Free Speech

About Mandatory Internet Filtering

Mandatory Internet Filtering has been proposed as a way to supposedly prevent the exploitation of women by preventing or, at least controlling, access to pornography. It is presumed that (1) all pornography is degrading to women; and (2) that mandatory filtering will end or, at least, drastically reduce the availability of pornography. Given the increase in the trafficking of heroin and other illegal drugs after the decades long "War on Drugs", it seems no less likely that a ban on Internet pornography will be end of pornography. Rather, it will make it more costly and give more business opportunities for gangsters as has occurred with narcotics drugs as a result of its criminalisation.

Links to web-sites and pages about Internet Filtering



(23/7/14) includes YouTube
(10/7/14) by Bryan McDonald
(12/3/13, includes video),
(12/3/13, includes video),

From , Candobetter

The articles below describe attempts by the Australian government to use the claim, that all pornography degraded and exploited women, as a pretext to give the government power to filter all of our Internet usage. The government came much closer to success than it otherwise would have been able to, as a result of support for Internet Freedom by , author of "Silencing Dissent" (2007). They no doubt counted that vocal support from an ostensible supporter of free speech would reassure many who would otherwise be concerned about an attempt by government to control the flow of information through the Internet. The proposal aroused furious public opposition. Articles about this on include:

(22/8/09) by James Sinnamon, (21/8/09) by , (7/5/09) by Catherine Manning, (2/12/08), (21/8/09), a press release by Greens Senator

The outcome, as described in the Wikipedia article , is somewhat ambiguous. Much of the flow of Internet traffic is still free, but some is also subject to filtering and a number of web-sites have been by the Federal Government. The Federal Liberal/National coalition government which had previously voted down attempts by Labor Senator Stephen Conroy to introduce the filter, now appears to be moving towards mandatory filtering. For further information, please see the of . Articles include:

(6/9/13), (6/9/13), (5/6/13), (31/5/13), (28/5/13), (17/5/13), (16/5/13), (11/9/12), (27/5/11), (3/2/11).


includes YouTube

Appendix: articles about the United States' alleged "war on drugs"

– Global Research (Jun 2014), (May 2014) – RT, – RT Op-Edge (Apr 2014), – Global Research (Sep 2006), (Apr 2014) – VoltaireNet, – Information Clearing House (22/3/14) , (6/3/14) on – re-published from , (Nov 2013), (Oct 2013) – Global Research, (May 2010) – Global Research, – Global Research (Apr 2007), – VoltaireNet, by F. William Engdahl, (21/9/06) by Prof Michel Chossudovsky, , .

Hoax: Lorde speaks against war criminal global elites in suppressed Grammy acceptance speech

You can read report and watch video on the New Zealand Herald front page here:
You can see why the hoax was so successful; so many people would have liked someone like Lorde to do something like this - but she would probably have completely ruined her career, had she done so. And it was rather hard to imagine a 17 year old being that politically aware - right to the references. A good speech, but not Lorde's. Below and inside is the hoax that was:
In (18/2/2014), writes: "It took a pop singer, Lorde, to declare in her Grammy Award acceptance speech last month that the emperor has no clothes: "Planet Earth is run by psychopaths that hide behind slick marketing, 'freedom' propaganda and 'economic growth' rhetoric, while they construct a global system of corporatized totalitarianism. This core yields an 'inverted' totalitarian state that few recognize because it does not look like the Orwellian world of Nineteen Eighty-four."
17 year old New Zealand singer-songwriter Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor, whose stage-name is Lorde, courageously used the acceptance of her Grammy award on 26 January to warn people of the world of the criminality of the global elites who have killed many hundreds of thousands of people in order to maintain their unjust rule. In doing so they have laid whole countries to waste, including Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. This acceptance speech has been censored by the Grammy apparatchick and virtually the whole of the world's corporate media. Her speech, including the sources on which it was based are included below.

Lorde's Suppressed Grammy Award acceptance speech (Full Transcript)

26 January 2014

Thank you soo much everyone for making this song explode because this world is mental. (Laughter). Planet Earth is run by psychopaths that hide behind slick marketing, 'freedom' propaganda and 'economic growth' rhetoric," id="txtSubj1">1 while they construct a global system of corporatized totalitarianism.

