More on the big O

Thurs. 01 Aug. 2012

It’s still “all happening in London right now” (see my earlier News item, The big O), so in the spirit of these “London 2012” times I decided to stock up on a new range of implements that reflect the new-found national affection for all things sporting, rather than just the usual football, cricket and rugby.

So I draw back the curtain on my new bats: see the pic. They’ve previously enjoyed life in their traditional roles, but, if they could speak, I’m sure they’d thank me for giving them a new lease of life in somewhat non-traditional roles... I’m sure you can imagine what that would be! Astute observers will also notice the presence of two “Sports Captain” school badges in blue, and in yellow (I have my doubts whether they’re authentic).

Now we all know that big events such as the big O are plagued by scandals of one sort or another – rather like banks. Well here’s yet Another Olympic ‘scandal’, but one with a bit of a twist – surely the powers that be should have known that healthy young men and women at the peak of their physical powers need more than sports drinks and vitamin supplements to sustain them...

Now what’s really a scandal is this trial that’s happening right now at Kingston Crown Court (that’s outer south-west London, if I understand my UK urban geography). The basics are: the police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) tried to convict Michael Peacock under the Obscene Publications Act (OPA) early this year for producing and distributing DVDs of gay male fisting, etc. – he was acquitted. Now they’re trying to convict Simon Walsh under the “extreme porn” law for possessing a few (approx. six or seven) images of gay fisting, etc. By “possessing”, that is someone sent Walsh an email with pic attachments to Walsh’s personal, dedicated Hotmail account, where they were stored online in a Hotmail folder.

Apparently Walsh, who stands to go down for three years for possession of “extreme” images, is a London barrister who’s been involved in prosecuting corrupt police. So there are a number of important threads to this one. See the backgound on this case by Walsh’s defence lawyer, This time it’s extreme.

As others have commented, “obscenity”, and “pornography” – and “extreme pornography” – are in the eye of the beholder. In other words, it’s entirely subjective, and the wording of this ridiculous law makes it clear that’s exactly the test being applied: the subjective opinion of police and prosecutors, and we all know how liberal and enlightened they are, don’t we. The only thing about this trial that is extreme, is the prosecution itself – and here’s a good summary, by a respected independent commentator, of this extreme prosecution. (If you’re interested in my articles on sexual politics, then please follow this link, which will take you to my first dedicated piece on these topics, and it has links to my other related News items: ‘Extreme porn’ and internet censorship.)

To return to more pleasant topics once again, I have updated my Gift List page, so, also in the spirit of “London 2012”, I’ve changed the camera I need (yes, need) to an “Olympus”. My old compact digital is, alas, not really up to the job anymore, and this Olympus SZ-31MR is refreshingly less expensive than the Sony I have had listed since my site went live in February last year.

And while on the subject of updating my Gift List, I’ve also changed my perfume back to my old favourite, Rive Gauche (still by Yves Saint Laurent, however).


Update: In May 2018 I visited Oxford and at the Ashmolean Museum my attention was drawn to an ancient Athenian kylix (c. 550–501 BC). A kylix is a drinking cup, and ones used for symposiums (drinking parties) were ornate, sometimes in outright raunchy ways. My item on this particular kylix references the Olympic Games, ancient style, which encompassed practices that today would have athletes arrested or deported. See In praise of an Athenian kylix at the Ashmolean Museum.