State of the Blog Address: Spring 2022

(Last Updated On April 29, 2022)

Dear Valued Pigtails Readers,

When Pip and I met, we quickly learned that we were of one mind about how to handle the sensitive subject of what I now call, “The Cult of the Girl Child”. The intent was never to have a long-term site but we both began to realize it filled a need in public education. Every time some crisis shut us down, our consolation was that we already accomplished a lot given the political and moral climate of the time. If something like this were to continue to operate, our motivations had to be above reproach but not appear to censor in the conventional sense just to “fit in”. When Pip needed to move on to pursue other interests, it was easy for him to pass the reins to me. Although I am pleased with the contacts that I have nurtured, I had not found someone who fully understood the long-term vision of this site and could be trusted to run it in its entirety.

I am by nature a Renaissance Man and so my interests inevitably pulled me away from the girl child and the peripheral and frank subject of child sexuality. The reason I stayed with it for so long is that I felt a strong moral obligation to keep things going as a resource. That is why, even though I have not personally been very active lately, I kept it as a platform for commentary and contributions of others who had knowledge of the subject.

This latest interruption was pretty much caused the same way as the rest: zealous opponents putting pressure on our internet service chain until it was not worth the trouble to keep us as a customer. Predictably, the excuse was that our site hosted child pornography even though several organizations tasked with monitoring issues of child welfare have found nothing to take action on (apart from C3P’s recent efforts which were simply reports generated by a poorly-designed AI visual subroutine). These are unmitigated acts of cowardice and at no time did we receive direct warning from law enforcement or a court order that we had better desist (sometimes there were complaints about a specific item). Our attackers know they have a weak case legally and so have had to resort to these back alley tactics.

I have hung on this long because I feel it would be wrong to give in to the ignorance of moral panic and the subject of the girl child legitimately needs some debate and academic study beyond the mere appreciation of physical beauty. I have thought long about many aspects of the this subject and realize there has been only the most superficial coverage of this subject so far. It is one entangled not only in human nature, but the ways technologies have distorted a healthy balance including instant communication, digital photography, the law and the nature of civilization itself.

However, I would be remiss not to pursue some of my latest interests. I am a human being and have to do work I find fulfilling. There really won’t be that much of a change from my recent activity but I have decided to post an abridged version of the site to minimize the amount of fodder that can be used against us and to plan a more secure way to keep the site up and running. I am proud that Pigtails in Paint has operated for over 10 years with a few interruptions here or there and it is important that we maintain a presence on the internet until such point as the general public acknowledge us as a respected permanent fixture on the web.

My idea—and that may change at any time—is to maintain an summary version of the site for a while. The latest three months of posts will be publicly available as well as any important cross-reference libraries. Posts that are no longer visible will be indexed in the ‘Artists by Name’ and ‘Thematic Posts’ pages. I will try to accomplish this during the coming summer when I have more time on my hands. After discussing it with technical support, I realize we can implement a suggestion made by others in the past. Some of you may want to be registered viewers and can be given access to the entire site on a case by case basis. The only inconvenience is that you would have to sign in but you could still maintain your anonymity. All decisions about who gets access will be made by me, the Editor-in-Chief. We have nothing really to hide, but we are going to try this to see if we still get the same amount of heat about our site with this smaller public profile. It is hoped that we can relaunch the full site when we are confident that our continued operation cannot be interfered with by vigilantes. Since Pigtails has been the main focus of attackers, it has lamentably caused disruptions on Agapeta, the Graham Ovenden and Garage Press sites. We will also continue to work on getting the Sam Gates website re-established and, if at all possible, the launch of the Novel Activist website as an archive. Pigtails will keep its domain name and we are contemplating the idea of a backup domain so readers will know where to go if we are interfered with again.

The contact form and Pigtails email will also be maintained so readers can always contact me and lend their support, ideas, submit articles and the like. In the mean time, we will be researching ways to maintain our own servers and access to the internet that is not controlled by private companies who can shut us down on a whim. We are also seeking academic institutions who would be interested in preserving an archive on the subject so that key materials might be available to future researchers and not interfered with by short-sighted legal authorities.

27 thoughts on “State of the Blog Address: Spring 2022

  1. Pigtails in Paint must go on! This project is extremely important and I’m sure everyone here knows that.

    I like the idea of users having to create an account (at least to have access to the full content). That wouldn’t bother me, I access Pigtails in Paint to study and enjoy the beauty, I have nothing to hide.

    I was very happy to hear that you intend to re-establish the Sam Gates site. Unfortunately I didn’t have access to the site, but I really want to know more about Samantha Gates.

    Finally, I hope that Agapeta and the other affected sites can return soon! <3

  2. I am glad that Pigtails in Paint is up again, even though the entire site is no longer public. I understand that articles no longer public will be archived and identified on ‘Artists by Name’ and ‘Thematic Posts’ pages. Therefore visitors will know that an article about a specific artist or subject exists, but that article cannot be seen except by registered viewers. Would it be feasible to have two categories of archived articles? Controversial articles could be accessed only by registred viewers, but anybody could view the noncontroversial articles? For example, the Debbie Drechsler post would be for registered viewers only, but the Norman Rockwell post would be accessible by anyone?

    • We have been brainstorming lately so our plan is evolving. In the long run, registered users will have full access to all pages. It will take time to implement this because we have to go through each post one at a time. Therefore, it will not be necessary to index posted artists on the ‘Artists by Name’ page. Because images have a more visceral and emotional impact, we need to steer clear of controversial subjects, just the images. I think anyone who has read the articles know we are taking a responsible and respectful approach to the subject. The idea is that carriers and registrars will not have anything objectionable to look at when there are complaints and impulsive complaints should be minimized, but who knows. We will have to see how this pans out and make some attempt not to have a target painted on our backs. -Ron

  3. I want to add that I wish I could contribute articles, but I lack both the technical know-how and the equipment to be able to compose a piece that would contain images.

    • As I have said many times, I can do the editing and posting of the articles. You have probably noticed that we had a few guests recently. I hope more can be encouraged as well acting in other support roles. -Ron

  4. I am extremely happy that the site is back!
    The only disappointment is the last-three-months limit on what can be accessed.
    I hope that not too much time goes by before it becomes possible to log on to the site in order to have unrestricted access to it.

    • We have to retool so there are many temporary configurations before the site is the way we want it. Please be patient. The idea is that registered users will have full access and all users discovering our site will at least have access to all posts and most pages to familiarize themselves before deciding if they want more access. -Ron

  5. I am sorry you have to deal with yet another instance of harassment – and sorry to here you’ve lost some of your passion for this project. But please do keep working to preserve the site’s contents in a public manner. This is a truly invaluable resource in the world of art history.

    Additionally, if you don’t want to write yourself, have you considered only having volunteer guest writers create articles (approved by you)?

    • Our most active guest writer is Moko right now and I am happy to see there are some new contributors. I wish more people would do so and I am happy to edit their work. In the May ‘Maiden Voyages’ I will have a little preview of things to come. Thank you for your support. -Ron

    • I agree it would be a great loss to make the website private – and it would expose it to accusations of suspiciousness -.

      • No doubt, but on the other hand, some people are not happy about the open content. Anyone who wants to will still be able to access it so no case can really be made that we are hiding anything. Certain people will simply never be satisfied and there is little that can be done about them. -Ron

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.