Adagio di molto

1 Apr

The first thing I saw this morning when I walked out of my bedroom onto the veranda of the house where I’m staying was this:DSCN1378

I found my iPod and while I watched the morning I listened to this:

Later on, because I couldn’t leave the Sibelius alone, I listened again on my iPod while watching a performance of the violin concerto on YouTube . Because I couldn’t hear anything except the music, Mrs Chook was able to take this:sibelius


I don’t know how I would adjust if my world had to be one without music. Yet, as HG and I agreed in an exchange here, one of the first things to go when we don’t want to feel anything, is music.

I know very little about my father, but I do know he was a drummer in a band. Feckless, I gather. He didn’t give me anything much, but I suspect it’s from him I inherited my love of music, and an eclectic taste as well, perhaps.

For that, I can say thank you.

132 Responses to “Adagio di molto”

  1. gerard oosterman April 1, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    The Sibelius Violin concerto is one of the finest pieces of music.
    It gives hope to all of us.


    • gerard oosterman April 1, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

      I agree Gerard. Just saw ‘Performance’ with the Beethoven Opus 131 being performed.
      The Sibelius and Beethoven Violin concerto are my most revered pieces of music.


  2. helvityni April 1, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    Jennifer, I love Sibelius as much as I love Leonard :)Different kind of love, I might say…
    I liked the movie Performance, Phillip Seymour Hoffman is such a wonderful actor, they were all good. The movie is about music, creativity and to some extent about aging, Hoffman’s movie daughter was a delight too, Imogen something…


  3. 8 Degrees of Latitude April 1, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    Sibelius’ violin concerto is a very moving piece of music, and ideal for a long-vista misty morning. Thanks for the words Jennifer.


  4. Elisabeth April 1, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    Ah the music, such joy, but I also find looking at and reading this post that I’m in awe at the tidiness of the room in which you sit. Oh to live thus, without clutter.

    And it’s good to hear your father left you something of real value.


    • Jennifer Wilson April 1, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

      It’s not my house! I’m only staying here. Can’t claim credit for tidyness!


  5. doug quixote April 2, 2013 at 12:22 am #

    The Beethoven Violin Concerto is definitely a desert island piece for me. Music is such an integral part of my life, but the soundtrack is there in my mind – I don’t really need to hear it played : but each (virtuoso ) performer brings something different to the ear . . . that being said, it is David Oistrach’s performance of the Beethoven that does it for me.


  6. paul walter April 2, 2013 at 2:51 am #

    An Easter for music.. just left the radio on ABC for the last five days, except for some medieval music on FB someone offered up.
    Beautiful photographs.
    Good on ewes, all knowing you are all normal helps.


  7. paul walter April 2, 2013 at 8:50 am #

    I could have said it is comforting to know there are other daft people as well.
    What a decode.


  8. atomou April 2, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    Sorry, mates. Here’s something from a boar: Sibs and Mahler play mainly music to wallow with.
    Boring, excessively melancholy, stuck in a rut, completely flattened out and vanquished by an anguish about… melancholy! I’d listen to it if I wanted to wallow in misery and despair, much like the Bachs and Hydens wallowed in divinity. I’d listen to anyone else but those two if I wanted to prop myself up, including the Bachs and the Hydens, though divinity leaves me unmoved. Their music, at least lifts the spirit. That of the Sibses and Mahlerses crush it and then leave you there, in the pits of the pits of pessimism and nay, nay, NAYsayerism!
    Much like the rest of their Nordic and Icelandic brother artists -you know who they are.

    That is not to say, however, that all technical criteria are not fulfilled by them so as to adorn their music scores with stars and elephant stamps as awards of great achievements. I said technical achievements. And such achievements -technical- are cold, frozen, iceberg-slow, groaning, grinding and whining for sympathy, yet they’d kill you if you tried to help them out of the hell hole they so love.

    People may fart in their quilts and they may love the warmth, but they should not be surprised to discover that others might find that warmth malodorous.

    So many other composers wrote music to express sadness! So many pieces of music that will show empathy yes, but will also help you heal and, at least for the duration of the piece, you will be given the encouragement and the requisite energy to get up and smile. To move. Had Sibs and Mahler (and any one of their arty brethren) written the Divine Comedy, they’d stop at the Inferno. Thank goodness it was Dante who, instead, took up the challenge of this magnificent and momentous work.

    Pessimism of logic is permissible. Pessimism of the spirit must be avoided at all costs.

    I hope I didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings – or disturbed their state of melancholy!
    Cheerioh, mates… and listen to Beethoven’s Ninth, with Schiller’s delightful song… of joy!


    • atomou April 2, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

      And, Jennifer, I reckon you could write better! You certainly write better words than Sibs writes music! Far more vibrant, more tones and emotions, far more variety and more bloody sense.

      An ancient Greek word that had me desperately scraping all the recesses of my brain to try and translate it adequately is the first word of Sappho’s most important poem, “Ode to Aphrodite” and it is “ποικιλόθρον῾” which means bugger all to you but it is a word that shows an artist what art is all about. It is a compound of two words ποικίλο and θρόνος and it is the first part that stuns the translator. In shamefully simplistic terms, it means “varied.” The second word simply means “throne,” The poem, after this goes, “…… immortal Aphrodite,daughter of Zeus,” etc. Thus, we may translate, Immortal aphrodite of the varied throne(!)
      No, by “varied” here, Sappho (and I’ve checked just about every translator on this and found them all wanting and so, I had to join them in that respect) means to say that Aphrodite’s throne was enormously varied in craft and achievement. After all, it is the throne upon which a goddess sits. I saw “caparisoned” and “begemmed” and all sorts of other failed efforts. After -what?- 20 years, I still don’t know how I could do any better than “splendid” which is so far from the original, it makes me crouch in a foetal position with shame. The poem is splendid but to call the throne “splendid” is to do an enormous injustice to Hermes, its craftsman.

      Sibs and the rest of whom I spoke above lack exactly that characteristic of the throne. Of brilliant but, more importantly, broad craftsmanship.


      • gerard oosterman April 2, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

        You are obviously having a breakdown. If you think creativity belongs in the arena of craftmanship only, I understand finally your total lack of it.


        • atomou April 2, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

          Let me rude to you, gerard because I really am only rude to morons: It is exactly what I said! Whilst the word is used by Sappho to describe the type of craftsmanship evident on Aphrodite’s throne, it is the core of the word, “broadness” that is important. With the composers… oh, why the fuck do I bother with such dead heads?
          Go bother your tag team mate, mate and leave the intelligent discussions to the intelligent!


          • atomou April 2, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

            And don’t expect me to respond to your facile shit ever again.


          • Elisabeth April 2, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

            It’s this sort of quality in conversation I object to. Calling people morons does not help any of us. As far as I’m concerned it alienates.


            • atomou April 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

              Elizabeth, but you do not object to the sickening sarcasm from gerard? He and I have a long history of this, with which I certainly do not want to pollute this lovely paddock. I had sworn I’d ignore the idiot no matter what but, alas, his love for a dirty fight is far greater than his pea brain.
              Be certain, however, that I shall never again dignify his vomit with a response.

              He was the reason why I hesitated for quite a while before joining this forum and I can promise you this, that if it gets so much out of hand as it did with the previous forum we crossed words, I shall be leaving.
              Bullshit annoys me just as much as it annoys anyone else.


              • atomou April 2, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

                Moron means baby; I must apologise to all the babies on the planet.


