Monday, October 20, 2008

Bit of a Ranty Poo

I have never believed in censorship by government. I didn't like the banning of books such as Mao's Little Red Book, Portnoy's Complaint, Lady Chatterly's Lover or more recently Noddy because he and Big Ears apparently are not in a healthy heterosexual relationship yet there's something totally normal about Tellytubbies?

I cry when I see that Nazi footage of books being burned in the street or knowing that some children will never know the joy of Dr Seuss because it is written by an American Infidel or lament that children will not enjoy the genius of Harry Potter because it's deemed un-Christian. Similarly with movies and internet, I've closely monitored, advised but never actually 'banned' content let alone tolerated a government that might want to censor my access without a fight!

I haven't exactly played porn or realistically violent stuff in front of my kids but they've seen movies over their suggested age rating but only with me and after discussing the pros and cons, the content etc. Polanski's Macbeth was necessarily brutal but they were studying it in year 10 and it had an R rating, where's the sense in that! Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have Sharon Stone uncrossing her legs in front of a 9 year old (not that I saw anything anyway it was such a fleeting glimpse) but I haven't been precious.

Internet is different, I've wanted to know where they are, what they're looking at and access times were limited. In fact I didn't even get it connected until Clare was 17 and needed an online Biology text. With the advent of MSN and IM (and my ability to locate their 'history' files if I need to but never have) I've been careful with how they access the net. Mine to my knowledge, have never been subjected to bullying or predatory behaviour. Unlike Skype where some guy called Arun from Iran is convinced his member is large enough to satisfy me if only I'll just say 'hello'.

I find the violence of some computer games confronting and it irks me sometimes to see the adeptness of my 8 year old nephew blowing beasties to bits with a variety of weapons but who knows, the kid might end up being a fighter pilot, games designer, systems analyst or working in an abattoir and will need the skills.

The Rudd Government are going to mandate internet censorship. Moves are afoot to implement compulsory cyber-safety that will require ISPs to offer a clean feed Internet service to all homes, schools and public Internet points accessible by children. Now I do not want any children to become the victims of bullying or paedophiles or any type of predatory behaviour but this is the world in which we live. We need to educate children to 'deal' with this, much like 'stranger danger', to draw it to the attention of a responsible grown up and catch the bastards at it. But mandatory? Please. It's a parent's responsibility to monitor their children's internet, reading material. And a school's responsibility to ensure that access to unacceptable sites is monitored. The erosion of parent's rights is really beginning to bug me and I think responsible for much of the undisciplined behaviour we see in young adults. Then I did go through a period where I felt parents should be licensed to breed and I guess that's the strongest regulation there is.


I remember finding some of the most disgusting porn under Adam's mattress when he was about 10. It had been left by builders across the road and biker boy had found it whilst conquering their massive sand dump with his BMX. Not your glossy FHM or Penthouse revelations but "My girlfriend in her S & M gear" tacky and ugly stuff. Clever boy hid it under the mattress because she who must be obeyed would never have the gaul to look there despite changing this sheets every week. It was even more clever than that, he hid three magazines under the mattress on the top bunk in clear view! Wicked smaht he was! We ended up looking at it together and talking about how inappropriate it was and he admitted that it was curiosity about the female anatomy that had him interested. Should have bought him the Joy of Sex much earlier!

Seriously though. The Howard Government made free software available to parents as a disk nanny but to actually force ISP's to vet content? This won't cover chat rooms and much international content where kids are indeed predated upon and is as likely to be as successful as the 'nuisance call' list (just received a call from someone wanting me to do a survey who just unceremoniously hung up when I said I had no children of school age and I'm supposed to be 'on the list'). I'm getting my phone disconnected soon. Only my Mother in Law rings me on it anyway.

Now much as I like my slightly left of centre views, I am not a communist or a full blown socialist and I don't want to be censored or over-regulated. (Ces, you didn't hear that, I'm a full blown Stalinist and don't you forget it!)

I don't want my internet mandatorily controlled any more than I want literature banned or Heinz Mayonnaise and Fair Trade Coffee removed from the shelves of Coles, which they did and I'm not happy Jan. Do you think my boycott of Coles will affect their buying policy?

