Bully , a new documentary premiering Friday, will be released with no rating, following a failed effort to have the MPAA rating changed from R to PG-13.
The movie's rating attracted national attention, thanks to a Change.org petition
started by 17-year-old Katy Butler. The petition MPAA: Don't let the bullies win! Give 'Bully' a PG-13 instead of an R rating! has almost achieved its goal of gaining half a million signatures.
The film's no rating status will prevent it
from being screened in certain theaters, which is a risk The Weinstein Co. decided to take.
Update: Nutters of the Parents TV Council Unimpressed
The Parents Television Council responded to
the announcement that the Weinstein Company will release the documentary Bully unrated by calling on all major theaters, including AMC, to adhere to their own policies not to exhibit unrated films. PTC warns that showing unrated content is a
threat to the continued viability of the ratings system. PTC President Tim Winter said:
This move, regardless of intentions, sets a precedent that threatens to derail the entire ratings system. If a distribution
company can simply decide to operate outside of the ratings system in a case like 'Bully,' nothing would prevent future filmmakers from doing precisely the same thing, with potentially much more problematic material.
unfortunate that the serious problem of schoolyard and online bullying is being overshadowed by a misguided and manufactured controversy over the MPAA rating. It's even more unfortunate that the MPAA ratings system, which only exists as a tool to help
parents make informed viewing decisions for their own families, is being deliberately undermined by Weinstein and his colleagues in the entertainment industry, and that their efforts may well spell the demise of a system that has benefited parents and
families for over forty years.
Either ratings mean something, or they don't. The MPAA's job is not to make subjective judgments about the merit of a film or the importance of the film's message. The MPAA's sole task is to take an
objective measure of the adult content in a film, and apply the appropriate rating. Though the MPAA's system is not perfect, it has been remarkably consistent at least in this regard: any more than a single 'sexual expletive' (usually the 'F-word') will
lead to an R-rating. 'Bully' employs multiple uses of this 'sexual expletive,' and that is why it was given an R-rating.
Australia's advert dutifully ban Mossimo Peep Show advert on the grounds that it somehow condones sexting
Australian anti-sexualisation nutters Collective Shout! , launched a campaign against an Australian clothing store, Mossimo , who introduced an advertising campaign in shops and on Facebook alluding to peep shows.
reported the campaign to Australia's advertising censors at the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB).
The ASM report explained:
Window display with the words Peep show and take a peek inside accompanied by
images of men and women in lingerie. In one image the woman is pulling at the man's underpants so that they are coming away from his waist
These windows are in plain view of
children and provide complete approval of something that is illegal. It takes away the choice I get to make as a parent regarding the view my children should be allowed to make but it also made me feel the complete objectification of women. On the one
hand I am being encouraged as a parent to protect my children from this sort of thing on the internet and provide strict parenting controls to protect and value my children but in a shopping centre they are being confront with something that not only
provides a distorted perception for women but ok's doing this in secret. This is entirely unacceptable material for display to the general public.
Mossimo is a cheeky, irreverent and
light-hearted brand! In the same vein, the Mossimo Peepshow Facebook campaign is a cheeky, irreverent, light-hearted and slightly controversial promotion that is consistent with Mossimo Underwear's brand positioning.
believes that the Mossimo Peepshow Facebook app represents the best way to talk to its target audience in a language and a medium with which they are both familiar and use regularly. In this respect, the company believes that is no different to underwear
advertisements in catalogues, print or other media channels, which are employed by other brands to talk to their customers. Indeed you could argue that the annual Victoria's Secret Parade which airs on Channel 10 despite being rated PG is far more
ASB Decision: Breach of the code for condoning sexting
The Board considered that the overall impression of the images was suggestive of images taken in a person's home and is suggestive of
sexting - the practice of, in particular, young people sending explicit photographs of themselves via mobile phones.
The Board noted that sexting is an issue of concern in Australian society. The Board considered that the
woman appears young and that the issue of sexting is of particular concern where it concerns young men and women and older children. The Board considered that the images of Liz on the website were sexualised and suggestive of sexting .
The Board considered that these images were not appropriate considering that the target audience of the advertisement is likely to include young men and women - the same audience considered to be at risk with regards to the
issue of sexting .
The Board determined that these images did not treat sexuality and nudity with sensitivity to the relevant audience and that the images breached section 2.3 of the Code.
then considered section 2.6 of the Code:
Advertising or Marketing Communications shall not depict material contrary to Prevailing Community Standards on health and safety.
accepting the Advertiser's commitment to refusing to publish inappropriate photos, the Board considered it possible that younger people would see the current advertisement as condoning or at least giving some legitimacy to the behaviour of uploading
images of themselves in underwear and that this is a message that the community views as unacceptable.
The Board considered that this advertisement depicted material contrary to prevailing community standards on online behaviour
and safety and was in breach of section 2.6 of the Code.
A Turkish TV advert for men's shampoo, featuring Adolf Hitler, has been withdrawn following complaints from the country's Jewish community. Turkey's Jewish community
threatened legal action over the unacceptable use of Hitler to promote the product.
The Istanbul-based advertising firm, Marka, and the company that produces the product, Biota Laboratories, both confirmed that, after just ten days on air,
the decision had been taken to withdraw the advert for Biomen shampoo.
The Jewish community seemed more upset than they were supposed to be, Beril Mardin, account director with the Istanbul-based advertising firm Marka told the BBC.
The High Court in Bangladesh has ruled that five supposedly blasphemous Facebook pages and a website must be blocked.
The court heard the pages were deemed to have offended Muhammad and other religions.
The case was brought by two
teachers from Dhaka University and Dhaka Centre for Law and Economics who claimed the pictures hurt the religious sentiment of Muslims. The lawyer making the petition, Muhammad Nawshad Zamir, claimed to the AFP news agency that some of the images were
close to pornography. Zamir added that the pages also contained disparaging remarks about the holy book of the Koran, Jesus, Lord Buddha and Hindu gods . He declined to name the Bengali-language website.
This is the first time the country's
High Court has intervened, although two years ago Facebook was blocked in Bangladesh for a short period until caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad and obnoxious images of the country's leaders were removed.
A high-ranking member of Indonesia's highest Islamic authority has urged Muslims not to attend Lady Gaga's upcoming concert in Jakarta, declaring that the pop star was forbidden under Islamic law.
[The concert is] intended to destroy the
nation's morality, said Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) chairman Cholil Ridwan, who added that he had never watched the singer perform and only heard of her reputation second-hand.
He urged Lady Gaga fans to return their tickets for
the June 3 concert at Gelora Bung Karno and ask for a refund.
