Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More evidence that sodomy is harmful to one’s sense of humour,22049,24804194-5001021,00.html

I’m not sure whether to label this one with a ‘humour’ tag or a ‘human rights’ tag; whatever it is, it’s a scream. I’ll post the whole article with no additional comment except to suggest that you might care to read this in the context of the latest thrust for an Australian bill of rights:

Gay activist told: Get a sense of humour over Telstra ad [I liked the original print edition headline more: “Lighten up, it’s only two blokes in a tent”.]

EXCLUSIVE by Joe Hildebrand
December 16, 2008 12:00am

A GAY activist says his human rights have been violated by the human rights watchdog itself - because it refused to ban a "homophobic" Telstra ad about two men in a tent.

Glebe-based advocate Andrew James has now lodged an official complaint, prompting a call from Human Rights Commissioner Graeme Innes for people to lighten up.

In the ad, two men on a camping trip become suspicious when their two mates disappear into a tent. It later emerges they are simply watching cricket on the same mobile phone.

"Gay men who do choose to have sex in a tent should not have to be afraid of getting caught by their friends," Mr James' writes on his website,

He complained to the Australian Human Rights Commission about the ad but found there was no official category because it did not occur in the workplace.

Instead, he complained under the category "My human rights have been breached by a federal government agency" . . . namely the commission itself. In his formal complaint, he wrote: "You're the one place that should stand up for my rights and my equality, and your own website is discriminatory in nature."

AHRC complaint handling director Karen Toohey said there was no legal basis to act against the ad.

Mr Innes, meanwhile, suggested people needed to have a sense of humour about such things.

"It's important not to vilify or treat people differently on the basis of their sexual orientation," he said. "However, that's got to be taken in the context of the Australian sense of humour and sense of fun."
The reporter, Mr. Hildebrand, also had funny opinion piece on this silly story. It had me laughing out loud:

Human rights violations just not cricket

RARELY a day goes by when I don't have my human rights violated. In fact I had them violated just yesterday and if they're not violated again by lunchtime I will have to hire someone.

So naturally I was not surprised to read that a Sydney gay activist had his human rights violated by the Human Rights Commission. After all, they would know how to do the job, wouldn't they?

(Another reason I was not surprised to read the article was that I had written it the
previous day but let's not get mired in detail.)

Andrew James said the commission had discriminated against him by not allowing him to be discriminated against.

In particular James wanted to be discriminated against by a Telstra ad about two men watching cricket in a tent while their camping buddies suspect they are climbing Brokeback Mountain.

But the commission's complaints director Karen Toohey told him that even though he thought the ad was homophobic there was no legal basis for discrimination. Andrew James could not be discriminated against.

This of course is in itself discriminatory. Not only that it is homophobic and, one can only presume, racist.

Toohey suggested in a highly discriminatory way that James take his concerns about the ad to the Australian Communications and Media Authority, who naturally told him it was a matter more suited to the Human Rights Commission. Yet again, a government agency had prevented him from being discriminated against by the Telstra commercial - which, incidentally, features a man with a moustache.

Adding insult to injury, the ACMA was likewise unable to help James with the fact that his human rights had been violated by the Human Rights Commission.

This meant, by my calculations, that he had been violated three times in one day.

Of course James is not alone in this. Recently pansexual lobbyists claimed they were being discriminated against by the lack of a fourth official gender - defined as "other" - on top of the traditional male, female and intersex.

And of course John Laws was taken to the Administrative Decisions Tribunal for calling Carson Kressley a pillow-biter*, an outrageous comment given that the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy host is flagrantly heterosexual.

What a great relief it is that so many selfless citizens are keeping our bureaucrats employed in these challenging economic times.

* Every time I hear this term I am reminded of the great surrealist joke: "Last night I dreamt I was eating my pillow and when I woke up my giant white marshmallow was gone".
Reginaldvs Cantvar
17.XII.2008 A.D.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

O My Lord! That marshmallow joke in particular was hilarious!