Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has abboiunced CBLDF Defender , a new free quarterly news magazine and is now available! It will be distributed at comic book stores across the US and also online at
Each issue of CBLDF Defender will bring engaging creator interviews, detailed analysis of current censorship news, and in-depth features that tell the story of the people fighting for the freedom to read! Neil Gaiman kicks off the first issue
with an in-depth interview on his battles with censorship. There's also news and analysis on the latest censorship battles raging in schools and libraries across the USA. Take a look at international cartoonist rights issues and the free speech
fallout from the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Plus, a lively history of Bill Gaines, the U.S government, and the birth of the Comics Code!
Shock Horror Magazine is an independent UK based Horror Magazine, made by fans for fans!
We aim to cover all aspects of Horror entertainment and culture, from DVD and comics to music and games.
Shock Horror will also be bringing you the best Horror tatts from the UK's scariest tattoo studio as well as the best scream queens and models in the industry.
We aim to put Horror back on the map in the UK with this bi-monthly publication, sure it's underground and trashy but that's just the way we like it!
A fine offering for Melon Farmers everywhere. It crams in an incredible amount of detail for an awful lot of films from the world of horror, exploitation, giallo etc. Most of the featured films are hardly what you would expect to find at your local
video stores though. It certainly is packed with ideas for adding to one's collection.
EROS: Australian Adult Trade Association Magazine
Campaigning anti-censorship magazine with much in common with the Melon Farmers. Based in Australia but many of the issues are of shared interest
Well produced and always an interesting read. One of my favourites.
In Anglo-Saxon countries there is a new and distinctive form of state: the busybody state. This state is defined by an attachment to bureaucratic procedures for their own sake: the rule for the sake of a rule; the form for the sake of a form. Its
insignias are the badge, the policy, the code and the procedure. The logic of the regulation is neither to represent an elite class interest, nor to serve the public, nor even to organise social relations with the greatest efficiency as with classic
bureaucracy, but rather to represent regulation itself.
This book analyses the logic of the busybody state, explains its origins, and calls for a popular alliance defending the free realm of civil society.
A really funny, heart-warming book that takes you through the naive beginnings of Becky's career, and through all the subsequent highs and lows, showing her to be a lady with a strong heart and an honest willingness to learn and grow. Becky's story
is fueled by her wish to improve the lives of others; she wrote I really wanted to get the book out before the Olympics, to try and counteract some of the hysteria the Government are peddling about trafficking .
Most migrant women, including those in the sex industry, have made a clear decision, says a new study, to leave home and take their chances abroad. They are not "passive victims" in need of "saving" or sending back by western
It is always refreshing to read a book that turns an issue on its head. Laura María Agustín's trenchant and controversial critique of the anti-trafficking crusade goes a step further: it lays out the matter - in this case, "human
trafficking" - on the operating table, dissects it, unravels its innards, and shows the reader, in gory, sometimes eye-watering detail, why everything we think about it is Wrong with a capital W. It's a jarring read; I imagine that those who
make a living from campaigning against the scourge of human trafficking will throw it violently across the room, if not into an incinerator. Yet it may also be one of the most important books on migration published in recent years.
Pornography has always been central to debates about sex and emerging new media technologies. Today, debate is increasingly focused on online pornographies.
This collection examines pornographys significance as a focus of definition, debate, and myth; its development as a mainstream entertainment industry; and the emergence of the new economy of Porn 2.0, and of new types of porn labor and
It looks at porn style behind the scenes of straight hardcore, in gay, lesbian, and queer pornographies, in shock sites, and in amateur erotica, and investigates the rise of the online porn fan community, the sex blogger, the erotic rate-me site and
the visual cultures of swingers.
Treating these developments as part of a broader set of economic and cultural transformations, this book argues that new porn practices reveal much about contemporary and competing views of sex and the self, the real and the body, culture, and
When Sam Bailey tells people that she used to take her clothes off for money, three questions usually follow.
The first is Why? The simple answer is that she enjoyed it. She liked showing off, being desired and earning a lot of money. The second is How did you get started? Sam was 17, had a poorly paid job that she hated and couldn't bear to
think that was all there was for her in life. The third question is: So, Sam, what was it like?
In Stripped, Sam Bailey reveals all about her experiences, taking us behind the scenes and introducing us to the other strippers and the punters, aged 18 to 80. She recounts a series of episodes that shine a light on the simultaneously sexy and
seedy, glamorous and grotty world of lap-dancing clubs.
Stripped takes you down the steps and through the double doors to reveal some of the night's darkest secrets and expose the reality of life in the strip-club underworld.
Contains several thoughtful pieces about media effects and, perhaps more importantly, why it is that the media itself seems so keen on the idea that watching violent films is a cause of violent behaviour. The editors have picked
a good range of relevant material.
