Church leaders have drawn up a new set of the Ten Commandments aimed at delivering “God bloggers” from the temptations of the blogosphere. Alarmed by the extent to which religious blogs can descend into vitriol, senior evangelical clergy are
calling on bloggers to obey the new commandments or risk perdition.
The commandmentswere drawn up at a “Godblogs” conference in Kennington, southeast London. They have been engraved on cyberspace tablets by the Evangelical Alliance, the leading Christian umbrella group that represents thousands of churches of most
You shall not put your blog before your integrity
You shall not make an idol of your blog
You shall not misuse your screen name by using your anonymity to sin
Remember the Sabbath day by taking one day off a week from your blog
Honour your fellow-bloggers above yourselves and do not give undue significance to their mistakes
You shall not murder someone else's honour, reputation or feelings
You shall not use the web to commit or permit adultery in your mind
You shall not steal another person's content
You shall not give false testimony against your fellow-blogger
You shall not covet your neighbour's blog ranking. Be content with your own content
Emily Mapfuwa, the Christian who was so offended by a statue of Jesus with a penis that she decided to take the art gallery to
court, never actually visited the exhibition in which it was displayed, a local radio station has confirmed.
Mapfuwa's lawyer, Michael Phillips of the Christian Legal Centre, was interviewed on BBC Radio Essex, where he was asked the question, Did Emily actually visit the exhibition?
He replied: Er, no. She didn't.
So how did Mapfuwa hear about the exhibit which so offended her deeply held religious beliefs? Unity at the Ministry of Truth suggests that, as the initial complaint was filed in January, it is likely to have been an article in The Sun entitled
Aroused ‘Jesus' Statue Outrage which caught the sensitive thing's eye. The trouble is, that story was illustrated with an entirely different artwork, from a completely different exhibition (in the Saatchi gallery, 2006, as it happens).
So, in effect, we have a Christian claiming to be offended by a statue that was never actually exhibited, in an exhibition that she never actually visited.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of Salman Rushdie's novel, The Satanic Verses .
Just over a year ago, I wrote a piece arguing that it was time to admit that those of us who had called for the book to be banned or pulped were wrong. Utterly wrong. It was understandable why many regarded and still do regard passages in The
Satanic Verses to be so offensive, but that could not be used as a justification to try and prevent others from reading the book.
My piece got a mixed reaction from the Muslims I spoke to. Some agreed that the episode had been a disaster while others strongly disagreed with me and did not accept that a novelist should have the right to offend . I tried to explain that
the right to offend did not imply that one agreed with what was being said – it was just that the writer should not be prevented from doing so as long as he was not breaking any laws.
This year I decided to send an email to members of one national Muslim organisation asking them for their own views on the matter. Here are excerpts from some of the responses that I received:
You cannot force people to respect you and it has resulted in the exact opposite reaction with all sorts of people lining up to insult and lampoon the prophet, Islam, the Qur'an and Muslims generally in the last two decades
I was 16 years old at the time and was perplexed over the issue. I knew that Rushdie had written an offensive book, but I found the Muslim protestors' response somewhat offensive too.
Some months back I had dinner with a well-known British columnist who has some rather strident views about immigration and Islam. I asked him outright what it was that so annoyed him about Islam and he said it was what he viewed as the seemingly
constant attempts by Muslims to try and restrict freedoms.
And regrettably, like it or not, that is the image too many people now have of Muslims.
The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday permanently disbarred nutter anti-porn lawyer Jack Thompson after years of review but
left open a slim window of opportunity for reconsideration.
Thompson represented himself as he contested a disbarment recommendation from Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Dava Tunis in July and challenged a March opinion from the state's high court barring him from future filings without the signature of another
Bar member as a sanction for alleged abusive filings.
Thompson said in a telephone interview that he would file a request for an emergency stay in U.S. District Court in Miami, where he has filed a civil rights complaint against the Florida Supreme Court, the Florida Bar, Tunis and others involved in
The court viewed Thompson's filings contesting Tunis' recommendations as meaningless in the wake of its order and disbarred him after his deadline for an answer tolled.
There being no authorized petition for review filed and the time period to seek review has passed, the court has treated this as an uncontested case, the order said.
Thompson has 30 days to close out his practice and was ordered to pay court costs of $43,675.
The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned about an edict issued Saturday by a top Saudi Muslim cleric, who said
that writers who challenge or criticize religious sheikhs should be fired from their jobs, flogged, and jailed.
Sheikh Abdallah Ben Jabreen, a former member of the Saudi Arabia's Establishment of Fatwas, told Al-Majd TV, that journalists who criticize religious figures should be punished.
Ben Jabreen's fatwa came in support of an edict issued last week by Sheikh Saleh al-Lihedan, who called for the deaths of owners of television channels that broadcast “immoral” programs.
We fear for the safety of journalists and writers in the Middle East when senior religious figures issue calls for the imprisonment and flogging of their critics, said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney: The Saudi authorities must take a
stand against such sinister edicts and ensure that journalists are protected.
A new 'documentary' by the man behind Borat will open in New York at the beginning of next month. Provocatively titled Religulous (think 'religious' and 'ridiculous'), it will mock the beliefs of the world's major religions, recruiting
unwitting assistance from the ranks of the faithful.
The project has already inspired protests at its premiere at the Toronto film festival earlier this month, and US satirist Bill Maher and director Larry Charles have been accused of misleading participants. Maher has conceded that several sleights
of hand were necessary to persuade people to perform.
Unlike Borat, both Charles and Maher have made it clear that, while they were looking for comic potential from their engagements with believers, their ultimate aim was not to poke gentle fun but to demolish.
Employing the same robust approach as Supersize Me and Bowling For Columbine, Religulous sees Maher challenge his interview subjects over their knowledge of the literal historic facts of their religions.
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Maher described the type of audience he hoped to provoke: 'Any religious person. The point is to question what is usually made to be unquestionable in this country. Normally if you say the word
"faith", the debate is over - no matter what incredibly nonsensical, destructive, ridiculous tenet comes out of your mouth.
The determination to offend is not limited to the US market. A specially commissioned international poster, unveiled this month, depicts three monkeys as a rabbi, the Pope and an imam.
So far it appears to have been the Roman Catholic church that is threatening to take the most offence, perhaps because of Maher's connection.
Bill Donahue, the president of the Catholic League, said: The problem is not the poster. It's Bill Maher. He has said some of the most vile things. He can say all he wants about being ecumenical, but it's only one religion he really has it out
for, and it's the Catholic religion.
The five women on the cover are dressed in black and smiling, not an uncommon strategy for selling magazines.
But these cover girls are women of the cloth, featured in Gospel Today magazine's latest issue, which the Southern Baptist Convention has pulled from the shelves at its bookstores, though the magazine is available for sale upon request.
The group says women pastors go against its beliefs, according to its interpretation of the New Testament. The magazine was taken off stands in more than 100 Lifeway Christian Bookstores across the countr.
The magazine's publisher, Teresa Hairston, said she was just reporting on a trend, not trying to promote women pastors: They basically treated it like pornography and put it behind the counter. Unless a person goes into the store and asks for
it, they won't see it displayed.
Nutters are calling for a box office boycott of two films that feature inexplicit sex scenes involving young girls.
Hounddog , starring 14-year-old Dakota Fanning, drew controversy when it appeared at the Sundance Film Festival last year for its scene depicting the rape of a pre-teen girl.
A second film, Towelhead , stars Summer Bishil, an 18-year-old actress portraying a 13-year-old girl who experiences her sexual awakening on screen.
This is abhorrent and abusive, said Ted Baehr, chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission: We are calling on people to avoid these movies, to tell other people not to see it.
Baehr said the movies are damaging to the child actresses filming the explicit scenes, as well as the public at large: There are two sides of it. The side of actual abuse to the actress and promoting or condoning these activities .
Family and women's nutters have been especially active in North Carolina, where the controversial child-rape scene in Hounddog was filmed. Baehr said Hounddog received nearly $400,000 in tax credits funded by state citizens.
Baehr has joined the No More Child Porn campaign, run by Donna Mille of Concerned Women for America, a coalition of conservative women who promote Biblical values and family traditions. They are a part of about 200 smaller groups around the
country who have joined the protest.
A spokesman for Warner Independent Pictures, which released Towelhead " said, Our film deals with a girl's coming of age. He said that the art-house production is rated R, and will be released Friday in select cities across the
country: It is a movie like any other movie. It's an adaptation of a novel and a novel that was a New York Times best seller.
A senior Labour MP is facing demands for a sleaze inquiry after intervening in a court case on behalf of a party donor.
Keith Vaz, chairman of the influential home affairs select committee, urged the High Court to delay proceedings involving a friend from whom he and his family had received lavish hospitality.