            • paul walter April 2, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

              The attack on Baroque music is a little uncalled for.
              We must yield to a higher sensibility, however.
              We grow weak in the presence of a remarkable mind, the like of which with we cannot conjure with in our state of unrefined and primitive simplicity.


              • atomou April 2, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

                No idea what you’re talking about, Pauly but if it moves your boat, you’re welcome to it.
                And, when all’s said and done, isn’t it all about what moves our own individual boat?
                Sibs can’t even pull me away from the river bank, let alone take me on an interesting journey.


            • Hypocritophobe April 2, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

              Perhaps some contributors have the appropriate skull size and attire to match the peaked hat on offer?

              I equally object to nannifying and sanitising to suit another blog owners agendas,beliefs and standards.Surely that is for your site?

              I also object to people who are prepared to openly bullshit, and then whinge when they are exposed and flamed for doing so.


  9. atomou April 2, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    Paganini was brilliant. But his brilliance did not express a broad range of emotions. Au contraire, in fact.


  10. Hypocritophobe April 2, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

    Do yourselves a favour.
    Inti Illmani with Paco Pena and John Williams.
    (Live if possible)


    • helvityni April 2, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

      Very good, all of them, Hypo…used to go a Spanish club in Sydney to listen to Paco Pena….


  11. doug quixote April 2, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

    To atomou : I understand what you mean about expressing the full panoply of human emotion. But if the only composer one can appreciate is Beethoven, one is sorely limited, paradoxically.

    I delight in the Baroque, Vivaldi and Handel in particular, I think mainly because a constant diet of Beethoven results in the same downside as a surfeit of anything will cause.

    Can one have too much Beethoven? Perhaps! I like to use the Baroque, and Mozart and Schubert,as a sorbet, to ensure I don’t suffer an overdose.


    • Hypocritophobe April 2, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

      Aaagh Vivaldi,
      Frankie Valley and the Four Seasons?


      • atomou April 2, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

        There is a… season for every type of music…


        • Hypocritophobe April 2, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

          Under Evan…


      • doug quixote April 2, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

        Should expect you to be a philistine. 🙂


        • Hypocritophobe April 3, 2013 at 10:42 am #

          Yep.There are boat loads of us heading south from the Philistine Islands to Australia’s ‘hope and glory’.
          You better stop the boats Mr Q.Before you know it you’ll be listening to my music collection whenever and wherever I choose.
          By the time I finish with your ears, you’ll be praying for Muzak.

          The earworms will wear you down.


          • atomou April 3, 2013 at 11:32 am #

            Oh, noooooooo!
            Muzak, please, save me! From Kylie the Anti-music Woman! And pluck those lethal earworms from her vocal cords!
            Love your take on Philistine Islands, Hypo! There are times when I just love visiting those lovely natural corrugations!
            Hang on! Is that Mr Q, I see over there, his arm wrapped most fondly around the trunk of a pachyderm?
            Surely not!


    • atomou April 2, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

      Oh, for goodness’ sake, DQ! Where did I say I only like Beeths?
      Read my post again! Gorrrrrd!
      Love Vivaldi and Handel. I also mention Bach and Hydn but I also said that I prefer pretty much every other composer to Sibs.
      And I listen to a lot of baroque. Not as much as other genres but yes, baroque is good. It’s Sibelius who doesn’t do much for me. There is so much absolutely fantastic music and I don’t just mean orchestral and symphonic. One could cover the walls of every house on the planet, with the CDs of Opera alone, let alone the stunning music of the Byzantines, the Indians, the Turks, the Israelis…
      I mean, what on earth are we talking about here?

      Jennifer voiced her opinion and so did others. All imminently valid and acceptable. Surely, you’re not going to deprive me of mine?

      I’ll let you know when I pull out one of Sibs’ CDs and we can have a party! OK?


      • doug quixote April 2, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

        Clearly I misunderstood you atomou! I have a cordial dislike of Wagner and Mahler, and of most 20th century “classical”.

        Let opinions bloom, like 100 flowers!


        • atomou April 3, 2013 at 12:10 am #

          Ataboy, dq! You’re learning!
          A bit of Wagner on your way to work at some dungeon isn’t too unpalatable but again, given the infinite choice available, why bother? Why eat greasy chips when the lovely restaurant will cover your salmon with caviar and capers for the same price?


    • atomou April 2, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

      Mozart is as close to my ideal as a composer could get. His Requiem sends me to tears every time, even though I’ve heard it thousands of times.

      Chinese music, japanese music, Persian music, russian…
      Madame Butterfly, Don Giovanni, Aida, The Barber, La Traviata, Figaro, Carmen, La Boheme, Magic Flute…
      Giselle, Swan Lake, Sleeping beauty, your namesake, Nutcracker…

      What ARE we talking about?


      • doug quixote April 2, 2013 at 11:56 pm #



        • atomou April 3, 2013 at 12:04 am #

          No, I mean what are we really talking about?


          • paul walter April 3, 2013 at 12:54 am #

            The tribulations of the Exceptional Person in a world of uniform mediocrity exclusively peopled by duplicitous cretins.


            • helvityni April 3, 2013 at 9:07 am #

              Paul, I’m happy to be mediocre, and even less but I claim my right to love anything that touches my heart, makes me feel better, more humane, connects me to other people…
              I claim my right to love Sibelius, Bach, Wagner’s operas,, Indian music, Carole King. Simon and Garfunkel, Pavarotti’s singing, Cesaria Evoria, Leonard Cohen, Paco Pena, Beethoven, Russian folk music…………………


              • paul walter April 3, 2013 at 9:16 am #

                I applaud you in advancing your claim and disclose that most of the multiplicity of musical forms that enhance your day are forms that likewise brighten mine, as I sit here listening to a little chamber piece on the ABC.
                Add medieval music and we are truly going places..


  12. hudsongodfrey April 3, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    So we’re talking to begin with about looking out at that landscape with clouds and listening to a certain kind of instrumental perhaps symphonic piece, Sibelius or Mozart, perhaps even Pink Floyd.

    I can totally see the connection between the clouds over the landscape and the act of listening to a passage of music that soars and pirouettes like the wafting and boiling of vapours through gullies and over ridges. One has only to close one’s eyes and the two seem to merge together into a single sense of being in through music.


    I’m also struck by the difference in the experience of other kinds of music we discussed earlier. Leonard Cohen perhaps Neil Young even Bob Dylan or Johnny Cash at times, and certainly too many contributions to mention from Blues and Folk genres add a narrative to the music that becomes the overwhelming focus for the music.

    There seems to me to be in symphonic music a little less communication of the same emotions I find present in songs about love loss and life. When the human voice ceases to be an instrument and the rhyme takes a secondary place to the narrative meaning of what is being related it is almost as if we’re talking about two completely independent art forms. Both powerfully evocative, but uniquely different and separated by the degree to which we connect with them in quite different ways.

    I’m elevated and transported in a similar fashion by Tchaikovsky. I’ve almost cried for joy at the sheer beauty of classical music, but I’ve never been moved with quite that sense of regret tinged with self-pity that is present in Cohen’s Hallelujah.

    I find each has its time and place….


    • helvityni April 3, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

      Hudson, listening to Nina Simone often moves me to tears…


      • hudsongodfrey April 3, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

        She does sing a beautiful version of Mr Bojangles.


    • doug quixote April 3, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

      Instrumental music is about as abstract as you can get.

      A composer can say “this piece of music celebrates the intellectual growth of an earthworm” but for all intents and purposes it may as well be called Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. (first three movements!)

