In December, we wrote about the unbelievably stupid arrest of Rokudenashiko (nee Megumi Igarashi), a Japanese manga artist who makes art with castings of her genitals. She's actually been arrested twice – once for distributing 3-D printable data of her vagina (really, her vulva or pudendum, for the pudants reading this), and another time for for an art display of whimsical sculptures (described by prosecutors as "obscene objects") at a store in Tokyo. Examples of the obscene objects are shown above and below:
Rokudenashiko's been in jail awaiting trial, after a judge refused her lawyer's request to release her. Judge Noriki Ando said Rokudenashiko must remain in prison out of a "fear she may destroy evidence or flee."
Rokudenashiko's trial is now underway. Her lawyers will defend the artist by claiming that her "work is not a precise reproduction of the vulva and does not cause sexual arousal."
The Guardian points out the hypocrisy of the case against Rokudenashiko:
Her case has attracted worldwide attention and criticism of the apparent double standards in the Japanese law’s treatment of sexual imagery. While the country has a thriving pornography industry, its obscenity laws ban the depiction of genitalia, which usually appear pixelated in images and videos.
Commentators pointed out the hypocrisy of her initial arrest, which came soon after Japanese authorities resisted pressure to ban pornographic images of children in manga comics and animated films.
If found guilty Rokudenashiko could spend two years in prison for distributing obscene objects.
Here's a profile of Rokudenashiko, showing how she makes her "vagina sculptures."
And here she describes her (successful) crowdfunded plan to make a "pussy kayak":
In a lawsuit against Conan O'Brien, San Diego resident Robert Kaseberg says his lulzy tweets about Tom Brady, Caitlyn Jenner, airlines, and the Washington Monument all made it into the late night host's monologue.
London Metropolitan Police anti-terror squad had refused to make any comment on whether they were investigating the reporters who broke the Snowden story for two years, but now a court has ordered them to answer -- and they've copped to it.
Ontario's Progressive Conservatives (PC) are calling for the removal of a collage titled "Sacred Circle VI" by French-Canadian artist Rosalie Maheux. It's on display in a provincial government building art gallery. From a distance the art looks like a mosaic. On closer inspection, one finds the patterns contain pornographic pictures of women.
PC women's critic Laurie Scott was "disappointed" to see a small art gallery in a provincial government office block in Toronto display a work with explicit images of women engaged in various sex acts.
The Liberal government says the gallery is a public space operated by an independent board of directors made up of volunteers from the community and representatives from four art societies.
Maheux, a 26-year-old University of Toronto art graduate said it was not her intention to offend anyone with her piece titled, “Sacred Circle VI,” noting she made it perfectly clear her art contained pornographic images.
“I would really say it is more deep than that. People have said it is such a beautiful circle full of detail and colour. It’s very spiritual . . . it’s just not porn at all,” she said, adding she has “a strong feminist interest” in mind when creating her art.
“I have just endured one of the largest trolling attacks in history,” writes Reddit's recently-departed interim CEO Ellen Pao in a Washington Post op-ed today. “And I have just been blessed with the most astonishing human responses to that attack.”
If you set out to create the platonic ideal of a badly considered anti-trolling bill that made a bunch of ineffectual gestures at ending harassment without regard to the collateral damage on everything else on the Internet, well, you'd be New Zealand's Parliament, apparently.
Argentina's crazy copyright laws provide for prison sentences for "intellectual property fraud" -- in this case, rewriting a Borges short story in Borgesian fashion and publishing it in a super-limited underground press edition of 300.
In the documentary Mad Max: Fury Road, we learned how Australia is controlled by a psychotic strongman who believes in traditional gender roles, strict limits on immigration, and social control through imposed scarcity. This is why Tony Abbott, current Prime Minister of Australia, announced his new Internet censorship plan by warning Aussies, "Do not, my friends, become addicted to the Web."
Jagendra Singh reported on corruption in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on his Facebook account, which allegedly prompted Ram Murti Singh Verma, a ruling party politician, to send police to his house to burn him alive; he died a week later of his injuries.
Darryl Anka telepathically channels a space alien from the future named Bashar who lives on the planet Essassani; on this basis, he has claimed many copyright infringements in the creations of Tumblr's GIF artists.
Now that the USA Freedom Act is out of the way, it seems pretty clear the next battle in Congress will almost certainly be over encryption, as the FBI has not stopped its push to force tech companies to insert a backdoor into their communications tools, despite being ridiculed for it by security experts. The FBI seems to push it even farther in the past week, testifying before Congress that they need to stop encryption "above all else" and leaking a story to the LA Times about ISIS using
encrypted text messaging apps. I wrote about what a dumb move it is on several levels for the Guardian.
Peter from the National Coalition Against Censorship writes, "During an AP class discussion about gratuitous language, a student asked a teacher to read an Allen Ginsberg poem.
He's not a teacher anymore."