Eek! A Male!

Last week, the lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, Timothy Murray, noticed smoke coming out of a minivan in his hometown of Worcester. He raced over and pulled out two small children, moments before the van’s tire exploded into flames. At which point, according to the AP account, the kids’ grandmother, who had been driving, nearly punched our hero in the face.

Why?  Mr. Murray said she told him she thought he might be a kidnapper.

And so it goes these days, when almost any man who has anything to do with a child can find himself suspected of being a creep. I call it "Worst-First" thinking: Gripped by paedophile panic, we jump to the very worst, even least likely, conclusion first. Then we congratulate ourselves for being so vigilant. Read on…


Why so shy about Gay Blood, Canada?

Canadian Blood Services says it’s not yet softening its ban on blood from gay men, despite media reports to the contrary. Two years after Canadian Blood Services created a $500,000 grant to research if and when gay men can safely donate blood, not a single scientist has applied to do the work. And officials are baffled by the reluctance. "It’s a fully funded grant opportunity in a very interesting area of research," [says Lorna Tessier, director of public relations for Canadian Blood Services]. Not a single research team has applied for the grant, which is jointly funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Research. Tessier said she doesn’t know why. The research could ultimately open the door for gay men to be added to the donor list."


The Dirty Kids

The Rainbow Gathering is an annual festival that takes place around the Fourth of July holiday weekend in a different American national park each year. Part of the point is to celebrate inclusiveness and pray for world peace. The festival attracts hundreds of teenage runaways and travellers who are nicknamed ‘The Dirty Kids’. The 2009 Gathering was held in the Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico.

Moe, photographed by Kitra Cahana, winner of World Press Photo 2010


Is Skins Child Porn?

Usually after the Parents Television Council decries something as scandalous, the fervour dies down after a few days. That’s not the case with MTV’s controversial new series Skins, about a group of hard-partying, drug-taking, sexually active teenagers — this time, the outcry has caused network executives to take a second look at the in-your-face show.

According to the New York Times, MTV higher-ups have ordered producers to tame down future episodes of the show, which is based on a similarly boundary-pushing U.K. series of the same name, for fear of violating federal child pornography laws. A source told the paper that on Tuesday, "a flurry of meetings took place" during which executives discussed the possibility of facing criminal charges if especially racy episodes were shown without editing. Read more…

Scenes from the British version of Skins