We can reveal that the friend - controversial lawyer Shahrokh Mireskandari - was on the brink of losing a long-running legal costs battle with an airline when Vaz intervened.
Keith Vaz urged a judge to delay proceedings against his friend who was on the brink of losing a legal battle worth £400,000
The stakes were high as the lawyer is desperately challenging a court order to pay £400,000 in costs to the liquidator of the airline. He is now facing a bankruptcy action after losing his latest appeal.
At a critical point in the case Vaz wrote to the High Court asking the presiding judge to adjourn proceedings pending the outcome of complaints by Mireskandari about how the case had been previously handled, involving hotly contested allegations
of racism and bias.
Legal sources said the judge was furious at what he perceived to be 'political interference'.
Anti-porn organization Girls Against Porn will be sending a letter, co-signed by other pro-family organizations, to American Airlines stating it would be wise to employ in-flight Internet porn filters.
The coalition letter takes issue with the fact that children and passengers might be exposed to pornography in the already cramped quarters of a plane. The group also feels it is unfair for anyone to sit adjacent to someone viewing pornographic
material and that confrontations might arise leading to security risks.
The letter claims the airlines are taking a risk, opening themselves up to lawsuits from customers who are exposed to porn or its effects.
In one such lawsuit, American Airlines was sued for $200,000 by a passenger who alleged while resting they awoke to find a substance in their hair from another passenger who was allegedly masturbating.
The letter states, If passengers who view porn decide to act upon that, if there is a child flying in that row, airlines have opened the door for traumatic experiences and lawsuits.
The Catholic Church is raising holy hell over a new Simon & Schuster book that encourages couples to sneak into church confessional booths and have sex.
In 101 Places To Have Sex Before You Die, out in November, authors Marsha Normandy and Joseph St. James write: The only sex the Church doesn't frown upon is the married, hetrosexual and birth control-free kind, so the odds are the pope
is pretty displeased with you already. Instead of carrying all that mortal sin around with you for weeks at a time until you can make it to confession, why not combine both with a quick and tidy 2-for-1 session?
Joe Zwilling, a rep for the New York Archdiocese, told us: This is sick stuff and the authors and the book publishers should be ashamed of themselves . . . Let's hope the reaction from people is . . . strong.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue added: The kind of people who would have sex in the confessional would also have sex in a graveyard. And I don't mean with each other.
A rep for Simon & Schuster said: " This is one entry in a book that includes 100 other equally facetious references. We think readers will understand the spirit of the book."
A coalition of pro-family nutters in Ohio is being sued by an alternative newspaper for allegedly conspiring to violate their First
Citizens for Community Values (CCV), along with 38 other civic leaders and groups, asked Cincinnati's tabloid known as CityBeat to stop running their adult services category of ads. CCV and other groups claim the adult services category has been
used by advertisers to promote prostitution and other sexual services, in violation of Ohio criminal law.
CityBeat has now filed a lawsuit against CCV and the other community leaders, claiming the coalition's appeal is a conspiracy to violate the newspaper's First Amendment rights.
Nutter David Miller of CCV says while he believes the lawsuit is frivolous, it must be defended: I think we could see a very serious problem if we were to lose this case, When any pastor, any person who wanted to raise a standard of
righteousness and say, this is wrong, we shouldn't be doing such-and-such in our society -- it might even roll over to the issue of abortion -- there's no telling how far down the road this could go.
You will meet a tall, dark,
frock wearing charlatan.
Beware! He wants to kill you
in the name of nonsense
Another senior Saudi cleric has called for the deaths of competing purveyors of nonsense. He said astrologers on Arab television should face the death penalty
Sorcerers who appear on satellite channels who are proven to be sorcerers have committed a great crime... and the Muslim consensus is that the apostate's punishment is death by the sword, Sheikh Saleh Al-Fozan told Al-Madina daily. "Those who call in to these shows should not be accorded Muslim rites when they die, the prominent cleric added.
Many of the hundreds of Arab satellite channels that have sprung up in recent years specialise in horoscopes and other advice to callers on solving problems that is seen by some religious authorities as sorcery . In their capacity as
judges, clerics of Saudi Arabia's austere form of Islam often sentence sorcerers to death.
Al-Fozan, a member of the Higher Council of Clerics, was responding to a controversy ignited by a Council colleague, Sheikh Saleh Al-Lohaidan, who said last week that owners of Arab TV shows should be tried and face death over some shows.
The head of Saudi Arabia's Islamic Sharia courts has said owners of Arabic television stations airing immodest shows in Ramadan
could face execution.
Sheikh Saleh al-Lohaidan, one of the most powerful clerics was responding to a question on a radio phone-in program about the owners of TV stations airing programs that offend modesty, especially during the holy month of Ramadan.
If the evil of those who promote corruption in belief and actions cannot be held back through lesser punishments, then they can be put to death through the judicial process, Lohaidan, head of the Supreme Judicial Council said.
He appeared to be referring to Turkish soap operas that became hugely popular in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries this year, provoking a storm of anger among conservatives in Saudi Arabia who fear the spread of secular culture.
They gained huge popularity partly because they were dubbed into colloquial Arabic and focused on a Muslim country whose culture many Arabs can relate to. The characters would fast in Ramadan but also drink wine.
The government's official advisor on religious affairs, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdelaziz Al al-Sheikh, said in July it was not Islamically permissible to watch the Turkish serials.
The shows, Nour and Lost Years , were aired by MBC based in the United Arab Emirates.
For television critics, it was an exemplary piece of programme-making which kicked off a week of coverage of Islam. But
Channel 4's The Qur'an has prompted a backlash among the global Shia community and offended one of its most 'liberal' clerics.
The Iranian Grand Ayatollah Saanei has written to the documentary's award-winning British film-maker to berate the portrayal of him and Shia Muslims as a whole. The complaint has also been passed to the media regulator, Ofcom.
In particular, the Grand Ayatollah objects to perceived links between the Shia faith and violence, including scenes which showed Iranians chanting anti-Western slogans, burning effigies and advocating terrorism.
The Grand Ayatollah's representative said: In the said documentary, the director had tried to introduce Shi'ism as a superstitious sect. The way it was narrated, the selection of the words, and the anti-Shia faces interviewed, all indicate that
the director had intended to unfairly satisfy their anti-Shia sentiments. Out of more than 200 interviews foreign correspondents and reporters have had with His Eminence during the past several years, this was the only case in which we witnessed
the mass media [compromise its] professional integrity.
Muhammad Abdul Bari, the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, has written to Channel 4's chief executive, Andy Duncan, upset by specific misrepresentations of Islam: The programme unfairly maligns Muslims following the
Shia tradition by accusing them of heresy based on a collection of age-old polemics and misinformation. With respect, this is an irresponsible portrayal which plays into the hands of those who wish to seek discord.
A spokesman for the programme said: In the film is a balanced representation of a broad range of Islamic opinion. The Grand Ayatollah's complete answers to two questions are included. Also the film was meticulously researched and checked by
four Islamic advisers.
The prosecutor general in Amman charged the 12 with blasphemy, demeaning Islam and Muslim feelings, and slandering and insulting the prophet Muhammad in violation of the Jordanian Penal Code. The charges are especially unusual because the alleged
violations were not committed on Jordanian soil.
Among the defendants is the Danish cartoonist whose alleged crime was to draw in 2005 one of the Muhammad illustrations that instigators then used to spark Muslim riots around the world. His co-defendants include 10 editors of Danish newspapers
that published the images. The 12th accused man is Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, who supposedly broke Jordanian law by releasing on the Web his recent film, Fitna , which tries to examine how the Quran inspires Islamic terrorism.
Neither Denmark nor the Netherlands will turn over its citizens to Interpol, as the premise of Jordan's extradition request is an affront to the very principles that define democracies. It is thus unlikely that any Western country would do so,
either. But there is no guarantee for the defendants' protection if they travel to countries that are more sympathetic to the Jordanian court.
Unless democratic countries stand up to this challenge to free speech, other nations may be emboldened to follow the Jordanian example. Kangaroo courts across the globe will be ready to charge free people with obscure violations of other
societies' norms and customs, and send Interpol to bring them to stand trial in frivolous litigation.
The goal of Muslim Massacre , which can be downloaded for free on the internet, is to ensure that no Muslim man or woman is left alive, according to the game's creator.
Players control an American Hero armed with a machine gun and rocket launcher who is parachuted into the Middle East.
By slaughtering all the Arabs that appear on screen – some dressed as terrorists, some apparently civilians - players progress to later levels where they take on Osama bin Laden, Mohammed and finally Allah.