Cholil took exception with Lady Gaga's revealing outfits and sexualized dance moves, claiming that a female dangdut singer who wore similar costumes would also be haram.
claimed Lady Gaga was worse. She is from the West, and she often shows her aurat [private parts of the body] when performing, Cholil said.
But another MUI chairman, Slamet Effendi Yusuf, said Cholil's words were only his personal opinion.
The organization has not issued a haram fatwa, a move that would require all MUI chairmen to reach a consensus.
The Egyptian Censorship Authority has given script approval for the controversial film, The Atheist amid apprehensions about the reactions of the predominantly conservative population as well as Islamist politicians over tackling such a sensitive issue.
Final approval for screening in movie theaters will only be given after the filming is complete and the film is again evaluated by the censors.
The idea of making a film about atheists has sparked inevitable 'outrage' and the film's writer
and director Nader Seif al-Din has already started to receive death threats from people demanding that he relinquish the project altogether.
The film, the first in the history of Egyptian cinema to discuss atheism, tells the story of a preacher
who has an atheist son and keeps trying to talk him into changing his mind. The preacher is also the presenter of a religious program on a satellite channel and starts becoming the laughing stock of viewers after his son's beliefs become known. He get
calls on air telling him he is not fit for preaching since he is unable to make his son believe in God.
In order to avoid criticism by Islamists, Seif al-Din has said that he is going to consult several religious scholars about the content of the
film to make sure it presents a strong argument about the existence of God and against atheism.
According to Seif al-Din, The Atheist is not against religion as some might guess from the name, but is the exact opposite. Seif al-Din
explained that through discussing the problem of atheism, the film stresses the importance of faith and the evidence of the existence of God.
When asked why he decided to tackle an issue that is likely to cause a lot of problems if only because of
the film's name, Seif al-Din replied that he had noticed that the number of atheists in Egypt is increasing and that they have started calling for their rights. This, he said, made him feel that it is necessary to make a film that addresses the problem
and that highlights the misconceptions endorsed by atheists.
Egyptian artists have condemned a decision by Cairo University to ban the screening of an Oscar-winning Iranian film under pressure from Islamist students who claim it propagates Shiite ideas.
The Front for Creativity, a coalition calling for
freedom of expression in the arts, said the decision to ban A Separation was a catastrophe that showed the extent of extremism reached by some students in our universities. The group said in a statement:
Islamist students who demanded the ban must remember that their voice (was brought about by) a revolution that calls for freedom, so it is shameful that they suppress this freedom,
It is a world-renowned work of literature and one of the foundation stones of the Italian language, but Dante's The Divine Comedy has been condemned as racist, homophobic, anti-Islamist and anti-Semitic.
The classic work should be
removed from school curricula, according to Gherush 92, a nutter group that ludicrously claims to be a human rights organisation. The group acts as a consultant to UN bodies on racism and discrimination.
Dante's epic is offensive and
discriminatory and has no place in a modern classroom, claims Valentina Sereni, the group's president.
Sereni told the Adnkronos news agency that it represents Islam as a heresy and Mohammed as a schismatic and refers to Jews as greedy,
scheming moneylenders and traitors. Homosexuals are damned by the work as being against nature and condemned to an eternal rain of fire in Hell. Sereni added:
We do not advocate censorship or the burning of
books ...BUT... we would like it acknowledged, clearly and unambiguously, that in the Divine Comedy there is racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic content. Art cannot be above criticism,
Although supposedly not
advocating censorship , they called for the book to be banned anyway, from schools and universities, or at least have its more offensive sections fully explained.
Of course those being patronised by Gherush 92 are in little need of such
bollox. For instance, Franco Grillini, the head of Gaynet, a gay rights' organisation, said the suggestion that Dante's writings should be prohibited marked an excess of political correctness .
A Red Bull commercial has caused huge controversy for allegedly mocking Jesus' miracle of walking on water, and could be banned in Brazil by the National Advertising Council (CONAR), according to Brazilian publication Globo.
In the cartoon ad,
Jesus and two of his disciples are sitting inside a small fishing boat. Jesus suddenly gets up and with frustration says: Well guys, that is it! Nothing is going to happen today! I am getting out of here! He leaves the boat and apparently walks on
the water. Eventually explaining: There is no miracle here! You just have to be smart and find the rocks to step on.
Local media outlets are reporting that the Catholic Diocese of Rio de Janeiro is considering legal action.
has denied any intention of mocking Jesus. The communication department explained:
Red Bull's intention was just to kid around. We even mentioned on the advertising that Jesus didn't need to drink a Red Bull to walk on
the water. All we did was to suggest that you need to be smart to walk on the water.
According to CONAR, if the latest commercial is deemed offensive, it will have to be banned unless modifications are made.
Red Bull South Africa has pulled its Jesus walks on water television campaign following complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority
Father Christopher Townsend said religion and faith should never be ridiculed. [Even if it's being ridiculous]: We are used to Red Bull advertising being very cheeky and satirical ...BUT... there
is a certain level where it oversteps the mark.
One Million Moms (OMM) is a nutter project from the American Family Association. The Southern Poverty Law Center who monitors such groups designates them as an anti-gay hate group.
OMM's is currently calling for a boycott against Toys 'R' Us
for selling the gay wedding issue of Archie. They have also called for a boycott of Dallas-based J.C. Penney store. The reason was the company's new spokeswoman, Ellen DeGeneres who is gay,
OMM director Monica Cole has now told a
Christian news website that the group is calling for a boycott of GCB , the new ABC show about drunken, back-stabbing, big-hair, Park Cities ladies. On their website, One Million Moms put out an action alert about the show, which reads:
OMM is disgusted with the new program Good Christian Belles which is blasphemy at its worst! It is based on the book Good Christian B*tches and mocks Christianity repeatedly.
anti-Christian program blasphemes God, Jesus Christ, God's Church, and the Bible. As Christians, we will not stand for this Christian-bashing program. No other religion has to contend with this ridicule so why should we?
network's irresponsible behavior must be accounted for. They are deliberately attempting to sabotage our faith. Their actions are damaging and destructive to our religion.
As Christians we must demand respect. Together we will
defend our Christian values and beliefs.
And they're already claiming a victory. Kraft pulled their ad for Philadelphia Cream Cheese a few days ago, which OMM claims the company decided to do after consumer complaints started
to pile up.
Newt Gingrich has now joined the nutter attack on ABC's GCB , claiming it to be anti-Christian bigotry.
The group One Million Moms has called for a boycott of the show, labeling it
blasphemy at its worst. B ut after just two weeks on the air, GCB seems to be doing OK.