      Add in the human voice and words and you have the Ode to Joy set to music. It loses much of the abstraction straight away.


      • gerard oosterman April 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

        Finland is to J.P Sibelius what Greece is to Mikis Theodorakis with his Zorba dance. They are from different .cultures and isn’t it great to have differences but as is with any sublime music, at the same time uniting.


      • hudsongodfrey April 3, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

        Yes I think abstraction is a relevant concept in this regard.

        Some would argue otherwise in certain cases of course, but I think it is at least somewhat interesting that we have in music and the arts the kinds settings where generalisations we’d bemoan in almost any other connection do seem to be quite useful.


  13. atomou April 5, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

    To return to the beginning of my objection to Sibelius, the observation should be made that we listen to music, or see a film, watch a play, gawk at a work of art for one of two reasons: by selection or by force.
    By force -mild or otherwise- is easily understood. We’re in a lift, a restaurant, a shopping centre and the powers above our ears make the decision of what we hear. For all other works of art, we might well have been dragged there against our will.

    Choice is usually made because we feel in the mood for a certain piece of music, play, painting etc. We will choose R&B because that’s what we feel like at the time; or flamenco, or Kabuki, or Mozart or tin drums.
    I suggest that in order for me -for me!- to listen to Sibs, I would have to be in a dire mood which would need a dire need to wallow in dire grief! To wallow in it and to stay it for the duration. And I don’t think I’ve ever got to that stage and hope never to be. In dire need to wallow, I mean.
    Of course, one might want to get to that state so that one might want to, say, write about someone in that state -for art’s sake, I mean.

    But that’s Sibs for me.


    • gerard oosterman April 5, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

      Perhaps, if you stopped wallowing in self adoration and freed yourself from bias and prejudice to the outside world such as demonstrated in your similar rants about the art of Bill Henson and Patrick White, you might just be able to let go a little bit and perhaps except that there are people out there who are different and liberated enough to enjoy great composers such as Sibelius or Beethoven.
      Perhaps Zorba is more your cup-o-tea?


      • gerard oosterman April 5, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

        (accept) but with reluctance to someone so culturally limited.


        • atomou April 5, 2013 at 7:17 pm #



          • atomou April 5, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

            (Fuckwit) but with reluctance to someone who wouldn’t know what a fuck was if Henson porned every child on the planet!


            • atomou April 5, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

              To quote your girlfriend, “give it your best shot, fackwit!”
              I’m outa here! Someone farted nordic cabbage!


    • doug quixote April 5, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

      Hmmm. I think we get the gist of your objections, atomou. I don’t see dozens of commenters flocking to defend Sibelius, but as you note, if one wants to wallow, Jean is just the man to assist. 🙂


      • atomou April 5, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

        There’s one, mightily defensive of him -and the pedophile photographer, Henson as well as a millstone of a writer (all of whose books I’ve read) named White, just a few posts above, DQ.

        Even though I did not recommend to him that he not listen to his Sibyl!


        • gerard oosterman April 5, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

          Ease up on the ouzo, you are getting a bit incoherent.


        • hudsongodfrey April 5, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

          Do you not think you could put taste down to preference? Is beauty not in the eyes of the beholder?

          Although you maintain reservations I’ve dispensed with over the Henson matter, I do understand where your objections lie. But I don’t know of circumstances in the man’s life that would similarly cast any kind of shadow over Jean Sibelius. Maybe I am about to be educated?

          Maybe we’ll ruminate on the curious case of Mr Caravaggio while we’re at it, and whether to admire his work given his predilections. Will his chiaroscuro be condemned when it illuminated his rent boys or perhaps only when it glorified the articles of faith at a time during which we now know the church to have been highly corrupt.

          Or maybe Caravaggio painted beautifully while Sibelius wrote direly, or vice versa depending upon your tastes. I heard John Lennon was beastly towards women and Tchaikovsky was a left hander, but I’m not making a fuss over it!


          • atomou April 5, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

            Hudso, beuaty is indeed in the eyes of the beholder, and if s/he is blind then perhaps the ears or hands could determine that.
            Sleazy sexual exploitation of minors is definitely not!
            Henson is a modern day artist, subject to modern day laws and sensibilities, of this country and the countries he exhibits his wares. Caravaggio is of another era and totally irrelevant to the debate about Henson’s sleazebaggery.

            Henson’s work is exhibited in forums with a wide campus; Caravaggio nowhere near as wide, in his time.
            I have no idea how his models fared a few years after the event, just as I have no idea how Henson’s models will fare in a few years time. Perhaps OK, perhaps highly traumatised. The fact is, his exploitation is illegal and wrong. Minors should not be put in the position of making a decision about being nude models. Caravaggio’s world is a vastly different one and vastly irrelevant to Henson’s MO.

            I do not care about the personal life of the artist -other than on academic issues. Not of Henson, of Lennon or Tchaikovsky.
            I care that the artist behaves legally.


            • gerard oosterman April 6, 2013 at 1:01 am #

              Without clothes we are all nude. This nudity is natural and beautiful. Throughout the ages, artists have felt an urge to give expression to nudity. If some see ugliness it might well be in the eye of the beholder.
              The matter of age is irrelevant unless we assume that beauty of nudity is age related and therefore less beautiful.
              Atomou seems to suffer from the nude-ness of people when of a certain age. The ugliness he sees is strictly age related and once this age related nude-ness is passed he will accept nudity.
              The criteria of expressing nudity is that it is either well done or not. It is beyond a question of age.


            • hudsongodfrey April 6, 2013 at 10:02 am #

              I know your thoughts and don’t wish to push this into a dispute about one particular case.

              If we could put Henson to one side for a moment then your general stance begs the question as to whether it would be okay to censor art that was for example political in nature because somebody decided to outlaw it?

              The question arises as to whether there exists some kind of bright line that separates taste from the kind of double standard that would censor for all the wrong reasons. And it seems to me that we might do so at one level by separating the creative process from its product. Saying in effect that if nobody is harmed in the making of Rambo movies violence is okay, but one death in a snuff film is completely unacceptable. Or perhaps that Henson’s creative process will be criticised in his lifetime whereas Caravaggio’s victims of grooming are long enough forgotten that we allow ourselves to overlook it.

              And thus it seems to me that halfway through that last paragraph the bright line faded and left us perhaps not with a question of pure taste but certainly with a subjective question of morality. So I guess what I’d have to say to you at the end of the day is that contrary to what legislation attempts I think questions of both taste and morality can be somewhat subjective on occasion in ways that we’re right to criticise and make informed judgements about. The caution is always there in matters pertaining to art against projecting ill intent of others in a way that refers to one’s own gaze not theirs, but I don’t think these problems are ever going to be avoidable.

              It seems to me that the only legal prescription for it would always err on the conservative side and in so doing create the very kind of envelope art is almost purpose built to test. And by that I mean to question whether that isn’t a big part of what’s worthwhile about art?


              • atomou April 6, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

                Hudso, methinketh you’ve been hanging around certain nordics and caught their Obtuse Disease. It is a very common, almost endemic on blogs, disease which is truly contagious, so I suggest a certain amount of time in isolation.

                I have never talked about censorship –in art, in journalism, in rhetoric.
                Henson might or might not be a good artist. Don’t know, don’t care. My issue is not with any art as art, or any artist as artist.

                I care about the protection of children and adults who do not have either the physical or mental health to exercise their right of giving their consent to be sexually assaulted. It is a quintessential, human right. One which is inalienable. One which is backed by law.