The game's creator, a freelance programmer known as Sigvatr, described the game as fun and funny and some players have interpreted the game as a critical commentary - albeit a crude one - of US foreign policy.
But Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of The Ramadhan Foundation, Britain's leading Muslim youth organisation, said that the game glamorised violence against Muslims whether or not it was satirical: Encouraging children and young people in a
game to kill Muslims is unacceptable, tasteless and deeply offensive.
If it was the other way around, with a game featuring Muslims killing Israelis or Americans, there would be uproar and rightly so. We would urge ISPs to take action against sites like this.
We have written to the British Government today to urge an inquiry into this game and take action to shut down the site; this is not satire but a deliberate attempt to demonise Muslims.
The game was first released in January this year, but has become more popular in recent days after being linked to by several prominent blogs.
Sigvatr, an American based in Brisbane, Australia said on an internet forum appeared to distance himself from the view that it was a parody of American jingoism, and acknowledge that many players would enjoy the game for the chance to shoot
virtual Muslims: I think it's pretending to be legitimate commentary and I'm sure there will be lots of people who defend it on those grounds, but ultimately it's just a game where you blow the gently caress out of arabs .
Anyone is free to believe whatever they won't (sic) though, because I don't even know how to interpret it myself anymore. The bottom line is that I enjoyed making it and it's fun to play.
The Australian Muslim community has accused the Federal Government and police of double standards over their treatment of a free online game in which the aim is to kill as many Muslims as possible.
Keysar Trad, president of the Islamic Friendship Association, wrote to the Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, expressing outrage over the game, Muslim Massacre , saying it teaches young people to further hate Muslims and encourages
them to carry out acts of discrimination, vilification or outright violence against Australian Muslims.
Over a period of twelve hours, American Rights Counsel LLC sent out over 4000 DMCA takedown
notices to YouTube, all making copyright infringement claims against videos with content critical of the Church of Scientology. Clips included footage of Australian and German news reports about Scientology, A Message to Anonymous/Scientology, and
footage from a Clearwater City Commission meeting. Many accounts were suspended by YouTube in response to multiple allegations of copyright infringement.
YouTube users responded with DMCA counter-notices. At this time, many of the suspended channels have been reinstated and many of the videos are back up. Whether or not American Rights Counsel, LLC represents the notoriously litigious Church of
Scientology is unclear, but this would not be the first time that the Church of Scientology has used the DMCA to silence Scientology critics. The Church of Scientology DMCA complaints shut down the YouTube channel of critic Mark Bunker in June,
2008. Bunker's account, XenuTV, was also among the channels shut down in this latest flurry of takedown notices.
Billie Piper's TV portrayal of a happy hooker has been branded obscene by an anti-prostitution campaign group.
The POPPY Project singled out Billie, star of ITV2's Secret Diary Of A Call Girl , for criticism.
Chief executive Denise Marshall said: She appeared in Doctor Who, a programme watched by lots of young people. To then go and give endorsement to a programme like Secret Diary is obscene.
In the TV drama, which returns to ITV2 on Friday, Piper's character provides sex services in swanky surroundings with handsome men.
Denise added: For this privileged young woman to misrepresent the reality of prostitution is appalling.
A spokesman for Tiger Aspect Productions which makes the show, said: The programme in no way seeks to condone or normalise prostitution.
Update: Warm Reception
13th September 2008
Star Billie Piper said that the warm reception the show received in the US made a welcome change from criticism in this country that it glamorised prostitution.
She said: I was really thrilled as it got some serious slamming over here and it was just quite nice that in the reviews Stateside they were more thorough about the ideas that the show had, rather than about me being an irresponsible role
A faith-based nutter family group said it would like the Harper government to intervene to block a broadcasting licence issued to a new Canadian porn channel.
The Canada Family Action Coalition wants the Conservatives to quash last week's decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to grant a licence to adult film network Northern Peaks.
The licence granted to Alberta-based Real Productions requires the new channel broadcast 50% Canadian content. That means Canadian young people will be enlisted to work on and in some cases appear in porn films, says Charles McVety, president of CFAC.
McVety says by setting such a high Canadian content requirement, the CRTC is effectively stimulating the growth of the domestic porn industry: It is to the public detriment to fuel an industry where women are degraded and treated as sex objects.
He also says both CRTC and the cable companies give preferential treatment to lucrative porn broadcasters but short shrift religious programming. He is concerned that the CRTC will allow cable companies to offer the station on a free trial for a number
of months: That to us is corrupting minds and getting them hooked on this material.
Under the Broadcasting Act, CRTC decisions can be appealed to cabinet, although it is unusual for cabinet to overturn a decision, particularly one based on content. Such an appeal would put Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government in the position of
having to decide on the morality of legal pornography.
A spokesman for the Department of Canadian Heritage said cabinet would have 45 days to act on a request to review the CRTC decision on Northern Peaks.
McVety admits it is not particularly likely cabinet will get involved: We would be happy if they did, but we understand the parameters in which they operate and we don't anticipate they will make such a move.
More and more, says a spokesman for the Catholic League, ads are designed to insult Catholics — a group she said comprises a safe target for bigotry.
Corporations often want to push social agendas in their advertising, but mostly they want to sell products, said Susan Fani, director of communication for the Catholic League.: If making social or political points is going to hurt product
sales, it gets their attention pretty fast. Ultimately, the bottom line is what matters — and that’s why it’s important to speak out regarding offensive advertising.
Those who claim to be tolerant above all else seem to be intolerant of Catholicism. That may be because the Church takes strong moral stands regarding sexuality, and this society wants a more lenient approach to sexuality. The Church represents
opposition to much of what commerce wants to promote.
Tens of thousands of people are expected to flock to Auckland, New Zealand, tomorrow to watch topless women riding on motorbikes after a judge dismissed a council's attempt to ban the parade.
Judge Nicola Mathers threw out Auckland District Council's attempt to gain an injunction to stop the Boobs on Bikes parade down Queen Street, saying it breached a new bylaw allowing the council to ban offensive parades.
But Judge Mathers said in Auckland District Court today that it was debatable whether the bylaw was legal, and also debatable whether it met the legal threshold of offensiveness.
Parade organiser Steve Crow, who also organises the R18 Erotica Expo held in Auckland over the weekend, said the decision was a victory for common sense and freedom of speech.
Judge Mathers noted that some people were deeply offended and considered the parade tactless and distasteful. But she said at least 80,000 people voted with their feet last year by attending the parade, suggesting they approved of the parade and
considered it harmless fun.
As police had advised that it was not an offence under the Summary Offences Act for a woman to go topless in public, Judge Mathers said it was hard to argue that the parade met the legal definition of offensive.
There has been an angry backlash to a New Zealand court's decision to ban a parade of topless women on motorbikes in Auckland.
The lawyer for the annual Boobs on Bikes parade says a by-law used to ban the event is invalid after the council asked an Auckland District Court judge to issue an injunction to prevent to event happening on Wednesday.
The council claims the parade would breach a newly amended by-law banning offensive public events but Jesse Soondram, lawyer for the parade's organiser Steve Crow, said the by-law was invalid.
Soondram said it had already been decided, by police and the courts, that it was not an offence for women to bare their breasts in public in the Summary Offences act.
He argued the council was trying to apply a stricter standard of what was offensive than existed in the law.
Although there were some opposed to the parade, the fact that 100,000 spectators turned up last time showed a large number of people held a different view, Soondram said.
A judgement will be given on the matter tomorrow, but Crow said the parade will go ahead regardless of the court's decision.
With its irresistibly catchy, upbeat tune, Katy Perry’s I Kissed A Girl has become the undisputed song of the summer, rocketing to No1 last week.
The singer’s parents have launched a ferocious attack on their daughter, and branded the controversial lyric of her song – about two girls kissing – shameful and disgusting.
Katy’s parents, both evangelical Christian preachers, say they are deeply ashamed of the star for promoting a sin.
And her mother, Mary Hudson, declared: I hate the song. It clearly promotes homosexuality and its message is shameful and disgusting.
Katy knows how I feel. We are a very outspoken family and she knows how disappointed her father and I are. I can’t even listen to that song. The first time I heard it I was in total shock. When it comes on the radio I bow my head and pray.
Her father Keith Hudson calls himself a ‘prophet/evangelist’ and claims to be used by the Holy Spirit to heal people. He travels America and Europe trying to ‘save people’.
Four new promo ads for the second season of Gossip Girl have caused quite stir.
Nuters of the Parents Television Council has slammed the shots, which show a topless Leighton Meester making out and Chace Crawford in bed with an older woman.
I think it reeks of desperation, if they have to position themselves as so edgy and so controversial that they've been called out by us, Melissa Henson, PTC director of communications, told the Associated Press.