It's common for a new series to lose 20% of its audience between the pilot and the second episode. But GCB dropped only 4%, going from 7.56 million
viewers in week one to 7.25 million in week two. That's impressive audience retention. Much more importantly, GCB gained share among 18- to 49-year-olds, those coveted, credit card carrying, disposable income-laden consumers.
Hindu extremists in India have protested against the shooting of a film by director Kathryn Bigelow on the grounds that the film-makers were portraying Pakistan on Indian soil.
The film, with the working title Zero Dark Thirty , is about
the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.
The film-makers were denied permission to film in Pakistan so they converted parts of the Indian city of Chandigarh to look like the Pakistani city of Lahore.
Billboards with Urdu signs were put up on shops in
a market in the north Indian city and auto-rickshaws were running with Lahore number plates. Burqa-clad women and men dressed in traditional Pakistani clothes roamed the streets.
But for right-wing Hindus, the use of India to portray sworn enemy
Pakistan was too much.
The small group of protesters shouted slogans and some of them were seen arguing with cast and crew members. Vijay Bhardwaj, a leader of the radical Vishva Hindu Parishad group said:
strongly oppose this and we will not let them put Pakistani flags here and we will not let them shoot for the film.
Telstra is not the boring government-owned phone utility it once was, the company now offers Telstra Babes softcore pornography over video-capable mobile phones.
We have a range of web pages offering different content for the many
niche interest groups that make up our customer base, a Telstra spokeswoman said.
Campaigner Melinda Tankard-Reist of the nutter group Collective Shout said Telstra's attitude was disappointing and raised serious questions.
This is a mainstream communications company. When did they make a decision to go down this path? Was it at a corporate level?
The material is produced by Playboy and Girls Gone Wild. The telco said warnings were
displayed and that the content was relatively tame. The spokeswoman said:
We have stringent guidelines pertaining to all content across our sites and in particular, the 'glamour' pages, which are among the mildest in
the category among industry providers.
Tankard-Reist rejected that defence and ludicrously claimed that the companies supplying content to Telstra had disturbing associations:
Playboy isn't just
your father's magazine under the bed any more, she said. Playboy hosts a range of hardcore, explicit, triple-X content across a range of cable television channels. You couldn't even print the names of the titles they show.
Girls Gone Wild genre is harmful to women and girls and there have been allegations that girls have been made drunk to coerce them into filming sex acts or simulated sex acts for the camera.
Shareholders would be surprised to know
the company is hosting and distributing pornographic content. It's a significant issue for its reputation.
A case for the arrest of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Cultural Editor of Danish Newspaper Fleming Rose, for allowing blasphemous cartoons of Mohammad. has been registered in Jhang, in Pakistan
The case was registered after
Advocate Muhammad Zahid Saeed, stirred by websites allegedly supposedly demeaning Mohammad, filed a petition before the District Session Judge seeking a ban on websites including Facebook, YouTube, Google and others.
In his petition, Saeed said
that on visiting some websites while on the internet, he and his companion found caricatures of Mohammad published which, he alleged, were trying to create a war between Muslims and non-Muslims . He added that the caricatures were a form of international terrorism and evil profession
Session Judge Arshad Masood responded to the petition by saying that the deliberate and malicious act of displaying derogatory caricatures is a continuing offence and a case must be registered in Pakistan and anywhere else in
the world where the sentiments of Muslims were hurt.
The petitioner had maintained that the proceedings against the accused should be served through the Danish Ambassador and US Ambassador in Pakistan.
Gavin McKiernan of the Parents Television Council (PTC) attended the Apple shareholder meeting to ask the company to recommit itself to Steve Jobs' pledge that Apple would not facilitate the distribution of adult-only material within its ecosystem.
Apple CEO Tim Cook pledged that Apple would continue the Steve Jobs' era policy.
McKiernan also asked for a commitment from the company to sponsor family-friendly TV programs with its ad buys. Over the past year, supposedly graphic episodes of
Fox's Family Guy , and The Cleveland Show , and CBS' Two and a Half Men , among others, featured Apple advertisements, and Cook received the comments favorably.
The PTC said it was looking forward to
continuing to work with Apple to build a strong relationship that will ultimately be family-friendly and serve Apple's bottom-line. The following are excerpts from McKiernan's delivered remarks:
First, I come before
you today to praise Apple's commitment to curb the distribution of adult-oriented material within its ecosystem. To his credit, Steve Jobs was a leader and visionary not only in creating amazing products, but in recognizing his company's responsibility
to help parents prevent children from accessing material that is inappropriate for them. In the post-Jobs era, is that a principle parents can count on Apple to continue?
Out of the same concern for children, I must also alert you of
your advertising practices. Apple has remained a constant sponsor to problematic shows such as Family Guy, Two and a Half Men, American Dad, The Cleveland Show, and Vampire Diaries; shows that consistently feature violence, graphic sexual content and
foul language. In the past year your advertising dollars have helped scenes such as Peter firing a machine gun at the Amish on Family Guy and Alan giving his son a penis pump on Two and a Half Men into the homes of impressionable young minds.
I am pleading with you on behalf of millions of Americans to bring the high standards you have for your Apple products to your advertising practices. I hope you will accept my invitation today to work with the Parents Television
Council to find programming alternatives that will meet your media goals while maintaining the brand image that is so valuable to you and my fellow shareholders.
Photographs of women posing sexily as nuns at an exhibition in Spain has sparked nutter 'outrage' and complaints of blasphemy from Catholic and conservative groups.
Obscenity , an exhibition of 50 photographs by the Canadian artist Bruce
LaBruce, includes a portrait of Spanish actress Rossy de Palma in a black and white habit and corset with a rosary between her teeth. Another shows Alaska, a singer well known in Spain, dressed as a sexy saint in black with a communion wafer on her
The show at the Fresh Gallery in Madrid, drew condemnation from the Eucharistic Ministr y called for a demonstration against blasphemy . while a nutter campaign group, Make Yourself Heard , noted the news with the
claim: Blasphemous provocation threatens again,
The Francisco Franco Foundation , a group that campaigns to preserve the memory of Spain's dictator, claimed the exhibition to be a virulent and morbid attack on the Catholic
Re the Christian right's totally over-the-top reaction to Bruce LaBruce's Obscenity exhibition in Madrid.
Obscenity is made up of photos of fairly well-known people from Spain's culture industry, posing with religious paraphernalia like sacraments and rosaries. The photos don't seem all that shocking to me. Self-consciously shot in a fashion magazine style, aside from some bleeding trackmarks and a lascivious looking gayngel, there's nothing all that explicit about them. Even so, the exhibition has caused an uproar, with senior politicians like the mayor of Madrid calling for it to be closed, religious groups protesting outside, and then, last Friday, someone threw a firebomb through the window. Due to some miracle it didn't explode (maybe God is on Bruce's side after all).
