Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I am in Bangkok and now have internet access that occasionally works.

So I have just now created a Facebook group called "I consume internet porn and I have the balls to admit it". Please consider joining it here:

Here is the group's declaration:

 NEWS FLASH: People have sex. And not just to make babies. If parents want to try to shield their children from that fact of life for as long as humanly possible that's their business. But it's not mine.
Yep, there are many reasons why the Australian government's plan to filter the internet is patently stupid:

* It will make internet speeds in Australia slower than they currently are. (Is that even possible? Apparently so.)

* It will make Australia -- a country that already boasts arguably the most censorious media classification regime of any country in the Western world -- an object of derision within the international community.

* Like most filtering systems before it designed to "protect children from inappropriate content" it will likely block culturally and socially worthy "appropriate" content by mistake, including the work of media artists, important information about sexual health, and so on.

* We could go on...

Luckily, plenty of people will be ready to come out and champion any of this "appropriate" content caught in the crossfire. 

Safely vague statements will be made in defense of the principle of free speech. 

Cultural pundits will say lofty, clever things about the right of artists and other creators of high culture to unfettered creative expression (being careful to implicitly distinguish their "Art" from that nasty low-brow commercial porn). 

And many of these people, operating within an political atmosphere charged with fear and hysteria around this issue, will qualify their arguments by stating that "of course children should be better protected from pornography, but this system isn't the solution".

Well OK, whatever.

But let's hear from the millions of Australian residents who views or has ever viewed "inappropiate" content (not child porn, but sexually explicit material) and think that's fine. 

Some of us are under 18 years of age (shock! horror!) and that's also fine, because the right of young people to explore the world around them should be respected too. 

The Australian state, acting through the Office of Film and Literature Classification who's decisions are enforced by the Australian Federal Police, has done its best to quietly remove sex from magazines, cinemas, videogames, bookstores... ostensibly in an effort to protect Australian children - not from poverty, not from disease, not from violence - but from media.

Enough with the children already. Now, won't somebody *please* think of the porn?

I have invited some friends to the group and will be interested to see who's willing to lay their balls on the table, as it were.


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