                Those artists, or, journalists or speakers want to push their envelopes or macaroons in any direction they want, then they must do it through the courts, their political reps, their societies. If they succeed, then good luck to them but, when it comes to sexual assault, I can assure you, I shall be out there, at the barricades, all guns blazing.

                Whether it comes from institutional religion or institutional art world, sexual assault, rape, by any means -and there is an infinite amount of means- is abominable and should be condemned. The sexual assault, not the art.

                Henson, the man is as irrelevant to me, as is Caravaggio or El Greco, or Picasso. Not as men. If they have sexually assaulted their models, yes, I would be concerned about that but it would be impossible for me to protect them. I live in the here and now and I voice my anger at any sleaze bag who uses any excuse to sexually assault those I’ve mentioned.

                Listen to gerard: he’s not giving a shit about the child but about the creative genius of Henson! He, too, gerard, has the same callous attitude towards the minors. He is talking about the beauty of nudity and –the best he can come up with, by the way, is what must be the most obvious statement of all time on the whole planet , “without clothes we are all nude!” Shit, that’s exciting news!

                Without his clothes, I’d say, he’d be an ugly nude but I wouldn’t be concerned about the ugliness of his body but that of his mind, the one that avoids noticing the sexual assault but jerks off at the nudity!
                Many thanks, Ooster!
                I also do care about too much violence on the screens and on all our art, generally and, yes, I would suggest, Rambo is not something that reinforces peace and understanding among people. I wish I could do something about it but, here the only means of dissent is to not see the damned thing and to discuss the abhorrence of violence with as many people as I can. War mongers, of whom we have an overabundance, however, completely crush every civil dissent, including mine, and children and adults suffer every conceivable atrocity –and more- at their hands.


                • hudsongodfrey April 6, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

                  I guess we have to dispense with the specifics then because I don’t see how anything Henson has done would get him accused of sexual assault. It certainly isn’t a charge that has been levelled against him under the law. But nor is it possible as you argue at one point for artists to push envelopes through the courts under circumstances like his. Nobody from within the justice system is willing to charge him with anything, so it appears to be the case that consent can and has been gained and the legal point may therefore be moot.

                  But I’m happy to agree that there’d be plenty of others trading in child porn who might occasionally try to call their work art under circumstances that are unambiguously discredited by police and the courts with good reason. I certainly don’t think that we’re getting it wrong in those cases where care was not taken to obtain consent of both guardians at the time and models at a later date. The difference between consent and abuse seems pretty clear then to me.

                  If find myself unhappily in the middle of somebody else’s argument where I don’t see that evident talent is justification to non-consensual exploitation, but I do want to defend envelope pushing in terms of what it does to challenge and test conventional ideas. I think we both “…care about the protection of children and adults who do not…consent”. I also care that we meet bad ideas with more and better ones, and have real reservations about notions of “protection” when you say it isn’t about censorship. I think it is and I think we should own the fact that we’d all censor something if only those snuff films I mentioned earlier.

                  As for nudity it is both beautiful and ugly depending on the context, and I will suggest that it is the context in which the work is interpreted by the viewer which matters here. I’m sure beautiful artworks may well have been created using consenting adult models some of whom were having a shitty day, didn’t care for the artist’s personality, or in some other myth shattering setting. If we know that abuse was present or consent absent in the creative process then I think it could and should alter our perceptions. But if we were to go to extremes in assuming that no man, women or child ever revelled in being naked before the eyes of others whether in art or in real life then we’d be bringing a perception of our own to the nude in art that we may hopefully understand that others simply don’t share.

                  I suspect we may agree that some people’s minds are more beautiful than their bodies, even if we hesitate to say the reverse. But context if not beauty may not always be inferred in a piece of artwork. So I think we have to be careful about what we infer from an image as opposed to what we know about the actions and intentions of others. In works of art I think we’re generally inclined to presume innocence until guilt is established most of the time. The exception you rightly note is in cases where the subjects are children, but I think there are rare times when issues around consent may be properly addressed. And if in those cases you’re still no less satisfied than certain people are with almost any piece of nudity in art, then I think you have a right to be warned in order that you might avoid suffering offence but probably no more than that.


                  • atomou April 6, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

                    “But I’m happy to agree that there’d be plenty of others trading in child porn who might occasionally try to call their work art under circumstances that are unambiguously discredited by police and the courts with good reason…”

                    Like this guy, you mean, Hidso? Lots of “care” taken there. A horde of artists and Marrs flocked to his aid. Far too much money at stake, I guess and the notion that artists shouldn’t abuse, exploit and go rampant over vulnerable people? Won’t have that mate! Just like the big miners and tax. No way!


                    Lots of “care” taken there. A horde of artists and Marrs flocked to his aid. Far too much money at stake, I guess and the notion that artists shouldn’t abuse, exploit and go rampant over vulnerable people? Won’t have that mate! Just like the big miners and tax. No way!

                    Like I said, the name or the profession id irrelevant. The victim is. The potential victim is. The damage is potentially irreparable and implacable.

                    Sorry, Hudso but the rest of your thesis is piffle.

                    Under no circumstances I would ever allow the sacrifice of the psyche of one human being (or animal for that matter) for the esthetic gratification of another. And that is where the matter ends. Explaining to a damage individual, some ten or twenty years later that all precautions were taken, all care was given, it was all done by someone wanting to push an agenda (fuck the envelope euphemism) because, after all, we must all try and push some agenda or other… will not mend the damage.


                    • hudsongodfrey April 6, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

                      The example is concerning, so why instead of pressing your advantage you considered it some sort of imprimatur to shut down the discussion is beyond me.

                      I think you do have a point but it is a point about what legal provisions ought to be made to ensure artists only ever use children as models legitimately, rather than as seems to have happened in the Ovenden case. After all there would probably be examples of people who depicted non-nude child models in their art but took the opportunity it afforded them to abuse the kids. We know that other abuse occurs more widely in the community as well. So at what point does protection appropriately stop such that any of us can spend a waking moment beyond suspicion?

                      It seems to me that we have provisions in schools and other child care settings for working with children that ought to cover all this stuff already.

                      I think the money is also concerning because I can see how we’re eventually going to suspect commercial motives in almost everything, and then at the same time argue that we’ll take artists money away if they don’t conform to some right wing religious or Disney view of what it means to create good art. I don’t think we’re liable to unravel that particular Gordian knot in the space of the few short sentences, but maybe it interrogates your point if we were to ask whether it might seem more permissible to create the art of which you disapprove as long as all the proceeds went to charity? If we agree that it has no bearing without focusing on the main issue of consent then, once again, that’s what we really ought to be doing.

                      As for the psyche of one human being (where I read psyche to mean mental well-being) then of course we don’t want to do harm. But surely you’re restating the case for abuse that is linked with the provision of consent already? I don’t think remaking the same point we already agreed upon in spookier more fear laden language has a great deal to add to the kind of condemnation abuse of children occasions. Unless of course you’re trying somehow to smuggle in notions that being a consenting nude model occasions trauma even in the absence of any other form of abuse. Knowing that unhealthy interactions between children and adults have occurred in the past allows us to identify risky environments. It doesn’t allow us to deny the existence of healthy interactions in supportive environments.

                      Lastly I don’t agree with this characterisation of the value of art being limited to aesthetic representations or envelope pushing. The question “What is Art?” has concerned greater minds than mine from Tolstoy to our old mate from the Drum Donald Brook. I doubt either would want to see it reduced to the sum total of those works that displease. Happily across all our human societies it is valued far more highly than that. Neither the notion that certain art cannot be created by an innocent process nor the idea that it is sullied by the guilt of others is valid. A sensible person like you might at least see that.