As American journalist Chris Hedges has identified, a corporate totalitarian core thrives inside a fictitious democratic shell." id="txtSubj2">2 This core yields an 'inverted' totalitarian state that few recognize because it does not look like the Orwellian world of Nineteen Eighty-four." id="txtSubj3">3

This corporate totalitarian core is spreading outward from America. Planet Earth is being rapidly militarized by the world's major and significant states, including their police forces." id="txtSubj4">4 Meanwhile, state surveillance is becoming universal" id="txtSubj5">5 and torture is outsourced to gulags." id="txtSubj6">6

Can we not imagine that in past times, simple folk found it hard to work out exactly how they were being manipulated by the Royal monarchies, and the Papal monarchy, who claimed a 'divine right to rule'? Ordinary people from classical times through to the demise of the Ancienne Regime could not see how the rivalrous network of elites and oligarchs were linked, not least because the illiterate masses were indoctrinated to believe in their humble lot, to obey divinely-endorsed authority and to live in fear of damnation.

So, in today's mental world, it should become clearer now that Planet Earth is ruled by super-wealthy people, who use their outrageous fortunes to steer the trajectories of whole societies for their own material and political gain." id="txtSubj7">7 These oligarchs are, in fact, colluding for economic gain and conspiring to augment more political power." id="txtSubj8">8 Armies of professional, political, religious and military elites serve them." id="txtSubj9">9 Together, they comprise a highly-networked trans- national capitalist class that has been traced in studies by: Peter Phillips and Brady Osborne;" id="txtSubj10">10 William K. Carroll;" id="txtSubj11">11 David Rothkopf;" id="txtSubj12">12 Daniel Estulin;" id="txtSubj13">13 and Laurence H. Shoup and William Minter." id="txtSubj14">14

As Canadian journalist has argued in her book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, 'free markets' were slickly marketed in the 1980s and 1990s with the idea that they would deliver individual freedom and prosperity for all." id="txtSubj15">15 Klein also wrote that the use of military violence to facilitate the spread of 'free markets' in the field-testing stage from the mid- 1960s to the mid-1970s has continued into the 2000s. Her view is supported in Eugene Jarecki's documentary Why We Fight, which compellingly showed that America fights wars to make the world secure for its corporations." id="txtSubj16">16 So, get reading and viewing! (Lorde giggles and half the audience rises to their feet applauding. The other half remain fixed in their chairs. Some reluctantly clap). Thankyou soo much everyone for giving a shit about our song, 'Royals'. May you all find the balls to help construct a world based on resilient community, bona-fide freedom, and peace. To do that, we will need to redeploy the psychopaths that currently run the world to the planet's prisons." id="txtSubj17">17 Peace cannot happen with reconciliation. That was Nelson Mandela's mistake." id="txtSubj18">18 The first step to peace is justice firmly served.

Speech Source References

" id="fnSubj1">1. ">⇑ Snoopman. (2013, August 31). A Poorly Understood 'Bargain': How Democracy and the 60s Movements became Orphans in the 'Free Market' Era. Snoopman News. Retrieved from

" id="fnSubj2">2. ">⇑ Hedges, Chris. (2014, January 6). The Last Gasp of American Democracy. Truthout.

" id="fnSubj3">3. ">⇑ Orwell, George. (1993). Nineteen Eighty-Four (5th ed.). London, England: Compact Books. (Original work published 1949).

" id="fnSubj4">4. ">⇑ Chossudovsky, Michel. (2014, January 29). Imperial Conquest: America's "Long War" against Humanity. Global Research. Retrieved from

" id="fnSubj5">5. ">⇑ WashingtonsBlog. (2013, December 18). Former Top NSA Official: "We Are Now In A Police State". Retrieved from http://www.washingtonsblog. com/2013/12/former-top-nsa-official-now-police-state.html; World Social- ist Web Site. (2013, December 18). "Almost Orwellian": US Judge indicts NSA spying. Retrieved from; Burghardt, Tom. (2013, November 10). The U.S. Secret State and the Internet: "Dirty Secrets" and "Crypto Wars" from "Clipper Chip" and ECHELON to PRISM. Global Research. Retrieved from

" id="fnSubj6">6. ">⇑ Lendman, Stephen. (2013, November 12). America's Global Gulag: Challenging Wrongful Convictions Global Research. Retrieved from http://www.; Lendman, Stephen. (2013, July 19). US Courts Approve Indefinite Detention and Torture. Global Research. Retrieved from

" id="fnSubj7">7. ">⇑ Engdahl, F. W. (2009). Gods of Money: Wall Street and the Death of the American Century.Wiesbaden, Germany: edition.engdahl; Rowbotham, M. (1998). The Grip of Death: A Study of Modern Money, Debt Slavery and Destructive Economics. Charlbury, England: Jon Carpenter; Winters, J. A. (2011a). Oligarchy. New York: Cambridge University Press.

