February 5, 2011

"You know... some people get shocked about sex. I was shocked that everyone was so shocked."

What a fuss everyone made about "I Am Curious (Yellow)," back in the 1960s. The star, Lena Nyman, has died at the age of 66.

Just 2 days ago, we were talking about the death of Maria Schneider, another woman we knew through a movie that shocked us with sex long ago.

Where are all the other women, who shocked us with mere sexuality back then, when naked actors simulating sex got everyone's attention? They are all old now, almost 60 years or more. We notice their obituaries and we remember the olden days, when it was possible to shock people with nothing more than nudity and sexual intercourse.

The U.S. Supreme Court had to deal with the fuss over "I Am Curious (Yellow)."  There's an opinion by Justice Douglas where — it's hard now to understand why — he saw fit to quote Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:
It is time to remember that the first thing we belong to is humanity. And humanity is separated from the animal world by thought and speech, and they should naturally be free. If they are fettered, we go back to being animals. Publicity and openness, honest and complete - that is the prime condition for the health of every society, and ours too.
Justice Douglas said: "If 'obscenity' can be carved out of the First Amendment, what other like exceptions can be created?"

There seemed be be a lot at stake back then. It seems so creakily irrelevant today, as the once-naked, once-beautiful bodies are buried in the earth, but free speech is on the line today too. Do you notice? Do you care?

Humanity is separated from the animal world by thought and speech, and they should naturally be free.

37 comments:

chickelit said...

People mourned Mark Felt more than they did Linda Lovelace.

That's the American left for you.

edutcher said...

One point that was made years ago was along the lines of, if the sexual revolution was such a success, why is everybody so unhappy?

Maybe because the way things were before it was inflicted on us worked a lot better.

PS Douglas was an old Lefty who wanted to tear down the system. He did a lot toward that end.

Bob_R said...

So now we know what can be carved from the first amendment. Whole classes of people and organizations can't campaign for a political candidate in the weeks prior to an election. You can't engage in "hate speech." You can't draw pictures of child sex. Quite a lot of hacking can be done.

Freeman Hunt said...

I was about to link this post on Facebook when I realized that everyone would assume I linked it meaning that free speech was in peril from anti-pornography people, and my old schoolmates would be "liking" it and commenting about how the religious squares need to quit pushing their beliefs on people.

So, no, I don't think people realize that it is in peril, what sorts of speech are in peril, or from where that peril originates.

Freeman Hunt said...

If you include sex with anything, most people will just see, "Sex!" and their brains will fixate on that and go no further.

Timon said...

Videotaping simulated sex acts is what separates us from the animals? And I thought it was self-control which makes it possible for us to be superior, or as in the above case inferior to animals.

Kirby Olson said...

The sexual revolution won but all of its participants died young, or a great number of them did, and they took the country down with them.

The Center for Disease Control now spends the lion's share of its money on sexual diseases, so there is no money left for things like Lyme Disease, which now afflicts over 1% of the population, but has nowhere like 1% of the CDC's budget. They are lucky to get a dime or two thrown at them. All our money is spent helping the sexual hipsters out of their various diseases, while there's nothing left for innocent children and their afflictions.

Sexual freedom was a Pyrrhic Victory. It's part of what has killed the nation's economy, and many of our supposedly brilliant intellectuals. Foucault was dead at like what? Forty? He was barely out of the gate before his own thinking had killed him.

Gedaliya said...

Let's not forget Jill Clayburgh, another great beauty who recently died. and who thrilled us all walking around in her panties and bra in An Unmarried Woman.

Belkys said...

Erica Gavin. Star of Vixen .
Russ Meyer , he made porn movies in the 40 and 50´s. He was also a war photographer
Miss Barbara Stanwick ( credit of the Big Valley ). Her Baby Face triggered the Hays code
Isabella Rosselini for Blue Velvet. Her mother for being and adulteress
Monica Belloucci for Irréversible
Stone for not having money to go to VS
Hanoi Jane for Barbarella
Allegedly Rita Hayworth in Gilda.
The genius of physics and math , Heddy Lamar.
Maureen O Sullivan for skinny dipping in Tarzan and his mate. They invented the bikini 13 years before Bikini
Bo Derek for the bestiality with the orangutan in Tarzan
I dont know if those film were showed in the USA but world wide .the series Cannibal Holocaust created havoc in the 70´s
Passolini with Salo

Crimso said...

I have never been a fan of the obscenity exception to the First Amendment. And I think it is much worse by allowing obscenity to be determined by local standards (which was my understanding, I may be incorrect about that).

The Crack Emcee said...

The emphasis on sex and nudity killed creativity - that's the crime. I dare you to find anything as wonderful as the segway (sp?) imagery in Punch Drunk Love, a movie about love - not sex. As a matter of fact, what impressions sex leave in the film are all seedy, tasteless, corrupting, and dehumanizing.