Censoring the 1970s: The BBFC and the Decade That Taste Forgot
This book explores the work of the British Board of Film Censors in the 1970s. Throughout the decade this unelected organisation set standards of acceptability and determined what could and what could not be shown on British cinema screens.
Controversial texts like A Clockwork Orange (1971), Straw Dogs (1971), The Devils (1971) and Life of Brian (1979) have been used to draw attention to the way in which the BBFC operated in the 1970s.
While it is true to say that these films encountered major classification problems, what of the hundreds of other films being classified at the same time? Did all films struggle with the British censors in this period, and can these famous examples
be fitted into broader patterns of censorship policy and practice?
In studying over 250 film files from the BBFC archive, this work reveals how 1970s films such as Vampire Circus (1971), Confessions of a Window Cleaner (1974) and Carry on Emmannuelle (1978) also ran into trouble with the film censor. This work
explores the complex process of negotiation and compromise which affected all film submissions in the 1970s and the way in which the BBFC actively, and often sympathetically, negotiated with film directors, producers and distributors to assign the
correct category to each film.
The lack of any defined formal censorship policy in this period allowed the BBFC to work alongside the film industry and push cultural, social and artistic boundaries; however it also left the Board open to accusations of favouritism, subjectivity
and personal bias.
This work is not simply a study of controversial films and contentious issues, but rather engages with wider issues of changing permission, legal struggles, the influence of the media and the legislative and governmental controls which both helped
and hindered the BBFC in this important post-war decade. The focus on historical and archival research offers a great deal to scholars from associated disciplines including history, social policy, media and communications and politics.
Graphic Thrills American XXX Movie Posters, 1970 to 1985
Graphic Thrills is a wide-ranging over-view of the entire history of the XXX movie scene from 1970 to 1985, it is simultaneously anecdotal, factual, and interview based. It also includes a very detailed and quite lengthy introductory chapter,
setting the scene for the posters that follow.
Each poster is accompanied by an essay on the film concerned. This is far more than just a poster book, but more a beautifully illustrated history of the genre. With catchy titles like Carnal Olympics, Ultra Flesh, Insatiable, Deep Throat ,
and Dominatrix Without Mercy , the 1970s and early 80s were the golden era of the American hardcore sex film. Picking up where the low-budget stag loops and softcore sexploitation pictures left off, this legendary cycle of adult filmmaking was
distinguished by both the overall quality of the movies themselves and also the advertising that promoted them.
This was the age of porno chic. Theatrical film posters, then and now, seduce the public into taking part in a fantasy world. Graphic Thrills proudly assembles a stunning array of these debauched and innuendo-packed one-sheets between its covers,
with glorious unabashed sexuality dripping from every page. These joyous and colourful odes to sultry sin hung in the lobbies and front windows of the porno theaters and grindhouses of yesteryear.
Shock! Horror! Astounding Artwork from the Video Nasty Era
Great Britain, 1980: the dawn of the video age. With new video companies appearing on a weekly basis, competition for shelf space was fierce. Eye-catching cover designs were essential to succeed in this saturated marketplace. Video was
new, unregulated and out of control. These were the outlaw years. These glory days spanned just five years, before a legal crackdown in 1984 banished most of these outrageous videos from the shelves forever. Marc Morris was one of the few to rescue
these covers from obscurity, and this book delves deep into his unrivalled collection.
DVDs may have replaced videos in terms of film quality & content but they are hardly compete when it comes to cover art. This book focuses on the cover art but also includes some accurately researched time line details of
exactly when each video turned up on the prosecutor's (DPP) list. Excellent research.
A key question is how exactly did a society as sexually repressive as Nazi Germany become a signifier of far-out sex and erotic adventurism?
Although this book ultimately struggles to provide a definitive answer, perhaps because the question is unanswerable, it does, over the course of some 300 pages, prove how potent and enduing the conventions of Nazisploitation have become.
Like the Nazi zombie monsters of the recent Norwegian opus Dead Snow, it is a phenomenon that has proved itself all-but unkillable.
It's this sexual history of video games that Damon Brown, who covers technology for Playboy, obsessively details how Grand Theft Auto , Tomb Raider and other Sexy Games Changed Our Culture.
Approaching such topics as arm-length pixelated penises and breasts that deserve their own planetary orbit with a sense of humor, Brown explores how virtual sex has gone from the crude, joystick-controlled adult games on the Atari 2600 and text-only
cybering in early-'90s AOL chat rooms to bumping uglies in the virtual world Second Life and banging prostitutes in Grand Theft Auto."
He also examines how video vixens went from having bodies practically built out of Lego blocks to becoming ever more realistic -- at least, as much as porn-industry bodies can be called realistic.