" id="fnSubj8">8. ">⇑ Edwards, Steve. (2012). It's the financial oligarchy, stupid: A study of Anglo-American news coverage during the 2007-2008 financial crisis and bank bailouts Retrieved from

" id="fnSubj9">9. ">⇑ Winters, J. A.(2012, February 27). Oligarchy in the U.S.A.: The wealth defense industry protects the richest of the rich. In These Times. Retrieved from

" id="fnSubj10">10. ">⇑ Phillips, Peter & Osborne, Brady (2013, September 13). Exposing the Financial Core of the Transnational Capitalist Class. Global Research. Retrieved from

" id="fnSubj11">11. ">⇑ Carroll, W. K. (2010). The Making of a Transnational Capitalist Class: Corporate Power in the 21st Century. London: Zed Books.

" id="fnSubj12">12. ">⇑ Rothkopf, D. (2008). Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They are Making. London, England: Little, Brown.

" id="fnSubj13">13. ">⇑ Estulin, D. (2009). The True Story of the Bilderberg Group (North American Union ed.). Walterville, OR: Trine Day LLC.

" id="fnSubj14">14. ">⇑ Shoup, L. H. & Minter, W. (1977). Imperial Brain Trust: The Council on Foreign Relations and United States Foreign Policy. New York, NY: Authors Choice Press.

" id="fnSubj15">15. ">⇑ . (2007). The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Camberwell, Australia: Penguin Books.

" id="fnSubj16">16. ">⇑ Jarecki, Eugene (2006). Why We Fight. [Motion Picture]. Sony Pictures Classics.

" id="fnSubj17">17. ">⇑ Snoopman. (2013, August 31). A Poorly Understood 'Bargain': How Democracy and the 60s Movements became Orphans in the 'Free Market' Era. Snoopman News. Retrieved from

" id="fnSubj18">18. ">⇑ (2014, January 28). The Audacity of Obama: A Black Wolf in Corporate Clothing. Snoopman News. Retrieved from

See the full story "Clipping Queen Bee's Wings: Lorde's real Grammy speech
suppressed" at
And also:
The inside story behind Lorde's meteoric rise: "Queen Bee Mentor: The profes-
sor who fed Lorde's mental buzz"

Snoopman News:

Facebook: Snoopman News
Twitter: [email protected]

Snoopman News: The revolution in your mind will not be televised!

Debate about Libya, Syria on impaired by slow moderation

This blog entry consists of a comment I -157268">posted to , which, I have been advised, more than eight hours after I posted it, is still "awaiting moderation" and as, appendices other comments on that page related to that comment. A number of other comments including -157277">one (), which is critical of an -157257">earlier post of mine have been published since.

As ">Appendix 4, I have written my response to ">post . I won't attempt to post that response to until at least my earlier post, still "awaiting moderation" is published. In the meantime, I am going to attempt to post as a very short comment to -157277">that discussion on a link to this page so that those who want to be able to judge for themselves can come to this site and have a look.

Also, you may find of interest the related discussion on a page of ABC Radio National's Background Briefing Program, . A comment I made, which referred to Professor John Quiggin's drew Professor Quiggin's attention. It seems that as a result of that discussion, I was able to have one comment, but only one comment so far, -157257">published on his web site. The subsequent comment, which is still "awaiting moderation" follows.

Thank you, Professor Quiggin for publishing my previous post.

">Tim McNay (@ ), whilst I greatly appreciate your inclusion of that quote from George Orwell, I fail to see its relevance to Mulga MuggleBrain's " id="app1_mm">previous comment (@ ).

If Orwell were alive today, he would almost certainly be speaking out against the invasion of Libya and Syria, and pointing out how the lies that are being used to justify those wars is precisely the kind of deceit he warned against in 1984.

If Orwell's critique of Pacifists opposed to the use of violence to oppose Nazism in 1940 has any relevance to the Libyan war it would be to Libyans who may have opposed the use of violence to defend their country against NATO and its local proxies on Pacifist grounds.