The hippies were so short-sighted. And selfish. When I think of their legacy, and the harm it's done this country, I'm sure I'll never forgive them. They destroyed all of our lives, which were supposed to be so much different and better.

They ruined everything.

mc said...

@Freeman,

Girls in baseball caps are so cute!!

Did you say something about sex?

---er, what was the topic again??

mc said...

@crackemcee,

I agree that the baby boomer hippies did soooo much more harm than good. They did some good though, topic for another time.

It's a tough clarity to espouse, as they are the society, they are the mores, they are writing their own grandiose and shameless history.

My parents were much older depression era folks, and I was their surprise youngest. To see my contemporaries growing up and they all had baby boomer parents, and to notice the enormous difference in the household cultures was quite an education in itself.

Not saying I had anything better, and my friends would say in some ways I had it worse, but it was fascinating to observe.

Damned dirty hippies!! ;)

madAsHell said...

I dunno.

If the woman seems to be enjoying herself, then is it obscene?

Yeah....it's all about the women, and I don't think I want it any other way.

EnigmatiCore said...

I don't know. I like well-done sex scenes in cinema.

They just happen to be a little, but only a little, more rare than other types of scenes well-done in cinema.

EnigmatiCore said...

"If the woman seems to be enjoying herself, then is it obscene?"

Have you seen Blue Valentine yet?

Smoking hot.

ironrailsironweights said...

Guaranteed that when Lena made that movie so many years ago, she had a thick, rich, luxuriant ... oh to hell with it, I'm just getting depressed :(

Peter

SteveR said...

@mc

@Freeman,

Girls in baseball caps are so cute!!


I agree in general and specifically

SteveR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seven Machos said...

First, it was the Last Tango woman. Now this woman. I've never seen either film but these things always happen in threes. So, if I'm Jenna Jameson or Asia Carrera, I'm very concerned right now.

Sadly, as the Final Destination movies have taught us, death is a very difficult serial killer to escape.

BJM said...

@Crack

They ruined everything.

Oh posh and tosh...the free loving Beats preceded hippies, Marilyn and Hef scandalized the 50's, Clark Gable stripped to his wife beater in the 30's and Mae West was heating up Broadway with "Sex" in the 20's and Americans brought home French post cards from WWI

The Edwardians enjoyed salon art such as Bouguereau's soft core p0rn "Bather" and the Victorians invented what we know as p0rn and took sex behind closed doors.

Take a look at Donatello's bronze "David" and tell me that's not a sexual image. Rome marinated in sex, the phallus was a good luck charm and common graffito and there is a heap of begetting in the Old Testament.

The Japanese and Chinese enjoyed explicit "pillow books" and Indians the Kama Sutra.

IMHO three "vices" are innate in human nature; sex, drug taking and gambling...no amount of prohibition, degradation, punishment or damnation has made a dent in our appetite for them.

Cedarford said...

Solzhenitsyn: "Humanity is separated from the animal world by thought and speech, and they should naturally be free."

He was wrong about that, as we learn that certain highly intelligent animals HAVE cognitive reasoning, HAVE learned extensive vocabulary and tools of speech with Bonobos and African Gray parrots (just levels of magnitude less developed than ours.)

We already dispensed with man being the "unique tool user".
We are like other animals, just better at it.

As for free speech, if anything, the success of modern man was greatly assisted by conventions that restricted "individual free speech" for the good of the tribe.
A child that screamed or laughed as tribes moved about and could give away their position to human enemy, alert predators, or scare away game was typically beaten into never doing it again. Todays Nomads still enforce it, and it is worth the life of an adult to exercise inappropriate "free speech" that jeopardizes the collective.

Despite the proclaimations of certain 1960s lawyers dressed in black robes when the US was unchallenged as a global force, society still had far more legitimate babies than bastards even in the black community, and jobs were for the asking - absolutist free speech is still a luxury/

I don't know if obscenity is the biggest issue. To me, bigger issues are:

1. Leaking of information to damage each American's economic and physical security under the guise of "free speech whistleblowing".

2. The obvious manipulation of information by camps of the Ruling Elites from Free Trade Republican corporatists to left agenda advancing progressive Jewish "players" in the media to pro race baiters like Sharpton using it to disrupt society and get rich. To government itself continually lying.
The masses recognize "free speech", unfettered.... can be like sitting idly by while a clan of con artists selling non-delivered home repairs for cash is allowed to go door to door, making the same pitch to credulous elderly.

