The public debate about Bill Henson’s exhibition is in full swing, as no doubt are the prosecutorial efforts of the NSW DPP, and very little of what one reads comes close to penetrating the hysteria that surrounds child pornography and pedophilia generally. ‘Revolting’ says Australia’s Prime Minister, of art made by one of Australia’s most annointed artists, who now stands accused like any dirty child porn peddlar, a sex offender, a pariah.
It’s a fait accomplis (once someone complains) according to the law, so maybe there’s something wrong with the law? And with our society.
And with the Prime Minister? Because I can say, as an adult, that I can look at images of naked adolescents and have all sorts of feelings, amongst which may be an aesthetic appreciation of a fine young human being, yet not feel any furtive compulsion to have sexual relations with a child. I am seldom revolted. Nor am I turned on.
But that’s just me, and the great majority of Australian adults (I presume) who think of having sex with kids as often as they think of dancing the samba with a turnip. Must we all be constrained by the perversion of the few? Shouldn’t there be some presumption of innocence? Maturity? Vale the carefree days of kids stripping off to run through the sprinkler. My Dad cleaned the pool naked, apparently to the vast amusement of the neighbours, and to me he represented an unfolding age of open-ness about the human body, an end to Victorian prudery. That was before AIDS and the culture wars, Tipper Gore, the Catholic Church’s pedophile woes and internet-delivered child porn. Man have we become uptight?
This life we lead is a good life.” But there is too much of it for me.” I admire the strong and brave who can fill their lives with ever more sophisticated and expensive surroundings, who can plough through their days earning and buying, achieving great things.” In my view, greatness is conferred simply by the act of holding down full-time employment.” I’m mystified by how I used to do it.
If you have”a domestic life, then you’ll work several more hours around the home in addition to your forty-hour week at work.” If you’ve spent your hard-earned”money”in typical style then you should have lots of things to dust and clean and care for.” If you have children, then most likely they will already have accumulated more possessions than seems humanly possible.” You can spend your “time-off” nagging them to”attend to the enormous tide of brightly coloured objects that is creeping from their bedroom.” Or you could do it yourself.”
Well just when the momentum of protest finally had made its way around the globe, the Olympic torch relay lost its way. The focus on China’s human rights issues which followed the Olympic torch relay was hijacked by mother nature in the form of an earthquake.
Call it what you will: Karma, an accident, a travesty. Deep down we are all people and their needs parallel our own especially in this particular instance. I don”t know how to feel. I can only stand back and watch as this self-assured commocracy takes hold and deals with this real estate issue in the seemingly efficient and expedient (is that the best way?) way the Chinese do most things.
I was not surprised to once again belong to a demographic that was entirely over-looked by Mr Swann and his party’s budget. However I am assured that it is part of a bigger plan being undertaken. I am sure that was what I was told when I was a little kid and my dog had died. I was told that it was all a part of a bigger plan and that everything was alright. It does sound like religion, not politics or economics.
Remember last week when I was feeling stretched and strained and unable to write”? Well, I’m back again.
Here’s a snapshot of a few inspirational moments from the last week.” I’ve been concentrating my attention on improving the Australian drama scene.
For instance, I’d really like to see Kerry Armstrong playing the role of battling mum from Bankstown who supplements her Parenting Payment with a bit of crack manufacturing.” It could be called:” Bed of Methamphetamines.
Canberra International Music Festival, Llewelyn Hall, Thursday 14th may
by Thor Diesendorf
Tango Futur are a group of four musicians playing bandoneon, saxophone, double bass and piano. They were each clearly very skilled and their performance together was tight. The bandoneon player was entertaining, pulling some amazing glum expressions, nearly tripping over things on stage and he knocked over his bandoneon, but everything came alright when he smiled. I enjoyed the playing and the musicians got a lot out of their instruments so I really wanted to be blown away, but nearly all the tango they played was fast and complicated with a lot going on in the background. It didn’t get me emotionally involved. A few more slow passionate numbers would have helped.