Following on from what I mentioned in my -157257">previous post (@ ), those interested in learning the truth about NATO's invasion of Libya and its threatened invasion of Syria should send time reading articles on and pages and broadcasts linked to from there.

A good place to start is the 38 minute Global Research TV report (linked to from, , which features Canadian journalist Mahdi Nazemroaya, "a research associate of the Centre for Research in Globalization who spent two months in Libya before escaping after the rebel siege of Tripoli."

of 18 September by Finian Cunningham. (So why hasn't NATO declared a "no-fly zone" over Bahrain after its brutal repression of dissidents?)

of 30 August by Tony Cartalucci,

of 19 September by Michel Chossudovsky

- of 15 September. - Interview with former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who was present in Libya during NATO's bombing campaign.

There is vast wealth of meticulously researched papers and broadcasts on that site. I counted 41 articles just concerning Libya published in 2010 and 2011

I await with interest any response by supporters of the invasion of Libya to any of this material, but, of course, I won't be holding my breath.

" id="app1_mm">Appendix 1: -157199">Post by "Mulga Mugglebrain"

John, I find the categories ‘dictator' and ‘democracy' to be amazingly fluid. In Syria you have a supposed ‘dictator' Assad, who is, in fact, merely the figure-head for a possibly ‘dictatorial' regime. If you are inferring that Assad is equivalent to Stalin, well I think that is bollocks. The regime he heads is a complex alliance of interests that has ensured peace in Syria, despite its fractious religious and ethnic mix, which is now being targeted by those foreign forces who wish either to cause regime change or foment civil war. Assad has broad support in that Syrians do not wish to share the fate of Lebanon, where foreign interference provoked a vicious civil war. The Syrian regime, in fact, leaves its people well alone, unless they are actively working to overthrow the regime, in which case they can be famously brutal, but are they any more brutal than the USA or Israel? I would say, emphatically, not.

In any case in our so-called ‘democracies' the ‘elected' leaders (often blessed with minorities, in electorates where barely half, or less, of those eligible vote)almost invariably these days, govern as elected dictators, only having to balance the forces within their regimes, just like Assad. In fact I doubt that Assad is any more ‘dictatorial' than, say, George Bush, ‘the Decider' or Tony Blair who dragged his country to the infamy of the aggression in Iraq.

" id="app2_tm">Appendix 2: Post quoting Orwell in response to post

Comments like ">Mulga's always remind me of this excerpt from :

Pacifism. The majority of pacifists either belong to obscure religious sects or are simply humanitarians who object to the taking of life and prefer not to follow their thoughts beyond that point. But there is a minority of intellectual pacifists whose real though unadmitted motive appears to be hatred of western democracy and admiration of totalitarianism. Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writings of younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States. Moreover they do not as a rule condemn violence as such, but only violence used in defence of western countries. The Russians, unlike the British, are not blamed for defending themselves by warlike means, and indeed all pacifist propaganda of this type avoids mention of Russia or China. It is not claimed, again, that the Indians should abjure violence in their struggle against the British. Pacifist literature abounds with equivocal remarks which, if they mean anything, appear to mean that statesmen of the type of Hitler are preferable to those of the type of Churchill, and that violence is perhaps excusable if it is violent enough. After the fall of France, the French pacifists, faced by a real choice which their English colleagues have not had to make, mostly went over to the Nazis, and in England there appears to have been some small overlap of membership between the Peace Pledge Union and the Blackshirts. Pacifist writers have written in praise of Carlyle, one of the intellectual fathers of Fascism. All in all it is difficult not to feel that pacifism, as it appears among a section of the intelligentsia, is secretly inspired by an admiration for power and successful cruelty. The mistake was made of pinning this emotion to Hitler, but it could easily be transferred.

" id="app3_tm">Appendix 3: -157277">Post in response to my post and on this site


Malthusista, I couldn't open the link (the URL in the link was mis-typed as ''. Had Professor Gigging approved my -157268">next post at any time in the 3 hours 15 minutes before this was posted, Tim would have been able to find other links to Global Research that were not mis-typed.), but I had a look at to, and I'm sad to say I was disappointed. The writer of that article decided to become a personal fan of Gaddafi on the basis of a 4 minute Youtube video? Hardly an improvement over getting your information from two minute reports on CNN, and it does not speak well for the level of intellectual rigour on that site.

