Australia as a paradigm of the mentally impaired ~ theatre notes

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Australia as a paradigm of the mentally impaired

A quick flash: a disturbing piece on censorship by David Marr in the SMH this morning. In its ceaseless quest to backpedal to the 1950s (and possibly Stalinist Russia), the Federal Government is seeking to tighten the laws to "ban material for the impact it might have on the mentally impaired". Which is to say: any work that could possibly inspire any mentally ill person to commit a violent act would be banned. As Marr points out, this could cover anything from Beethoven to South Park.

This is part of a wider campaign to ban work that "advocates" terrorism. Whatever that means. (Part of the problem is that nobody really knows: newspapers claim, for example, that publishing an article about Nelson Mandela would be illegal under these laws). Similar laws proposed in the UK caused such a fuss that they didn't go through.

Read this article. This legislation would impact seriously on artists. Taken in tandem with the Sedition Laws - which are already in place - it would add up to some of the most repressive laws against freedom of expression in the Western world. I think it's frightening: and frankly, when I look at this picture of Mohamed Haneef, I don't recognise this country.

4 comments:

our man in berlin said...

My mother swore at the tv last night. Things are really, really bad.

Anonymous said...

seriously - if someone can dredge me up any material worthy of doing something nuts, I have a decade of psyschiatric meds in my brain to justify using ruddocks words to go do something mad.
Seriously...if anyone wants to test this new law, if it gets in, call me.

I am even prepared to go so far as to run for the senate in an Australian tracksuit.

Nazid said...

Peace people,
Please, please, please vote this daffy bastard out of office so we can try and salvage what 'face' we have left...argghhhh
Australia, beautiful one day...Stalinist Russia the next!

frances said...

well that's every work i've ever made banned.

and i'm really surprised you all haven't been locked up yet already