CW marketing boss Rick Haskins defends the campaign, saying it caters to their 18-34 female demographic: What we're trying to do is communicate with the audience in a way that they like and can appreciate. This sort of campaign resonates with someone
who likes Gossip Girl .
The second season of Gossip Girl starts in the US on September 1.
A fundamentalist organisation run by a former police officer turned preacher has reportedly been disbanded.
The Christian Congress for Traditional Values, founded in 2005, was instrumental in organising anti-gay demonstrations outside Parliament opposing the Sexual Orientation Regulations.
A CCTV campaign in January, which took the form of a mobile poster, Gay Aim: Abolish the Family, breached Advertising Standards Authority code.
The closure of CCTV was sparked when its founder, former Met officer Michael Reid, was caught having an affair with the choir mistress of his church in Brentwood. In April, founding member and preacher of family values Bishop Reid stepped down after he
admitted to an eight year extra-marital relationship with his church's music director, Sheila Graziano.
Reid is known for his far-right views, such as gays are "filthy perverts" and Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists are variously described in videoed sermons as "vile" and "foul heathens."
The CCTV used to describe itself as an alliance of Christians from a wide spectrum of professional and working backgrounds who have pledged to campaign against the declared intention of BBC executives to push back the boundaries' of taste and decency.
Having taken his seat alongside his 15-year-old daughter expecting see a movie packed with surreal and comical figures, what he actually saw was the latest Batman film, The Dark Knight . It was a relentlessly violent film, filled with
dark themes, he trembled.
Equally frightening for Smith was the fact that the BBFC had only given The Dark Knight a 12A certificate, meaning that a child younger than 12 can see the film providing they are accompanied by an adult. [As] I left I wondered what the board could
possibly have been thinking, Smith reports.
He was one of the lucky ones. Although terrified by the Joker, at least his daughter was on hand to reassure him that the nasty man with the knives and lint was made up.
Peterborough's MP has called on the city council to reclassify the rating given to the most sensational movie to hit cinema screens this year, Batman, The Dark Knight .
Stewart Jackson has written to the council's chief executive Gillian Beasley, expressing concerns over the 12A rating given to the film, which has attracted nutter controversy because of its violent content and dark themes.
In his letter, Jackson reminded her that the council can use its discretion under current legislation to reclassify the rating given by the BBFC. He said: I am not a spoilsport and I have seen this film ...BUT... I sincerely believe that it is
not suitable for children. The violence is gratuitous and the dark themes inappropriate for children's viewing.
I believe that the BBFC have made an error of judgement and I have written to the city council to amend the recommended classification.
A spokesman for the city council said that while the council is responsible for licensing cinemas, ensuring that the films being shown there have been certified and they are adhering to age restrictions, they would not attempt to reclassify a film, which
had been classified by the BBFC, the experts in this field.
If any Melon Farmer thinks it worthwhile to respond to this rag's potherings about "morality", perhaps by responding to items on its website, could I suggest that the message includes a reference to a rather gross piece of sexual infidelity to
which Dacre's minions have never referred - the example set by their late proprietor, the previous Lord Rothermere, who for many years maintained a wife in London and a mistress in Paris.
Stephen Green, the founder of the fundamentalist Christian Voice group, has offered the BBC about a third of its costs after he failed in an attempt to prosecute the Director-General Mark Thompson for blasphemy after he broadcast Jerry Springer
– the Opera on BBC2. The BBC wants the full costs of ฃ55,000.
Green says that Thompson and Mark Thoday, the producer of Jerry Springer – the Opera who was also named in the attempted prosecution, should be “magnanimous” and waive the fees. Green did not make clear how magnanimous he would have
been had Messrs Thompson and Thoday been sent to jail, as he wanted them to be.
Now the BBC says that unless it gets the full costs from Green, the licence-payer will end up footing the bill. In a statement, the BBC said: Mr Green tried to launch a criminal prosecution… he knew when he embarked on the litigation that he
would be required to pay the costs if he were to be unsuccessful. The BBC believes it has a duty to recover legal costs from Mr Green. If it does not do so, the licence-fee payer will effectively be funding Mr Green’s activities.
Green said that he has been served with a statutory demand that was the first step in bankruptcy, with a charge on his house. He said that he did not have the full amount that was being demanded and that if his house in Carmarthen were to be sold then he
would be homeless.
Green said that he did not regret his action, even though the blasphemy law has now been abolished, and that maybe his action helped speed that process. He says that he will now concentrate on “street-witness” (i.e. bellowing through a
megaphone at hapless shoppers).
The US nutters of the Parents Television Council have published a report titled Happily Never After .
Sex in the context of marriage is either nonexistent on prime-time broadcast television, or is depicted as a burdensome rather than as an expression of love and commitment, the report concludes. By contrast, extramarital or adulterous sexual
relationships are depicted with greater frequency and overwhelmingly, as a positive experience.
Today more than ever teens are exposed to a host of once-taboo sexual behaviors including threesomes, partner swapping, pedophilia, necrophilia, bestiality, and sex with prostitutes, to say nothing of the now-common depictions of strippers, references
to masturbation, pornography, sex toys, and kinky or fetishistic behaviors.
Here's some more socially destabilizing stuff that the PTC found:
References to cheating on a spouse outnumbered references to married sex by 2:1 across all the broadcast networks
It's really bad during The Family Hour. The study doesn't say when exactly that hour is time-wise, but it's the sixty minutes when kids watch the most. During that time slot, nonmarried nookie apparently stomps the married kind by 3.9:1
Visual depictions of some third-party taping or watching while sex happens outnumbered visual references to married sex by 2.7:1
Plans We’ve just stumbled upon this but it appears the Daily Mail’s permanently morally outraged film critic Christopher it’s disgusting that the BBFC could allow such society destroying filth Tookey has his own website.
It’s called Tookey’s Film Guide
. There you can search through his film reviews. But best of all you can find his gems of moral indignation at films which he reckons will corrupt as all and which the wet Guardian reading librels of the BBFC should be put up against a wall and
shot for allowing us to see.
Some priceless gems on morally corrupting society destroying filth from Tookey include…
On David Cronenberg’s Crash :
Though I am not normally in favour of banning movies, I couldn’t see how the British Board of Film Classification could - with even an appearance of consistency - award Crash an 18 certificate.
On Irreversible :
In more civilized times, this kind of sad, sickening exhibitionism would never have been granted a certificate.
On Baise-Moi :
The BBFC interprets the absence of a public outcry against their previous decisions to open the pornographic floodgates, as evidence that the public goes along with its views. Really, it reflects the fact that most people wisely
chose to stay away from films like Intimacy, Romance and The Idiots, and the few that suffered through them had better things to do with their time than try to lodge futile complaints.
Even the majority of critics who hated these movies kept quiet, either preferring to starve them of the oxygen of publicity, or unwilling to risk incurring the wrath of the liberal establishment.
Misreading this lack of reaction, the BBFC has taken it into its collective head that the British public wants the guidelines governing 18 certificate movies to be relaxed still further. Yet even the Board’s own literature reveals that a majority
of the British population (54%) disagrees with the statement that “people over 18 have a right to see graphic portrayals of real sex in films and video”.
The BBFC gets away with its policy of permissiveness by stealth only because most of us don’t kick up a fuss. Too many of us associate film classification with authoritarianism, philistinism and repression, rather than with the preservation of a
few minimum standards of moral and social responsibility. And the government, of course, couldn’t care less.
On Quentin Tarintino’s Hostel :
Many people seem baffled as to why we are raising a generation of desensitized yobs, who see nothing wrong with torture and mutilation, and indeed use these things to foster a bizarre, and evil, sense of community. Barely a week
goes by without some new, real-life horror – most recently, the revolting, mindless attack by six youths who abducted, raped and stabbed to death Maryann Leneghan.
Allison Pearson posed one question in the Mail on Wednesday Who are these people? But it seems to me that an even more important question is Why do these people think they can act this way?”
This film is not worthy of an 18 certificate, for it is not suitable for audiences of 48 and over, let alone those aged 18, but it will be seen by millions of people – including children on whom it will make an indelible impression.
I asked at the start why violent yobs think they can act this way. It is also relevant to inquire who is encouraging their culture of sadism.
Well, let me name names. One is this film’s writer-director, Eli Roth. Another is Takeshi Miike, who contributes a cameo performance to Hostel. A third is Roth’s mentor, Quentin Tarantino, who also appears briefly in the film, and enabled it
to be made and released by being its Executive Producer.
Serious questions should be asked of Mr Roth, but I would like to know what Sony Pictures are doing releasing such a picture. Is making money their only motivation? Have they no shame? No sense of social responsibility? No values?