" id="app4_tm">Appendix 4: My response to ">post

Readers should view for themselves the article and decide for themselves whether the author had became a 'personal fan' of Muammar Gaddafi and whether any of his comments favourable to Muammar Gaddafi were justified.

It seems to me that the point that Geoffrey Taylor was trying to make was that if, in a past about Gaddafi's 41 year career linked to by an in the Australian which had been beating the drum so hard for war against Libya, so little could be found against him, then we could hardly consider the Australian's efforts elsewhere to demonise him elsewhere as credible. Furthermore, the broadcast showed how, on a number of occasions, Gaddafi had displayed inspired and outstanding leadership for Arab and other Third World countries against the interests of powerful countries like the US, so the motives of governments which are now waging war against Gaddafi's Government could be better understood.

" id="app4_js">Appendix 5: My post of 21 September to Background Briefing forum

This is to be posted to the ABC Radio National Background Briefing to await the moderator's approval, but as of 1.04PM, this is yet to be done. - JS

Three comments, which I posted yesterday to (one of which concerns wind power and not Libya) are still "awaiting moderation". Since 2.15pm yesterday when I posted there the -157268">comment referred to above, 21 other comments have been posted including -157277">one attacking my views on the page "The just fight not fought" referred to in my previous post.

My most recent post was simply this:

"Please visit the web site (/node/2596) for my most recent comment which includes a response to Tim Macknay’s most recent post ()."

At there is a proposed "Truthseeker's code of conduct". This proposal requires that all, who agree to abide by this code, at least allow anyone, with a view contrary to those expressed on any page of that site, the right to have posted, to that page, a link back to a page where the contrary views are expressed, together with a small amount of explanatory text.

For example, if a site which made the claim that, in 1990, brutal Iraqi occupiers of Kuwait took babies out of incubutors and left them to die on a hospital floor, abided by the "Truthseeker's code of conduct" it would be obliged, if requested by a site visitor, to have a link posted back to the YouTube video "The Kuwaiti Incubator Babies - LIE" at where other site visitors could learn that the 15 year old "Nariyah" who moved so many to tears with her testimony was, in fact, the dughter of the Kuwaiti ambassoadr to the US, was coached in acting by Hill and Knowlton and had fabricated the whole story.

If Professor Quiggin had agreed to abide by the proposed "Truthseekers' codeo of conduct", then he would have at least tried to enable the publication of that smaller post which would have allowed his site visitors to view material which I consider shows up NATO's case for the bombing of Libya to be no less fraudulent.

Whether those three posts were not published because of a flaw in Professor Quiggin's web management software, inattentiveness or a deliberate choice, the fact remains that many visitors to, who may be interested in views contrary to Professor Quiggin's support of NATO's actions will not be able to find material there, or linked to from there, which I consider demolishes that view.

Of course, it is Professor Quiggin's right, as it should be, to publish or not publish material on his own web-site as he chooses, but if it is his intention to prevent vistors to his site from knowing of those views, then I think he owes it to his site visitors to tell them forthrightly. Then, at least, those visitors who wish to know the other side of the debate will know that they need to go elsewhere.

9/11 Truth discussed on Online Opinion

This is intended to be a summary of the discussion on Online Opinion entitled about the devastating Terrorist attack on 11 September 2001.

Background to this discussion

My request to discuss the September 11 terrrorist attacks on was initially rejected. After I questioned the reasons for rejection (see below), it was subsequently approved.

However, the discussion was marred by relentless personal attacks and the usual time-consuming debating ploys, which comprise much of the 280 contributions posted to the . In spite of this the forum contains a lot of useful material, and those who are prepared to wade through the forum will find very good contributions and, I believe, will see that the case of the 9/11 Truth movement does withstand the test of argument.

Nevertheless, that is a difficult undertaking for most users. This article is intended to guide users through the maze and to deconstruct the attempts to prevent them from understanding the issues.

Unsurprisingly, I was attacked relentlessly for having questioned the official U.S. Government explanation of the September 11 attacks, not only from the usual right-wing suspects, but also from ostensible left-wingers. One who claimed to be a member of the Greens Party was particularly venal.

The discussion was frustrated by the limitations of a forum such as Online Opinion and this was not helped by the moderator's hostility to me. At one point, when I made a simple request that a post I made which contained an error be deleted after I had re-written it without the error, he responded:

There is a limit to how much I am going to do to clean-up others mistakes. In this case I'm going to decline.

