Features

/Features

A category for posts to show featured items on the home page. As more are added, only the most recent are shown on the home page.

A Short Story: Summer Camp

  Winona Cheung was dripping wet as she made the difficult climb up the cliff face. She had just plummeted twelve meters into a crystal clear mountain lake and it had been exhilarating. She heard a loud whoop and in her peripheral vision saw the flash of a naked body fly past. Judging by the merest glimpse of long blond hair it was Jens. She looked down to see the splash of water as he disappeared under and holding on using just one hand she waited to see him resurface. One minute, two, three, four. She looked up to see [...]

A New Short Story: Puddin

  “I don’t need to tell you that this client is very valuable to our business. If you fail to impress him, I’m afraid you’ll be sent back to Montreal. It requires discretion, the personal touch.” Alain Camus nodded. He was standing in the CEO’s office high above London’s financial district. Affectionately called Babylon, the new hi-tech building used hanging gardens as part of its internal environmental systems. “I must admit I am not sure why I was chosen. I’m Canadian and not exactly connected in the way my predecessor was.” The client in question was Lord Percival Coventry, Duke [...]

Super Intelligent Humans Are Coming

This is an excellent overview - super intelligent humans are coming -  of the issue of genetically enhanced intelligence. Sci-fi suffers from a deep prejudice about intelligence. The super intelligent are either mad scientists or emotionless Spocks. Whilst it is true that some with high intelligence in one area can be lacking in other areas (the socially awkward nerd) the reality is that people with a high intelligence are usually gifted in most areas.

Dakini

The background mythology of Paradise is Tantric Buddhism. One key figure is that of the dakini (khandroma or sky-dancer). She is nearly always depicted naked to signal her non-attachment to the world. 

Anarchist Transhumanism

There's no hiding the fact that Paradise is a transhumanist novel and this is exactly the type of debate some of the main characters would be involved in: The Incoherence and Unsurvivability of Non-Anarchist Transhumanism.

Kepler Exoplanets

 One of the key plot lines of Paradise is the discovery of exoplanets. There has been a revolution in this field an as more powerful methods come online we can expect more exciting discoveries, perhaps we will even detect life. This article is a good overview of the discoveries made by the Kepler telescope.

Graham Ovenden (2): Persecuting The Models

Persecute: harass, hound, pursue, pester, badger, distress, victimize, bully. It's an odd thing how those who claim to be acting in the best interests of child models end up being the very people who cause the harm. In this blog I have detailed a number of examples. When Hetty Johnston pursued the photographer Bill Henson she paid no attention to the harm it would cause the model. When former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd described a photo as disgusting, the young model Olympia Nelson came out to defend her image. Then there are the highly articulate thoughts of Jessie Mann, daughter [...]

Moral Panic And The Vilification Of Graham Ovenden

I hadn't planned to write about the recent court case involving Graham Ovenden but as more and more was revealed I realised that it was essential to much that I have written on this blog. First let me fully acknowledge that much of the information has been more than adequately covered at Artist on Trial and at Graham Ovenden: Fall from Grace? What I intend to do is place these events in the context of two of the themes of this blog; the childhood culture wars and the naked child in art. In particular I want to make reference to [...]

Mexx Children’s Clothing Ad – Equal To The Boys.

I want you to look at this image carefully. What do you see? What do you think? It's an ad for Mexx children's clothing, the jeans in particular, taken by photographer Beatrice Heydiri. Personally I think this image is great. Why? Because it does not sexualise the girls. The first thing I noticed was that the girls are dressed exactly like the boys. Same jeans, same hands in the pockets pose. In other words, the two girls have not been forced to conform to conservative gender stereotypes. No pink. No cutesy dresses. No sexual differentiation. Equal to the boys. Yes, [...]

Concluding The Naked Child In Art Series

Because I'm returning to writing I'm concluding the naked child in art series (although I may resurrect it at some point). The simple fact is that whilst I have a great deal more material on hold (I haven't really begun to consider contemporary art or film) I no longer have the time or inclination to keep posting. The reason I started this project was to correct the extraordinary ignorance about the subject evident in recent controversies over the naked child in art. I think I have more than adequately provided a great many examples (far more than I originally expected) [...]