I would also like to know who, apart from our pusillanimous and negligent censors, thinks this kind of evil, pernicious trash truly warrants an 18 certificate.
Brilliantly acted it may be, but in its relentless violence the latest Batman production, The Dark Knight, goes to the very limit of mainstream movie-making.
This is dark, dark material indeed. Yet this is the film the BBFC has given a 12A rating, which means it is considered quite suitable even for young children, if they are accompanied by an adult. Children over 12, of course, can see it on their own.
And just who are the 'regulators' who came to this outrageously perverse decision?
There's the scandal. The 33 members of the BBFC are anonymous. They wield huge influence, but they are unelected, unaccountable and, this paper suspects, wholly unrepresentative.
They claim to be independent, but whether or not that is true is anybody's guess.
We can be sure only of one thing. This secretive oligarchy is presiding over a relentless decline of standards in the cinema.
Even the liberal Andreas Whittam Smith is reported as saying this week that the Board is taking a more relaxed view of violence since he left six years ago.
Obscenity, brutality, vile language, the trashing of civilised values... all these are becoming normalised, even glamorised.
Truly, the 'independent' BBFC should be very proud of itself!
Cartoon violent scenes in the latest Batman film, The Dark Knight , have prompted objections about its classification with a 12A certificate.
The BBFC has received 70 complaints about the certification.
Parents have complained of having to shield their children’s eyes from scenes such as a man’s eye being jabbed with a pencil and the Joker describing how he enjoys killing people with a knife because they take longer to die.
Nutter Labour MP Keith Vaz, who is chairman of the Commons home affairs committee, said he would be summoning the BBFC to its hearings on knife crime in October: The BBFC should realise there are scenes of gratuitous violence in The Dark Knight to
which I would certainly not take my 11-year-old daughter. It should be a 15 classification.
Nutters have warned that the BBFC is becoming both too liberal and too willing to cave in to commercial pressure from Hollywood studios to maximise audience numbers. The board has admitted that its decision on The Dark Knight was “borderline
15” – meaning that its examiners nearly gave it a 15. The 12A means children of 12 can go unaccompanied.
Parents are allowed to take children younger than 12 with them to the Batman film, although they are advised not to.
The BBFC has confirmed that Warner Bros asked for The Dark Knight to be classified as 12A and admitted that the board comes under pressure to keep classifications low so that as many people as possible can see films.
The real problem is that in previous Batman films, Jack Nicholson’s Joker was jokier, said John Whittingdale, Tory chairman of the Commons culture, media and sport committee: This ‘Joker’ is truly evil. Yet most parents and
children would not know this beforehand. Also, nobody goes to the BBFC’s website for parental advice.”
The board says its director, David Cooke, did not see the film before it was classified, although he has watched it recently. It is understood he supported the 12A classification.
In Scandinavia & Ireland the film is a 15 and in America it is PG-13.
Update: Nutter MPs
5th August 2008
Iain Duncan Smith, the former leader of the Conservative party, has joined the nutter onslaught after seeing it with his 15-year-old daughter.
Describing it as "relentlessly violent" in a letter to a newspaper, he wrote: I was astonished that the board could have seen fit to allow anyone under the age of 15 to watch the film.
Unlike past Batman films, where the villains were somewhat surreal and comical figures, Heath Ledger's Joker is a brilliantly acted but very credible psychopathic killer, who extols the use of knives to kill and disfigure his victims during a reign of
urban terrorism laced with torture.
A conservative nutter group has laid a formal complaint against Auckland's controversial Boobs on Bikes parade.
Family First NZ laid the complaint with police today against the parade which is planned for Auckland's Queen St in August. National director of Family First NZ Bob McCoskrie said he was calling on the police to enforce the law and prevent offensive
actions happening in a public place.
This parade is an advertisement for the porn industry which is simply a business, with no regard for the welfare and protection of families who are exposed to offensive aspects of the parade.
It is certainly not a charitable family-friendly event like the Santa Parade or a sports event or celebration."
The parade drew thousands of people last year, as an assortment of porn stars, erotic dancers, models and a few drag queens, exposed their breasts downtown.
McCoskrie said the event was in breach of the Crimes Act. It will also now be in breach of a new bylaw just passed by the Auckland City Council (Bylaw 20.6.9 - Public Places 2008) banning public events likely to be offensive.
The parade, which last year had council approval, was organised by then Auckland mayoral candidate Steve Crow to promote the Erotica Expo.
Update: Not Indecent
8th August 2008
In response to an official complaint by Family First NZ to the police about the upcoming Erotica Expo advertising stunt known as “Boobs on Bikes”, the police have said In the opinion of the Police, given the standards of decency observed
in this day and age, a female being topless in a parade on a weekday in Queen Street will not in itself constitute an indecent act.
Update: Offensive Nutters
12th August 2008
Family First NZ has written to the Minister of Police Annette King asking whether she supports the refusal by the police to take action against the Boobs on Bikes parade.
We know that almost 1,000 emails labeling the parade as offensive have been sent to both the Mayor of Auckland and the head of the Auckland police, says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ: Yet despite this strong opposition
from families and the City Council themselves, the police are refusing to act.
In the letter, Family First NZ has asked for confirmation that as Minister of Police, Annette King supports the interpretation of the Police that ..given the standards of decency observed in this day and age, a female being topless in a parade on a
weekday in Queen Street will not in itself constitute an indecent act.
The days in which a punch was thrown in jest and accompanied by a cartoon Kerpow! seem as distant as Bagpuss. Nothing in this new Batman is in jest. Not even the Joker. This film is doing serious business - and, make no mistake, its business is
I saw The Dark Knight on Monday; or at least I saw the bits that I could bear to watch from behind my giant Diet Coke.
Within the first five minutes, the body count was in double figures - and that was before a detonator was shoved down the throat of a dying bank manager.
Soon afterwards, the Joker, played with diabolical brilliance by the late Heath Ledger, explained how he got that permanent blood-red clown's grin.
His father had been attacking his mother's face with a knife when he caught his young son watching with a serious expression. Dad slashed the boy's cheeks to make sure that the kid would never look down-in-the-mouth again.
More from Allison Pearson...
Horrifying? You bet. But, believe me, that counts as a quiet, reflective moment in a symphony of sadism.
It was described as an exemplary piece of programme making by an award winning film-maker which launched a week of television
coverage of Islam.
But a Channel 4 documentary on the Qur'an has angered a group of leading Shia Muslim scholars, who have criticised it for making seriously inaccurate statements about their branch of the faith.
In a letter to Channel 4, they said that the depiction of Shia beliefs in The Qur'an, broadcast earlier this month, was disappointing, misleading, even defamatory.
The signatories to the letter were also angered by the apparent links made between Shiaism and violence, with scenes of Iranian Shias burning effigies, chanting anti-western slogans, and advocating acts of terror.
In the documentary, film-maker Antony Thomas explored the history of Islam's holy book, examining it for statements on equality, suicide bombings, and relationships with other faiths.
While some critics hailed it as a masterpiece, it angered prominent Shias. The denomination comprises up to 20% of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims.
But criticism of the programme was not confined to the Shia scholars. Muhammad Abdul Bari, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, also wrote to Channel 4's chief executive, Andy Duncan, last Thursday, warning of specific
misrepresentations that could damage cohesion between Muslim communities. The programme unfairly maligns Muslims following the Shia tradition by accusing them of heresy based on a collection of age-old polemics and misinformation, Bari's letter said.
With respect, this is an irresponsible portrayal which plays into the hands of those who wish to seek discord amongst Muslims, which we hope you did not intend.
A leading art gallery is being taken to court over claims that it outraged public decency by displaying a statue depicting
Christ with an erection.
The sculpture was the most provocative item in an exhibition at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead.
Despite signs warning of the exhibition's explicit nature, the gallery received complaints.
A private prosecution has now been launched and the first hearing in what could prove a landmark case has been set for September.
Legal documents claim that the gallery has both offended public decency and breached Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986. The maximum penalty for outraging public decency is six months' imprisonment and a £5,000 fine.
The documents claim that the foot-high sculpture was ‘offensive and disgusting' and likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to Christians and those of other faiths.
Controversial: Chinese-born artist Terence Ko
Legal experts said yesterday that the hearing would be the first test of public decency legislation since the Government scrapped Britain's ancient blasphemy laws in May.
The prosecution has been launched by Emily Mapfuwa who read about the exhibition in newspapers. I don't think this gallery would insult Muslims in this way, so why Christians? she said.
Father Christopher Warren, of the Roman Catholic cathedral of St Mary's in Newcastle upon Tyne, said: For Christians the image of Jesus is very special and to interpret it in a sexualised way is an affront to what we hold dear.
