Was deeply moved by this picture of Erwin Schimitzek, a homosexual young man who was just 24 years of age when he died in Auschwitz concentration camp. What I found most moving is not that he was a victim of human scum but that better than his oppressors he stands with dignity, pride and his spirit undefeated.
Was happy this morning hearing the Northern Territory first minister acknowledge the harm caused by the territory’s ‘buggery laws’ which were in place as late as 1983.
‘Whosoever shall be convicted of the abominable crime of buggery, committed either with mankind or any animal, shall be liable to be imprisoned for life with hard labour.’
In his speech the NT first minister said,
“The brutality of that language. More so, the brutality of the message: You are not worthy. You are not welcome. You are an abomination.”
As an older same-gender-attracted person I can say that is precisely what young gays had to endure but worse still was the resultant choice gay youth were forced to make – that been that to be accepted and loved by family, friends and community a same-gender-attracted young person had no choice other than to self-hate. The results were often disastrous and long-lasting because a person long socialised into self-loathing will make choices that are self-loathing, including trying to be like everyone else and going out with and even marrying a person of the opposite gender. This can lead to dangerous situations where the denied self will seek expression in any way available and possible as I think is the reason the Catholic church has experienced high levels of sex abuse problems. A Polish priest who a few years ago ‘came out’ and introduced his Spanish manfriend said that in his opinion about half of all priests are gay. I think it correct law is upheld but also that greater compassion should be shown to people who themselves are the victims of their wrong belief they could live a life that is against nature. Unfortunately we still live in a cruel self-righteous world and even if this initiative of the NT government is welcome it remains there is still a long way to go and there is a danger we are not becoming a freer more accepting society but rather one where the LGBTQI community has simply been admitted into the ranks of mainstream oppressors and so neutered as a movement that could challenge limitations on freedom of expression for example. As the saying goes – there is no free lunch and gay males may find one day that same-gender marriage was an overpriced hamburger from Greasy Jill’s takeaway.
Below is a link to a video of Harry Hay (founder of the first American gay rights movement) speaking on the subject of gay youth and self-hate.
There has been much reporting of British cartoon character Peppa Pig upsetting the Chinese government and at face value the push to ban the cute little piggy created for the amusement of toddlers would appear over the top until we put hilarity aside and think about what could be the problem the Chinese government has identified and that could be so serious they would risk appearing ridiculous rather than letting the problem grow any further.
The Chinese state media has described Peppa Pig as ‘subversive’ and that Peppa “had become an unexpected cultural icon” for a “subculture” of idle youth, “people who run counter to the mainstream value and are usually poorly educated with no stable job, unruly slackers roaming around, and the antithesis of the young generation the Party tries to cultivate.” (People’s Daily as reported by Japantimes.)
The important bit in the above statement is ‘young generation the Party tries to cultivate’ and you have to put that in the context of China’s president Xi Jingping’s recently making himself president for life. The political status quo the Chinese government thought was established based on the brutally enforced (remember Tiananmen Square) belief society as organized and controlled by a centralized government is as perfect as a human community can be is showing cracks caused by the mistaken belief people can be kept like pigs in a pen with no desire beyond material security. They fail to recognize that the natural state of any sentient being is freedom, even pigs with their snouts in the troth will run away if you leave the gate open, and any attempt to keep people in servitude to those in power will and always has, failed.
The Chinese government has recognized that any meaning can be attributed to any symbol and that meaning is transferred to whoever acquires that symbol. Dissent will always find a way and the attack on Peppa Pig is as such an act of desperation and an acknowledgement the people and especially the younger generation have withdrawn consent and will use any means possible to achieve freedom and that status of ‘world citizen’ youth in liberal democracies now claim as theirs.
Talking about big government, we here in Australia are far from perfect with the government recently floating a trial balloon to access public reaction to the possibility the Defense Signals Directorate (DSD) be given the right to intercept domestic communications. The DSD’s role is to intercept communications outside of Australia and this proposed expansion of their (legal) ability of surveillance was sort of ‘leaked’ to the media. Oopsie – now lets see what happens. Clearly there is a push towards total surveillance and one that must be resisted if we don’t want the Chinese model to become world standard and that can be by challenging the government’s most often used excuses for the ever expanding laws limiting freedom of speech and communications. Where is the evidence that throwing away rights will result in a safer society? History tells us the exact opposite will more than likely be the outcome.
OK and further to my previous post about homo-erotic subtext in comic strips such as ‘Alix’ and ‘Tintin’ I’ll chuck in this page from a Tintin rip-off – ‘Tintin in Thailand’.
Remember how in ‘Tintin in Tibet’, Tintin finds his friend Chang and rescues him from the Yeti (abominable snow monkey) who was keeping Chang prisoner in a cave for some unknown reason. The Yeti could have had him for breakfast. An explanation was needed and was provided by whoever penned this rather clumsy rip-off in which Tintin travels to Thailand and finds Chang working in a brothel…