No one involved really understands what all the fuss is about. When I spoke to Rossy de Palma earlier this week her point of view was that religious iconography belonged as much to the models in the show as the angry Christian
terrorists who tried to boycott it. We grew up with all that bullshit and we can do what we want with it, she said.
Anyway, the exhibition was great, and the opening was packed with all the arty gays and fashion people that
are currently making Madrid shit on Barcelona as far as creativity is concerned. Overall verdict? One in the asshole for freedom of expression over hysterical reactionaries.
Australian anti-sexualisation nutters write about a promotional campaign by the Mossimo store featured on the store's website, Facebook page and shop windows.
Mossimo Peepshow is sexist rubbish .
The promotion is called Peepshow. Through the use of peephole imagery and words like strip on their signage, the promotion makes clear reference to the sex industry and voyeurism.
message to women here is, you are valued for your appearance and your ability to sexually arouse men. That's your role in society.
The message to men, Peeping at women in their underwear isn't a crime after all, stalking is
just a bit of sexy fun and women like it. Look how happy Miss Universe is!
Did we mention Miss Universe is involved? The Mossimo facebook page has created an app that not only invites you to peep at Miss Universe
, it also allows users to create their own peepshow. Just upload your photo, allow Mossimo to assign you a ridiculous name like Naughty Nadia and you're on your way to winning a prize.
These ads are retro-sexist. They mimic tired old sexist attitudes in an
ironic way. They are funny only to people who are happy to laugh at put-downs of women.
The ads say that men should judge women just on how they look, that women are stupid and that it's okay to laugh at them.
Demeaning women in these ads is harmful whether the ads are funny or not. Valuing women only for how they look has a corrosive effect on women's sense of self-worth. Men who demean women like this are more likely to be violent to
them, and we have a huge problem with violence against women in New Zealand.
The campaign will use Facebook, an online petition and other social media to gain support and put pressure on Tui owner, DB Breweries, to drop the ads.
Auckland Feminist Action is a new group acting on what it sees as persistent inequalities between women and men in New Zealand.
The Parents Television Council (PTC) is waging what it calls an aggressive campaign in response to MTV's I Just Want My Pants Back , which began airing on February 2. While the show is only rated TV-14, content has already included the
prelude to a sexual foursome and a woman asking a man to insert his finger into her arse during intercourse. MTV's head of programming, David Janollari, is on the record saying the network is targeting kids as young as 12 with the show.
warning parents about the supposedly 'explicit' content and asking the program's sponsors, including Dr. Pepper, T-Mobile and Toyota, if the show's content accurately reflects their corporate image. PTC has also contacted the TV Parental Guidelines
Monitoring Board regarding the allegedly erroneous TV-14 rating.
PTC President Tim Winter spouted:
Once again MTV is taking HBO-style content and marketing it to a Nickelodeon-age audience. The network
programming executive is on the record saying 12-year-olds are in his crosshairs. And the TV-14 content rating is intentionally misleading for parents and for advertisers. The Parents Television Council will not sit silently and allow this affront to go
We are also reaching out to the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board, asking for a review of the program's content rating. To date, the mystery Board has done next to nothing except cancel meetings and avoid any
possible public awareness of its existence. It is high time that the American public receive some level of accountability from those who assign routinely inaccurate content ratings, Winter concluded.
The politics of liquor and sex have collided with Christian fundamentalism in British Columbia's Bible belt, forcing organizers of an adults-only erotic show to cancel a three-day event.
For the past four years, the Fraser Valley Taboo Naughty But
Nice Show has offered patrons the opportunity to shop for sex toys, watch fashion shows and live demonstrations and participate in seminars.
But Canwest Productions have now announced that the fifth annual show at the Abbotsford Tradex is history
because the company couldn't secure a roaming liquor licence and because of push back from a vocal group of Christian fundamentalists.
The company said a roaming licence allows patrons to carry their drinks around the event, instead
of being restricted to a beer garden in the corner of the trade show's floor. Peter Kiddell, the company's president said:
Based upon the restrictions placed upon us concerning our ability to serve liquor and the
negative push-back we were getting concerning our show's entertainment and educational offerings, we do not feel that we can meet the expectations of our guests or our exhibitors.
The nutter backlash was led by former mayoral
candidate Gearda Peachy who has lobbied Abbotsford's city council to ban the event. Peachy explained why she opposed the event:
This obsession with deviation, it does nothing to help, it does nothing to enhance
Dan Stefanson, executive director of Tourism Abbotsford, said the community will feel the effect because the exhibition attracted many visitors. He said:
People would come and stay in our
hotels and rent cars and fly into the airport, and that's going to be very sadly missed in our community in a few weeks when the events not here.
Religious instruction in public schools in Spain is optional, and parents must sign their children up in order for them to attend.
In a statement sent to CNA, Catholic bishops explained that two ads (one in Spanish and the other in Basque) were
sent to EITB Television, which were slightly edited and then aired two days later.
The ads featured two mothers discussing the importance of religious education for their children and encouraged parents to sign their children up for religious
The ads were soon pulled off the air by EITB who said that the the public service announcements were incompatible with their advertising policies.
Catholic bishops in the Spanish dioceses of Bilbao, San Sebastian and Vitoria
criticized the public television station for pulling the adverts. They called the move a violation of fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and religious freedom. The bishops added that the ad removal reflected a secular outlook that
sees religion as something to be excluded from social life which is unsuitable for a public institution at the service of all.
Nutter group Family First New Zealand is calling on the Tauranga District Council to follow the lead of the Kapiti Coast District Council and pass a bylaw outlawing public nudity on the coastline. It is also calling on the government to amend the Crimes
Act and Summary Offences Act so that the precedent to allow public nudity, set in past cases by liberal judges on events such as the Boobs on Bikes , can be overturned.
Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ spouted:
Families are rightly concerned that they and their children may be confronted by full nudity in a public place. Freedom of expression must never be at the expense of the right to protect children and families from
offensive and inappropriate behaviour. We would not allow nudists to expose themselves in shopping centres or outside schools. Doing it on the beach where there are families is no different.
Families don't want their children
being confronted by naked men and women. The rights of nudists to 'hang loose' should not be at the expense of families feeling embarrassed or offended. It is completely inappropriate for children to be confronted with naked adults wandering past them or
sunbathing. It is not for families to 'get out of the way'. The nudists should simply cover up.
There's a place for nudity ...BUT... it is certainly not on our main streets or beaches which families and children use.
