The controversial artwork removed from Luke Cornish's latest exhibition (Image: Luke Cornish/Supplied)

I don’t know art, but I know what I don’t like Running parallel to the recent Dark Mofo controversy has been the smaller but maybe no less significant saga at ANU’s aMBUSH Gallery. As part of an exhibition called “Don’t Shoot the Messenger” — a commentary on “the rise of authoritarianism” — artist Luke Cornish included various provocations. This included as an artwork with the caption: “By no means is the artist encouraging anybody to stab Rupert Murdoch in the head, merely posing the question ‘If that was to happen’ would the world be a better place?”

But one piece apparently went too far: it depicted Winnie the Pooh strangling Tigger on a Chinese banknote, an apparent reference to the treatment of the Uyghur minority in China. After complaints on social media, it was removed.

“We removed an artwork series from the exhibition after some feedback, the decision was based around unintended hurt caused to the Chinese community who felt the work was feeding into negative racial narratives,” the gallery said.

But it’s unclear which narratives, exactly. Winnie the Pooh has for a long time been used as a satirical stand-in for President Xi Jinping in particular, not Chinese people in general. And as Steve Evans points out in The Canberra Times, equally or more offensive pieces aimed at more obvious middlebrow progressive targets like Murdoch, Margaret Court and Christianity all survived.

Shot to the Rinehart Doing for comedy what she has previously done for poetry, mining billionaire Gina Rinehart has “gathered jokes, quotes and cartoons into a book to bring joy to those doing it tough”, according to Sky News. It’s unclear whether those “doing it tough” include the African miners Rinehart has previously noted are willing to work for $2 a day.

Attendees at Rinehart’s virtual book launch apparently told Sky that “laughter was desperately needed in an era of political correctness”. The book providing such laughter appears to be a collection of Facebook posts about socialism and vegans:

We’ll be interested to see if it contains anything of equivalent ambition as working phrases like “short-term foreign workers” and “special economic zones” into rhyming verse.

Don’t know him from Adam Bringing the same rigour and curiosity that he previously brought to the economics desk, The Australian‘s new Washington correspondent Adam Creighton this weekend took time out from retweeting people who praise his work to weigh in on the debate around Georgia’s new election laws.

Responding to the criticism that the measure’s requirement that absentee voters provide photo ID is effectively voter suppression aimed at people of colour, Creighton shrugged. If it’s good enough for Australia, why not the US?

When several people got in contact to point out that it was in no way normal to have to provide a driver’s license before voting, he shrugged once more: “It’s not a legal requirement to show it, apparently. I’ve always shown mine so thought it was normal.”

All this of course bodes brilliantly for his work from the US capital. His first story dropped this morning, and it’s a doozy. The central thesis is summed up in the line “Deaths are sad, but COVID-19 has taken far more than loved ones”. The story finishes by plucking some John Stuart Mill and Alexis de Tocqueville from the Penguin Book of Quotations for Freedom-Loving Columnists.