Instead of composing and sending me this e-mail, he could have simply clicked at most two times, I would have thought, in order to remove the redundant post and helped remove at least a small amount of confusing clutter from the discussion.

During my research, I learnt that in September 2005, British soldiers, dressed as Arabs, had been caught by Iraqi police in Basra, in a booby-trapped car just before a religious ceremony. They were arrested on suspicion of planning to blow up the car around crowds fo worshipers to make it appear as a sectarian attack. However the local British commander attacked the Police station with 10 tanks and helicopter support, even though they were supposed to be cooperating with the Iraqi police in the fight against terrorism. Local Iraqis tried to defend the Police station, but the British soldiers broke in and freed the suspects before they could be questioned. The British Government later 'apologised' to the Iraqi Government over this incident. See in Global Research, Canada.

I requested a forum be started up to discuss this with the title. "Who is responsible for the sectarian killings in Iraq", but it was refused. The moderator wrote to me:

Your general discussion thread entitled "Who is really behind the bloody sectarian killings in Iraq?" has been rejected by the moderator.

I can't see this going anywhere that the previous thread didn't.

Requests to prevent one other contributor who had stated openly he intended to disrupt the discussion were met with either hostility or indifference.

Clearly Online Opinion is not the free and open discussion that it's chief editor Graham Young would have everyone believe it to be. Honest well-meaning debaters, including, I would hold, myself, are often subject to intense abuse by people whose conduct would be easily recongnised by any responsible moderator as disruptive, so much so, that a good many people I know simply don't consider Online Opinion worth participating. On top of that, requests to discuss very relevant and current issues which are likely to attract considerable interest, are rejected, whilst discussions on many seemingly are approved.

Of course, that's the right of the managers of Online Opinion to do so, but there should be no pretence that this is not the case.

(To be continued)

Appendix - Email Questioning stated reasons for rejection of proposed "9/11 Truth" forum

Dear National Forum administrator,

On Mon, 22 Sep 2008, Forum Administrator wrote:
> Dear James Sinnamon,
> Your general discussion thread entitled "9/11 Truth" has been rejected by
> the moderator.
> Can you reword? I don't have an in-principle issue with the post, but I
> don't want to encourage the propagation of multiple threads relating back
> to other threads. If it is a genuinely new thread, then that's OK, but if
> it is a response to discussion on another thread, then it should go on the
> original thread, not a new one.

I don't follow your argument. Why can't a discussion thread be both a new
thread and relate back to another thread? What is wrong with referring to
other discussions on OLO, or, indeed, anywhere else?

My motivation was to repond to what was written about on another thread
on "Winning the Iraq War" without dragging the discussion into claims and
counter-claims about the 9/11 conspiracy theories.

Would you prefer that the discussion of the 9/11 attacks as well as discussion
on "Was the subversion of democracy in the 'free world' necessary to fight
the 'evil' of 'communism'?" to have continued on the Forum about the Iraq War
at , or
would you prefer that the discussion not be held at all?


James Sinnamon

> Regards,
> National Forum Administrator

It's Pawn-Ography!

This piece speaks about psychological entrapment and manipulation of reality by social politics much more than it arbitrates upon Hensen's photos per se.

This makes it a relevant, if not fundamentally crucial, theme for how "we can do better." It is useful as a catalyst to further discussion, even if it is not a technical and/or particularised accounts of the mess as it is physically unravelling structurally or locationally with regard to resources, energy, materials and overpopulation. It is true that the mere mention of those photos may trigger the monochrome Pavlovian payload that has been loaded into the issue. This might obscure the actual point of the script to many, unfortunately.- Editor

It's Pawn-Ography!