Update: Jesus Dick in Court
4th September 2008
The case in now scheduled to be heard in Crown Court on 23rd September 2008
But the greatest surprise of all – even for me, after eight years spent working as a film critic – has been the sustained level of intensely sadistic brutality throughout the film.
What's the problem? I can already hear some people asking. It's all a comic-book fantasy, and comic books are well known for their surreal, cartoonish bursts of violence. But the director, Christopher Nolan, hasn't sought to ramp up the cartoonish
aspects of his superhero story, as other directors before him have. He has tried instead to make the violence and fear as believable as possible, and in this he has succeeded.
Britain appears to be gulping down entertainment values wholesale from a Hollywood intent upon mining the profit margin from barbarism. America, for all its manifold strengths, is still a country in which the population can be roused to a frenzy
of condemnation by the sight of Janet Jackson's escaped nipple on the Super Bowl, but views the sight of a bound man being torched to death as all-round family entertainment.
Is there a link between screen violence and actual violence? Fans of violent films will tell you – frequently in the most aggressive terms – that there is not. Yet we know that children are, to greater and lesser degrees, highly imitative of what
they see. We know that there is escalating public concern about violent crime, particularly knife crime, among teenagers.
Sadistic violence in the new Batman movie will send knife crime soaring, a victim's mum claimed last night.
Barbara Dunne whose son Robert was killed with a samurai sword, blasted block-buster The Dark Knight for glorifying blades.
She said scenes showing the knife-obsessed Joker, played by the late Heath Ledger, relishing maiming victims will numb kids to the horror of stabbings.
And Dunne said: It's encouraging children to buy the same knife and actually end up using it. The next day somebody's dead.
The campaigner, who vowed to grill bosses on the film's horror scenes, slated its 12A rating.
Comment: Easy Scapegoats
It's always odd how parents of victims of violent crime lash out and blame easy scapegoats like films for their loss. They become campaigners against knife crime but instead of trying to campaign to tackle the root causes of young people turning
to knife and violent crime they blame films.
Surely they must know that unless society deals with the real problems that lead youngsters down the road of crime and violence the killings and tragedies that befall families will not stop and blaming films won't change that.
Comment: Knives don't kill people
Kudos to Dan, victims of crime always end up stereotyping, and once again films come under the critical microscope.
When will people realise that films don't create killers. Parents do. There I said it. If your child is too fucked up to know where a film ends and life begins then I'm sorry, you failed as a parent.
You can still see kids walking around now dressing like Eminem and thinking that 8 Mile was real. ITS A FUCKING FILM! you know that bit at the end with all those strange markings, well their called words, commonly known at the end of a FILM
as credits, telling you the FILM is over. Go back to your life. Now I'm not placing the blame solely on parents, children will imitate, fact of life, but if your child can't distinguish where the end of the film is then you have some real issues.
When I was 14 Natural Born Killers was released and caused a massive divide on what was acceptable in modern mainstream cinema, however unphased by this argument I landed a bootleg copy and watched it...14 years later I still don't have a
The bottom line is films are not responsible. People are responsible. Knives don't kill people, irresponsible motherfuckers who carry knives kill people. Instead of looking for things to blame, point that judgemental finger at a mirror. Your
child's carrying a knife? you fucked up as a parent. Ipso facto.
Richard Attenborough has blamed violence in films for rising levels of knife crime.
But he claimed that as violence has become more prevalent in films, viewers have become desensitised to real-life crime - making the carrying of knives almost an acceptable commonplace.
Now 84, Lord Attenborough began his career as an actor and came to prominence after starring as the vicious gang leader Pinkie in the 1947 film adaptation of Graham Greene's novel Brighton Rock . He also played the serial killer John
Christie in the 1971 film 10 Rillington Place .
He told the Brighton Argus newspaper that he abhors the pornography of violence in modern films.
Lord Attenborough said: Thirty years ago if Gary Cooper pulled out a gun the audience would give a sharp intake of breath.
Now the act of violence with a gun or a knife is the norm and we in the entertainment industry are partly responsible in making the presence of weapons such as knives almost an acceptable commonplace.
So now knife crime is not thought of as something that is horrific and to be abhorred. It's part of normal existence.
It looks increasingly unlikely that cinema audiences in this world will get to see the planned film sequels in Philip Pullman's children's fantasy trilogy, His Dark Materials.
Sources in the film industry said that plans for a sequel to The Golden Compass appeared to have been put on ice following the fervent Christian protests surrounding the first film, which led to boycotts and box office disappointment in the United
Pullman told The Independent that he had not yet been contacted by Shepperton Studios and was not aware of any imminent plans to film the sequel, The Subtle Knife .
When The Golden Compass was released last year, New Line Cinema had high hopes for the trilogy, and the sequel was due to be released by the end of 2009.
But then the Christian boycotts started and the film sunk in the US, making a meagre $70m (£35m), although it took a hefty $300m internationally. New Line has since been merged with Warner Brothers.
Christian Voice nutter, Stephen Green, has been noted arguing a particularly reprehensible line of reasoning. You don't get
much lower than this.
From the Guardian:
On Sunday evening, a lone campaigner stood outside St Mary's church, Putney. Stephen Green, a haggard and unshaven figure, obsessed and weighed down by the wickedness of modern Britain, handed out leaflets warning of the
consequences of same-sex love, while announcing to anyone who would listen: Homosexuality and sexual immorality is all on a continuum with paedophilia, bestiality, adultery, child-sacrifice. You are saying it is all OK.
A morally bankrupt tale of
teenage group sex, violence,
drugs and sadism
which left me
sickened to the core
Already the buzz around Donkey Punch is building. After a rave reception at the Sundance film festival earlier this year, it's rapidly emerging as the must-see movie of the summer - a gravely serious psychological horror thriller according to one critic,
frighteningly plausible says another.
British director and co-writer Oliver Blackburn describes this, his debut feature film, as provocative . Well, I suppose that's one way to describe a morally bankrupt tale of teenage group sex, violence, drugs and sadism which left me
sickened to the core.
But Donkey Punch is no ordinary softporn slasher flick. Blackburn claims the characters in his tale are socially realistic - typical of many young men and women of his generation. Everything in the film is rooted in reality, says the director.
We just took the stuff that's out there and made it into a story.
In which case, I despair for the future of Britain.
The key thing to know about Donkey Punch is that the film takes its name from a potentially lethal and possibly mythical sado-masochistic act involving anal sex. [Having anal sex with someone and punching them in the back of
the head to make them pass out].
I apologise for being so explicit, but unless you understand the central premise of the film you cannot comprehend what a vile production it is.
It is, quite simply, the most distasteful, depraved and nihilistic film I have ever had the misfortune to sit through. I freely confess that there were times I felt physically ill simply watching it. Certainly, I would have walked out long before
the end had I not had to write about it.
But Donkey Punch has no such merits. Indeed, it has no redeeming features whatsoever. There is not a single shred of humanity, imagination or creativity detectable anywhere among its 99 long minutes.
Its sole purpose seems to be to suggest that, as far as British youth is concerned, all women are sluts, all men are sadists, everyone takes drugs, group sex with strangers is par for the course and sado-masochism's the norm.
Donkey Punch is a horror film about three British women who take an ill-fated cruise with some young men they meet on holiday.
When one is accidentally killed during sex, the group become increasingly paranoid about how they will explain the accident to the authorities. It was passed '18' for strong sex, violence, drug use and one use of very strong language.
The strong sex includes sight of couples having sex and filming sex acts with detail such as full nudity and thrusting, and sight of characters enacting ‘the donkey punch' in which a participant is punched during sex. There are also strong sex
references, including comic descriptions of unusual sex acts.
The strong drug use includes sight of smoking a drug similar to crack, and taking tablets; there is no imitable detail that would require intervention at the adult category. The strong violence includes some bloody moments such as sight of a knife
pushed into a man's chest, a scene of torture where a knife is twisted in a man's chest, sight of a man attacked with a propeller blade and several shots of the gory aftermath of killings.
The one use of very strong language is not aggressive or sexualised, but used in exasperation to chastise a character for killing another.
The BBC have just sent a bailiff to serve a statutory demand on Christian activist Stephen Green in respect of Mark
Thompson's costs of £55,000 in the Jerry Springer the Opera case.
The demand could see Green made bankrupt and homeless.
The High Court ruled last December that Stephen Green could not prosecute Mark Thompson, the Director General of the BBC, and Jonathan Thoday of Avalon over the BBC2 broadcast of Jerry Springer the Opera and its subsequent theatre tour. The
Court ordered costs against him.
