“Pasolini, I mean, he’s a Catholic saint to me.”
Tag Archives | Obscenity
Victorian Gothic on Aleister Crowley’s White Stains:
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Readers will likely be familiar with Aleister Crowley, the notorious English occultist, bisexual libertine, recreational drug user, founder of the Thelemic religion, leader of the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), and all-around scary wicked person. Those familiar with Crowley strictly through his esoteric writings, however, may be interested to know that one the “Great Beast’s” first forays into publishing consisted of a perverse little volume of erotic poetry entitled White Stains.
It was issued in Amsterdam in 1898 by Leonard Smithers; a leading publisher of English pornography, but also of controversial literature. His clients included Aubrey Beardsley, Arthur Symons, and Oscar Wilde. White Stains was published in a print run of one hundred copies which, according to rumors in the book world, Crowley is said to have white-stained himself. Most of these were destroyed in 1924 by British Customs; the surviving first editions currently sell for around $4,000 – $10,000.
I can’t see this flying in America. Hats off to New Zealand. Reports CNN:
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A billboard showing a somber Mary and Joseph laying in bed together with the caption “Poor Joseph. God was a hard act to follow,” is controversial, but not obscene, according to a decision by New Zealand’s Advertising Standards Authorities.
The billboard, posted outside St. Matthew-in-the-city Anglican Church in Auckland, New Zealand, sparked outrage and vandalism by locals who “consider the sexually and suggestive illustration of the nativity to be degrading to individuals and Christian groups,” according to a complaint filed with the ASA regarding the billboard that was posted before Christmas last year.
The debate led to a slew of complaints being filed with the ASA over the nature of the billboard, to ensure it was not put up again. “I consider it inappropriate for a child’s perceptive of Christmas to be distorted in a perverse and sexual manner,” the complaint said.
Mr. Krassner assesses the ongoing conflict between the governmental power that be and cultural opponents. The comic, journalist and author looks at how obscenity is defined, by whom and why. He also examines why drugs laws are what they are and why so many are incarcerated for what he believes are victimless crimes.