23 May 2008

Onward Christian Soldiers

We are still getting an idea of what the new regime will bring in Australia. The indications are that if anything government by the ALP now means more, not less, social conservatism.

The first sign of this was clearly Rudd's lash-up with Family First to attack "binge drinking". Actually, the first sign of this was the endless, focussed rhetoric about "working families", combining the valorisation of "work" emblematic of a conservative socialism, with the "family values" so beloved of the right.

Australia remains the Western society with the highest degree of censorship. Far from moving to change this, the Rudd government's aggressively pursuing the same kind of internet-monitoring nonsense beloved by the Coalition.

And today, Rudd's intervened in a debate to clearly signal the limits he thinks should apply to artistic expression.

While adult nudity in art might be OK, the budding forms of those underage are not - a taboo is thus placed on their forms that in fact in and of itself makes their exposure artistic regardless of Rudd's complaints. It seems obvious that Rudd is without artistic sensibility, and as such should refrain from commenting on this, or similar, issues. The difference between the exposure of young women's bodies in the artistic space of a gallery and their exposure as pornography is so gaping that Rudd's naïve protestations about protecting the innocence of children beggar belief.