From: The Lush Ocean [DaveBrett@msn.com]|
Subject: 1983 Al Goldstein interview
Date: Sun, 06 Jun 99 03:45:09
Organization: Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
This will be amusing to Al Goldstein fans. The rest of you should just skip to the next message...
King Porn, Al Goldstein
"I've been eating pussy for 24 years, which means that even if I were not enthralled with the act of lapping the labia, the mere repetition of the experience would make me better at it. But the truth is that I'm a confirmed cunnilinguist, and I'm good at eating pussy because I genuinely enjoy it."
Al Goldstein, pornographer, journalist, cigarist, gadget freak and editor of Screw (founded 1968, circ 160,000 copies weekly) is in town. He greets me in the foyer of the Dorchester Hotel, a smallish, fattish, bearded New York jogger dressed in tracksuit bottoms, sneakers and a garish, striped jumper. He is in town to organise the mooted November launch of the London equivalent to Screw, his New York sex information sheet-cum-satire rag, which along with his cable TV chat show 'Midnight Blue' has made him into 'a thinking millionaire'.
It's unlikely the London equivalent (which will go out under another name) will match the all-out ferocity and filthiness of its predecessor: a crude, often revolting mix of hooker ads, massage parlour reviews, porno pics and drawings, and occasionally deft but more often gross attempts at political satire. A brief glance at the headlines in the back issues will give an idea: 'The G-Spot Fraud'; 'Twat Art'; 'Feminist Sluts Who Kill For Fun'; 'Reagan's Faggot Past?' and 'Growing Up Obscene'.
Al used to stutter; he got beaten up a lot on the streets of his Williamsburg youth; he was very fat (305lbs). He couldn't get laid; he was very, very worried about the size of his 'schlong'. One thing Al always knew, however, was 'love' was lust and 'doing it' beat talking about it. 'When I was an adolescent I used to have this test. If I thought I loved a girl I would jack off. If I wanted to phone her afterwards I'd know I was in love. I never called nobody.'
In 1968, Al founded Screw with a friend, $300 cash and the promise of hassles to come - eight arrests in the first year, eleven in toto and a now-famous trial in Kansas for 'sending obscene material through the post' which could have netted him a life sentence.
'My friends talked about sex in a different way than the media represented it. Words like "fellatio" and "cunnilingus" would occasionally appear, but my friends and I didn't use those words. We used words like "fuck" and "cunt" and "tits" and "ass". At that time Playboy not only didn't use that kind of language but they would airbrush pubic hair. There was a reality out there, a reality that consisted of married men paying for sex, masturbation, homosexuality, and none of that was represented. So I started Screw to fit a vacuum - to reflect sexual reality. I've democratised sex. Screw is the real thing. Our women have stretch marks, pimples, some of them are uglier than our readers' wives. You'll meet them on the street - you'll never meet a centrefold.'
Feminists? Al does not like feminists. He now employs two bodyguards, armed with shotguns, and receives regular death threats 'from religious nuts mainly. Femin-ists would kill me but they don't have the brains. My second wife was a feminist; she was a Pan Am steward who got fired for writing a feminist article in a magazine. I have feminist friends - they love it as much as anyone else.' He puffs contentedly on an Al Goldstein-inscribed Havana cigar.
Hookers? 'Okay, some of them get oppressed, the poor ones in Harlem, but the ones I know are earning up to $1,000 a day. How can you talk about exploitation? The average Screw hooker is a model, actress, airline stewardess, college-educated, fun to be with. They're performers, they like acting.'
Herpes? 'A minor ailment. Jesus, I know a doctor in London who says it's one case in a thousand, and it's minor, Steve, very minor. It's not the Bubonic Plague. And if guys aren't fucking, well it's plenty more for Uncle Al.'
Goldstein is something of a leper - his own terms. 'I'm hated by everyone: the Right, the Left, Reagan, the Commies, the Ku Klux Klan, the Jewish Defence League.' The Jewish Defence League??? 'Sure, they're as bad as the Nazis. God, I hate boring people, boring journalism. At least Hitler made good speeches. I'd rather have one Adolf Hitler speech than eight Jimmy Carter speeches.'
'It's only the zealots who hate me, the blue noses, the screwballs. What's the name of your chief blue nose, Steve?' Mary Whitehouse? 'That's her. Needs a good fuck.' Goldstein's latest visit has not been without incident. 'I tell you what, the British customs raided me again.' Cue belly laugh. 'They ripped up the magazine. If they do it again I'm gonna move here permanently. How would that affect your neighbourhood? Boy, you thought the Indians were bad, wait until a Jewish pornographer turns up. I'll probably start a cartoon strip with Margaret Thatcher and Reagan fucking. Wow!'
Al moves onto his other fave topics: cigars (he brings in re-wrapped Cuban cigars and runs a regular newsletter for addicts), electronic gadgets (another newsletter), clothes, food and death. 'We're all gonna die one day. The only thing is to have good pussy, nice things to eat and fine cigars.'