Artistic merit of works is like the presumption of innocence in criminal trials. Without it, you’re going to have totalitarian repression of expression. If Hetty Johnson doesn’t understand this, it’s probably because she is happier with embracing fascism than actually trying to help kids from paedophilia. Picking on the arts is stupid.There’s no correlation between what artists do and child porn. Likening the two to one another is insidious. The fact that she can only see controversy and no artistic merit in Bill Henson’s work is not a failing in Bill Henson or his work or for that matter the Classification Board, it’s actually her problem and it rests squarely with her. She should seek help from a psychiatrist instead of wasting the Senate’s time.

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The Royal Wedding Bash 2011

The Royal Wedding Through A History Prism

It’s weird watching the spectacle of a Royal getting married because the main thing it brings to mind is in fact Henry VIII who married six times. Henry so wanted to marry Anne Boleyn, he split off the Church in England from Rome to ‘accomplish’ this deed. Perhaps the better way to do it is, to do as he pleased.

So, watching the service was rather interesting, what with all the glorious gold robes and the high vault of the cathedral and whatnot; all of it a remnant of the ties to the Catholic Church. I wondered what Pope Benedict XVI would have made of this spectacle. He probably sees it the way the Queen sees America – all that glory used to be ours. And oh, look, there’s Sir Elton John – singer, raconteur, and famous gay person – with his partner. In a Church. And the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams who has no problems with Gay Bishops! This stuff is priceless and writes itself, as does history, it seems.

Royalty is a strange business with all that symbolism. Their main job is to procreate the next generation so that the symbolism can be carried on. It’s a little like sport where in essence, you’re rooting for the laundry. In this instance, you’re rooting for lines of DNA.

I also noted that everybody knew the words to ‘God Save The Queen’ except Her Majesty. Then again, she wasn’t about to sing “God Save Me”, though she might have felt like it. God knows how she feels about the whole Diana thing now, now that the son she begot is headed for the throne and fully committed to the family business of trying to push out the next-next-next heir out of Kate Middleton’s womb. Oh, joy.

The People Allegedly Not Invited

Notably absent were Fergie, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Victoria Beckham and hubbie David were invited. That’s got to be an odd invitation list. Oh, and Elton John with partner.

The Royal Wedding Through A Diana Prism

I had no interest whatsoever in the Royal Wedding of Kate & Wills and all the hoopla until this morning when I saw an old reel of when his mother Diana  wed Prince Charles 30years ago. It struck me as tremendously sad and beautiful through the distance of 30 years gone by and how that marriage unraveled spectacularly, publicly and most importantly, in the most humiliating manner for both Diana and Charles. And knowing how Princess Diana died made the footage even more poignant. If that’s not quaint enough knowing that Princess Diana dies in an accident at the midway point between the two weddings bridging two generations, then the years since have been tainted with the sadness of watching the two younger princes left behind, grow up in the public glare without their mother.

Weddings are a horrible ritual in my books. I think I mentioned this before but I find them far more uncomfortable than christenings or funerals. But for once, all the symbolism made sense if not but to bring the narrative of the Royal Family back to a positive point. At least all that bad blood that surrounded Diana and her demise can be put to rest. The future of the Throne is secure, her son will ascend to be King one day. If there isn’t one day in thirty that the Royal Family could enjoy, this day should have been it.Then again, I doubt they have too many bad days.

I don’t know what Princess Catherine’s role is going to be in history, but one thing is for certain, her name is writ into the history books as surely as the wives of Henry VIII. People might find the Royal Family an anachronism, but one thing was certain, they still own the process of history in the making.

Did The Media Learn Anything?

That’s the big question. The media practically hounded Diana to her death. Of course she was complicit with some of the media, but you couldn’t blame her trying to take some control over something that was always threatening to ruin her life.

I wonder if the media is going to go hard at it with Princess Catherine as it did with Princess Diana. I guess they will. Did I hear a starting pistol go off?

The Chaser And That Censorship

I don’t like censorship at all, so I’m going to agree with those who say it is medieval of Clarence House to have put the gag on the boys. But then, the Royal Family think things should work around them as when there was a Great British Empire. Clearly they do not think incorrectly. I am no less a Republican, and I am deeply resentful of the gag order. The Chaser boys should do a show in guy Fawkes masks, the next time they do a show.

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Art For Society’s Sake

The Bill Henson Controversy Revisited

Bill Henson finally broke his silence on the controversy that surrounded his work two years ago.

The critically acclaimed artist, who has represented Australia at the Venice Biennale and has work in the Guggenheim Collection in New York, said art always pushed boundaries and it was the job of Australia’s politicians to make it available to the masses.

“Democracy, for heaven’s sakes, is there to make the experience of art available potentially to the greatest possible number,” he said tonight in the Melbourne Art Foundation 2010 Lecture at Federation Square.

