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.