Not only that but blanket vetting will kill upload and download speeds as if it isn't slow enough. Do it for schools, (why kids need access to anything other than academic sites I have no idea) do it for public internet cafes on delegated machines used by under 15's but homes are the domain of individuals and the responsibility of parental guidance (sigh).

You know? I think much of it has to do with the ineptitude policy makers (and dare I say some teachers and parents) in understanding the net. For me, Facebook has been something of a revalation . . I know more about what my kids get up to through following their photo tags and comments than when I'm asleep whilst they're running amok in the pool room (that is definitely my word this week I've used it a few times, amok, amok, amok!)

Of all the regulations in all of the world, why this infringement on freedom when we berated the Chinese so hard for vetting internet access during the Olympics, there's an unacceptable double standard here and my letter to government is already in the post (yep, I had to do a written submission on internet censorship - go figure!). Censorship doesn't work. The most censored nations, remain the most ignorant. And whether you like it or not, kids are smart, way smarter than policy makers and they will find a way to access what they want.

Having said that, I wouldn't mind the Government preventing that Russian woman from emailing me on a daily basis because she wants to marry me or tackling the bank with whom I do not bank, constantly asking me to 'confirm' my account details! Nah, that would be too productive.

43 comments:

Miles McClagan said...

I have nothing to say about Noddy other than Ricky Gervais favourite joke of all time is

Q. Why does Noddy wear a big hat with a bell on it, big floppy shoes and speak in a high pitched voice?

A. Because he's a wanker (well, it's not wanker, but you get the idea...)

Thriftcriminal said...

My fav Ricky joke is:

"I think that Stephen hawking is a bit pretentious, I mean he comes from Kent and talks with an american accent. Wanker."

On censorship: Ah, thaking the easiest route as all politicians will. Personally I'd like to see them using de interweb to snare the sick bastards out there and then flay them alive, dip them in caustic soda before firing them into the center of a volcano.

The issue I have is that people with a bit of a yen outside of the ordinary may get a little bored with the standard material out there, so they push the boundaries. No-one pushes back, so the boundary gets pushed further and further. This isn't everyone, but there are those out there that end up with appetites that they might not have fully developed without easy access to wide rangin cruddy smut. A line should be drawn that is well back from the really dangerous levels and that line should be maintained.

In short, I should be put in charge where I can rule all with an iron fist.

Ces said...

Wow, I read all of it and thank you for the special mention as if I am going to get all over you for your leftist, socialist, communist, nudist, Baptist, fascist, Bathist, realist, artist, Marxist, Stalinist stands. But I am aghast, you have same-sex marriage in Australia?! Without my glasses, at first I thought I was reading "Bit of Panty Poo". You crack me up!

Baino said...

Miley . .I grew up with Noddy at worst he is gender confused or his testicles haven't yet dropped! At worst he has short man syndrome. (Slightly curious about your sexual orientation given the photo!) C'mon what's the big deal with a Big Ears sleepover! Nobody complained about Pooh and Piglet!

See what you've started!

Thrifty . .you do make me giggle and that's not something a woman of my age is supposed to do. I'm supposed to laugh politely. AND that's why this new thing won't cover chat lines or Facebook, Bebo, MySpace etc. because the paedophile units need them to snare the bad guys. It will however catch you out downloading via limewire (not exactly life threatening).

So are you agreeing with this? As the father of younglings do you monitor internet access? There are plenty of voluntary internet nanny programs out there. God those
Thrifty kids are in for a hard time!

I'm such a nit. I post these things then want to have a long discussion over a red or chardy about their virtue or danger.


Sadly Ces, same sex marriage is not allowed here (just a matter of time) and I wouldn't dare inflict my nude persona on my closest friends let alone my blogpals. Instant blogdeath! For God's sake woman . .first rule of blogging . . wear your glasses! (I constantly lose my black frames on my black kitchen bench) And don't mention Pants or ol' Thrifty will begin spruiking his Thriftypants! (http://396553.spreadshirt.net/en/GB/Shop) DOH! I am a spruiker!