“The duty of our politicians when it comes to art is not to deny the distinctiveness of art, still less to scapegoat and demonise the artist … but to make art available to every member of society regardless of how well-off they are or where they went to school.

“Art can seem like a force of nature that’s beyond anyone’s control and is therefore always potentially disturbing.”

Henson launched an attack on the federal Arts Minister Peter Garrett, whom he said saw artistic masterpieces and classics as “exhibiting nothing but a manifest irrelevance”.

“In practice, if we cease to honour the ongoing creation of art and the possibility of great art, then we will cease to believe in art as anything other than the basket case at the bottom end of the entertainment industry food chain,” he said.

“We will see the masterpieces and classics that we’ve been taught to cherish, the supreme works of genius, as merely ‘heritage’ or ‘museum culture’, the way the current federal Arts Minister appears to see them, exhibiting nothing but a manifest irrelevance.”

Henson referred to the ban during the 1950s on the controversial novel Lolita, in which the protagonist becomes obsessed and sexually involved with a 12-year-old girl.

“The ability to appear transgressive and radically unreasonable is part of the cloud of unknowing that comes with the territory,” Henson said.

“It seems absurd in terms of the moral standards that have emerged, let alone the aesthetic and critical consensus.”

Sorry about the long quote but it’s ALL important. As much as it would pain the former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, his response to the alleged-scandal as it broke was probably his worst moment in office as Prime Minister. He labeled the works obscene, sight unseen. In one sense, history has been much kinder to Mr. Henson whose works are still considered art where as Mr. Rudd is no longer in office.

The response to Bill Henson’s speech has been interesting as well as muted.

Henson’s opponents – the enraged parents’ groups, a since deposed prime minister and others – were nowhere to be seen.

And, pausing to survey the crowd once more, it seemed a shame. The lecture was billed as a ”Henson answers his critics” showdown, but in reality it only confirmed my suspicions about public debate in modern Australia – that passionate views can be expressed only in the comfortable arena of consensus, or else serve only to reinforce the polarised attitudes that make the six o’clock news.

The controversy of 2008 wasn’t just about children’s rights and artistic license – if Henson’s photography was pornographic and warranted banning, so too would Video Hits.

Rather, it was about society’s easily triggered hysterical response and how we so readily take aim at an external target, instead of turning a critical eye on ourselves.

Not too bad an observation, but I imagine his detractors would never show their face to tell the man himself at such an occasion. Which is perhaps one of the awful traits of the wowser – their convictions are generally not as deep as their bark.

The article raises one problem that the arts community is most often talking to itself that it gets freaked out when the rest of the community finds out just how ‘out there’ some of the ideas are getting. It’s all part of the cultural landscape, but the wider community is getting less and less equipped to deal with the more adventurous ideas and notions in the arts community.

It may get better in the future, it may not but today you still get idiots like this:

However, ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace today said that artists should not be allowed to exploit children for any reason.

“This statement is staggering – so evidently self-serving for the artistic community, and completely in conflict with community standards of morality – supposedly our measure,” Mr Wallace said.

“The Government and the community have a responsibility to act in the best interests of children and to put their welfare far above any claims of artistic merit or freedoms,” Mr Wallace said.

“We should never stand by and accept anything less.

“The real issues Mr Henson should be addressing during his speech are why he thought it was appropriate to photograph naked adolescents and why he allegedly felt it was appropriate to scour a Melbourne primary school for child models.

“Community reaction showed just how unacceptable this was and that there is no justifiable reason for exploiting children.”

It comes from Jim Wallace, who seems desperate to build a reputation as the Christian Mediot, so you take it with a grain of salt. Still, the man totally fails to understand the function of art. Nobody successfully pressed charges that Mr. Henson’s work was child porn, let alone was Henson convicted, so Mr. Henson really ought to be given the benefit of the doubt. It’s the stupid wowsers who went off half-cocked with thoughts of obscenity in their own minds that ended up looking like the idiots that they are – including the very Prime Minister of Australia at the time.

This sort of crappy moralising about children’s rights at the expense of art is sort of funny coming from the clergy who regardless of denomination, over the years have been far more prone to abusing children than just about any other sector of the community.

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Google vs. China

Do No Evil

China’s IT brigade tried hacking Google. In response, Google is going to stop its censoring of content as retaliation. In the mid-term Google is likely to pull out of China.

GOOD FOR Google. The company’s decision to stop censoring its Chinese search engine is more likely to mean the end of its China-based service than a breakdown of Beijing’s political firewall. But more important than the question of whether Google.cn survives is the larger issue that Google has now raised for other Western companies and democratic governments — which is whether China’s gross and growing abuse of the Internet should be quietly tolerated or actively resisted.

