Facebook censors 150-year-old Courbet painting


This is a French TV video, about Facebook censoring Gustave Courbet‘s painting L’origine du monde in 2011.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands, today:

In France, a teacher and Facebook argue today about a 149 year old painting. The man posted in 2011 a picture of L’Origine du Monde (The Origin of the World) by Gustave Courbet on his Facebook page, and the social media corporation deleted his account.

The painting shows the naked lower body of a woman lying on a bed, pudendal towards the viewer. An Ottoman ambassador in Paris is said to have commissioned Courbet’s painting for his personal erotica collection in 1866.

Facebook considers the work of art to be offensive. The teacher, in his fifties, an art lover and a father of three, thinks that is absurd. The judge will as of today consider whether it is pornography or art.

Scandalize

For Facebook, there is even more at stake. In its rules, it says that in case of litigation US law prevails. Against that, the French teacher has already been objected successfully . The French court deems itself competent to consider the case.

Facebook did not agree with that and appealed. “It will be a long legal battle,” says correspondent Ron Linker.

The original of the painting which measures 50 by 50 centimeters hangs in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. “When you walk towards the painting, there is an accompanying text, in which the museum warns that this painting does not cease to shock” says Linker. “That’s one and a half a century later still the case, perhaps exactly what the artist wanted.”

“Edouard Manet’s ‘Olympia’ scandalized nearly everyone when it was first exhibited at the 1865 Paris Salon, its nude subject confronting the viewer with an unflinching gaze and brazen sexuality. Francisco Goya’s Nude Maja, created over half of a century earlier, was similarly shocking, both because of the model’s visible pubic hair and palpable lack of shame. A third equally heretical and pivotal nude painting, however, is often erased from the conversation: American artist Romaine Brooks’ 1910 ‘White Azaleas.'” (Read more here)

Journalist Laurie Penny banned from Facebook for using pseudonym: here.

Thai military dictator threatens to kill critical journalists


This video says about itself:

Thai PM Prayuth Chan-ocha Warns Reporters

25 March 2015

BANGKOK: Thai junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha lashed out at journalists today, saying he would “probably just execute” those who did “not report the truth”, in the latest outburst aimed at Thailand’s media.

Last month Mr Prayuth said he had the power to shut down news outlets. Today, he took an even harsher line.

“We’ll probably just execute them,” said Mr Prayuth, without a trace of a smile, when asked by reporters how the government would deal with those that do not adhere to the official line.

During the Vietnam war, there was a military dictatorship in Thailand. That dictatorship were allies of the Pentagon and the ‘free world’ against ‘atheist communism’.

Now, in 2015, the Warsaw pact and the Soviet Union have ceased to exist decades ago.

Again, there is a military dictatorship in Thailand. That dictatorship are allies of the Pentagon and the ‘free world’ against … against whom? Against the 99% of people becoming to critical of the richest 1%?

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Leader of Thai junta threatens to ‘execute’ journalists who ‘do not tell the truth’

Prayuth Chan-ocha issued a stark warning to reporters who prove problematic for the Government

Heather Saul

Wednesday 25 March 2015

The leader of the Thai junta has threatened to execute journalists who “did not tell the truth” in shocking comments aimed at Thailand’s media.

Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters, “we’ll probably just execute them,” when he was asked how the Government would deal with journalists and media outlets that did not adhere to the official line, according to Reuters.

The news agency claims he made the menacing remarks on Wednesday without “a trace of a smile”.

Prayuth leads the National Council for Peace and Order which deposed the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in a coup last May following months of protests.

The coup saw Thailand placed under martial law, giving the army full control over citizens, the way the country is run and providing the junta with sweepings powers over arrest and detention.

Prayuth has lead a crack-down on dissenters and claims Thailand is still not ready for martial law to be lifted.

In January, the junta forced a German foundation to cancel a forum on press freedom. Prayuth was particularly critical of the Thai-language Matichon daily newspaper, accusing the paper of siding with ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his allies.

“Don’t think I don’t know that your writing is pro the previous administration,” he was quoted as telling a Matichon reporter. “The previous Interior Ministry bought many advertising spaces from you.”

THAI army-installed Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said yesterday that he planned to lift martial law but bring in a measure his opponents dub the “dictator law”: here.

Last month Thailand’s dictator, former general Prayuth Chan-ocha, announced the lifting of martial law, which was imposed in May 2014 shortly before the army seized power in a coup. Far from restoring democratic rights, however, the US-backed junta has activated article 44 of its interim constitution, which gives unlimited powers to Prayuth: here.

A draft constitution drawn up by Thailand’s military junta, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), was released to the media last month. It confirms that the US-backed regime, which seized power in a coup in May 2014, intends to stay in control indefinitely, despite proposing to hold elections next year: here.

Thai environmentalists pay for activism with their lives: here.

Punk music police censorship in English football


This music video from Britain is called Sex Pistols – Anarchy In The UK 1976.