Kapiti Coast District Council passed a Beach Bylaw in 2009 containing a clause: No person shall remain upon any part of the beach in deliberate view of others in such a state of undress as to cause offence.
A new play called That Pretty Pretty; Or, The Rape Play is opening at Darlinghurst's TAP Gallery theatre in east Sydney.
It is the debut production from Workhorse Theatre Company and it includes jelly wrestling by scantily clad
actresses, bondage, rape and killing scenes and an extreme sexual assault featuring the use of a grenade, all in a black comedy labelled sickening in some overseas reviews. The story follows a pair of ex-stripper sisters who go on a killing
spree across America, taking pro-life activists as their victims.
Workhorse co-founder and performer Troy Harrison admitted the work was chosen for its shock value and images of the more controversial scenes were deliberately used in the publicity
material. he said:
Yes, we were looking at another play but we wanted to start with much more of a bang, this being our first production, so we did choose this play because it is very confronting.
However, Collective Shout, an organisation that campaigns against the objectification and sexualisation of women in the media, warned against the depiction of violence against women for entertainment's sake. A spokeswoman said:
Survivors of sexual assault or violence are often left traumatised as a result of abuse,
Sexualised representations of violence against women trivialise and undermine the very real pain and
trauma they endured.
Update: More bollox from Collective Shout and the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney
Speaking of the
new play called That Pretty Pretty; Or, The Rape Play opening at Darlinghurst's TAP Gallery theatre in east Sydney, the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney wrote an article:
Judging by the publicity for the
play, including an explicit raunchy promotion, it is almost certain that if the play had been made into a film, it would have received an X-rating from Australia's Classification Board.
[What a load of
bollox, the play does not feature real sex so simply would not be X rated, just R18+ rated. I thought christians had some sort of commandment against lying].
But while films are assessed and classified, there seem to be no such restrictions for live performances , says Caitlin Roper, state co-ordinator with the increasingly powerful and influential grass roots organisation, Collective Shout:
As far as I know there are no rules limiting what can be seen in a live performance and the press releases sent out to promote this play are particularly disturbing. The images which are also on Facebook include scantily
clad women jelly wrestling as well as images depicting bondage, violence and sex, and are typical of porn-inspired male fantasies.
Boundaries are continually being pushed with violence becoming more eroticised. The suggestion
women enjoy being aggressed by male partners is disturbing but to then show men inflicting violence on women, as seems to happen in this play, can not only make violence against women seem more acceptable but even desirable.
Caitlin is also concerned about the blatant flippant attitude shown by the theatre company producing the play and its disregard for women who have survived sexual assault, rape, violence and abuse.
These women are almost always deeply traumatised and sexualised representations of violence such as portrayed in the play's publicity, trivialises and undermines the very real pain and emotional distress they have endured, she says.
The Super Bowl is one of America's largest sporting events, and it is a time when nutters enjoy making ludicrous claims about thousands of girls, many under-aged that will somehow be trafficked to the event.
The award for this year's most
inane nutter campaigner must surely go to Theresa Flores, founder of Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution (S.O.A.P.). She told The Christian Post that major sporting events like the Super Bowl generally have more men in attendance who are visiting from
a different city, and often do things they wouldn't normally do at home. This creates a demand that traffickers and pimps are there willing and waiting to supply, she said.
Because of this, about 150 volunteers for S.O.A.P. are heading to
Indiana before the event to pass out soap at Indianapolis motels.
Each bar of soap will have a label on it with phrases like Are you being threatened? or Are you witnessing young girls being prostituted? The soap provides the number
for a human trafficking hotline so that those at the hotel, or young girls who are being trafficked, will see it and can call for help.
S.O.A.P. volunteers will distribute the bars Feb. 1-2, in conjunction with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
students who will hand out fliers to raise awareness for the trafficking issue with football fans.
Offsite Comment: Superbowl Sex Trafficking Increase? Super Nonsense
An increasing number of groups are intent on persuading Americans that we have a terrible and growing problem with sex trafficking. Their data is virtually non-existent, elided with words like experts agree, a shameful epidemic, and enormous human suffering.
The media reports their conferences and feral estimates, politicians grimly respond with vows of stricter laws, and the occasional wildly unusual victim is trotted out as proof of some enormous underground industry.
favorite ploy of anti-trafficking groups is to grimly remind us that major sporting events are a central focus of this evil. Every year, the NFL has to deny that they're the center of an odious international sex slavery ring. NFL spokesperson Brian
McCarthy says the super bowl sex slave story is a simply an urban legend.
But that doesn't stop those who are feeding---and feeding off of---America's latest Sex Panic.
Tadeusz Rydzyk is one of Poland's most controversial and at the same time most influential priests, building up a media empire over the past 20 years. The conservative Catholic is the moving spirit behind Radio Maryja, the newspaper Nasz Dziennik and the
television station Trwam.
While Rydzyk is adored by his adherents, he faces sharp criticism from many others, including the Vatican and many Polish bishops, for what they see as a narrow-minded and intolerant attitude out of tune with the times
and Polish society.
But now Rydzyk's media empire is under threat. The Polish Broadcasting Council failed to include Trwam when it issued broadcast licences for the new digital network that is to cover Poland from next year onwards.
Broadcasting Council doubted whether Rydzyk's Trwam had the necessary financial means to make the leap into the digital era. If an applicant fails to meet the requirements, no licence is awarded. There are no holy cows. We live under the rule of law
not under the rule of Father Rydzyk, Dariusz Jonski, spokesman for the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), said in defending the decision.
Rydzyk immediately named those he held responsible for the decision, accusing them of a conspiracy. The
Broadcasting Council was dominated by Poland's liberal and left-wing parties, he said. We have the feeling that this has been manipulated. Somebody is behind this, said the conservative priest, who stands accused of being overtly political in his
Poland's conservative nationalist opposition is up in arms at what it sees as a disgraceful decision by the Broadcasting Council. Rydzyk's audience has also mobilized. According to Radio Maryja, they have sent around 100,000 protest
letters to the Broadcasting Council. The letters were not in every case models of Christian charity, with some anonymous messages making open threats against members of the council. How dare you serve Satan and foreign interests? You will suffer! one of the letters said, according to Polish media reports.
A Pakistani TV host has been sacked after an episode of her morning TV programme showed her ambushing young couples and demanding to know whether they were involved in immoral behavior.
Samaa TV host Maya Khan was filmed charging around a park in
Lahore, Pakistan, asking youngsters what they were up to, whether they were married or engaged and if their parents knew where they were.
In one particularly cringeworthy scene the 31-year-old host - who has been dubbed the vigil-auntie -
demanded to see a couple's wedding certificate after they told her they were married.
