Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! We only ask one time of year, but when we do, we mean it. Without your support we can’t continue to bring you the very best material, day-in and day-out. CounterPunch is one of the last common spaces on the Internet. Help make sure it stays that way.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Facebook Cock Up

by MICHAEL DICKINSON

Clad in a pink houscoat and fluffy slippers, one foot stretched out on a pouffe, Queen Elizabeth sat slouched in an armchair with a glossy magazine open on her lap showing the face of a triumphantly smiling Princess Diana. The Queen’s face, on the other hand, expressed concern, even alarm, for she was not alone in her parlour. Behind the armchair loomed threatening members of the royal family. Son and heir to the throne Prince Charles, with a manic glint in his eyes, wielded a sharp axe; grinning grandson Prince William, accompanied by heavily pregnant and topless wife Kate, had his finger on the trigger of a brandished pistol, while naked playboy Prince Harry glowered grimly in the background with folded arms. ‘God Save Our Queen’ proclaimed a plaque on the wall, and a bulging handbag decorated with the British Flag lay on the floor next to her armchair.

Scissors in hand and crouched on the floor of my paper-strewn bedroom in Istanbul, I chuckled to myself as I surveyed the scene. Suddenly siezed by inspiration that morning, after half an hour of sifting and snipping through my disorganized library of photographic material I’d come up with a collage worth sharing – my first in three months. I decided to call the Picture ‘Succession’ or ‘Impatient Heirs’. It made sense to me. How long will the Queen remain on the throne? She’s quite healthy now and probably has many a year ahead before her lavish royal funeral. Prince Charles is in his sixties. Will he be in his eighties by the time he becomes King? Or will he decide to secede and let William wear the crown and rule in his stead? Meanwhile, will Kate’s offspring be a boy or a girl? The sex makes no difference any more, as it has now been decreed that it is the firstborn who inherits heirship . Poor Harry stands little chance of becoming the merry monarch with all this competition in between. I portrayed him naked because of shock photos of his recent Las Vegas skinny-dipping party displayed in the tabloid press, and Kate bare-breasted likewise because of the Papparrazi pictures showing her topless on holiday last year.

I took the collage to a nearby stationary shop and had it scanned and emailed to my address before returning home and posting the image on my Facebook page and that of the Stuckism Art group. It quickly reaped in a lot of ‘likes’ and positive comments. One, “PSML!”, was new to me. (It stands for “Pissed Myself Laughing!”) I was pleased.

The next morning when I logged on to Facebook I received the following message:

WE REMOVED YOUR CONTENT

We removed the following content you posted or were the admin of because it violates Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities -”

Three images were shown – my latest collage, another of the Queen in an embarrassing position which I had posted some months before, and a picture of the topless Kate from a tabloid magazine. Shocked at this blatant censorship of my freedom of expression, I posted the news on the sites where I had displayed the image on Facebook, entitled “Beware of Art Critical of the British Royal Family!”

Founder of the Stuckists, Charles Thompson, commented: “Sorry to disappoint. There is no censorship of criticism of the royal family (well, there may be, but not on this occasion). It is simply a matter that Facebook does not allow pictures of bare breasts (at least female bare breasts – males are OK, regardless of size) and the collage had a photo of bare breasts in it. It doesn’t matter whether they are on a royal or as common as muck. They just ain’t allowed. Mammaries are out.”

On investigation I learned that Facebook bans pictures of nudity, although in its new guidelines it explicitly says “Art nudity OK”. Are my collages not ‘art’? In fact the breasts I’d put on Kate were by Magritte. And Harry’s naked body was that of a showering Polish miner I’d taken from an educational geographic magazine, not a porno mag.

Someone suggested that I post the picture on another site and then post it on Facebook as a link, so I did. But a couple of hours after I’d added it to my website ‘Yabanji’, I thought better of it and deleted. I remembered that I’d had a whole site closed down by the moderators, Tripod, after I’d posted a picture of George W Bush bearing his bum in 2005. Facebook aren’t the only prudish controllers online.