Google cited a major instance of that abuse in announcing its policy change: “a highly sophisticated and targeted attack” on Google and more than 20 other large companies aimed at stealing software code. “A primary goal of the attackers,” Google said, was breaking into the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.

This is shocking but unsurprising. Cyberattacks from China aimed at U.S. businesses, the Pentagon and other government agencies have become commonplace, if not epidemic, in recent years. So have Beijing’s demands that Western companies collaborate in its efforts to censor political content on the Internet and snoop on the private e-mails of its citizens, several of whom have been prosecuted with e-mails supplied by Yahoo. China aims not just at eliminating the free speech and virtual free assembly that are inherent to the Internet, but at turning it into a weapon that can be used against democrats and democratic societies.

They have 24 million marriageable men with no access to internet porn. It’s a powder keg waiting to explode out there! 🙂 It’s really strange how china keeps on making the news with such negative reports so regularly. Maybe not so much surprising – a bit like Mark McGwire’s admissions of steroid use – but strange it’s happening now. We’re suddenly seeing bastards for what they are.

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Gruen Censor

ABC Censorship Hoopla

God, you know it’s a good week when the ABC censors something and there’s a circus on the internet. The Gruen Transfer put up a brief for “selling the unsellable” – except this time it was for selling being fat. Please note, that’s got to be a joke about being fat, right?

So the ad agency The Foundry put together a pretty sharp, serious piece of advertising likening discrimination against fat people as being equivalent to discriminating against Blacks, Jews and gays. The ad was deemed so confrontational, the ABC censored it from broadcast.

IT was banned from TV last night, but hundreds online have watched an “insensitive” segment of The Gruen Transfer that jokes about Jews, black people and homosexuals.

And public and expert opinion is divided on whether the controversial ad produced for the ABC show was racist and discriminatory, as deemed by the ABC.

The powerful ad, part of a segment in which two ad agencies tried to sell “fat pride”, has also forced the show’s host, and comedian, Wil Anderson to reconsider his habit of telling “fat jokes”.

Shot in black and white, the ad – produced by Sydney agency The Foundry – features three people each telling extremely offensive jokes.

If you want to know what the offensive jokes were, you’ll have to click the link. I’m not reproducing them because it’s not worth my while getting bogged down in discussions about taste. People, there is no such thing as a victim-less joke that works. Humour is sadistic. That’s the point of humour. Somebody has to get it in the crotch, and when it hits you in the crotch, it hurts. But, that is point of the ad – that it’s pretty bad discriminating against fat people, just the same as it is discriminating against other types of people. It’s not exactly a difficult concept.

You can see how it got played out here.

This segment of The Gruen Transfer was scheduled to appear on the ABC-TV program on May 13, 2009. It was not approved for broadcast by the ABC. We are grateful for the ABC’s consent for us to put the material on this website, as it facilitates further debate and discussion.

This is a confronting ad. We at Gruen feel that it may be offensive to some people, but we stand by the fact that The Foundry agency made it with a considered and legitimate intent to persuade Australians to reconsider their prejudices.

It is clearly an anti-discrimination ad, an argument for tolerance, not divisiveness. As road safety advertisements sometimes use horrific accident images to make a point, so too this ad uses shock to drive home the ugliness of prejudice. It was made by a highly experienced advertising creative, winner of a Cannes Gold Lion, one of advertising’s greatest honours, for a previous anti-discrimination campaign.

As a show about advertising, we feel that it is appropriate for an audience, with fair warning, to consider and judge the ad for itself. And so we are making it available for viewing through this site.

To provide a clear context for the ad,The Foundry and JWT agencies were asked to come up with a campaign for the idea of Fat Pride, to end shape discrimination and make overweight Australians feel less humiliated by the constant public disapproval of anyone who isn’t a size 10 or under.

The following video includes not only The Foundry’s ad, but also a panel discussion with its creator about the reasons for the ad’s approach.

If you are likely to be offended by issues of discrimination in race, religion, sexuality or body size, please don’t watch.

Oh my word. Talk about a lame caveat, but there’s no pleasing the extreme radical faction of the politically correct. And the discussion that follows the ad is just bizarre. Todd Sampson makes no sense. He says the ad doesn’t work because it’s too shocking and then might be perceived to be condoning other types of discrimination by mistake. I think his political correctness switch melted down during the first joke. God knows how he’ll ever survive listening to Frank Zappa. To say the jokes are nasty, therefore the ad doesn’t work is a crappy argument that lacks any understanding of what is laid bare by the jokes. As a result Todd comes across as being a lot less intelligent than I previously thought. Well-meaning but thick as 6 planks of wood.

Wil Anderson seems almost apologetic to have kicked off the segment with a fat joke, only to see an ad Agency that took the brief ultra-seriously and come back with a very hard-hitting product.

But here’s the thing: Executive Producer Andrew Denton was quoted as saying The Foundry missed the point of the brief: “to sell being fat as a positive”. …and in the calm light of day, The Foundry missed that point. Their ad says end fat discrimination; it doesn’t say it’s good to be fat. The rest of the discussion about the nature of discrimination is somewhat tangential and redundant.

Me? I know what real discrimination is like. It’s not the jokes they tell about your ethnicity or the way you look or the way your accent might betray your native tongue. The jokes in the ad might be shocking to some, but frankly, I’ve heard worse in every which direction. Jews in Nazi ovens, Blacks riddled with drugs, homosexuals being the object of scorn and ridicule, fat people caught in the eye of a needle, all being standard tropes for nasty commentary and stereotyping. These are all things that get said and hurt.

But real discrimination is a whisper you don’t hear. It’s the quiet agreement to lock you out of the ‘mainstream’. It’s the procession of blondes on TV in a multi-cultural Australia while all the ‘ethnics ‘get paraded on SBS; it’s the coming second to a white kid at school because the duxe has to be a white kid – and if the 2 leading candidates are not white, heck, they just cancel the duxe that year – Yeah, I’ve seen that one somewhere. 🙂 The jobs you don’t get because the other candidate is white; the breaks or opportunities or the lenience from the law you don’t get because you’re not white; over and over and over again.

My point is, if those 4 white men thought those jokes were the beginning and end of discrimination – and I should include the ABC censors in on this, I have to say they have no fucking idea what discrimination is in this country. NO FUCKING IDEA.

The ABC Has No Balls

I’m trying to get my head around the ABC that censors that above ad, and the Four Corners they aired on Monday night where the trial-by-media circus has resulted in the public scapegoating of Matthew Johns.

I don’t intend to defend what Johns did. My opinions on Matthew Johns are already stated in my previous entries here and here. He did a crappy thing. The way the media has been carrying on about it, you’d think he killed somebody. So far, the New Zealand police have said they won’t re-open the case, and charges were never laid. The general public I’ve run into are of the opinion that this scapegoating is highly suspect and hypocritical.

The things I heard at the local lunch tuck shop today:

  • After all, there must be some TV journos who get laid just because they’re famous. Why don’t they get outed?
  • There are some regular folk who go cruising for pro athletes for sex. What about those people?
  • It’s not just Matthew Johns, so why don’t they out those other players?
  • Has there ever been a sport like NRL where the sport just keep stabbing its supporters in the heart over and over again?
  • how is this supposed to end? With the Johns marriage breaking up or as Johns as a drug addict, derelict and homeless and dead in the gutter?
  • Who is this woman ‘Claire’ and why is she saying this stuff now? Got to be money, right?
  • Didn’t this woman know better than to hang around footballers?
  • It was consensual, so why are they dredging this up now? If she can change her mind, can there ever be ever-lasting consent?
  • Why is the media reporting about athletes’ sex lives? Why do we need to know, even if there was a revolting culture in NRL?

If you thought I was conflicted about Roger Clemens, these people were incredibly pissed off by the whole thing from Johns to Gallop to Gyngell to the Sharks to the woman ‘Claire’.

So, hooray for the ABC who were too scared to air some racist jokes that were clearly portrayed as smug, but were brave enough to throw Matthew Johns under a bus without trial, devil may care.

I’m really, really unimpressed with the ABC this week.

That being said, I’m fascinated by the fissures that are being exposed in our society as result of these two things this week. Clearly the media on the whole is out of touch with community sentiment and I’m not alone in thinking they’re fucked up.

Oh, and then there’s this:

A former work colleague of the woman at the centre of the Cronulla Sharks sex scandal involving Matthew Johns claims her co-worker bragged about the incident.

Tania Boyd has told the Nine Network that the woman in the ABC’s Four Corners report, identified as “Clare”, had boasted to her workmates about bedding several players and only contacted police five days after the alleged incident.

“She was absolutely excited about the fact. She was bragging about it to the staff and quite willing, openly saying how she had sex with several players,” said Boyd.

“We were quite disgusted about it. There was no trauma whatsoever.

“I’m disgusted that a woman can all of a sudden change her story from having a great time to then turning it into a terrible crime.

“One minute she was absolutely bragging about it, she did not know names. These names only came to light to us in the last day.

“We all just thought it was hilarious until five days later the police came to work and were horrified she had now changed her story to say she was now a victim of crime.

“It was definitely consensual, absolutely.

“She is saying she is still traumatised et cetera, well she wasn’t for five days, or four days at least, after that affair.

“I can’t work out what’s happened. Does it take five days for it to sink in?”

Make of that what you will, but that’s somebody corroborating Johns’ version of the character of ‘Clare’. The confusion alone suggests the public bonfire of Matthew Johns may have been set alight too quickly.

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