Grannymar said...

Heard on the radio (BBC) over the weekend the latest idea from our 'wonderful government' is that if you buy a Pay-as-you-Go mobile phone you need to bring a Passport!!!!!

Thriftcriminal said...

Well currently I have the technology, but by the time they get around to owning a mobile phone I'd say the handsets will feature easy access to the net that I cannot police. I think a sensible talk and an open relationship with the sproggies is at least a good footing from which to try and keep them safe. That said I could see myself butting heads with my eldest in her teenage years (more so than I already do, oh dear...)

Bear Naked said...

Typical government mish mash.
I am getting very close to the idea that I would like to move somewhere (anywhere)away from *those who know what is best* and become a hermit or maybe a monk.
I have got to find me a nice deserted island soon.
The only banning that should be done is to ban all the politicians in the world.
My dos pesos worth.

Bear((( )))

Quickroute said...

For every piece of internet security out there is a hack so even if you censor the internet it will be hacked open. I agree the effort should be on finding and punishing the sickos and criminals and making it very public so they are dissuaded from logging on in the first place

Lehners in France said...

Wow talk about a "Nanny State," I agree totally that if kids aren't aware of any dangers out there they will have no fears. Wrapping them in cotton wool will do nothing for their education and yes it is upto the parents to provide that education.

You sound like a great Mum and it seems you've done a sterling job of bringing your kids up on you own. I'm sure their dad would be proud of you all. Debs x

Ces said...

But isn't that what socialists want? They want a government who will mother them and regulate everything for the good of the masses?

Maxi Cane said...

I would say censorship is gay, but it'll probably get censored.

Moon said...

I am a huge user of Facebook (feel free to add me if you want) I love it for keeping in touch, and a voyeurs views of my friends life. It's a tough topic, I was exposed to porn (most male kids find it somewhere), watch x rated violent movies etc, and I am a well balanced individual, that knows what is right and wrong. It does worry me, if I was to have kids, that the internet can be a very open place, and I certainly want control over what my children look at, and who they are talking with .....

But remember, even with censorship, this sickos are still around, and unbalanced people will always be influenced...

Nick said...

I'm sure you're right, whatever is censored, kids will find a way to access it anyway. And the best defence against unsavoury material is not to censor it but for kids to be taught the sort of values that let them work out for themselves what's positive and what isn't.

laughingwolf said...

agreed, on all fronts, baino...

as for same sex marriage: legal in canada, we do do SOME things right

yeah, i'm straight, but have pals of all five sexes...

as for the cartoon characters, i know nada of them... but c'mon! they ARE cartoons, ffs! grrrrrrrrrr

Jay said...

I can't even finish reading your excellent article because my blood pressure is rising to dangerous levels.

I am INCENSED about the erosion of parents' rights. I am INCENSED about the erosion of my own rights. By all means offer a service, but to force everyone to be nannied by some ... oooh, I nearly said a rude word there, and then where would I be?

On some internet blacklist somewhere no doubt.

GAH!!!!

Baino said...

Grannymar we have similar legislation here ID for everything due to new Anti Terrorist and Money Laundering Laws. Can't buy a drink without ID! (nah not quite that bad)

Thrifty you're right, kids will always be ahead of the technology their fuddy duddy pollies will want to monitor.

Bit drastic there bear! You might have to watch your site cos it's got the word 'naked' in it! Do they have broadband on desert islands and monasteries?

Quickie, that's my feeling but the fact that chat rooms will remain open means that predators will still have the most popular method to access chidren.

It's getting that way Debs. There's very little difference between the politics of our so called Labour government and their conservative counterparts. Mine aren't perfect but they have good values and a sense of responsibility (well sometimes).

Ces, I guess that is what socialists want but being a centimetre left of centre doesn't make me a socialist. I'm a social democrat and believe in tax funded welfare, education and health. Not control over my lifestyle choices.

Not on this site Maxi unless you're that Supershadow Star Wars twat! He just got censored big time!

Moon, I'll find you. I enjoy Facebook as well. It helps me keep an eye on what my two are up to! And predators were around long before the internet, they just use a modem rather than a raincoat these days!

