I’ve had some songs going round what I advisedly call my brain recently. There’s a theme to them.
Here they are:
Yep. They’re songs about defying censorship, and/or enjoying or experiencing pain or non-standard (sexual) pleasures. They are songs that seem to me to be relevant to the ATVOD regulations, and opposing them. (Rachel Stamp’s “Spank” is also among them, but Spotify don’t seem to have that track.)
Listen to the lyrics, they’re relevant. The gender-flipped second verse of Bowling For Soup’s version of “Hit Me Baby One More Time” in particular sounds like a criticism of the ban on facesitting!
Pandora Blake has been defiant, insisting she will not comply, though that comes at a cost. With it, she made one of the clearest and most succinct explanations of how sexual censorship is political censorship, the political and personal are intimately connected:
The porn I make is me doing my kink, my art, my feminism. This is how I do my activism and politics. I will not give it up. It’s who I am.
I commented (on a different twitter thread) that I admired her civil disobedience, and pledged solidarity as far as I could.
Then I thought about what civil disobedience on a mass scale might involve. I recalled from earlier this year that Blake had written a piece, Empower Yourself Through Porn, about how to set yourself up as a DIY porn producer. What if, I thought, dozens, hundreds, maybe even THOUSANDS of us who believe in freedom of speech set out to make short porn clips (say, a minute or 5 minutes, or whatever you’re comfortable with) featuring things banned by the BBFC guidelines now applied by ATVOD? What if we all put them on our own blogs or websites (behind age-restriction warnings, obviously)? What if every video had, somewhere, a message opposing the new regulations (I’m fantasising about having the message written upside down on someone’s forehead while their partner facesits them – and that someone might or might not be me)? I suppose people who didn’t want their faces on camera could angle the camera or use editing software to blur themselves out, too.
The power of civil disobedience is that we break the unjust law en masse to draw attention to it, or just overload the system, like the organised mass trespasses to protest private property on what had been public land and so on. Blake already has people trying to overload the ATVOD complaints system by complaining about ATVOD itself. What if there happened to be a “mass trespass” of sexual material?
All of the above is, of course, purely speculative – a “what if” scenario. I’m not advocating breaking the law, you understand. I’m just saying, “what if…?”
I’m really hoping that the Government will find they’ve misjudged this: that, perhaps thanks to tumblr (where you will find many many pervy blogs maintained by deeply kinky women and men), admitting to liking deeply kinky porn is no longer the stigma it once was, and people are going to feel able to say something about this being a bad law. The press response, from the Independent to the Daily Mirror, seems to suggest that this might be the case.