The Null Device
Some good news for free speech: a US court has upheld an artist's right to use images of Barbie(tm) dolls, on the grounds of free speech, throwing out a copyright infringement lawsuit by Barbie owner Mattel against artist Tom Forsythe. Forsythe had made a series of photographs titled Food Chain Barbie to criticise the stereotype of women presented by the trademarked pieces of pink plastic.
The World's Oldest Multinational Corporation (pt. 2): Australian federal government, Catholic Church gang up to overturn a court decision allowing unmarried women to obtain fertility treatment. The Government's Attorney-General is using an obscure power to allow the Catholic Church to join in a High Court appeal against the law, overriding the court's authority to decide. And if that fails, the government intends to draft legislation to enforce compliance with its view of Christian family values under penalty of law, now don't you worry about that.
Innovatively groovy Sydney band Prop are playing this Friday night at the Bennett's Lane venue. (Despite the venue, they are certainly not a by-the-books jazz band, featuring a marimba, vibraphone, analogue synths and bongos among their instrumentation.) They are launching their new album, Small Craft, Rough Sea, which should be really good.
I just got a message saying that last Friday, ABC Radio National are doing a whole show on the FourPlay remix CD, playing a number of tracks, including my remix. (I'm the "bulhak" listed in the credits of the Voidhand remix.) It'll be on this Friday night at 10pm. (I probably won't be home to catch it, but may hear the repeat next Saturday.)
The World's Oldest Multinational Corporation: Human rights groups, including Amnesty International have urged the Vatican to apologise for tacitly supporting of castration of choirboys, as recently as 1959. The practice, used to make male singers with childlike range and the vocal power of a man, was officially banned by the Vatican, but believed to have been tacitly encouraged, on the pretext that the boys in question were castrated as the result of an accident (such as falling from a horse or an animal bite). Many poor Italian parents had their sons castrated in this fashion, tempted by the promise of a lucrative musical career. (Incidentally, the issue is mentioned in Jeanette Winterson's novel Art and Lies.)