      • atomou April 5, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

        Try what exactly, Elizabeth?


        • gerard oosterman April 5, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

          You just don’t get it Atomou.
          I think Elisabeth’s link is to point out that music is capable of different responses and that none of it ought to be used to dismiss how others respond.
          You , seem to delight in pointing out that anyone differing from Atomou’s views on creativity are mere fools.

          However, at your age I doubt you will ever concede that point.


      • paul walter April 6, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

        Well I like the way Elisabeth has proposed this new path.
        It’s a coat-hanger to many things to do with what it is to be human, what we respond to and what might respond to us, eg determinism and free will.
        What does a person’s response to a piece of art or music indicate as to cultural inscription, if such a thing exists and why does someone like a piece of music home, say, but not in a concert hall.
        All the things that contribute to mind-state; sense of security, appetites and well being,the events that have made us what we are and in the state of mind were in at a given time. Why is it that someone will, in a detached frame of mind, consider the intricacies of a musical structure while someone else is thrilled at the sound without even wanting to know why?
        It’s quite political, if you want to go that far.
        Then there is the creator of the work.
        Is she trying to offend or just please and how au fait is the audience to the times, weltanschuang and zietgiest to do with an event. Maybe if you go to a Schoenberg concert you will know it’s a different experience to what you’d have listening to an old favourite from an established genre, eg “Land of Hope and Glory”, or Beethoven’s ninth, and it will speak volumes as to what your place in society is and how you see yourself that you will choose one or another event, or just stay at home and watch “Big Brother”.
        It’s difficult to know what is in bad taste or offensive or if someone finds some thing offensive (eg Hensons photos) if this necessary and sufficient to have it banned: some times people need to be jolted.
        Van Gogh and co offended polite society in their time, yet their art is much beloved in our time.
        Personally, as a shallow, insecure, arrogant male snob, I’d rather see “Bullshit Talent Time” on Ten on Saturday nights at 7.00 banned long before an intriguing exhibition of art, although a long time ago tricky art would have baffled me and I would have preferred some thing simple brainless and sloppy.
        But there you go, that’d be my “statement”, fwiw.


        • atomou April 6, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

          Once again for you too, Pauly: It is not the art; it is the act of obtaining it. By sexual assault. I do not want to ban anything. I want Henson, along with all the mic pedophiles to be reminded of the seriousness of what it is they are doing. It is not the end that I wish banned but the means by which it is achieved to be exposed for what it is.

          As for taste in music, giving us an endless academic exegesis is interesting only… academically.


          • Elisabeth April 6, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

            I think we need to be wary of conflating sexual abuse with the creation of an aesthetic. Simply to photograph child in a half dressed state is not necessarily to abuse that child, though it could be. It’s all in the motivation and the intention.

            My analyst once suggested to me that a father walking around naked in front of his children in one family situation might be harmless, whereas for another family – including my own family of origin – such nakedness is loaded and dangerous. It cannot be seen at face value. It has a sexualised ring that is deeply disturbing for the children of the household.

            That’s possibly and paradoxically why I have less trouble with Henson’s work than I might otherwise.

            My feelings are mixed. I would not want my daughters to pose for anyone in half undressed states but then again I come from a troubled and incestuous family. That colours my sense of what’s right and wrong with regard to art, to nudity and to sexual abuse.

            For someone else without such a history it might well render Henson’s work far less alarming.

            Subject position, namely where we come from and what we’ve been through affects much of how we experience most things, whether we’re talking about art or music. And education helps. For instance John Laws’s inability to recognise that the way he talked on radio to a woman who had suffered long years of sexual abuse at the hands of her family, was further abusive of her, especially when he asked her if it she thought she might have contributed to said abuse.

            It seems Laws just doesn’t get it, which might be what you’re on about, Atomou but the danger again is confusing intentions and actions.

            I have this wonderful quote from David Marr in relation to the furore in 2008 over Henson’s photographs of children and whether they constitute pornography or art?

            ‘When panic arrives, facts don’t count. Complexity disappears. All slopes are slippery. The only scenario is the worst-case scenario. Nothing is too small to worry about. And everyone has a high old time except the victims.’

            At the same time I’m mindful of the notion of ‘vulnerable subjects’, those who like most children cannot represent their own best interests and must therefore rely on their parents or other adults to look out for them.

            It is indeed a minefield.

            It is indeed a minefield.


            • atomou April 6, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

              Quite right on many levels, Elizabeth. However, “motivation and the intention” are a)in the head of the perpetrator and unreadable with any worthwhile degree of certainty and, b) It is irrelevant because it deals with the perpetrator and not with the victim, to whom our first duty lies; and not with the victim as s/he is that moment but as what s/he could potentially be in the future.

              Still, a parent’s photo of their baby in the bathtub might well be totally free of any untoward intention, though, there, too, I suggest, some discretion must rule the act, especially concerning the subsequent journey of that photo. Henson’s intentions were clear: take a photo of that child and distribute it widely so as to sell it, the journey and provenance of which is hidden in the realms of crystal ball and prophesy.

              I have no idea how a photographer goes about his work when it comes to taking photos, not for the sake of memoir about weddings and birthdays but for the sake of creating aesthetic or artistic work. WIll it be a traumatic experience for the child -lie like this please, sweetheart, that’s right, toss your right leg over that way… no, no this way… or what? Will the child be able to put a stop to the process? I mean, will she be bullied into continuing with the rape?

              I love Marr on many things but on this thing he was utterly wrong. When he talks about the victim, he is referring to the artist, not the abused and exploited child, which where his and everyone else’s panic should stem from.

              It might colour my perspective, though I don’t think so, but I have seen far too many kids (students of mine) who were, perhaps permanently, hurt by sexual abuse, either by outsiders or by pimping parents, where it is I place those of Henson’s models.


            • helvityni April 6, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

              Elisabeth, I read David Marr’s excellent book called Panic, where he writes ; “Turning fear into panic is a great political art: knowing how to stack the bonfire ,where to find the kindling, where to slosh on a bucket of kero to set the whole thing off with a satisfying roar…”
              This fear is cleverly used when referring to boat people, gay marriage, some artists, the opposite side of politics, the greens (pink watermelons),blacks, climate change, MY taxes (going up?), My taxes being used to improve someone else’s life…and so on, endlessly….


              • paul walter April 6, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

                So, it is only possible to see Henson as an exploiter?

                Couldn’t have been someone interrogating the cusp of child hood and adolescence and asking us what our response is and why, (discomfort, arousal, even old fashioned pleasure at the site of healthy young people), an essay that distinguishes (intrudes?) that demographic), in a rapidly changing pomo society?
                What is harmless, (is “intrusion” harmless; who for) and what can be said of psychological states revealed in the series and our interest (if any) in these.
                Are we talking about commodification/objectification?
                What does that sayabout us and culture and society?
                Elisabeth again alluded to unconsidered factors that could be in play as to cultural and social structures in describing her own family life over time. Also we are back to a deep theme of Jennifer Wilson’s in visiting this real v superficial conscious/unconscious coding that sees violence visited upon some but not others. Do adults really assault the vulnerable because they looked Henson’s art or at a Boutique Target kid’s clothes catalogue, or are there other factors at play that produce an outpouring of violence or cruelty, involving historical change, nature/nurture and psychological formation and subsequent action, say?
                Why does Henson bother people, but not loads of other quite smutty and exploitative stuff involving
                kids, throughout the media?
                Henson is easy,most of all as a target, because he’s honest and worse still art for arts sake (money forgod’s sake!) and his work is intended for an adult audience.
                But other forms that may more likely provoke violence are not challenged because big money and an at all cost aggressiveness is involved with the principles, he’s a good study for media, not least
                because it draws attention away from the
                unconsidered sleaze that perhaps eventually reaches critical mass in personality formation, but is so profitable for big business.