Unfortunately, Nick there are many irresponsible parents out there who simply either don't understand the technology so are unable to monitor kids access or do not care what their kids are up to. I see that as an abrogation of parental responsibility not an issue for Government. Give parents free 'internet' lessons rather than putting the onus on ISP's to blacklist content. I'm still now sure how it's going to work.

Mmm not sure how we got same sex marriage going here Wuff but . . like I said it's only a matter of time. Noddy and Big Ears are ancient cartoons. There was a furor because Big Ears was much older than Noddy but they spent a lot of time together. Totally innocent. I believe it's back on the shelves now!

English Mum said...

I'm totally with you on censorship for my children. I want to be the one who decides what my children see and why. With their being only 13 and 10, they have very limited internet access - they're only allowed on the laptop when we're in the room and #1 has an email account which he uses very occasionally to email my Mum and Dad. We're pretty rural here, which helps - not many of their friends would be on MSN or whatever. I occasionally let them watch stuff that's a bit over their age recommendation, such as King Arthur, which was a bit gory, but we had the discussion about it being only acting and tomato sauce and all that.

We don't have porn in the house, either magazines or films, simply because neither me or Hubby are into them, but we have proper, open conversations at the dinner table about all sorts of stuff, and I hope they'd feel able to ask me most things.

Erm, I'm rambling now. Anyway, basically I agree. So there.

steph said...

I love rants!

And I'm proud to say, I've been a guest at a same sex wedding in Ireland.

*slips off still smirking at Adam's antics, aged 10*

kj said...

hey! i know about same sex marriages! i appreciate your comments, baino, on that, on freedom of choice, and on social democracy! plus my faith in free market health care has shriveled to a pruny pea. :)

Baino said...

EM exactly. I've been 'prudent' with mine but not overly restrictive. Discussions are the best way to get your message across and I know that mine will discuss their issues with me if need be. I don't need the Government's permission to vet their internet meanderings (although sometimes I with Adam's Facebook site was a little less 'revealing'.

WellSteph, I'm good at ranting! And he's not the Messiah he's just a very naughty boy!

kj I thought you might! Well I think we're of a similar mind. Will be interesting to see what transpires when Obama wins the election! I hear health is high on the agenda.

Paddy Bloggit said...

A real step into the Dark Ages Baino ... so much for 'educating'

George Orwell's "1984" comes to mind.

This world of ours is getting worse not better.

Christopher said...

Baino, as someone who works in a library this hits a serious nerve for me, and I'm tickled to see such intelligent, honest, thoughtful consideration and a lot to make me laugh not just from you but other commenters as well. I'm just sorry I got here so late.
I'm surprised the US government hasn't come up with this same idea themselves, but although we have an even worse law called the PATRIOT Act that, among other things, allows the government to seize library records. As if a list of the books someone's checked out is ever going to prove they've committed a crime.
The final line of the report you link to says tests have determined that filters will "incorrectly block about 10,000 pages from one million". It's not the quantity that matters, though--it's the quality. Filters have been known to block information on breast cancer while still allowing some porn to slip through. And some block some (but never all) porn while not blocking racist hate speech.
This is an issue libraries have been dealing with for years. Who decides what gets blocked, and why? Sickos and predators should be blocked, and pursued, and prosecuted. I don't know a single librarian who'd disagree with that. But parents like you are a shining example of how to deal with those problems in a reasonable way, rather than resorting to some sweeping plan that causes a lot of unnecessary harm to innocent people.

Miladysa said...

I love the freedom of the internet and would hate to see it censored.

At the same time, having a young child and grandchildren I know from personal experience what kind of nasty stuff turns up on child orientated websites or website masquerading as such.

I think our government has a similar plan to yours - it could be the same thing I am not sure if some governments are joining forces on this?

From what you have said it does not seem to be a great idea.

BTW, I like Noddy, agree with same sex marriages - never thought who you shared an orgasm with has any bearing on anything whatsoever and yes Ces, I am one of those 'horrible' socialists although I think you have us all wrong! :D

Ces said...