The show sparked outrage with viewers branded it - a witch hunt and taking to the internet in their thousands to register their disgust. Within hours of
the broadcast on January 17th, several online petitions had sprung up demanding that Khan be sacked. Samaa TV said Khan had been sacked after she refused to give an unconditional apology
Sir Salman Rushdie faces the threat of reprisals from Indian Muslims after a leading Islamic institute demanded the government ban his scheduled appearance at the Jaipur Literature Festival.
The demand from the Islamic body revived divisions
over The Satanic Verses , his 1988 novel that Muslim groups have condemned as blasphemous. The book provoked 'outrage' throughout the Muslim world over the narrator's claim that disputed verses in the Koran had been revealed by the
Fatwas from the Darul Uloom seminary in Deoband are observed throughout the world. Its vice chancellor said tens of millions of muslims remain hurt about the novel. Maulana Abul Qasim Nomani, the institute head, said:
I call upon the Muslim organisations of the country to mount pressure on the centre to withdraw the visa and prevent him visiting India where [tens of millions] community members still feel hurt owing to the anti-Islamic
remarks in his writings The Muslims cannot pardon him at any cost,
His remarks were supported by party leaders in Uttar Pradesh, India's largest state which is home to the seminary. Rajesh Dixit, general secretary of the Samajwadi
Party, the state's second largest party, said the author's visit must be prevented to avoid insult to India's Muslims.
Rushdie, who was born in Mumbai and holds Indian travel documents, remains committed to appearing at the festival, he said. The
author posted a defiant response on Twitter. Re: my Indian visit, for the record, I don't need a visa.
Sir Salman Rushdie's name has been dropped from an Indian literature festival amid fears for his safety after threats of protests by the country's most influential Islamic seminary.
The author of Midnight's Children, voted the best Booker Prize
winner of the last 40 years, was quietly deleted from the Jaipur Literature Festival programme after the government voiced security concerns and said the opinions of protesters could not be ignored
Rushdie said in a statement that he had decided
to cancel his trip. He said he had been informed by intelligence sources that paid assassins from the Mumbai underworld may be on their way to Jaipur to "eliminate" me . While I have some doubts about the accuracy of this
intelligence, it would be irresponsible of me to come to the festival in such circumstances. .
India's reputation for upholding free speech suffered a body blow yesterday after a scheduled video address by Salman Rushdie to a literary festival was
cancelled just minutes before it was due to start amid protests and fears of violence.
The British novelist had been due to take part in an hour-long video interview after alleged death threats and protests from Muslim leaders linked to his 1988
book The Satanic Verses persuaded him not to attend the Jaipur festival in person. But, having earlier indicated the event would go ahead, organisers announced it was being called off at the request of the owner of the festival's venue, who had been told
by police that planned protests could end in violence.
Last night, Rushdie described what had taken place as a black farce and recalled a letter he had written to Rajiv Gandhi, the Prime Minister when India became the first country to ban
the book more than two decades ago. What kind of India do you want to live in? he said in an interview on Indian television. I find an India in which religious extremists can prevent the freedom of expression at a literary festival, in which
the politicians are, let's say, in bed with those groups.
Rushdie also had a few choice words about censorship by threat of violence:
It's astonishing to me that suddenly not only my
physical presence, but even my image on a video screen is considered to be unacceptable. I think it's pretty shocking.
While I've been cast as this so called enemy of Islam, which seems ludicrous to anyone who knows how I have
written and spoken over the years, the real enemies of Islam are the leaders, the Deobandis, the various extremist leaders and their followers, who behave like this, because what they do is to strengthen the extremely negative image of Islam as an
intolerant, repressive, and violent culture, as an ideology masquerading as a gentle faith, whereas actually what happens every time it's crossed, or every time it dislikes something, is that it resorts to threats and violence. People like this, who
behave like this, are the ones who feed that image and they are the ones responsible for the negative views of Islam in the world, and they should be called the enemies of the faith.
I would have said that the vast majority of
Indian Muslims really, frankly, don't give a damn whether I come or go. They have many other pressing concerns of their own, to do with their own economic conditions, their own educational conditions, their own prospects in the country, and they are
concerned with those. They are concerned with their personal lives and whether a writer comes to speak at a literary festival or not, I would suspect, is a non-issue for the vast majority of Muslims in the country
Los Angeles City Council has tentatively approved a measure that would require porn performers to wear condoms on production sets.
In a preliminary 11-1 vote, council members voted to approve the measure, which would require porn producers to
provide and require the use of condoms on set in order to receive film permits in Los Angeles.
The ordinance still requires a second vote next week for final approval.
The council also agreed to create a group of law enforcement officials
and state occupational safety regulators to determine how the measure would be enforced.
Councilman Paul Koretz said before the vote:
We can spend literally millions of dollars on an unnecessary election or we
can do the right thing for free. For better or worse, the city of Los Angeles is nationally known as the capital of the adult film industry. We should be nationally known, also, as the home of a safe adult film industry.
The Los Angeles City Council, 9-1, approved a new ordinance Tuesday requiring that all adult film actors wear condoms when filming within city limits. The ordinance, when
it goes into effect, will allow the LAPD to perform spot checks on any set once a film permit is issued.
The measure next goes to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for his signature.
The Free Speech Coalition said that the adult industry trade
group is in discussions with industry leaders and considering options for next steps.
adult movies filmed in Los Angeles will be required to use condoms under an ordinance signed into law by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and porn industry leaders say the regulation could lead them to abandon the nation's porn capital.
The law, signed
Monday, will take effect 41 days after it is posted by the city clerk, something that could happen as early as this week.
Nutters with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which lobbied for years for such a law, expressed jubilation Tuesday and said
they would now turn their attention to getting a similar condom requirement adopted elsewhere.
A women's campaign group has struck out at a change in advertising codes it claims will lead to more sexist beer commercials on television.
The director of the Women's Health Action Trust said the New Zealand Advertising Standards Authority had
cut guidelines which prevented alcohol adverts from depicting unduly masculine themes or portray unrealistic behaviour .
Director of Women's Health Action Trust, Maree Pierce, said they were stunned the ASA would chose to weaken its
rules at a time when New Zealand communities:
have made such a strong call for more rigorous control of alcohol advertising and its content.
Plenty of evidence has shown how beer advertising,
both in New Zealand and abroad, draws heavily on stereotypical masculine themes and routinely portrays sexist, derogatory and degrading behaviour by men, towards women, as part of beer drinking culture and lifestyle.