Last month, Stephen Green wrote to both Mark Thompson and Jonathan Thoday inviting them to waive their costs in the interests of goodwill and justice. The appeal to the better nature of Thompson has fallen on deaf ears.
The Muslim cleric Sheikh Imam Fawaz Jneid is claiming 55,000 euros in damages from far-right Freedom Party MP Geert Wilders for allegedly damaging his reputation. The cleric was shown in Wilders' film Fitna .
Wilders, quoted by Radio Netherlands says Jneid's claim is the world upside down.
Rajan Zed, acclaimed Hindu leader has given a United Kingdom (UK)-wide boycott call for Hollywood movie The Love Guru by Hindus and other religious Brits because it lampoons Hinduism and Hindu concepts and uses Hindu terms frivolously.
Zed has also criticized BBFC for giving it "12A" classification, when he says it deserved the highest "18" classification. Although BBFC claims We help to protect vulnerable viewers and society from the effects of viewing
potentially harmful or unsuitable content, but by giving The Love Guru a "12A" rating, it is leading the highly impressionable British children between 12 to 18 years to grow-up with a distorted view of Hinduism, Zed adds.
The Love Guru , a comedy starring Mike Myers (of Austin Powers fame) will be released in UK on August 1st.
Update: Ireland's Turn
16th July 2008
Zed has also criticized Irish Film Censor's Office (IFCO) for giving it "15A" (suitable for 15 and upwards) classification, when he says it deserved the highest "18" (over 18) classification.
Although IFCO claims We have a duty to protect children and young persons from harm, but by giving The Love Guru a "15A" rating, it is leading the highly impressionable Irish children between 15 to 18 years to grow-up with
a distorted view of Hinduism, Zed adds.
Update: Sweden's Turn
18th July 2008
Zed said the guru in The Love Guru instigates a bar fight, repeatedly narrates penis jokes, mocks yoga (one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy), wears female jewelry, mocks the concept of third eye, makes disciples drink tea
passed through his nose, orders alligator soup, induces elephant copulation in front of the crowd, introduces himself as “His Holiness”, lives in a lavish ashram staffed with scantily clad maids, and whose goal in life seems to appear on Oprah
He predictably called for a Swedish wide boycott of the film and for the Swedish film censors to award the highest rating.
It was not until the last minute when the conference-hall was set for the music festival, as well as the local invitees,
key-note speakers, folklore dancers, government officials, journalists, and foreign guests were soon to arrive there that the students unleashed a wave of protest. They violently emptied the conference-hall of all the chairs and tables for the
invitees, and they removed from the walls all the slogans, pictures, and decorations for the event.
Inspired by local Wahabi clerics, who had been preaching in advance against this event in their daily sermons in the mosques in the town, these students justified their acts of rejection and obstruction on the grounds that the music was
The event was apparently supposed to have been part of the Somaliland authorities' relentless campaign for international recognition. It was the first time in the history of their yet internationally unrecognised country, Somaliland's Ministry of
Culture and Tourism had organised a celebration for the World Music Day in the capital Hargeisa. By locally promoting and celebrating the international events, the Somaliland authorities wanted to show that the country is governed from
democratically established institutions. The zone of Somaliland generally is considered more peaceful than the rest of Somalia.
However, local Wahabi clerics have strongly challenged their campaign by proving on their part that they also govern the county from the platforms of the mosques. 'Community censorship' of music is not only limited to the conflict parts of
Political party, New Zealand First, is calling for a ban on violent video games as part of a new anti-gang policy.
They want R16 and R18 games off the shelf in a bid to stop them influencing young people. The party says the games encourage young people to be more violent and join gangs.
Well if you are going to fill your children in this country with pulp and with mush, why are you surprised the way they react and the way they head off into criminal behaviour, says New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.
But experts say the violent on screen images do not translate to real life.
It would be a very big leap to imply that violent video games are going to inflate gang membership, says John Fenaughty from Netsafe.
The Chief Censor, who rates these games, says putting R16 and R18 labels on them should make them off-limits to children anyway.
Winston Peters is also planning to make gangs illegal, boost drug and alcohol rehab for ex-gang members and to get young people involved in military style training - instead of these games.
Judge Dava Tunis has recommended the the anti-games nutter and lawyer Jack Thompson be permanently disbarred from the
profession with no opportunity for reinstatement.
Judge Tunis also recommends an assessment of $43,675 for the costs incurred by the Florida Bar in prosecuting his case.
Thompson was up in court on ethics charges brought by the Florida Bar.
Judge Tunis wrote:
The Florida Bar has recommended disbarment for a period of ten (10) years. This Court respectfully declines to follow the Bar's recommendation... This case involves factual findings of cumulative misconduct, a repeated
pattern of behavior relentlessly forced upon numerous unconnected individuals, a total lack of remorse or even slight acknowledgement of inappropriate conduct...
Additionally, the Court is taking into consideration a review of the Respondent's conduct not only as proven by the evidence, but by what this Court has witnessed of the Respondent's behavior throughout the eighteen (18) months of litigation. The
undersigned finds no evidence whatsoever to indicate that the Respondent is amenable to rehabilitation, or even remotely appreciates the basis upon which a need or purpose for such rehabilitation is warranted...
Over a very extended period of time involving a number of totally unrelated cases and individuals, the Respondent has demonstrated a pattern of conduct to strike out harshly, extensively, repeatedly and willfully to simply try to bring as much
difficulty, distraction and anguish to those he considers in opposition to his causes. He does not proceed within the guidelines of appropriate professional behavior, but rather uses other means available to intimidate, harass, or bring public
disrepute to those whom he perceives oppose him.
Two books by Egyptian feminist author Nawal El-Saadawi have become the center of debate among writers and intellectuals after prominent publisher Mahmoud Madbouli gave an interview explaining his reasons to halt their publication.
In an interview with AFP, Madbouli said he had pulped those copies of the books held in stock and halted the printing of more 3,000 more copies.
Madbouli, one of the most important publishers in Egypt, decided to cease publication of two novels — Fall of the Imam , published in 1987, and God Resigns from the Summit Meeting , published in 1996 and translated into Arabic two
years ago — after one journalist told him that the two books offended core religious values and constituted an attack on God.
The company is famous for printing controversial social and political books that other publishers usually refuse to take on. The owner says he wonders why this issue is being discussed these days although the incident happened a long time ago.
He was recently quoted in the Egyptian press as saying that he is definitely pro-freedom of expression, but is unable to accept insults against God. He also said that he informed the author before taking this action, and claims that she was
In God Resigns from the Summit Meeting the writer symbolically depicts God as a 60-year-old man dressed as a king and surrounded by soldiers with a lake of water and rivers of wine under his feet. The devil, meanwhile, appears as a handsome
30-year-old man, and Radwan, the keeper of heavens, is pictured as God's private secretary.
Both books were condemned years ago as a violation of Islam by the Islamic Research Center, which urged the Egyptian government to ban them.
Anti-terrorism investigators in Paris are probing threats against a leading French cable TV channel over pornographic films it
airs that can be viewed in North Africa, a judicial official said.
Canal-Plus, France's first pay-TV channel, received letters from one or more people claiming to be Muslim and threatening to blow up its headquarters if it continues to broadcast once-a-month adult films, the official said.
Canal-Plus filed a legal complaint about the threats late last month, which prompted the anti-terrorist probe. No other details about the threats were available.
Canal-Plus and its sister channels show a range of programming, much of it family-friendly. It can be viewed via satellite in largely Muslim North Africa, where French is widely spoken.
As a new broadcaster in 1984, Canal-Plus introduced hardcore films on the first Saturday of the month to build its image as a more exciting alternative to France's traditional channels.
It seems that the protesting Hindus will not be able to appeal against the “K11” rating given by Finnish Board of Film Classification to the Hollywood movie The Love Guru , which they wanted to be raised.
Maarit Pietinen, Senior Examiner of the Board, in a communiqué to Hindu leader Rajan Zed, said, Only the distributor can appeal against the decision of the Board.
Criticising this, Zed has said that other affected parties by the movie, in this case Hindus, should also have same rights of appeal against rating decisions as the distributor/owner, if they are not satisfied with the classification.
When asked, Does not the Board think that this movie ridicules a religion?, Pietinen replied: In the Act which we are obliged to follow, there are no such ground as blasphemy or ridicule of religion, therefore it was not discussed.
Denouncing Finnish Board of Film Classification for giving it “K11” rating when it deserved the highest “K18” rating, Rajan Zed stresses that while Board says The primary purpose of the classification of audiovisual programs is to protect
children, but by giving The Love Guru a “K11” rating, it is leading the highly impressionable Finnish children between 11 to 18 years to grow with a distorted view of Hinduism.
Zed says that in this fast changing world, Board's classification criteria seems to be outdated and it needs immediate revision.
