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Cartoons are porn


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While we are busy with us strange people in OZ, we should look at this bizarre ruling in new South Wales that "drawings of The Simpsons characters engaging in sexual acts with one another have resulted in a Sydney man being convicted on child pornography charges."

Sanctuary, sanctuary, somebody grant me sanctuary...Please!

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This one I can understand and I have a certain sympathy for the judgement. With the advent of sophisticated computer generated software, the line between fiction and reality starts to get blurred. Would a computer modified image of a real child be considered child pornography? Recent decisions have indicated that the answer is yes. The case above has extrapolated that to say that any graphic depiction of child sexual activity is child pornography.

While I can appreciate the argument that no children are actually involved, the idea is to stifle what is generally considered to be an unhealthy appetite. I don't whole heartily agree with the decision, but I support the basic principles involved.

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I guess I take an opposing view in that I see the judgement as infringement of artistic expression that has been around a lot longer than me.

Cartoons with genitalia date back to at least the 19th century and were a source of amusement for my parents, with many Disney characters being so drawn.

The satirical nature of these cartoons reached a high point with the first R+18 cartoon which had Tarzan as one of its characters in a very explicit sexual act. Then there was the full length cartoon motion picture Fritz the Cat. These were all available to the cinema going public, along with many others.

An instance of such drawings on a man's computer should in no way be considered for punitive action unless he is breaking copyright which is another issue altogether.

I think we need to lighten up, or the next thing we will see is the Inquisition raising it's ugly head again, and that is by no means amusing.

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Why do we have child anti-porn laws in the first place? Maybe naively, I thought it was to protect kids from exploitation. I don't see that cartoon drawings, and not even realistically drawn ones, is exploiting children.

I'm of the opinion that viewing 'adult material' may be considered dangerous by some, but I'd much rather that people view so called 'porn' than act out their fantasies for real. While I am well aware that some molesters have started by viewing porn, then escalated their fantasies, I'm not altogether convinced that there is a causal relationship. This same discussion is continually brought up with cartoon violence and real violence, and in that case it always seems to go back to the feeling that viewing is NOT causing the reality. Why is it different in porn? Is it because there is no huge industry backing one side of the discussion, or is it that most people are just too 'hung up' about genitalia?

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From the news items I've read, these pictures (I had the impression they were animations, not still-picture cartoons), went belong displaying genitalia to displaying sexual acts -- including sexual acts with a toddler (Maggie).

The argument about protecting children from exploitation is a viable one, but I think it's a fine line that's being drawn when we're dealing with computer manipulation of images to turn them into sexual ones. The child in question is still recognisable and that means that that child has become the target for a sexual fantasy. I find that very, very uncomfortable. This particular court case took that idea to the extreme. As I said, I'm not completely happy with it, because artistic license IS important, but I still back the decision.

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It's rubbish. I've seen the drawings. They're cartoonish, badly done, and while ENTIRELY OFFENSIVE, they are as close to child porn as a photo of a baby taking a pee.

One depicts Maggie looking for a pacifier and Bart giving her his penis instead. Tacky, stupid, barely amusing. Pornographic, yes. Child porn? Only a complete idiot would think so. You need a real child. It's a FICTIONAL CHARACTER /and/ a DRAWING and not even one of a real person.

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Wow! This is a complicated one.

Trab, your argument is certainly persuasive. What else could the exploitation law be about other than protecting children? And cartoons are obviously not children. It's hard to imagine how a cartoon on someone's computer can land him in the hoosegow. What child has been exploited?.

The judge was clearly trying to control adult behavior, and possibly using faulty logic and the wrong legal arguments to do it.

We as a society have an obligation to protect our children, and when we take that seriously, this sort of thing can happen. I think it's mandatory we do that, and if the choice is between protecting children and arresting people incorrectly for having this sort of thing on their computers, I'd certainly side with the former against the latter.

But I don't really agree that that is the choice. I think this judge went with his passion rather than his reason. No child was exploited, and the judge's extrapolation is the sort of thing that leads to witch hunts and zealous overreactions using passion rather than reason in our decision-making.

Thank heavens for the press which distributes this information so the populace gets to think about it and the legal community gets to weigh in with pros and cons. I doubt this ruling will prevail, if the defendant wants or is able to pursue it. It's bad law.

C

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Since the first season of The Simpsons was in 1987, Maggie's got to be at least 21. Perfectly legal. She's just a very short, clumsy, mute 21 year old with a severe case of jaundice. Granted, that's not really my "type", but, hey, who am I to judge?

The problem with this ruling is that it seems to depict fictional characters as "exploitable". This opens the door to applying the rule to written fiction. What's the difference between looking at a fictional underage character and reading about one? What about the case of fan-fiction, in which characters portrayed by underage actors (Harry Potter fan-fictionists, I'm looking in your direction) are described in sexual ways?

Also:

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...

The problem with this ruling is that it seems to depict fictional characters as "exploitable". This opens the door to applying the rule to written fiction. What's the difference between looking at a fictional underage character and reading about one? What about the case of fan-fiction, in which characters portrayed by underage actors (Harry Potter fan-fictionists, I'm looking in your direction) are described in sexual ways?

]

Well put EleCivil. There is already an illegal gray area (in Australia) in written stories which according to a legal friend's opinion, would place most of our stories in evidence that we had broken the law in relation to written porn.