3. Free speech as a coarsener, reducing thought to "what sells" to the most puerile, lowest common denominator. Rape porn for pervs. Jews making powerful Christian CEOs the enemy in so many Hollywood products. The average 18-year old man seeing 10,000 murders and killings in commercial media and game fare by that age. Coarse innuendo laid out like candy to the rubes in entertainment to sell ads for debt relief services, China stuff. Glorification of "the Warrior", the sex object woman, and "Street smart thug" over the builder, healer, scholar, and woman as nurturing family raiser.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

The freest thing about speech is the part where you pretend that you should have to pay tens of millions of dollars in order to be heard.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Jews making powerful Christian CEOs the enemy in so many Hollywood products.

Usually I ignore C-Fud's drivel as I would any proper parts of speech inadvertently thrown into bathroom wall graffiti, but I must admit that this particular brain fart of his has me intrigued. For the first time that I'm aware, it appears he'd like to merge his anti-Semitism with the "War on Christians/Christmas" meme that resonates with the social conservatives, a group from which he tends to operate independently.

So, I must ask: Which "powerful Christian CEOs" have Jews made into an "enemy"? Did they do so as part of a directed effort, or was it something they just can't help? Was it part of a constructed agenda, or is it part of some inborn maliciousness of which they aren't even aware?

Please help me to understand the finer parts of how the Protocols are at work. I am concerned that I am not as fearful or as understanding of the precise nature of Jewish deviousness as C-Fud thinks I should be.

TheGiantPeach said...

Thanks to a couple of rational decisions by the Court,
that struck down censorship and -- brrrrr ---- its chilling effects,
I receive by mail a gentle stream of booklets of poetry,
by young men in love with each other,
good news I read with pleasure,
though, naturally, wistfully.

I used to write the same myself -- one hundred years ago,
My muse is hard to chill,
but publishers and line-o-typers wouldn't touch it with a tongs,
much less the post office.

Hugo Black it was,
the champion of cupid.
Now, he is dead and gone,
and cannot be replaced.

--Paul Goodman

traditionalguy said...

The Speech Thieves steal more than our free use of words in public. They aim to steal our very self respect and manhood when we meekly acquiesce to them and fail to state our positions, then they have us. Crack Emcee has truly been a voice crying in the wilderness over this very issue of BOLD SPEECH right out loud to their faces. IMO it is no accident that the First Amendment was enacted to protect both political speech and religious speech. The founders knew that at its base, this is the ultimate religious issue. The scripture says that Faith itself comes from hearing and hearing from the word of God.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

A good artist thinks for himself and isn't discouraged by the expression of others.

That's my thought on the Cracker Emcee's comment.

Next he'll be clamoring for a more worthy audience. Oh wait...

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

A good artist requires repression... almost.

If the American public hadn't been coddling such a strong sense of repression then the sexed up stuff wouldn't have been so banal. Sex sells because the demand was/is so great. American society is much more controlled in how it expresses itself sexually, which skews our understanding of demand, so of course even the most mediocre expressions of sexuality can be deemed "artistic". As long as they're blatant and blown up into billions of pixels across the silver screen, and/or extended endlessly and without interruption by other themes. Super-sized and inflated in importance is the way of America when it comes to everything, not just sex.

BJM said...

@C4

As for free speech, if anything, the success of modern man was greatly assisted by conventions that restricted "individual free speech" for the good of the tribe.

I agree in part as when free speech or thought is suppressed people vote with their feet, they migrate and start their own tribe...but we moved beyond the simple interest of the tribe when we became a society comprised of many tribes.

The single most destructive act in the last 60 years may have been in creating the hyphenated American.

kent said...

I've never seen either film but these things always happen in threes.

... and, boom: Tura Satana, of Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! notoriety, passes away.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

"There seemed be be a lot at stake back then. It seems so creakily irrelevant today, as the once-naked, once-beautiful bodies are buried in the earth, but free speech is on the line today too. Do you notice? Do you care?"

I suggest googling "Porn Sunday". Or check out last weel's New York Magazine: http://nymag.com/news/features/70976/

David said...

Things are much better now.

We have the right to say "Fuck" in a crowded theater.

Revenant said...

People mourned Mark Felt more than they did Linda Lovelace.

Your mourning of Lovelace would be more impressive if you knew that wasn't actually her name. :)

Seven Machos said...

Wow, Kent. Just wow.

Clyde said...

As the great sage Mojo Nixon noted in his definitive version of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" on the 1992 album (with the Toadliquors) Horny Holidays!, "fuckin' is better than killin'."

Truer words were never spoken.

Clyde said...

And amazingly enough, it's actually on YouTube! Adult language, NSFW!

'Twas the Night Before Christmas - Mojo Nixon and the Toadliquors

Not my favoritest Mojo song, but entertaining in the context of the album.

EDH said...

ironrailsironweights said...
Guaranteed that when Lena made that movie so many years ago, she had a thick, rich, luxuriant ... oh to hell with it, I'm just getting depressed :(

Upon hearing of the death of these two women, I said to myself...

"somewhere, peter ironrails weeps."