Supported by some other organisations, Zed has given a Finland-wide boycott call for Hollywood movie The Love Guru by Hindus and other religious Finns because it lampoons Hinduism and Hindu concepts and uses Hindu terms frivolously.
A group of pastors and preachers belonging to different churches in Manila have filed criminal complaints against editors and
publishers of popular men's magazines and so-called smut tabloids before the Manila Prosecutor's Office.
The group was led by Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante, a pastor of the Metropolitan Bible Baptist Church and anti-porn nutter.
Charged in the joint complaint affidavit were editors and publishers of Philippines Playboy magazine, FHM, Maxim, Playhouse, Sagad, Hataw and Toro .
The group accused the respondents of grave scandal and obscene publication. The respondents also cited violation of Ordinance No. 7780 of the City of Manila, which prohibits the printing publication, sale, distribution and exhibition of obscene
and pornographic acts and materials.
The group said the magazines and tabloids violated anti-pornography laws for containing obscene, erotic, indecent, or lewd pictures/poses that show, depict, exhibit, or describe nude or semi nude bodies sexual acts, sexual intercourse, private
parts of the human body of both male and female, with no educational, artistic, cultural or scientific value.
Abante said this will be the first time that a class suit will be filed against the said magazines and tabloids. Abante said he is hoping that there are still judges who have the moral conscience to look into their complaint.
Rajan Zed, a nutter Hindu leader has criticised Australia classification board for giving it 'M' (recommended for mature audiences) classification when he said it deserved the highest 'R18+' (restricted to 18 and over) classification.
Nobody wants the next generation of Australians, who are under 18 and passing through highly impressionable period of their lives, growing up with distorted view of Hinduism, Zed says.
According to reports, a protest has been planned outside Brisbane theatres, when the movie is released in Australia on July 10.
A coalition of nutters who are taking a stand against all forms of commercial sex have launched a contest to
encourage people across the nation to speak out against pornography, prostitution, and other forms of commercialized sex.
We are launching The Film Festival to END DEMAND on July 4 because, what better day than Independence Day to not only celebrate our freedom but to take action for those who are not free? reported Bill Smith, director of The Defenders USA,
in a released statement prior to the contest's launch.
The Defenders 'believe' that pornography, prostitution, escort services, strip clubs, peep shows, and erotic massage parlors all contribute to the commercial sex industry, a market that produces nearly 100,000-300,000 exploited victims a year –
the majority of which are women and children.
The hope behind the Film Festival to End Demand is that it will fight the demand for commercial sex by spreading awareness in a creative way.
Participants have been instructed to create a film three minutes or less, which they should upload on a free online video sharing service such as YouTube, iTunes, MySpace Video, Yahoo! Video, or Google Video.
Participants have until Sept. 5 to submit their entry at an Internet link, and each film will be judged on the impact of the message, not the professional level of the film – though applicants will still be judged for artistic quality.
As reported earlier Stephen Green is having difficulties with the legal fees resulting from his failed attempt to prosecute
some of those involved with Jerry Springer the Opera. He initiated a petition
to ask for court costs to be waived.
Green has achieved about 1200 signatures in support of his cause, but many of these have been added to take the opportunity of recording distinctly unsupportive messages. Surely worth a read.
We the undersigned call upon Mark Thompson of the BBC and Jonathan Thoday of Avalon to insist the £90,000 costs awarded to them against Stephen Green in the Jerry Springer the Opera case are paid in full.
We note that Mark Thompson's salary is more than £750,000 pa and that Jon Thoday's wealth was estimated at £12 million in 2001 and yet find this information irrelevant.
We note that Jonathan Thoday's company lost £500,000 on the tour of Jerry Springer the Opera due to the unpleasant actions of Mr Green and that £35,000 is really the least Mr Green can stump up.
We note that Mr Green says the BBC spends millions on inflated salaries for celebrities, rebranding logos and the news and on channels hardly anyone watches and that it would not even notice £55,000 , like that's some kind of defence.
Finally, we regard the costs orders made against Stephen Green as justice and hope this small-minded individual now realises that gaining fair access to the courts against ANY opponents carries with it the threat of punitive costs hanging over
Hindus do not seem to be pleased with Singapore Board of Film Censors classifying Hollywood movie The Love Guru with “NC16” [16+] rating. They are demanding this be raised to R21 [21+].
Bhavna Shinde, who represents Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and Sanatan Sanstha, has appealed to Singapore Censor Board to assign The Love Guru its highest “R21” rating. She said that the film blatantly ridicules and denigrates Hinduism and Hindu
While writing to Singapore Media Development authority, she wrote: Cinema is a powerful medium and it can create stereotypes in the minds of some audiences, especially in the minds of younger audiences, who are passing through an impressionable
phase. We do not want the next generation of Singapore growing up with a distorted view of Hinduism and Hindus.
The Love Guru is reportedly scheduled to be released in Singapore on September 4, 2008.
Gordon Brown tells Keith Vaz I didn't try to bribe you.
Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, has challenged Gordon Brown to confirm he was not bribed ahead of the vote on 42 days.
Keith Vaz was originally opposed to the proposed counter-terrorism measures but later offered his full backing
Appearing alongside other committee chairman at their regular grilling of the Prime Minister, Vaz asked Brown about the Telegraph's revelation that he received a letter from Geoff Hoon, the Chief Whip, saying he hoped he would be
"rewarded" for supporting the Government's anti-terror plans: Is it the case that you authorised or offered any backbench Member of Parliament a peerage or a knighthood or honour, or even the Governorship of Bermuda in order to vote
for your legislation?
Brown replied: Not at all. Nor do I recall sending any letters to anyone.
Australia's Hindu community has called for a boycott of Mike Myers' new film The Love Guru .
Sajana Nand, president of the Australian Hindu Multicultural Association, said he believed a comedy should make people laugh... BUT ... not at the expense of ridiculing faith or spreading misinformation.
Nand called on other religious and community leaders to support the boycott: We support free speech ...BUT... our faith is sacred and attempts at belittling it has hurt the devotees.
Any attempt by an individual or an organisation to make a mockery of a guru shouldn't go unchallenged. Based on the information I have got, I would strongly urge a nationwide boycott of the movie.
Nand said he would call on the Film Classification Board to review the suitability of the fun.
Censorial MP Keith Vaz is fighting to cling on to his position following the leak of a letter to The Daily Telegraph which suggested he
could expect to be “rewarded” for backing the Government in a crucial vote on anti-terrorism laws.
Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, received a handwritten note from Geoff Hoon, the chief whip, which said he hoped Vaz would be appropriately rewarded for supporting laws to detain terror suspects for 42 days
Members of the Home Affairs Select Committee have said that Vaz had questions which need to be addressed.
David Cameron, the Conservative leader, is understood to be “appalled” at the contents of the letter and raised the issue in the House of Commons.
A Jordanian prosecutor has charged Dutch politician Geert Wilders with blasphemy and contempt of Muslims for making an anti-Koran film and ordered him to stand trial in the kingdom, judicial sources said.
In Riyadh, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), a league of 56 Muslim nations, said it was deeply annoyed after Dutch prosecutors said they would not take action against Wilders as he was protected by the right to free speech.
The decision ... encourages and supports the irresponsible defamatory style followed by some media outlets and instigates feelings of hatred, animosity and antipathy towards Muslims, the Saudi Arabia-based OIC, said in a statement. The OIC
said the prosecutors' decision showed they ignored the thin line separating freedom of speech and the instigation of hatred, animosity and discrimination.
Judicial sources in Amman said Jordanian prosecutor Judge Abdallat had charged Wilders after a legal complaint by a coalition of Jordanian activists and community leaders. An order was issued through the Dutch embassy in Amman to bring Wilders to
stand trial. The charges carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison, lawyers said.
Wilders said he was concerned about the Jordanian case against him which could limit his freedom to travel.
Christian leaders have gathered in Denver in opposition to an anti-Christian censorship law that could open the door to
censoring the Bible.
Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter signed the state bill, SB 200, which aims at silencing all publications that discriminate against homosexuality.
Section 8 of Senate Bill 200 is a wide open door for any judge to censor anything that condemns homosexuality, including Scripture, Colorado State Rep. Kevin Lundberg said.
I do believe that the Bible is banned, under the plain language of this new statute, Steve Crampton, general counsel of the pro-family Liberty Counsel, said, indicating he believes that day is already here.
Section 8 reads, No person, being the owner. agent, or employee of any place of public accommodation. shall publish. distribute, give away. except as provided in this section, any communication. book, pamphlet, writing. or advertisement of any
kind. intended or calculated to discriminate. against. sexual orientation, marital status (which) is unwelcome.