'There seems to be no agent more effective than another person in bringing a world for oneself alive, or, by a glance, a gesture, or remark, shrivelling up the reality in which one is lodged.' (1)

'The physical environment unremittingly offers us possibilities of experience, or curtails them. The fundamental human significance of architecture stems from this. The glory of Athens, as Pericles so lucidly stated, and the horror of so many features of the modern megalopolis is that the former enhanced and the latter constricts humankind's consciousness.' (2)

Within these two quotations, there are some incredibly insightful points that enable us, if we open our minds to the richness of their meaning, to understand the Bill Henson Art issue beyond the bounds of a highly charged, simplistic, moral stance. It is hard to believe, when one looks at the level of technical sophistication in our society, just how it is that this very society continues to relish the exact same scapegoat routine that it has for centuries. Hetty Johnson's self-proclaimed Judge and Jury role, in combination with the 'Jack Boot' tactics of the NSW's Police Force, created a farcical public response in some quarters, that was reminiscent of the 'Killing of the Witch' scene from Monty Python's satire, the Holy Grail, set in Medieval England. The populist Politicians headed by Kevin Rudd, aided by some in the profit hungry media, knew exactly how to exploit this highly charged issue, pulling the strings in their own sordid game of 'Pawn-ography'.

Unfortunately, this simplistic moralist approach is what our politicians want, it is what some in the media want, and it's what business wants, for one very simple reason; it sells. For politicians it sells popularity, for the media more advertising and for business the consumption goods that 'make us happy', providing us with a convenient diversion when we reach the point of having to seriously confront the 'disturbing realities' of our world.

And for those occasions when our conscience really does catch up with us, why confront the 'disturbing realities', like those of pedophilia and child abuse in their own right, why spend time and committed effort in reaching an understanding of the deep complexity of these issues, when it's much easier to link them to a suitable scapegoat, someone like Henson whom we can project our own lack of insight onto ? After all, lynch mobs aren't concerned with complexity, apart from the expert needed for the knot, and afterwards we can all get back to consuming.

Of course our politicians have become highly skilled in understanding exactly how this psychology works, they're as happy as can be that Bill Henson, Dr Haneef and The Tampa were all ripe for the picking.

When our so called 'leaders', the politicians charged with addressing the true causes of the 'disturbing realities' of our world, are doing nothing more than perpetually exploiting those issues for their own benefit, we the public have an obligation to ask, 'where does the true sickness lie in our Society?' Spending our time pursuing those questions instead of chasing witches, would rapidly help us to begin seeing that our Society and its Politicians are stuck in a web of deceit of their own making. This deceit has one primary purpose and that is to keep the focus off the true insanity and the disturbing realities that this insanity causes.

'In order to rationalize our industrial-military complex, we have to destroy our capacity to see clearly any more what is in front of, and to imagine what is beyond our noses. Long before a nuclear war can come about, we have had to lay waste our own sanity. We begin with the children. It is imperative to catch them in time. Without the most thorough and rapid brain-washing their dirty minds would see through our dirty tricks. Children are not yet fools, but we shall turn them into imbeciles like ourselves, with high IQ's if possible.'(3)

In uncovering the true insanity, we are able to see perhaps for the first time, the extraordinary lengths we are prepared to go to in order to keep it hidden.

'From the moment of birth, when the stone-age baby confronts the twentieth-century mother, the baby is subjected to these forces of violence, called love, as it's mother and father have been, and their parents and their parents before them. These forces are mainly concerned with destroying most of its (the babies) potentialities. This enterprise is on the whole successful. By the time the new human being is fifteen or so, we are left with a being like ourselves. A half-crazed creature, more or less adjusted to a mad world. This is normality in our present age.'(4)

Only when we understand what we are hiding from and why, can we reach an understanding of what Bill Henson is perhaps trying to capture, the Teenager's inner conflict between their own purity and the torment we put them through in our efforts to adapt them to the insanity of our world.

Why is it that we are not questioning the cause of that torment and insanity and our role in it? Why is it that we persist instead with simplistic moralism and witches? What are we ultimately afraid of facing? If we honestly confronted ourselves with those questions and found the answers, we may find that what we are really afraid of is love in its purest form, in particular, the risks and insecurities that go with it.

'Love and violence, properly speaking, are polar opposites. Love lets the other be, but without affection and concern. Violence attempts to constrain the other's freedom, to force him / her to act in the way we desire, but with ultimate lack of concern, with indifference to the other's own existence of destiny.'(5)

We are each personally responsible for gaining a deeper understanding of the world we inhabit, but in a world that is highly manipulated in order to keep us from that understanding at all costs, the biggest question left unanswered is just what it is going to take to finally shrivel up the insane reality in which we are lodged?


(1) Erving Goffman; Encounters: Two Studies in the Sociology of Interaction (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1961) Page 41.)

(2,3,4,5) R.D. Laing; 'The Politics of Experience' (London: Penguin, 1967) Pages 28, 29, 49 & 50.)