              • helvityni April 6, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

                Paul, may I move to sexy kids’ clothes…
                I don’t think they sexy at all they are just not right for kids who should feel free to run and kick ball; the high heels are not sexy either, but they are dangerous for the kids’ growing feet, constantly having to pull bra straps that are sliding down is also constant work,and as there are no breasts, so no need for bras…
                The little girls look pathetic and their parents ought to learn to say NO to this silly pre-teens dressing like adults…


                • paul walter April 6, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

                  Not only that, but in the states they are already into cosmetic surgery for adolescent valley-girls.


            • hudsongodfrey April 6, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

              I really want to thank you for this response Elizabeth. I think we forget sometimes that we might be corresponding with people who have been personally touched by abuse and whose perspectives reflect that even though they’d never reveal the fact.

              As to your opinion about this I think it pretty much takes shape around the premise you’ve established in your opening paragraph. I very much agreed with all of that paragraph except the last sentence, because I’m not sure that the existence of abuse does depend on motive or intent. I think it depends on the existence of abusive or non-consensual interactions with the victim including exploitative acts of using their image long after the creation of the image took place.

              The thing that does depend on motive and intent is understanding and preventing the crime of abuse in order that victims might be better protected. In that regard I think you’re very right to conclude that it is a minefield, lacking as I think we are in the means to reliably interpret motive and intent in others.


  14. helvityni April 5, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

    I’m afraid that some posters are forgetting that this is Jennifer’s blog, not theirs. We can all differ in politics, have different tastes in music, and this fine and good , but we must not become offensive and arrogant and think this OUR blog; we must curb in our differences and have respect for our kindly and busy hostess Jennifer.

    Be as abusive and horrible as you wish on your own blogs 🙂


    • helvityni April 5, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

      edit: and this IS fine


      • atomou April 5, 2013 at 11:03 pm #



        • gerard oosterman April 5, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

          Surely, you are able to defend yourself a bit better than that.


          • atomou April 6, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

            Ah, the little nordic tag team has come out to fight again! I was wondering how long it would be before the oleaginous Hell would pop up with her “oh, someone is naughty around here and it isn’t my hubby!”
            And gerard with, “atomou hates Henson and Grettel and White and Sibelious and he loves Zorba and ouzo, naughty atomou!”

            I hold Theodorakis, who wrote the music and Kazantzakis who wrote the book (have you read any of his books, gerard?) as heroes of expression, who shit all over your White and your Sibelious. My opinion, of course!

            For Zeus’ sake, gerard and Hell, grow up and PLEASE DON’T turn this blog into another PIG’S ARMS, a gorgeous spot which you two destroyed to its foundations!
            But first, do hurry up and grow up!


            • gerard oosterman April 6, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

              Atomou ,Ato,
              Calm down.
              Bill Henson’s work has been shown internationally at Solomon R,
              Guggenheim, Venice Biennale ,National Gallery of Victoria, Bibliotheque Nationale of Paris and many others.
              You have clearly sided with Hetty Johnston of Bravehearts and Miranda Devine of SMH. For someone who claims Greek heritage and the Democracia principle you clearly ditched all that and have sided with the Fear and Loathing from Down Under contingency.
              Betty Churcher, a staunch defender of children clearly thought police action over his photographs was ridiculous.
              The photos were returned and given a G rating.
              As for my looks, Oh you should have seen me sixty years ago: A golden chained polo necked bronzed God of the Surf at Mona Vale. I bet Carravagio would have queued up to paint me.


      • paul walter April 6, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

        I’ll just share that I immediately after my last posting I caught up with the relatively small audience ABC “Foreign Correspondent”.
        At roughly the same time, just a couple of years before people were wasting vast amounts of noise whining about Henson, some thing far more obscene and obscured, with a far darker real world message was occurring in the brutal US torture camps in Iraq.
        It is true that we have that dreadful individual Julian Assange and Wikileaks to think for much of the information that grounded the episode, but surprisingly much of the story took a long time to get out of Iraq, maybe because too much time was wasted in western media filled with the sex lives of the cast and or characters of “Sex in the City” and idiotic faux outrage about naughty dance scenes on dree entertainment extravaganzas on commercial teev.
        But the hidden message is, that the people who run things will say and do what they feel like, but like having escapist entertainment up to sweeten the message.


  15. doug quixote April 6, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    Nothing wrong with a vigorous exchange of views, in my opinion, so long as those exchanging views are not merely repeating their established viewpoint in an attempt to browbeat those not agreeing with them into submission.

    A discussion has to move forward with the adducing of new arguments and evidence.

    As regards the discussion of art, Henson exploitation and abuse, I can see points favouring each faction in the debate. Given that child abuse and the exploitation of anyone are unacceptable, the problem becomes “is the particular instance in question abuse or exploitation?”

    The answer to that obviously depends on the facts of each instance, and no blanket panacea can be effective. We have an amazing array of investigative tools available these days, and only rarely will the abuser/exploiter get away with abuse. We hear more about it than we used to do, but the reason is that more instances are disclosed than used to be the case. Actual incidence of abuse is probably down on the historical average, due to the disclosure and to the reduced tolerance of it within society.

    Art is to be judged by aesthetic standards, not by some imposed morality, no matter how well accepted that morality may be. “Where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people also”

    The BACWA adherents are on the backfoot currently, but they wait patiently for their chance to step in and demand the censoring of anything they do not like : nearly always on the pretext of protecting children, as they project the turpitude of their own minds onto everyone else.


    • hudsongodfrey April 7, 2013 at 12:09 am #

      Well said, but I can I be excused for saying that where in your third paragraph you proposed that the problem becomes “is the particular instance in question abuse or exploitation”, I have gained the sense that some of the argument tends to be more about what constitutes abuse or exploitation than whether known forms thereof can be uncovered by investigations that they’d rightly point out often come too late.

      The urge is strong in the case if children to be a bit BACWAish and as Elisabeth rightly puts it “[wrongly] conflate sexual abuse with the creation of an aesthetic”. By that I assume she means they’re misconstruing an aesthetic which if it contains children and nudity by saying it must, because nudity implies sexuality in the adult, be corrupt in nature. There’s a kind of precautionary principle behind that which kind of works as long as you don’t question the veracity of those assumptions. And also perhaps if you wouldn’t miss what I see as a kind of direct antithesis of the sexualisation Helvi finds in prepubescent girls wearing bras, the depicted innocence of non-sexualised youth.


      • doug quixote April 7, 2013 at 7:05 am #

        Of course they are arguing about what constitutes abuse or exploitation, and of course they are conflating and confusing the issues. They need to argue that way or they cannot win the argument.

        I am saying they are wrong, fallacious and mischievous in arguing that way. Their prescriptive morality has no place and the “precautionary principle” they advocate is cover for their Banning and Censoring Wowser Agenda.


        • hudsongodfrey April 7, 2013 at 9:52 am #

          You know I’m extremely cautious when it comes to calls for banning or censoring anything, but even I draw the line somewhere. As I said above to Atomou it’s not as if I wouldn’t ban genuine child pornography or snuff films. It’s just that the distinction between something that is consensual and artistic and something that is exploitative and abusive can be made.

