Sorry to stay on politics, I’ll post some kitties soon I promise, but the insanity of the world is still beating against my brain.
Let’s start at the beginning. Not content with producing legislation to allow citizens to be imprisoned for sizable lengths of time without charge, our current government is also determinedly bringing in new laws with which to prosecute us, even in situations where breaching the law brings no conceivable harm to anyone.
I’m referring of course to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act. This particularly ill-thought out law makes it illegal to possess certain forms of pornographic imagery, specifically that regarded as extreme. This category appears to cover certain activities, such as consensual bondage for example, which would be perfectly legal to indulge in personally, as long as you don’t take photos for your friends. How you find out what publications are extreme or not is also left undefined as one group discovered when they attempted to seek guidance from the police.
Ok, this aside, you may well argue that since it may well be impossible to find out whether the participants of ‘extreme pornography’ are appearing willingly or not, then it is safer to ban it all to protect unwilling participants. The effectiveness of making something illegal and preventing it happening is a debate for another time, but let’s say that you are right and move on.
As well as banning photographs of pornographic activities, the act also is apparently deemed to cover cartoon images, particularly where the participants are underage. How you are supposed to tell whether a cartoon image is responsible enough to engage in sexual activity isn’t specified. What if the figures portrayed look like schoolgirls, but are actually 10,000 year old space vampires? (a situation which I suspect isn’t that unusual in some manga comics) Should Huey, Dewey, and Louie be protected from Donald Duck? He does wander around without trousers after all. In any case, unless groups of starving artists are being imprisoned and forced to draw tentacle monsters then it is difficult to see exactly who such comics are hurting.
By the way, don’t think you’re safe just because you live in the freedom loving US of A. I suspect Christopher Handley, an Iowa manga fan, might well have thought that the first amendment covered the right to own comics right up until he was recently arrested. Seems the the post office can open your mail and decide that it’s offensive, using powers gained under the PROTECT act. Now he faces up to 20 years imprisonment.
But I don’t use pornography or read comics, I hear you cry. Don’t worry, there are still ways you can get snapped up over here in the UK. Our old friend Jacqui Smith, also wants to track all your email and phone communications.
Better hope that no-one sends you any Donald Duck cartoons…