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Girls Scream Aloud – Would you want your wife or servants to read it ?

April 1st, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized by

For the first time in a while a case of obscenity over the written word is being prosecuted. Past humilations of the prosecuters of the freedom of the written word have made prosecutions very hard in the UK. Its time we made the freedom of the written word, except in the case of incitement to violence, absolute.

In the latest case a piece, clearly obscene but no more than many other literary works, has been published on the internet as a work of fiction and it looks like the prosecution may succeed – but its a dangerous path.

There is a very important issue here. There are many works of literature that are more extreme than this piece, for example the Torture Garden by Octave Mirbeau. If we are to ban this piece on the grounds of its obscenity then we must ban all pieces of work which are more extreme that this. Prosecuting this on the grounds that it is obscene is unhelpful because it will draw in other work and restrict a basic freedom that had been taken for granted.

I happen to be a big fan of Girls Aloud and I regret that this piece might have caused offence to them, but I was grateful for the statement from their management, reported as follows.

“Although the pop stars are being more cautious, they have vowed not to let it affect their commitments – a source in the Daily Star says We won’t give this person the satisfaction that the girls care. They have security with them all the time, they are safe enough ?”

If there is a stalking issue then clearly this needs prosecution, but this is not the case here.

It has always been artists who have been at the forefront of the case of artistic freedom, and very few people in the music, film or literary business wants anyone to go to jail for artistic freedom.

Girls Aloud could help the cause of artistic freedom and freedom of the internet if they would come out with an explicit statement saying that ‘they don’t care’. I am sure that the legions of their fans who by and large value highly the freedom of the internet would be forever indebted.

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