Daily Archives: May 29, 2008

GWB’s song and dance man changes tune

We all remember him, don’t we? There was a time when we saw his face even more often than we saw George W Bush’s:

He looked decidedly uncomfortable in that one; and now we know why:
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Posted by on May 29, 2008 in America, current affairs, Iraq, Political, politics, terrorism, USA


Miranda versus the arts community

Miranda Devine has her say on the Bill Henson controversy in today’s Sydney Morning Herald: Artistic crowd the real philistines. She has all guns blazing.

…Blanchett and another 43 members of the “creative stream” of the 2020 Summit released an open letter on Tuesday calling on the Prime Minister to retract his statement that the Bill Henson photographs of naked 12- and 13-year-olds briefly on display at the Roslyn Oxley9 gallery in Paddington were “absolutely revolting”.

So artists want the freedom to exploit budding pubescents as nude models, but they don’t want the Prime Minister to freely express his thoughts?

If the arts community is so creative and “edgy”, why do they all travel in lockstep on such things? Their single voice suggests not originality and boundary-pushing, but a suffocating conformity.

Who in the arts community – whether creator, curator or critic – has come out and said: “This is wrong,” not just “provocative” or “controversial”? They say they are happy to have the debate but they have never had the debate, perhaps for fear of being seen as prudish or out of touch with the in-crowd.

This deficit of moral courage was most stark last week in people who have since told friends they felt “uncomfortable” about the image on the invitation from Roslyn Oxley9 promoting Henson’s show, but kept their feelings to themselves…

You don’t have to regard Henson’s work as pedophile pornography to hear, in the elaborate defences of his work concocted in the past week, echoes of the justifications the pedophiles Philip Bell and Robert “Dolly” Dunn made in their talk of the ancient Greek tradition of man-boy love, as if they were simply misunderstood by philistines.

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