Advertising Standards Agency said a flood of alcohol advertisements which were derogatory towards women was very unlikely. Following a review late last year of the Code for Advertising Liquor, the ASA removed the requirement that alcohol advertisements
shall not depict unduly masculine themes or portray unrealistic behaviour .
More than 20,000 people have signed on to an internet petition demanding that the mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella, should immediately remove a supposedly offensive photograph now on display at the Teatro Espanol in the Spanish capital.
in question is an image of nude male model who cover his genitals with a print of a famous painting of Jesus Christ by Diego Velazquez. The photograph by Sergio Parra is called Inferno , something which detractors says is a further insult
and incitement to Catholics in Madrid.
The internet petition campaign is led by HazteOir.org and MasLibres.org. In 2011, the two largely Catholic pressure groups were successful in getting the same image removed at last year's Theatre Festival in
The petition makes clear the views of the signatories that their taxes should not be spent on this type of exhibit, demanding that the photo should be removed immediately for offending the religious sentiments and assailing Christians'
right to have their symbols respected.
Love her or hate her, anti-porn crusader and pro-life feminist Melinda Tankard Reist is a force to be reckoned with. Rachel Hills meets the pro-life feminist increasingly shaping the gender-politics debate.
Tankard Reist is a woman of strong opinions. She is also a woman about whom people have strong feelings. If you've seen her proselytise on pornography on TV, read her opinions on the sexualisation of girls in the newspapers, or watched her go after
do-badding companies on Twitter or through her activist group Collective Shout, chances are you have a few opinions about her of your own.
She's a wowser. A no-nonsense political crusader beloved by both teenage girls and their
mothers. A religious conservative in feminist clothing. A brazen careerist. A gifted networker and generous mentor.
A blogger who characterised anti-porn activist Melinda Tankard Reist as a fundamentalist Christian says she has been asked to apologise - or be sued.
Tankard Reist - who briefed lawyers to warn off liberal blogger Jennifer Wilson - says it's not being called Christian she objects to, but the claim that she is
deceptive and duplicitous about her religious beliefs .
The defiant blogger, who goes by the nom de plume No Place For Sheep , said she would continue to make strong
criticisms of Tankard Reist - who can also dish it out: I believe someone who makes public comment about morality really needs to be upfront about where they are coming from. She insists that author Tankard Reist is loath to discuss her links to
Morals campaigner and Christian (wouldn't dare call her a Baptist) cum feminist, Melinda Tankard Reist ('The Tankard') has threatened to sue the uber blogger, Jennifer Wilson, writing on her No Place for Sheep site. In her years as advisor and researcher
to the wiley old fox and personal mentor, Senator Brian Harradine, you would have thought that The Tankard would have learnt a thing or two about political strategy. Clearly not.
In the recent past, she has slagged off others far
more than she was slagged by Ms Wilson. In fact, the Sex Party and the Eros Association have often thought of suing her for defamation for the most unbelievable allegations she has levelled at us in the past. In 2009 and 2010 she alleged in a blog on her
website that the Australian Sex Party had links to pseudo child pornography .
The US TV network, ABC, has cancelled its new cross dressing comedy Work It after just 2 episodes, according to zap2it.com.
The comedy, about two men who dress as women in order to gain employment, was received with dismal Audience ratings.
It had also been on the receiving end of nutter criticism from a Puerto Rican grassroots campaign and GLAAD - the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
The Puerto Rican campaign grew out of anger after one of the characters of the show said
during the pilot episode: I'm Puerto Rican. I would be great at selling drugs.
Puerto Ricans created a New York City Grassroots organization known as Boricuas for a Positive Image after the show's premier in early January. Their
campaign on Twitter and Facebook resulted in 50 people protesting in front of ABC's Manhattan studios. They held signs and chanted: I am Puerto Rican and not a drug dealer.
Meanwhile, GLAAD, and other national lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender (LGBT) advocacy organizations including the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) started a media campaign against the show's potential to cause harm to transgender people.
GLAAD and HRC placed a full-page ad in media industry publication Daily
Variety as part of a campaign to educate the media industry and the general public around the show. The ad read, By encouraging the audience to laugh at the characters' attempts at womanhood, the show gives license to similar treatment of
Sex and strong language on TV shows such as Outrageous Fortune has seen an increase in complaints to New Zealand's Broadcasting Standards Authority over the past five years.
The authority claims increasing complaints reflect the unease some
feel at the speed of change in community standards, but nutter group Family First says those standards are being dragged lower by the authority's permissive stance.
The number of complaints received by the BSA which primarily related to issues of
taste and decency rose by almost 50% last year to 96 of which 47 were upheld, according to the authority's annual report.
While last year's numbers were inflated by a rash of complaints about broadcaster Paul Henry, the increase was also driven by
complaints about frequent coarse language used on Outrageous Fortune and sex scenes from the programme that were shown on 3News at 6.35pm.
Bob McCoskrie, head of Family First, said the trend of increasing complaints on issues of good taste
and decency reflected growing public unease about the graphic content and profanity of many TV shows.
A recent survey of 600 young New Zealanders aged 15 to 21 commissioned by Family First reported 57% of females and 45 per cent of males agreed
there was too much sex, violence, bad language on TV .
McCoskrie said the survey showed greater concern about sex, profanity and violence on television among older survey respondents:
Our concern is that
for the younger ones, 15 to 17, it becomes normalised which is our concern with broadcasting standards full stop in what you allow. The BSA tries to argue that they're representing community standards. We argue that they're creating community standards
by normalising it.
But BSA chairman Peter Radich said standards of good taste and decency were changing as they always had:
The pace of change is quickening and this is partly through the influence
that the unregulated internet has, more especially on younger people.
Some people find the pace of change unsettling and, as they are entitled to do, they complain. Complaints allow broadcasts to be measured against standards,
they allow temperatures to be taken, and for our part, they are welcomed.
The Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) has complained with the Australian broadcaster SBS about the British-made television series The Promise, which it says conveys anti-Jewish stereotypes.
In a letter to SBS, the Jewish
organisation alleges that the series
promotes, endorses and reinforces demeaning stereotypes about Jews as a group. All of the principal Jewish characters (and thus by implication Jews generally) are portrayed
negatively and, ultimately, without any redeeming virtues. They are cast as variously cruel, violent, hateful, ruthless, unfeeling, amoral, treacherous, racist and/or hypocritical.
The ancient libel that holds all Jews throughout
history to be collectively guilty of killing Jesus has been segued into the equally ludicrous proposition that all Jews are collectively guilty of the wanton shedding of innocent blood, a staple of contemporary Palestinian propaganda. The series also
panders to stereotypes about Jews being immoderately wealthy and having acquired their wealth unfairly. The cumulative effect of these consistently negative portrayals of all of the principal Jewish characters and of the series' numerous
misrepresentations of the relevant historical background in a way that consistently casts Jews in a negative light is to demean Jews as a group.