          So I’m saying they’re wrong (fallacious being inferred), but not necessarily mischievous in arguing their genuine concerns. There may be prescriptive morality among BACWAish folks in particular, but even genuinely permissive folks usually recognise that permissiveness has its limits without which it might either cease to be worthwhile or go so far as to cause harm. In this case its harm we have problems with and a lot of work to do on undoing some of the attitudes and psychological damage that comes about often because we so deeply fear anything as abnormal or perverse as the desire for children. Getting it wrong (in the sense that you and I would agree that they do) probably has a lot to do with those fears, but to make a really good case then you have to propose some sense of what getting it right looks like and why.

          I think getting it right is being able to enjoy innocence expressed in images of people of all ages and both genders in various states of dress or undress in a non erotic context without having to fear that ones sexual identity is threatened by it, and with a frank and unashamed appreciation for the beauty of the human form in art. There is in that a shared appreciation of beauty and of overcoming base fears about ourselves that I think necessitates some kind of defence of some works or art.


          • doug quixote April 7, 2013 at 10:59 am #

            With respect, you are going around in circles.


            • hudsongodfrey April 7, 2013 at 11:14 am #

              With respect whenever we have a problem with other people’s perceptions then a clear path forwards rarely ever exists.

              If the old enemy should not be permitted latitude to declare us wrong by simply asserting it to be so, then I so no reason why we might by simply coining an label like BACWA be given to doing likewise. The label itself is a mere characterisation of people’s stance, it does not extend a persuasive understanding of what is wrong with an individuals views.


              • doug quixote April 7, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

                They are projecting the turpitude of their own minds onto everyone else and insist on imposing their twisted view of morality accordingly.

                They need to be opposed whenever found.

                Don’t argue with me, argue with them! They need your enlightenment, not I.


                • hudsongodfrey April 7, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

                  I think we agree on most of the substance of the matter but disagree as to how we’d go about opposing those views of others with which we disagree. I think it’s more useful and persuasive to improve our understanding of their concerns. Otherwise if we simply win the day by shouting them down those concerns which still exist will keep resurfacing intermittently in different guises. I’m sure that last part sounds familiar 🙂


  16. redjos April 7, 2013 at 1:06 am #

    Child sexual abuse , with all the illegality involved, is perpetrated by religious organisations, and has been covered up by them and the state for many years. It is at last being exposed, but how far will it get?

    Attacking artists is one issue, how about attacking those responsible for actual acts of child sexual abuse and the crimes they have committed?

    Maybe these crimes can be considered in the context of religious requiems and other pieces of sacred music.

    Mannie De Saxe


    • gerard oosterman April 7, 2013 at 6:53 am #

      You took the words out of my mouth Mannie. Only last night, during a bout of insomnia I thought how ridiculous the argument had become. The Ire of Mr Atomou should have been directed towards those that really are responsible for sexual abuse for decades if not centuries.
      Not one complaint, not one parent, not one of the teen-age or pre-pubescent models have made a single complaint about Bill Henson. Yet Mr Atomou, alleges grooming, rape, sniffing around school yards by Mr Henson in order to satisfy the paedophilia lusts of not only himself but also the millions of viewers.


      • atomou April 7, 2013 at 9:42 am #

        I expected nothing less from you gerard! The less I expect from you the more you oblige!

        Go over this page and see what I am saying about sexual abuse of minors. Were you to read with eyes less blurred by idiocy, if not disdain, you’d see that I have no bias on sleazebags who rape children and adults who are not well enough and thus not competent enough to give their consent to be raped.

        I said I don’t care if the perpetrators come from organised religion or organised art world, footy world, school world, family world.

        We have begun the conversation with Henson, so it is only logical that Henson would get a mention, though again and again, I said Henson, the man, means nothing to me; nor does his “talents” wherever one might see that. I care about protecting children from sexual assault; and he, to my mind has transgressed that line only so as to make money.
        In fact what those children models of his have said or even say now, is irrelevant. What they have done with consent today might be found later to be the cause of a very turbulent trauma in the future; and what they have done might well be used by others, photographers, painters, sculptors, movie directors etc, as an excuse to perpetrate the same crimes ad infinitum.
        Artists are not gods and above the laws that every other human being must observe. They are not entitled to any privileges regarding the sexual privacy of another person. They are not entitled to rape anyone, just as no one else, emerging from the inner sanctum of a cathedral, or the BBC funny show, or an orphanage, or a child welfare office (something of which I’ve got quite some knowledge.)

        You’re an extraordinarily dull creature, gerard.


  17. doug quixote April 7, 2013 at 7:32 am #

    Public Nudity!

    Now that I have your attention, I came across this item :

    ” an angry gentleman from Petersham who wrote to the Herald in 1891:

    Sir, – I have often heard it said that it is impossible to take ladies down to Cook’s River on Saturday afternoons and holidays. Last Saturday afternoon there was abundant evidence that this is the case. From ‘Starkey’s Corner’ to Tempe there could be counted 30 to 40 men and boys openly bathing in a perfectly nude state, some standing on projecting rocks without the slightest show of concealment. This is a state of things calling for summary treatment, and should not be allowed to continue. A few convictions would have a magical effect . . .”

    The ‘angry gentleman’ puts up a hearsay account to get his wowserish point across; a technique common to the BACWA : :

    “I’ve heard it said” “I’m told of unsavoury things” then follows :

    “I of course am not offended but ladies would be embarrassed, offended and scandalised” and something must be done.

    We hear that argument all the time. It is the clarion call of the BACWA. It should be revealed for what it is : an imposition of morality and a projection of harm from their own warped minds.


    • Elisabeth April 7, 2013 at 9:22 am #

      Please forgive my ignorance, what’s the BACWA?


      • atomou April 7, 2013 at 9:47 am #

        A sobrique for wowsers, Elizabeth.

        In this case, referring to me, it shows that, unless I agree with their view that artists or anyone for that matter can rape children I am a BACWA.


        • hudsongodfrey April 7, 2013 at 10:04 am #

          Who here said artists can rape children? That’s a ridiculous slur!

          Some of us think it might be okay with reasonably onerous provisions for consent to portray or photograph children in the nude, especially when the work is artistically rather than erotically posed.

          I know we disagree. There’s probably no further point to arguing this, but please don’t make ill mannered accusations of others if you know them to be baseless.


          • atomou April 7, 2013 at 11:45 am #

            Rape, to those who have been inoculated against logic and sensitivity, comes in many forms, penetration of a penis against one’s will is but one of them.
            Those who have not been so inoculated will understand the full meaning of the word, which simply, to take by force, to violate, to remove the will of a person by force. “Force” can also be exerted in many forms, some more subtle than others: “mummy said it’s OK for you to come to my studio darling and take off all your clothes and strike poses so that I can photograph you and sell those photos for big money.” Different, I know to, “Take your fucking clothes off bitch or I’ll kill you!”

            Both are rapes, both are committed by force.
            It’s something which the inoculated will never understand but it’s there!


            • hudsongodfrey April 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

              Right okay, now we’re using words in ways that aren’t in accordance with their commonly understood meanings. I accept it as an explanation that ought I think also come with a qualified apology since it seems quite certain that most have not psychically detected your extended definition.

              You’re going too far here in defence of your point blank refusal to concede that consent may be provided for by careful process coinciding with the very best intentions to allow an artist to work and exhibit juvenile nudes. There is simply no rationality the the view that in all cases the only possibility is a tainted one, and no soul to the view that all such works are worthless. I wish you would reconsider the sensible, well-intended and fair minded opposing views of your peers in this matter.


