Archive for November, 2007

JS:TO blasphemy case update

Stephen Green’s High Court blasphemy appeal against the BBC begins on Tuesday.

Can you hear a ringing sound? That is the death knell of the blasphemy law in the UK.

Swedish mail won’t handle Modog

The Local reports that the Swedish postal service and a private distributor have refused to deliver a party newspaper because it contains a copy of Lars Vilks’ Modog.

The far-right Sweden Democrats wanted to post their SD-Kuriren in the southern town of Svedala, but the post office decided it posed a security risk. A spokesman for Posten said:

We want to protect the safety of our mail carriers. This illustration has provoked reactions that have led to death threatsv

Now the marketing company Svensk Direktreklam have also refused to deliver the newspaper, although they were less frank about their reasons. They stated that they would only distribute material from Sweden’s current parliamentary parties.

Yeah, right.

Censorship in Spain

Not all censorship is religious, as this story from Spain shows.

Two cartoonists have been fined 3,000 Euros each for offending the royal family with this front-page gag:


The caption reads, “Do you realise if you get pregnant this will be the closest thing to work I’ve done in my whole life.”

El Jueves was immediately pulled from the shelves by police, and Guillermo Torres and Manel Fontdevila were hauled up before the Spanish beak, who judged that they “had vilified the crown in the most gratuitous and unnecessary way.”

Poor Prince Felipe and Letizia!

(Hat tip Pickled Politics)

UPDATE: (15 Nov) The cartoonists intend to appeal.

Bari: Satanic Verses “should have been pulped”

In an interview with the Telegraph, the head of the Muslim Council of Britain Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari complains that the government and media are creating “an air of suspicion and unease” about the Muslim community”. He appears to be blissfully unaware of his own contribution to this atmosphere.

Asked about Salman Rushdie’s knighthood, he said:

He caused a huge amount of distress and discordance with his book, it should have been pulped.

His attitude to Islamic hate literature, however, is far more liberal-minded:

The bookshops are independent businesses. We can’t just go in and tell them what to sell … I will see what books they keep, if they have one book which looks like it is inciting hatred, do they have counter books on the same shelf?

Fair enough. Pity he cannot see the contradiction.

New G.I. Jonny video

The latest safe-sex awareness video by BBC Learning and the Terence Higgins Trust is set to outrage the usual suspects. The first one, GI Jonny and Captain Bareback, was a double-meaning laden spooge fest which upset both the National Confederation of Parent Teachers Associations and Mediawatch-UK.

This one, called “Good Advice”, is a complete departure, stylistically, but equally funny. A young man receives sex tips from his mum whilst in flagrante.

It is not officially released until Monday, but MWW readers can see an exclusive preview here.

Beyer makes a tit of himself (again)

According to the Daily Mail, ITV has been “bombarded” with complaints about Trinny and Susannah’s Undress The Nation.

The show was about breasts, and it featured many of them. All before the 9 o’clock watershed! When impressionable youngster might be watching!

Smut campaigner “Massah” John Beyer of Mediawatch-UK was wheeled out say something, and say something he did:

I have had a lot of calls from people who were surprised by the level of nudity in the programme.

The number of topless women in a programme is likely to be very offensive to a lot of people. Ofcom has a duty to protect young people from this kind of thing.

But it looks like the Whitehouse-wannabe may have misjudged his constituency this time. At the time of writing, over 50 commenters have contributed to Daily Mail website – and the overwhelming majority are of the what’s-all-the-fuss-about variety.

They make heartening reading, especially as they come from the middle-England demographic which is Mediawatch-UK’s natural recruiting ground. Here is a selection:

I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was done in good taste, it is the human body afterall get over it you prudes and get a life.
– Lizzy, Wigan

When women’s breasts cause such outrage, it shows what a backwards nation we are and always will be. Grow up!
– Freddie, Dorset, England

For goodness’ sake, it’s only some boobs! Same old fuddy-duddies whinging about natural parts of our anatomy. I watched it with my two eldest daughters (aged 10 and 12), and didn’t have a hard time explaining they’re just parts of our body, like arms and legs. Fancy getting so wound up over some breasts, ladies – we’ve all got them, time to get used to the fact I think!
– Lisa Akrigg, West Yorkshire, UK

So much violence and vile behaviour on TV and people worry about a few breasts! How might nudity harm a child?
– Jane, Oxford

When is the repeat showing?
– Denis, Glasgow

More time wasted on Jesus T-shirt

jesus was a cunt
From The Scotsman: an Edinburgh shop owner who was charged with “religious prejudice” for selling a Cradle of Filth t-shirt to an undercover policeman will not face trial after all.

Daniel Moore, owner of the Electric Cabaret, had ordered a number of the shirts for some customers. It depicts a masturbating nun on the front, and the words “Jesus is a cunt” on the back.

After the Edinburgh Sheriff Court decided not to prosecute, Moore said:

I don’t think it should ever have gone as far as it did. I knew I was innocent all along – this has been a waste of money.

The T-shirt is band merchandise and my customers chose to order it. I told the guy that bought it that he shouldn’t wear it on the street.

He may still face a written warning or a fine of up to £100.

The T-shirt has a history of causing offence behind it, stretching back to 1997.

Neurobash to provide music for Modog opera

Swedish electro-pop band Neurobash have agreed to work alongside Lars Vilks to produce a musical based on the Modog affair (see below).

Vilks will provide the text and Neurobash the music. According to the band’s website, there are about ten artists involved in the project so far. They plan to release it in the first half of 2008.

Daniel the keyboard player explains:

This is really a debate about democracy and censorship of art. We think these are important themes to discuss, hence we have accepted to contribute to the forthcoming musical

Blowing nun causes upset in NZ

We have already mentioned how upset Australian Catholics were about Californication – the series which opens with a scene of a nun giving a blowjob to the main character. Now it’s New Zealand Catholics and Jews who are urging a week-long boycott of the entire channel (TV3) for daring to show such a nasty programme.

Yes, religious Jews, eager to show solidarity with fellow faith-heads, have joined in the outrage. Harold Klug, Co-Chair of the Council of Chistians and Jews, said:

Freedom of expression is a fundamental right. But TV3 is intentionally insulting and hurting large numbers of religious people in this country. We’re asking the general public to stand with us in an appropriate response – not watching TV3 for a week.

Rev John McCaul, his Christian counterpart, said:

TV3’s actions may be legal, but they’re morally wrong. We encourage people to change the channel, and write a letter to TV3.

Mohammed the musical to become a reality

Lars Vilks, the Swedish artist who created the Modog drawings, has said that he will go ahead with plans to create a musical featuring Mohammed, the inventor of Islam.

Mohammed is also a superstar in the modern sense of the term. […] We haven’t decided yet if Mohammed will be portrayed by one or several people.

The Swedish Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will also feature. There will be an elegy by “The Choir of the Offended”.

Vilks remains characteristically calm in the face of further potential death threats:

No, I’m not taking this too seriously. Ninety-nine percent is pure scare tactics. People will understand that this is a positive debate. A sense of humour about this has been missing so far.

It is part of the rules of the game to be able to criticise religion and politics. It is nothing personal and I do not have it in for anyone.

The working title for the musical is “Dogs”.