Admittedly I don't know the content or even want to know the content of the following author's stories , but given the ability of the law to be somewhat open in its interpretation as to the nature of what constitutes "child" porn this headline heralds warning bells in my mind. Child porn author arrested leaving court

I have found quite disturbing descriptions of child molestation in stories on the net as well as in local adult book shops. (These book shops are occasionally raided by police and stock confiscated.) So I want to make it clear that these stories are not something I like, or even want.

We don't have to go to Nifty to find explicit child sex stories. They are here and our stories are guilty by association in the eyes of some people, even though they do not contain descriptions of sexual acts.

Have you ever opened a story on the Net, only to find yourself dismayed that it contains child sex descriptions. So you close the site and go elsewhere. Too late, the story is now cached on your computer and can be used to prosecute you for being in possession of porn in the form of a written story. I am assured that deleting the story is not sufficient to remove it from being being discovered by those with the means to interrogate your hard drive.

If you have written such stuff simply for your own amusement, or even as a draft for a story which you intend to use only as research for inspiring a hint of of such things in your story, then you will still have committed a crime. Interestingly This wasn't so much a problem in the days of handwriting or even typewriting, because the copy could be completely destroyed.

And we haven't even mentioned parody.

The distinction between between possession and distribution is also not a defence in relation to these laws.

Clearly this situation conflicts with the right for adults to view and read what they wish, without it being censored. Classification is of course a reasonable alternative to alert people to the content, but where it is required as a condition of availability it often becomes impossible to comply because of the cost of the classification review.

The extension to EleCivil's argument is of course that sooner or later, we will not only not be able to read "naughty" stories, but that we will also be restricted in having dissenting views on politics and religion. It is a small step from that point to the Inquisition or authoritarian control over what we allowed to think, if thinking is permitted at all.

There are many ways to subvert thought, and we are living in a time when those ways seem to attract a great deal of interest from people who insist on imposing their own morality on others.

In relation to children and sex, I am reminded of the father who said to his son that he wanted to talk to him about sex. The boy looked at his father and said, "Sure Dad, what do you want to know?"

It is not that children shouldn't be protected, but that adults should not have their freedom to read and view, restricted. (Classifications notwithstanding.)

Filtering the availability of material on the net, or what people have in their computer is an outrage we should not tolerate.

Just my thoughts which I am not sure that I am permitted to even have any more.

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Many years ago the media asked the leader of our trade union why it was that the employers kept hiring so many radical unionists. The answer was a beautiful comeuppance. "They don't hire them. They hire those they feel will do exactly as they want, then quickly turn them into radical unionists by their own actions."

Why do I bring this up? Because eventually even the lax and laid back of us are going to have our backs to the wall about this, and we will be joining with those we currently wouldn't support, in order to defend our rights to think, talk, and even print stuff. Every single time people have started oppression, it has eventually been fought, with much heartache, pain, and death before it is resolved. Sadly, a generation or so later, it all starts over again.

There are basically two kinds of people, those who try to control others, and those who do not. When the controllers try to enact laws and rules that affect those who do not exert control over others in any way, it is simple wrong. If abuse of children is an issue, it is because controllers are exerting control over them, and those actions should be controlled, as they are bad things to do. If there is only personal pleasure and no control over others being exerted, it is not right to then try to control those involved.

The list of things 'not allowed' that affect nobody except those involved consensually continues to grow daily, from the viewing of adult sex material, to drawing cartoons, to reading history, viewing electronic signals from other nations, to even the taking of photographs, even scenic ones. While the clamour to control these things increases, truly vile acts of control over others, from date rape, kidnapping, robberies, assaults, even so called white collar crime, is being unpunished. The innocent homeless person, pushing a shopping cart will be attacked and hurt, but the attackers are not even looked for. The down and out prostitute, seeking only money for consensual sex is beaten and killed, and the killers are regarded as 'cleaning up the streets'. The artist draws a cartoon on his own computer and is arrested, while gangs impress new recruits with their violent acts all without serious repercussions.

The true appallingness is that the offense that seems to upset so many is the LACK of a victim. What really seems to bring out the worse in so many is that some people actually don't want to hurt anyone. It has long been said that crimes against property are much more severely punished than crimes against people. The 'crime against attitude' seems a logical, if sickening, extrapolation.

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We seem to have a choice of either:

  • a big mommy socialist gubberment that has its thumb up your ass from the cradle to the grave for your own good
  • a neo-fascist gubberment with their thumb up your ass from the cradle to the grave to control your dumb ass (which would obviously run amok without control)

Common sense, moderation and simple human dignity seem to have no place in either.

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We seem to have a choice of either:

  • a big mommy socialist gubberment that has its thumb up your ass from the cradle to the grave for your own good
  • a neo-fascist gubberment with their thumb up your ass from the cradle to the grave to control your dumb ass (which would obviously run amok without control)

Common sense, moderation and simple human dignity seem to have no place in either.

The second one I can see, but the first one I would word differently as:

[*]a big mommy socialist gubberment that has its thumb up your ass from the cradle to the grave for their own good on the pretext of it being for your own good.

This effectively would mean that there is little difference between the two, and that does seem to be what has happened.

Thus, I agree with your concluding observation, James.

To my mind, this makes it all the more imperative that we do not join them when they dangle their carrots of bribes and inducements for us to abandon our own personal sense of compassion and humanity, just so they feel content with the position of their thumbs.

Thumbs aren't really up to doing that ass job properly, as many of us can testify. :icon_rabbit:

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