The next time I logged in to Facebook I received a message saying I’d been banned from posting for 24 hours because of my violation. In the meantime I decided to post the picture on my Saatchi Gallery. Once it was there and my 24 hour ban was over I posted the link on Facebook.

The following morning I discovered another message from Facebook telling me to erase the picture and that any more of my posts would be blocked for 3 days. Apparently a miniature ‘preview image’ of the offending collage had also appeared with the link, breaking their code of decency.

There’s still two days to go before Facebook unblocks me, but it will be with trepidation that I post thereafter, viewing them now as a cross between Big Brother and Mrs. Grundy.

However, for the delectation of more liberal souls, here is a link to the scandalous collage, ‘Succession’. As far as I’m concerned, there should be no succession. How can a so called democratic country support a monarchy? Out with the lot of them, I say!

Michael Dickinson can be contacted at michaelyabanji@gmail.com

Michael Dickinson can be contacted at michaelyabanji@gmail.com.

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

September 27, 2016
Louisa Willcox
The Tribal Fight for Nature: From the Grizzly to the Black Snake of the Dakota Pipeline
Paul Street
The Roots are in the System: Charlotte and Beyond
Jeffrey St. Clair
Idiot Winds at Hofstra: Notes on the Not-So-Great Debate
Mark Harris
Clinton, Trump, and the Death of Idealism
Mike Whitney
Putin Ups the Ante: Ceasefire Sabotage Triggers Major Offensive in Aleppo
Anthony DiMaggio
The Debates as Democratic Façade: Voter “Rationality” in American Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Punishing the Punished: the Torments of Chelsea Manning
Paul Buhle
Why “Snowden” is Important (or How Kafka Foresaw the Juggernaut State)
Jack Rasmus
Hillary’s Ghosts
Brian Cloughley
Billions Down the Afghan Drain
Lawrence Davidson
True Believers and the U.S. Election
Matt Peppe
Taking a Knee: Resisting Enforced Patriotism
James McEnteer
Eugene, Oregon and the Rising Cost of Cool
Norman Pollack
The Great Debate: Proto-Fascism vs. the Real Thing
Michael Winship
The Tracks of John Boehner’s Tears
John Steppling
Fear Level Trump
Lawrence Wittner
Where Is That Wasteful Government Spending?
James Russell
Beyond Debate: Interview Styles of the Rich and Famous
September 26, 2016
Diana Johnstone
The Hillary Clinton Presidency has Already Begun as Lame Ducks Promote Her War
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Against Russia
Dave Lindorff
Parking While Black: When Police Shoot as First Resort
Robert Crawford
The Political Rhetoric of Perpetual War
Howard Lisnoff
The Case of One Homeless Person
Michael Howard
The New York Times Endorses Hillary, Scorns the World
Russell Mokhiber
Wells Fargo and the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival
Chad Nelson
The Crime of Going Vegan: the Latest Attack on Angela Davis
Colin Todhunter
A System of Food Production for Human Need, Not Corporate Greed
Brian Cloughley
The United States Wants to Put Russia in a Corner
Guillermo R. Gil
The Clevenger Effect: Exposing Racism in Pro Sports
David Swanson
Turn the Pentagon into a Hospital
Ralph Nader
Are You Ready for Democracy?
Chris Martenson
Hell to Pay
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Debate Night: Undecided is Everything, Advantage Trump
Frank X Murphy
Power & Struggle: the Detroit Literacy Case
Chris Knight
The Tom and Noam Show: a Review of Tom Wolfe’s “The Kingdom of Speech”
Weekend Edition
September 23, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Meaning of the Trump Surge
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: More Pricks Than Kicks
Mike Whitney
Oh, Say Can You See the Carnage? Why Stand for a Country That Can Gun You Down in Cold Blood?
Chris Welzenbach
The Diminution of Chris Hayes
Vincent Emanuele
The Riots Will Continue
Rob Urie
A Scam Too Far
Pepe Escobar
Les Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes, Obfuscation and Propaganda in Syria
Timothy Braatz
The Quarterback and the Propaganda
Sheldon Richman
Obama Rewards Israel’s Bad Behavior
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail