After a brief time in exile, Pigtails in Paint is now operating normally with the correct domain names and backups. Witch hunt is an apt way of describing the struggle that is taking place today, but I am particularly reminded of The Reformation. The tenor of the angry comments about this site smacked of anti-elitism and using the arts as an excuse to do something sinister. During The Reformation, many pundits had legitimate complaints about the corruption of the Catholic Church but, in the end, their actions and influence were used to wreak great destruction on fine religious art. Luther and Erasmus were considered important leaders of this movement but were appalled at the wanton smashing of Madonna statues and destruction of Church property in the name of iconoclasm. Luther even pled with local princes to put a stop to these demolition gangs but to no avail. Although there is certainly corruption in the most powerful and established elite institutions, I feel it necessary to point out that truly talented people form natural aristocracies. Unless they are made to have contempt for their society because of the bad treatment they suffered in their youth, they generally use their talent for the betterment of everyone. Only those who act on their irrational fear of those with remarkable skill and knowledge tend to push society to its lowest functional state—what might reasonably be called a state of spiritual poverty.
Imitation is the Best Form of Flattery: There is a Moldovan photographer Vladimir Timofeev who did a photo shoot imitating Hajime Sawatari’s Alice. The simulation is remarkable even down to the expression on the girl’s face. The blogger at Girls’ Portraiture recently featured this artist and included a number of other images from this series.
Walking a Fine Line: Christian has informed me that there is a censorship issue with Google+. He tried to share Ilona Szwarc’s photograph Desiree, Brooklyn, NY and it was immediately flagged as inappropriate followed by a message stating that it “may be in violation of our User Content and Conduct Policy”. They added that “Content that depicts the exploitation or abuse of children, presents children in a sexual manner, or facilitates inappropriate contact with children is not permitted.” After appealing the decision, a reviewer upheld the decision. Therefore, Google+ believes that a photograph of a girl in a two-piece swimsuit and holding a doll is considered “child abuse”. The irony is—and I have heard this complaint many times—there are many “hate” sites and profiles glorifying Nazism or promoting anti-Semitism that have not been removed, despite being reported. Christian adds that Facebook censored the Lehnert & Landrock photograph from Pip’s recent post ‘A Girl and Her Vessel’.
Interestingly, our service provider just did some research, asking a U.K. watchdog group to examine our site for any possible cases of abuse. We got a clean bill of health on that point but were informed that they have no influence over what individual companies and organizations can censor. These developments highlight the need for a knowledgeable organization that can make more clear and reasonable definitions that are legally-binding for law enforcement agencies and media service companies.
Little Belly Dancers: I have been informed that in The Ukraine, there are annual festivals where little girls perform this art. Here are three fine examples on YouTube from the past few events: Anastasia Olkova (2014), Aleksandra Kutsyuk (2016) and Sofia Yavtushenko (2013).
Who’s Number One? I recently watched Michael Moore’s film Where to Invade Next (2015). The title is confusing at first until you understand the premise that Moore is traveling to other countries to steal their best ideas for use in the U.S. Worth noting is his visit to a rural primary school in France. The children are served what Americans would call gourmet food, served by chefs (no cafeteria lines), and they receive lessons on food etiquette during that time. They were quite disgusted when Moore showed them pictures of school cafeteria food in the U.S. Also, sex education is quite frank and without the kind scare tactics that are regular fare in the U.S. The instructors there found it quite laughable when Moore suggested they should emphasize abstinence.
Crime Dramas: When I was little, I remember watching old television shows with my grandmother. One show she loved was Quincy, M.E. starring Jack Klugman. There was an episode that dealt with the topic of child prostitution. It was interesting to see how the subject was handled in that show versus an episode of the more recent Numb3rs. It got me to thinking that any long-running crime drama would deal with the subject sooner or later and it would be interesting to analyze changing perceptions over time and in different countries. I am therefore requesting that any readers familiar with specific episodes that deal with this subject in a television series, please let me know. The results of my research will be made into a future post. Simply use the contact form to send me any leads. -Ron