Did Elton John Possess Child Porn?

September 30, 2007

If you’re not familiar with this story, you can read up on the situation at the BBC or at CNN.

“Klara and Edda belly-dancing” by Nan Goldin was seized by police from Gateshead’s Baltic Centre on 20 September, the singer’s spokesman said.

The image of two naked young girls is part of an exhibition owned by Sir Elton, which is on loan to the Baltic.

Newsflash for the BBC: Only one of the girls is naked. Is this obvious error on the part of the BBC due to shoddy journalism, or the inevitable result of the media reporting on child porn without actually being able to see the material in question?

You can look, almost, for yourself. A blog post at a strange website includes a censored version of the photograph in question. Debbie Nathan also discusses this story in her post Sex Angst Monthly Roundup. A blogger for Time Magazine writes about Elton John and the Picture Police.

Time for some questions. Can a few strategically placed white pixels turn child porn into non-child porn? Is Nan Goldin a child pornographer? Will she be prosecuted? Will Queen Elizabeth II strip “Sir” Elton John of his knighthood if he turns out to be a “sicko” or a “pervert”? (The UK media likes to refer to those involved in child porn as “sickos” or “perverts”). If Nan goes to jail over this incident, but Sir Elton doesn’t, will he write a ballad about her?

What about some even deeper questions. To settle the issue of this photo being or not being child porn, couldn’t we just ask the child who appears naked on the floor? Remember, Kenneth V. Lanning, Former Supervisory Special Agent with the FBI, tells us that “Child pornography, by itself, represents an act of sexual abuse or exploitation of a child and, by itself, does harm to that child.” If the photo is child porn, then Klara (or Edda) will have been harmed, and harmed a lot since many people have seen “Klara and Edda belly-dancing”. Conversely, if Klara (or Edda) was not harmed by the photo, then obviously the photo is not child porn. Case closed! But, Ken Lanning is an American, and this case takes place in the UK. What if Lanning’s Law isn’t universal and instead only applies in the USA? But Nan Goldin is an American, and she took the picture, so Lanning’s Law should apply! Damn this is getting confusing!

Forgive my facetiousness. Really, this whole case would be comical if it weren’t for so many people taking it seriously. Men, women, and children are dropping like proverbial flies in Darfur, while UK police are busy studying “Klara and Edda belly-dancing” to determine if it might be indecent or even child porn. I think the girls being raped in Darfur are being harmed a WHOLE LOT MORE that Klara (or Edda) will ever be harmed by “Klara and Edda belly-dancing”.

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