When the sex offenders register was first conceived, we can presume it wasn't intended to include teenagers taking photos of themselves. That would be absurd and no right-minded lawmaker would wish it. But laws, like pets, have a life of their own. Take your eye off them and they will shit in your house. This week, a teenage girl was given a police caution for taking a photo of herself partially undressed and sending it to her boyfriend. In any normal conception of the world this would be considered regrettable teenage behaviour. In the brave new world in which we live it is 'distributing indecent images of a child'.
Our news story on 2nd July about poor Leena McCall’s painting being chucked out of the Society of Women Artists’ exhibition by their host gallery, the Mall Galleries, was followed by a little flurry of excitement in the meedja, culminating (or perhaps not) with Dan Damon’s World Update on the World Service yesterday. Among these, our sainted former editor Rowan Pelling penned a lovely piece for the Guardian on the 8th July and a former ER columnist, Dr Brooke Magnanti, aka Belle de Jour, likewise wrote a convincing argument in the Telegraph against the sanitisation of the world for the sake of children and vulnerable adults. Meanwhile the painting has been relocated by its inclusion in a show opening tomorrow, entitled Summer Salon, at a new London art venue, The Leyden Gallery, 9 Leyden St, London E1 7LE (a very smart move by the gallery owners). We’re expecting crush barriers will be erected any moment now, so visit early to avoid the scrum… However there remains a mystery: who was it that actually called Leena’s painting ‘too pornographic and disgusting’? Was it a member of the Mall Galleries’ executive committee? Or was it uttered by a visitor (or visitors) to the gallery? Did one exclaim “This is simply too pornographic!” while another, nodding his head wisely and voicing his agreement, propounded “And too disgusting, too!” We await an answer from Leena’s press officer, Rosanna Head.