I am thinking of quiting my high stress job when Obama wins, especially if there will be government sponsored healthcare. Why should I push myself to succeed when I will only be punished with high taxes? I call it the upcoming age of mediocrity, of trickle up poverty. I may just concentrate on drawing and painting. We will be on the lower income bracket, don't have to pay taxes and still get a refund! My kids don't have to pay for school lunches. Yes, I think I have pushed myself too much. It's time I start relaxing. I am entitled to it. I think those high-paid liberal professionals should indeed spread the wealth. It is my turn. If they pay for my healthcare and give me refunds for paying nothing, I don't give a rat's ass what homosexuals do away from my view.

Baino said...

Sorry Jay, missed you there too (I'm being naughty and having a quick squizz at work) I am also incensed but am now thinking how we can 'educate' less informed parents on how to prepare their children for predatory behavior on the web.

True Chris, I remember your post on banned books. So silly when you look at some of the content. Over here there was an attempt to ban some islamist books that were deemed to 'incite'. A couple were voluntarily removed from shelves yet anyone can get onto the internet and learn how to make a bomb! Basically governments are ill informed (I know I used to work for a Government IT department an the Minister didn't have a clue!) and the public servants in these support positions are constantly coming up with new ways to retain their jobs!

Miladysa, it's a case of vigilance whether you're a parent or a grandparent. Just keep an eye out.

Oh Ces you little pocket rocket! You won't quit your job, you love it and Health care needs you! You'll also benefit from 'tax breaks' and cheaper social services. Frankly if you sold your amazingly beautiful drawings and paintings you'd be filthy rich and paying tax wouldn't bother you a jot!

Babysis said...

Of course I agree with you Baino.

Christopher - you're quite right too - once I wanted some pictures of butterflies for a project - googled "butterflies" and what popped up - a porn sight called "Butterflies"....disappointed to say the least!

Bimbimbie said...

Tsup*!* Everyone should have woken up to Rudd when he started talking Chinese - he's a dictator and a prude! Family first Party are behind all this doing deals with Rudd and the alchopop tax they've wanted the internet cleaned up for ages now ... well how about some of that money that is being dished out to families get spent on nanny filters for heaven sakes! Seriously it will start with filters on Porn then anything else that Rudd decides he doesn't agree with on goes another filter. We should all be very worried - gawd Baino you wouldn't be able to post such a thought on censorship if this gets through*!*

Baino said...

Paddy missed you there too. These long comments are causing me havoc! Definitely Orwellian. One thing that did interest me was the declaration that school internet needed to be monitored. I would have hoped that all schools had regulated internet.

Babysis, good cos I'm right, when I'm not left that is.

Bimbimbie you're right. It starts with small infractions and develops so slowly that we don't notice it happening. Damn the religious right, how can they possibly be in bed with what should be the labour left? Tell you politics is for the birds! Tsup!!!!

Megan said...

I remember the first time I caught the offspring with the online porn. Scared the bejasus out of me. Not because he was looking at it, but because of the incredible leaps and bounds ahead it had taken since I first saw a Playboy.

We are still talking about it...

Megan said...

And I can happily say he is in his room right now reading 'Guards! Guards!' instead of surfing the net...

Thriftcriminal said...

Oh and Teletubbies got banned in Poland on account of one of them being a bit gay or something

Ces said...

Google this: Whithouse.com

People never get it. Democrats never cut taxes for 95% or for 30%. Barack Hussein Obama voted to raise taxes on those who earned $40,000. People won't admit it. We have a politics of personal interest in the US. Most people vote for a candidate because of a single issue like: same sex marriage, abortion, because they are black or he's a brother, etc. It is never who is good for the country. The liberals here are so emotional that they fail to read and find out facts for themselves. Listen to them when they discuss things. It's all emotion, not facts and if they cite "facts" they end up to be propaganda and unsubstantiated claims. All I want is for the next person to read gather their own facts, not let the media filter facts and not get their news from People Magazine, MTV and Saturday Night Live. America will get the politicians they deserve. I have friends and relatives who are Democrats and somehow their choice do not bother me because they are thoughtful, not like the dones. That's it. Enough politics for me in the blogs. It really leads to nowhere but animosity, even breaks friendships.

