il n’ya pas de hors-blog

by John Holbo on April 2, 2004

When a man writes a perfectly good Derrida parody about blogging – and when that man has but two comments to reward his clownish labors a week on – that is not justice. By the powers of Crooked Timber, I call on you to tell Adam he is a very funny fellow.

Newsflash: sex discovered in 1985

by John Quiggin on April 2, 2004

This piece in the Melbourne Age by Michael Scammell manages to hit nearly all my hot buttons at once. It includes generation-game garbage, postmodernist apologias for the advertising industry, support for exploitation of workers, and heaps of all-round stupidity. The background to the story, it appears, is that a clothing store called Westco required its female staff to wear T-shirts carrying a lame double entendre. One worker refused, and the Victorian Minister for Women’s Affairs, Mary Delahunty protested, with the result that the company abandoned the promotion. Scammell attempts to set Ms Delahunty straight on the subjects of postmodernist irony and the recent discovery of sex.

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The La Perla Exception

by Belle Waring on April 2, 2004

Eugene Volokh has a post on whether pictures of naked children are regarded as per se child pornography, and what legal standards are applied to determine the status of such photos. The conclusion he draws is, be careful: “So when in doubt, you might want to cut down on the nude pictures, especially once you’re getting past the clearly socially well-accepted (e.g., the naked infant in the tub).” This is probably right (consider this case of a woman charged with child pornography for a photo of herself breastfeeding her naked one-year-old — her children were taken away by the state for a time before charges were dropped), but really very depressing. The curious thing about this attitude is that under the guise of protecting children from exploitation, it unnecessarily sexualises them. The vast majority of people are not pedophiles, and if they want to take pictures of their naked children frolicking in the sprinkler they should not have to worry that some busy-body at Rite-Aid is going to narc them out to child welfare. Children like to run around naked, and it would be wrong to give them the idea that all the adults around them regard this as titillating. It’s enough to make you get one of those home printers for your camera, though, so that you’re not haled off to jail for posing your toddler on the sheepskin rug. How are we meant to embarrass her in front of her prom date, I ask you?

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L.A. Phil

by Jon Mandle on April 2, 2004

I’m back from my trip to Pasadena for the mini-conference on “Global Justice.” (It was great.) My title, however, refers not to philosophy but to the L.A. Philharmonic. I’ll post something about the conference if I find the time and can think of anything interesting to write, but I want to say something about my visit to the new Frank Gehry-designed Disney Theater.

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