              • atomou April 7, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

                OK, I’ll put it in an even more vernacular phraseology for you Hudso, because you’re obviously one of the inoculated: “Defile the artist, not the child!!”
                No apology because I’ve made the meaning of the word “rape” quite clear above when time and again I’ve associated it with the snatching of innocence from the innocent, of playing with the psyche of the innocent, now and in the future, of removing their inalienable human right to be able to say no to acts they’re not sure of, of locking their identity up in photos, paintings etc for ever…


                • hudsongodfrey April 7, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

                  Why defile anyone if nobody has done anything wrong?


          • paul walter April 7, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

            fwiw, the thoughts of others this morning have me in mind the next thought that came to me after posting last night.
            Paedophiles and incestuous males ( overwhelmingly ); what drives or motivates them? Is a sense of violence/power control/ always a feature?
            We are getting a long way away from the thread topic in some ways, but seem short of a link between sexual violence and aesthetics. Can aesthetics change mindset, or are these doing this already, but in the wrong way? Violence contributes to aesthetics through fear and panic and perhaps is part of the atomisation and alienation processes that causes an (insecure?) individual in a more authoritarian society to hit out at their own anomie, in a futile attempt to assert control employing someone weaker.
            I wonder what a trained psychologist, someone like Stuart Hase for example, would make of the individuals and background that precipitates a sexual abuse event?
            Is there some thing in the zeitgeist that could be changed, if identified could it be changed and if not, why not?
            Maybe one or two murmur “patriarchy”, but is theoretical patriarchy, if not viewed as an abstract concept, a consciously controlled process or just a term that describes a determinative process outside of the control of all of its subjects.
            Is bad behaviour just a side effect of the overall individuation process, this misfiring in some individuals and realistically,is the individuation process amenable to change without this damaging its prior goal of creating (generally) functioning people?


            • hudsongodfrey April 7, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

              I don’t know Paul it’s interesting for some to think about, but I don’t think speculation helps. More research would, and what we have so far, so I’m told, tells us that it’s something akin to psychopathy that is at work in the minds of the perpetrators. That is to say that there remains a real and well enough understood difference between being unfeeling towards others and being unaware of things like criminal statutes as social constraints.

              In other words we shouldn’t go do the mistaken path of saying they’re nuts and therefore can’t help it. It’s not that kind of disorder.


        • doug quixote April 7, 2013 at 11:08 am #

          I do not use it to refer to you. Though if you want to insist that anyone who photographs or draws a picture of a naked child is raping them, you are beyond even BACWA status and into batshit crazy territory.


      • hudsongodfrey April 7, 2013 at 9:55 am #

        Banning and Censoring Wowser Agenda. Somebody here made it up and we ever posted it online.


        • doug quixote April 7, 2013 at 11:03 am #

          “Somebody” my arse! It is mine, copyright and certified organic.

          Feel free to use it!


          • hudsongodfrey April 7, 2013 at 11:06 am #

            You got it trademarked as well?


          • atomou April 7, 2013 at 11:45 am #

            Well, that’s it, then! There’s no way I’ll use the FT! (my trademark!)


      • paul walter April 7, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

        Re Elisabeth’s question, BACWA is a product of the stoush involving morals campaigner Melinda Tankard Reist.
        Sounding like “Fatwah”, it’s a tilt at reactionary power employed arbitrarily to enforce a particular abstracted,unproven vision of a good society, over competing models.
        But not everyone has considered it to do with prudery and denialism; as Atomou says, it may derive of a reasonable anxiety as to what factors may trigger off less pleasant behaviours and attempts to obviate such factors.
        For my part, I am wary both of censorship and the capacity of mercenary individuals within a free society to exploit openness chasing a quick buck, regardless of the effect on others, the sort of thing that makes p*rn a contentious issue.
        When people “use”others there is always a chance of eventual harm to bystanders and self, but is it down to immutable human nature or is there some thing in society that can actually be changed to lessen harms.


  18. Hypocritophobe April 7, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    One persons BACWA is another ones BINT

    Bullies Intimidated by Non-extistent Threats


    • Hypocritophobe April 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

      EDIt Ooops
      ‘Non existent.’


    • doug quixote April 7, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

      Ok, I’ll bite : who are the bullies, how and why are they intimidated, what are the (non-existent) threats and why are they non-existent? 🙂


      • Hypocritophobe April 7, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

        In the case in point.
        Bullies are the BACWA types who feel it is necessary to demand an end to something which does not meet their self appointed moralistic guidelines.
        You know the type who run people out of town,raise intimidating petitions,make mountains out of molehills and would rather damage a person or their career than seek a negotiated solution,if it means backing down,losing face or compromising on their demands.
        They ‘claim’ intimidation when people react or challenge their narrow pompous agenda.The revert to claiming THEY are being bullied.
        Non-existent threats range from pornification to ,songs to billboards to kids clothes,to differing views.In short a free,mature and inclusive society which they cannot control.The threats are non existent because they exist in their minds, and they need come with no independent and universally rational or logical proof.



  19. iODyne April 7, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    thank you dear beautiful Jennifer for sharing your two sublime images.
    The colour coding of the second image just slays me, and your haircut is great too.

    regarding the childish abusive and needlessly uncouth exchanges above, a ditto from me on this >>
    (by) helvityni April 5, 2013 at 10:38 pm #
    I’m afraid that some posters are forgetting that this is Jennifer’s blog, not theirs.


    • doug quixote April 7, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

      Do you think that the issues explored are not worthy of exploration?

      I make no apology for vigorous and uncensored debate.


    • atomou April 7, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

      Don’t be too fooled by such exhortations, iODyne. They always appear after their author has done what they advocate others not to do… the author or their tag team partners, i.e.

      Jennifer is a big girl and can certainly speak for herself. Either it is her blog only or it is a forum for the free exchange and flow of ideas – all ideas and all views.

      Totally agree with her hairstyle. My all time favourite! Love it effusively!


      • doug quixote April 7, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

        I think your posts are included in the “uncouth” category, atomou, especially as regards your exchanges with the “Nordic tag team”.

        I am actually defending your right to vigorous debate.


        • atomou April 7, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

          DQ, the nomenclature is an in-house thing.
          So you don’t think that the tag team is not uncouth?

          And, DQ, If you haven’t already noticed, I am quite capable of defending my “right to vigorous debate” (and a whole lot more) all by my own grown up self, so… don’t be silly!


          • doug quixote April 7, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

            You are an argumentative bugger aren’t you!

            Have you ever considered saying “thank you”?


    • Hypocritophobe April 7, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

      As soon as you reached for uncouth,I glazed over.
      It’s the sort of anachronistic word god botherers,silver spooners and royals use to display a superior status.

      The best time to be in the kitchen is when it’s hot.It’s when the most productive and interesting things happen.It’s not place for spectators,though.Otherwise, perhaps, a seat at the dining room table might be in order?


      • atomou April 7, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

        Obviously, hypo, you’re not very cough, otherwise you’d know that the word is not “dining room” but “dynong room!”
        Class-fail for you, mate!


        • Hypocritophobe April 7, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

          So sorry guvvnar


  20. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) April 8, 2013 at 9:59 am #


    • gerard oosterman April 8, 2013 at 10:24 am #

      Yes, the whole world knows The Sibelius Violin Concerto is ‘top stuff’. Just don’t tell Ato.


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