Bimbimbie said...

Just you wait till they try banning the birdies from viewing their favourite nature site. They tell me that they would make Hitchcock's The Birds look like a cartoon*!*Tsup

feeling curious? go on take a peep you are over 18 aren't you ;)


www.abc.net.au/science/news/enviro/EnviroRepublish_36685

Bimbimbie said...

36685

oops*!*

Miles McClagan said...

(Slightly curious about your sexual orientation given the photo!)

No, that's Lolo Jones - the hurdler who fell on her arse giving that bush pig girl the silver at the Olympics. I kind of fancy her, but I just really love the photo a lot - just to get back on Ricky Gervais, my favourite bit of his stand up is his Humpty Dumpty routine

"You sent HOW many horses? ALL of them? To fix one egg? What if the French invade..."

Gledwood said...

our govt seems intent in setting up the infrastructure for a police state: cctv cameras everywhere... a bill going through parliament right now enabling the govt to monitor every email and phone conversation in this country... etc etc

i hate living in a world like this!!

AARGH!!

Baino said...

Megs, whether it's on the net or in a brown paper bag, they'll find it. Before you know it he'll be loved up in his room with a living doll and you'll just have to take a back seat!

Thrifty I just have a problem because I once attempted to make outfits for my sister and her family who decided to go to a fancy dress as Tellytubbies - hate the feckers - fortunately her sister in law turned up and saved the day. I still have the photo of the Babysis brood in their ridiculous outfits!

Ces, point taken hun. And I think you're so right about the single issue. it's only natural to vote for policy that has a 'personal' meaning. Down the line, it's so important to realise that it's not the figurehead that rules the roost, veto or no veto, it's the party and the public service machine behind them. We/You should vote for a principle and a government not a black man and an ex president's wife or a returned serviceman and a hockey 'mom'. And you stay feisty girl! It's what I like about you the most. (and you're talent, and intellect and family values . . bla bla)

Bimbimbie, I couldn't open the link. I'll have a look on my sooper fast machine at work tomorrow.

Miley, you're obviously more au fait with the Gervaister than I (I have the memory of a goldfish) so in retaliation . .just go get me a shrubbery . .or a herring or someting useful. Pity about the picture, you make a very lovely tranny!

Steady Gleddie. Every email? Hopefully they'll get that damn Russian woman that wants to marry me . .what part of "I am not gay" doesn't she understand!

OK folks that's enough on this post. It always surprises me which posts get the most comments. 36 is my record so let sleeping dogs lie. I like you all, silly, democrat, republican, libertarian, whatever . . .it's fun remember! And I must watch the back catalogue of The Office . .

laughingwolf said...

freaking idiots, all over!

good to know it's back on shelves....

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Wow, you really got them going here, Bains! The whole purpose of the net was about freedom and access, to censor it is to undermine the purpose and spirit of it's original creation. I don't think the censorship should be happening on the net. And I do not believe it's appropriate for governments to do stuff like this. It smacks of nanny state stuff and reeks of facism.

On the flip side, I hear in the UK they're looking to introduce legislation that will give the govt access to who you skype and email and when you do it. They did want to keep blanket records of content but that's been blown out by practicality as much as EU privacy rulings.

Miladysa said...

Am I one of the trouble causers?

Christopher said...

Ces, that's a pretty sweeping condemnation when you say, "liberals here are so emotional that they fail to read and find out facts for themselves". I know plenty of conservatives who are the same way. They vote primarily based on a single issue, or a small collection of issues, usually social issues, limiting the freedoms of others based on sexual orientation, gender, or religion.
Obviously failing to find out the facts isn't limited to liberals.

Baino said...

AV I have a sneaking suspicion that every time I Skype or Google there's a little widget capturing at the very least my identity. If you value your privacy - get off the net I say!

Miladysa, you know you're nothing but trouble!

Chris, there are strong opinions on each side of the fence and as long as commenters aren't rude, I'm happy to hear both sides of the story.

THE END

kj said...

response to miladysa: hardly...!