The relevant historical events (and their misrepresentation) and the principal Jewish
characters are vehicles for attributing negative traits to Jews generally across time and space. 'The Promise' utilizes and reinforces racist tropes about Jews that, but for a brief post-WWII respite, have been embedded in western civilization since
pre-Christian times and are not in any way comparable to negative portrayals of other groups.
The four-part series The Promise, written and directed by British filmmaker Peter Kosminsky, tells a fictional story about Erin (played by
actress Claire Foy), an 18-year-old British girl who visits her Israeli friend Eliza in Israel in 2005. Erin carries and progressively reads through the diary of her grandfather, Len, which describes Len's experiences while serving as a sergeant in the
British army in the 1940s.
First screened in the UK in February 2011 and in France in March 2011, critics and Jewish organizations in both countries condemned the series. The Board of Deputies of British Jews also complained, but Ofcom, the UK's
TV censor, said the program was not in breach of any of its guidelines.
Leading Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have each pledged to enforce federal obscenity laws against major commercial distributors of hardcore adult pornography.
The pledges, compiled and published by
Morality in Media, are part of the organization's The War on Illegal Pornography mission, which invites Internet users to message the front runners anti-porn sentiments.
None of the other Republican candidates nor President Obama has
responded to efforts initiated by MIM to learn their views, the organization said.
An Iranian ayatollah has said that the social networking website Facebook was un-Islamic and being a member of it is a sin, the ISNA news agency reported.
ISNA broadcast coverage of the response of Ayatollah Lotfollah Safi-Golpaygani, a senior
cleric, to the question about Facebook and Iranian membership in the social networking service. The ayatollah explained:
Basically, going to any website which propagates immoralities and could weaken the religious
belief is un-Islamic and not allowed, and membership in it is therefore haram (a sin).
Only the use of websites propagating religious criteria and not leading to any kind of ethical immoralities is of no problem.
Porn is bad. There you go, I just saved you the trouble of reading most commentary and opinion on the subject. Porn Is Bad is the start, middle and end of just about anything you read or hear.
Gail Dines gave a series of hysterical screeches
when she visited Australia last year, the best of which was her appearance on Q&A. Not that she brought anything rational to the discussion, peppered as her pronouncements were with epithets such as Oh, yes, I've dealt with men like you before
, but she did manage to burn gag on my cock dot com into my memory for, it seems, all time.
Melinda Tankard-Reist sees pornification in everything from actual porn to K-mart catalogues, making it difficult to determine if she's
actually motivated by concern for women or is simply enacting the Madonna/whore obsession of her Taliban/Catholic religious beliefs.
The Human Centipede II (full sequence) has recently been sent back to the Film Classification Review Board after its original R18+ classification was
disputed. In this case it seems that technical skill (I'm not sure acting comes into it) has not just been squandered, but misdirected into something that brings no light to anyone, only darkness.
A good film can be a source of
wonder, and not just because of the special effects. When a good director and team bring the technical marvels together with the essential elements of good acting and a good script, some very special films can result. The talents of many people are
needed to bring this about, as ever-lengthening lists of credits show.
Not every film can be special and the relentless demand for product in our consumer society inevitably effects quality. All the same, it is sometimes a
cause of regret when I think of the talent that is squandered in making a mediocre film, to say nothing of a really bad one, like The Human Centipede II.
The film was initially banned in Britain, a rare occurrence, but was
subsequently released after cuts were made. These featured what the British Board of Film Classification described as scenes of sexual and sexualised violence, sadistic violence and humiliation , as well as a scene of a child presented in an
abusive and violent context .
The description of the deleted scenes does not make easy reading. They included graphic sight of a man's teeth being removed with a hammer; graphic sight of lips being stapled to naked
buttocks; graphic sight of forced defecation into and around other people's mouths , a woman being raped with barbed wire; and a newborn baby being killed.
The plot, such as it is, focuses strongly on the link between
sexual arousal and sexual violence and a clear association between pain, perversity and sexual pleasure . Not the sort of film you'd hope your neighbour watches.
The review of its classification in Australia came after an
application from the federal Minister for Justice, Brendan O'Connor. On 28 November the review board announced a unanimous decision to refuse the film classification, meaning it cannot be sold or shown in Australia.
Congratulations to the board and the minister on this outcome. Predictably, a few on the margins are bleating about
censorship . But most Australians will see the decision as a win for common decency and common sense.
A book by Taslima Nasreen, which is banned in her native Bangladesh on grounds of blasphemy , has led to the arrest of a headteacher.
Yunus Ali was arrested from the KC Technical and Business Management College in Bangladesh this week
after police discovered a copy of Nasreen's novel Lajja (Shame) in the college library.
Taslima Nasreen is an honorary associate of the National Secular Society and her book is regarded by Islamic extremists to be blasphemous. She was
forced to flee Bangladesh in 1994 after radical Muslims objected to the novel, which depicts the life of a Hindu family persecuted by Muslims in Bangladesh.
Police have said that Ali faced prosecution and could be jailed up to three years if found
The Maldives president has lifted a ban on spas in the upmarket tourist destination after establishing they were not being used for prostitution, as alleged by muslim protesters.
The tourism ministry ordered all massage and beauty treatment
centres to close six days ago in response to public demonstrations in the capital against spas organised by the hardline islamic opposition Adhaalath party.
There was a huge demonstration in Male against spas, saying they were brothels, President Mohamed Nasheed said.
We had to respect the crowd so we ordered a quality control regarding their use.
A Tui beer advert in the yeah right series of billboards has wound up New Zealand nutters.
The billboard reads Santa only comes once a year. Yeah right .
It has 'offended' Bob McCoskrie, national director of Family First New
Zealand, who has slammed it as tacky and adult humour .
McCoskrie said the billboard showed a lack of Christmas cheer from Tui and would prompt questions from innocent children. The sexual innuendo of the billboard was adult
humour which parents would prefer not to have to explain to children who ask . He continued:
The 'Yeah right' billboards are well known for making people smile. We'd just ask that they do it without embarrassing
parents with awkward questions from kids. Keep adult humour to an adult audience - although many adults would be offended by the sign as well.
We'd encourage families to show their disapproval by boycotting the company products.
Family First is considering laying a complaint about the billboard with the Advertising Standards Authority, but does not expect a ruling in its favour:
By the time they even consider it, the sign
will be gone and the damage done. That's why we want a pre-vetting system with community and family representation on the board.