As reported by the BBC, New South Wales police recently ended their investigation of Bill Henson, a Sydney photographer whose exhibition was shut down before it opened because some of the photographs apparently amounted to child pornography. If you consider nude photos of a 13-year-old girls to be child pornography, that is. Which I do, and most reasonably civilized people do as well (according to a scientific poll conducted in my car yesterday).
The investigation was halted because, I kid you not, prosecutors don’t think they have a case. There’s no lack of evidence, no lack of admission, but a cloudy political climate between the artsy-fartsy Aussies and the rest of the people there (the ones with brains).
This is considered a big victory by the art crowd, on both sides of the Pacific, who want to promote sensuality in any form, and who have absolutely no clue about how objectifying and truly disgusting this is, and how this behavior and promotion will become a key building block to the their cultural house of cards. Worse yet, they get support for this out of the US. According to the BBC:
Hollywood actress Cate Blanchett and other leading arts figures had said the investigation risked damaging Australia’s cultural reputation.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a great appreciation for Australians and their contributions to international culture, justice and especially their milltary support over the years. This story is not endemic so much of Australian society as it is the general state of the world society. What this really demonstrates is the flaw in pure democratic philosophy, that is, the belief that most people in a society are going to be of sufficiently moral character that the concept of majority rule will lead to a righteous society and behavior. This is sophism, and the fallacy was clear to our founders, which is why we don’t have a pure democracy, nor should we ever have one.
What’s worse, is the spinelessness of the autorities to deal with this behavior makes those that perpetrate it think they are markedly in the right.:
The Australian photographer said: “It is reassuring to see existing laws, having been rigorously tested, still provide a framework in which debate and expression of ideas can occur.”
Wimping out of prosecution is hardly a rigorous test. Regardless, that’s the message that gets sent.
Perhaps for Australia, there is still hope:
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd – who had condemned the exhibit as “revolting” – said on Friday he stood by his views.
“I said what my views are as a parent, I don’t budge from that,” he told Nine Network television.
Well, it’d be nice if he took a strong line than this, but it’s a start.