By poet Attila the Stockbroker in England:

Anarchy in the UK – but censorship in Gillingham

Thursday 5th March 2015

Now my autobiography is finished the gigs are beginning to start again. Today my wife and I are off to Lerwick for my first ever appearances in Shetland – hooray! Looking forward to that, and to sampling the ale from the legendary Valhalla Brewery — an extended report of proceedings will be in my next column.

And I had a brilliant show last Sunday at the Winter of Discontent punk festival in north London with Sunderland heroes and old mates Angelic Upstarts, Welsh anti-fascist legends The Oppressed and Edinburgh’s hilarious Oi Polloi.

Now a bit more from the book.

To set the scene — it’s 1997 and the crisis at my beloved Brighton & Hove Albion is at its height. Our Goldstone Ground has been sold to property speculators, we’re playing our “home” games at Gillingham, a round trip of 140 miles, and we’re second from bottom of the entire Football League.

To try and liven things up a bit, I’ve persuaded club chairman Dick Knight to let me be PA announcer and DJ, playing punk, reggae and ska. It’s Boxing Day 1997, at home to Colchester. A noon kick-off.

We’d obviously had to set off really early to get to Gillingham in time for the game and everyone was a bit bleary-eyed. So, for the first time, I decided to play Anarchy in the UK by the Sex Pistols. It had been on for about a minute when a policeman burst into the box.

“Take that off! Take that off! Now!”

“Why?’”I asked. But I could see that he was really angry. So I did, and put the Clash on instead.

This music video from England is called The Clash – Janie Jones (live at the Belle Vue, Manchester, UK 15. November 1977).

“You can’t play that record at a football match. It’s banned. It’s on THE LIST!”

“What list?” I asked. “No-one has ever told me there was a list of records I couldn’t play!”

“Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it!’ he shouted. “It’s obvious!”

I stood there, the Clash playing in the background, perplexed. It evidently wasn’t “obvious” to me and the fact that he needed to explain further made him even more angry. “It incites violence in the crowd!” he exclaimed.

I thought for a few seconds. “Well, officer,” I said. “I bought two copies of Anarchy in the UK in the black sleeve on EMI Records on the day that it came out in 1976. I have played it and heard it many, many times since and not once has doing so given me violent thoughts of any kind whatsoever.

“I have also been to all 92 Football League grounds and every time I have heard In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins I have had to restrain myself from committing serious acts of criminal damage!”

He didn’t get the joke and, a couple of days later, Brighton & Hove Albion FC received a formal letter from Kent Police banning me from doing the PA at Gillingham any longer.

Dick Knight phoned me up. “I’m not having that, John!” He spoke to them and the ban was rescinded, on condition that I didn’t play Anarchy in the UK again. So I didn’t.

This music video is called The Damned – Smash it Up; Old Grey Whistle Test.

I did play Smash it Up by the Damned and I Fought the Law and White Riot by the Clash in the next couple of weeks though. No policeman appeared in the box. Obviously those three weren’t on THE LIST.

This music video is called The Clash – I Fought The Law (Live at The London Lyceum Theatre – 1979).

This music video is called The Clash – White Riot.

Bahrain dictatorship censors even Saudi royal owned media


This 2011 video from the USA is called Bahrain government’s media censorship of tortured protesters.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

New Bahrain TV channel al-Arab off air after interviewing opposition grandee

Tuesday 3rd February 2015

A NEW news channel backed by a billionaire Saudi prince stopped broadcasting from Bahrain yesterday just hours after going on air with an interview with a prominent opposition activist.

The al-Arab television station claimed on Twitter that it halted coverage for “technical and administrative reasons” and hoped to be back on the air soon. It only went live on Sunday afternoon.

The unexpected stoppage, apparently on the order of Bahraini authorities, came just hours after the pan-Arab station surprised many viewers by featuring Bahraini opposition activist Khalil al-Marzooq among its first guests.

Bahrain’s Information Affairs Authority media director Yusuf Mohammed said that the channel would resume broadcasting once necessary procedures were completed but did not give further details.

Former deputy parliamentary speaker Mr Marzooq is a senior member of al-Wefaq, the country’s main Shi’ite political bloc.

He was cleared of allegations of instigating violence and having links to a protest faction that authorities blame for bombings and other attacks last year.

Mr Marzooq’s interview featured discussion on Bahrain’s decision Saturday to revoke the citizenship of 72 people, including several leading Shi’ite activists.

Bahrain has faced four years of instability following widespread anti-government protests in February 2011 that were dominated by the country’s Shi’ite majority, which seeks greater political rights from the Western-backed Sunni monarchy.

Al-Arab general manager Jamal Khashoggi told reporters in December that the network would “cover all views” and would not shy away from sensitive Bahraini topics.

See also here.

Al-Arab, which was removed from the airwaves after broadcasting an interview with a Bahraini opposition leader, will not return to Manama: here.