Friday, 23 August 2013

Honi Soit... revisited

The shame lies in the mind of the viewer.

The University of Sydney's student magazine, Honi Soit, this week had to gather up copies of the current issue. The front cover featured a set of pictures of, well...:
The front page of the University of Sydney rag, Honi Soit, featured a montage of graphic, unretouched vulvae - pubic hair et al - belonging to 18 students who stalk its hallowed halls.
There were black bars covering the middle of each picture, but apparently it was too translucent so the determined reader could peer through the censor's bar.

I saw a couple stories on this yesterday, mostly via @BexStevenson. And not a single one noted the delicious irony here. Recall what Honi Soit means. It comes from the Latin Norse French* phrase uttered by King Edward so long ago, or at least the story goes. Here's Hume's rendition:
A vulgar story prevails, but is not supported by any ancient authority, that at a court ball, Edward's mistress, commonly supposed to be the countess of Salisbury, dropped her garter; and the king, taking it up, observed some of the courtiers to smile, as if they thought that he had not obtained this favor merely by accident: upon which he called out, "Honi soit qui mal y pense,"—Evil to him that evil thinks; and as every incident of gallantry among those ancient warriors was magnified into a matter of great importance,[*] he instituted the order of the garter in memorial of this event, and gave these words as the motto of the order.
In this case as well, the shame lies in the eyes and mind of those taking offence at the magazine cover.

Previously: Seamus on Kapiti's logo...

Update: A few weeks ago, a reader at SciBlogs complained that Matt Nolan hadn't explained the acronym LVR in discussing Loan-to-Value Ratio regulation. Another commenter pointed out some disturbing alternative meanings of LVR, related to this post's topic.

* Je ne sais quoi est arrive ce matin quand j'ai ecrit ceci. Toute la phrase est francais; je ne suis pas familier avec le mot 'Honi', mais le restant est francais. Pardonnez moi!


  1. I wasn't aware they needed rejuvenation, let alone with lasers. And are angry mutated sharks involved?

  2. Egads I hope not. Movies of any such things could get you 16 years in jail come the new censorship legislation.

  3. Ahem, Eric, I think you will find that honi soit qui mal y pense is norman french, not latin.

  4. jesus Eric, how l,ong have you lived in to learn nothing. stop the pompous french crap You and Matt are already seen as outsiders

  5. I deliberately didn't bother looking up how to put in the proper accents to insulate myself from this critique, Peter.