G’Day World #16 2005-12-06 – CENSORSHIP!


Is there a need or even a justification for censorship of adult material in 21st century Australia?

Today I caught up with a coffee and a chat with my mate Paul aka “Gonzo” from PolyEster Books.


PolyEster Books in Melbourne has been on a mission “TO PROVIDE THE FREAKIEST UNDERGROUND BOOKS, MAGAZINES, FILMS AND COMIX” for 20 years. In the process, the store, has become a Melbourne icon.

On the 16th November 2005, Polyester was raided and searched by several police officers with a search warrant. Several hundred videos and dvds – with an X-rating or deemed un-rated – were confiscated. While legal in Canberra and the Territories, X-rated material is considered illegal in Victoria. And while anyone over the age of 18 with a credit card can order this same material from international corporations like Amazon, a Melbourne businessman is facing (at best) serious fines and (at worst) even jail. His business could go under.

The issue here, as I see it, has nothing to do with porn.

As Helen Vnuk, a former editor of Australian Women’s Forum and author of Snatched: Sex and Censorship in Australia said in this well-written article in 2003:

The ease with which a banned film can be downloaded and viewed raises the question of censorship’s relevance in the age of the internet. But strangely enough, in the few years since Australians have had access to the net and been able to call up anything from Ken Park to The Anarchist’s Cookbook to farmyard porn, censorship guidelines in Australia have been tightened.

The same principle is at stake – that adults should be able to read, hear and see what they want – but while plenty of people are prepared to defend art-house films and books, few want to be seen defending X-rated videos and adult magazines – or, as they’re more effectively labelled by their opponents, filth and smut.

You can sign a petition to save PolyEster (even if you don’t live in Melbourne) here.

Aussie Blogging Conference… again

Duncan Riley is begging and pleading for SOMEONE to pull together an Australian blogging conference.
I’ve spoken to a few people in the past (indeed over the past 2 years) about this, and even some who are planning an Australian business blogging conference, but I’m getting old waiting for a full blown Australian blogging conference so here is my pitch:Its time we all got together and organised an Australian blogging conference.

The trick, Dunc, is figuring out who the target demographic of the conference is. Bloggers? People who want to learn about blogging? All of the above? Des wants to get corporate execs. I personally would love to pull together those of us trying to bootstrap new media businesses. And who are you going to get to keynote? Any big names to draw the crowds? Do we HAVE any big names in this country? Or would we need to fly them in from the US ala lesblogs? Who would we get and how? I’ve chatted to a few people about coming out, including Scoble, Buzz, etc. All are keen but its a long frakkin way.

G’Day World #15 2005-12-05

Rich Giles, host of The Gadget Show, joins me today for a chat about:

  • Wired Magazine as a Technology Market Barometer
  • Adam Curry and “Wiki-Gate”
  • Aussie ISP iiNet representative suggests ISPs will block Skype
  • Why the Government doesn’t want to release Open Spectrum
  • Thanks Rich! Sorry it’s taken so long to have you on the show mate! See you same time next year? 😉

    G’Day World “On The Pod” #61 – Doc Searls

    He’s da man who said “Markets Are Conversations”. And I get to talk to him. How was YOUR day? 🙂

    Doc recently wrote an article called “Saving the Net: How to Keep the Carriers from Flushing the Net Down the Tubes” which has got many of us wondering, perhaps for the first time, whether or not the innanet, as we know it, has a future.

    It scared the hell outta me, so I asked him to come and have a chat. The last time I spoke with Doc was almost a year ago and it’s always great to chat to him.

    This was the picture we posted up last time of Mick and I bowing down before The Cluetrain Manifesto.

    Mick and Cam bowing to The Cluetrain

    The Lifekludger mashes me up

    David Wallace aka The Lifekudger is a blogger and podcaster in Adelaide who has mashed me up. I think that’s the first time I’ve been mashed. Thanks David! Maybe I’ll get Ben Folds (is he still living in Adelaide?) to produce my first album a la Shatner.