You Can't Read This Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom
From Promotional Material:
From the fall of the Berlin Wall to the advert of the Web, everywhere you turn you are told that we live in age of unparalleled freedom. This is dangerously naive. From the revolution in Iran that wasn't to the imposition of super-injunctions from
the filthy rich, we still live in a world where you can write a book and end up dead.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of Communism, and the advent of the Web which allowed for even the smallest voice to be heard, everywhere you turned you were told that we were living in an age of unparalleled freedom. You Can't Read
This Book argues that this view is dangerously naive. From the revolution in Iran that wasn't, to the Great Firewall of China and the imposition of super-injunctions from the filthy rich protecting their privacy, the traditional opponents of freedom
of speech - religious fanaticism, plutocratic power and dictatorial states - are thriving, and in many respects finding the world a more comfortable place in the early 21st century than they did in the late 20th
Won the 2010 Erotic Award for the best publication.
Susan Quilliam took Alex Comfort's original best-seller and made it thoroughly modern, sensitive and inclusive.
The illustrations are beautiful and make the book bountiful. We think The New Joy of Sex should make an important contribution to end the sexual ignorance which prevails in our society and around the world and propose it should become required
reading in all schools, colleges and homes, including homes for older people.
Crouse reconstructs The Devils in meticulous detail, from Russell's arduous shoot to the hysteria surrounding its X-rated release. Arguing for the film's place at the cutting edge of 70s cinema, he notes that censors treated The Exorcist with kid
gloves just two years later. What's different is The Devils potent mix of sex and religion---and its vision of a corrupt Church that uses possession as a tool to intimidate and manipulate the innocent. History, in the hands of an
unflinching filmmaker, can be more graphic than fiction.
This is a worthy examination of this powerful and unforgettable British masterpiece.
If there are any small caveats, they would be a brief dismay at the lack of photographs, posters or set designs to illustrate the incredible story of the film, and a little more about a couple of details on the cuts imposed by
Russell himself, as well as the censors.
8 Nov 2012
The Complete Memoirs
We defy even the most cold-hearted of readers not to be moved to tears 9/10 --Starburst
These concise yet beautifully written works of reminiscence fittingly mark 2013 as the centenary of the birth of a man... Highly recommended. 5 stars --Horrorview
A moving account of a magnificent life, with reflections from those who knew and admired him. --Rue Morgue
This is a fantastic book. I couldn't put it down had to stay up and read it from cover to cover. Who but Julian Davies would have thought of getting prostitutes to talk about their lives. I didn't think he could top his first two books but he has.
This book is funny, sad , frightening and full of sex. Not only is Julian the most handsome writer around he is also one of the most talented.
A new book details the extent to which countries across the globe are increasingly censoring online information they find strategically, politically or culturally threatening.
Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering challenges the long-standing assumption that the internet is an unfettered space where citizens from around the world can freely communicate and mobilise. In fact, the book
makes it clear that the scope, scale and sophistication of net censorship are growing.
There's been a conventional wisdom or myth that the internet was immune from state regulation, says Ronald Deibert, one of the book's editors: What we're finding is that states that were taking a hands-off approach to the internet for many
years are now finding ways to intervene at key internet choke points, and block access to information.
China may be one of the world's most Internet-repressive regimes. But its Great Firewall is a clumsy and ineffective tool compared with the subtle information control techniques developed over the last few years by Russia and many of the former
That's one of the conclusions of Access Controlled, a new book out from the Open Net Initiative, a consortium of academics focused on free speech and government interactions with the Internet. A sequel to Access Denied, the Open Net Initiative's 2008
report on the state of global Internet censorship, one of the book's theses is that government control of the Internet has shifted from directly blocking sites to slicker ways of repressing dissidents online.
China and Iran still filter the most content online, according to the ONI. In its country-by-country survey of Internet filtering. But while states like Russia and Belarus perform much less of what the ONI calls first generation or Chinese-style
filtering, they're increasingly adept at second and third generation control of the Web.
Second generation censorship, as ONI authors Ronald Deibert and Rafal Rohozinski define it in an early chapter, includes tricks like requiring Web site owners to register with the government and using the process to weed out dissident sites
with red tape, a tactic often used in Kazakhstan and Belarus. In Belarus and Uzbekistan, veracity and slander laws are used as a pretense for shutting down dissident sites.
Censored : The Story of Film Censorship in Britain
Has become a standard text in the field
Out of print
Chatto & Windus Ltd, 1994
Trash or Treasure?
Trash or Treasure?: Censorship and the Changing Meanings of the Video Nasties
From Promotional Material:
Trash or treasure is a wide-ranging historical study of the British circulation of the video nasties - A term that was originally coined to ban a group of horror videos in Britain in the 1980s but which continues to have cultural resonance in Britain
up to the present day.
The book is divided into three secionts, which represent the key periods of existence of the nasties category - The formation of the term in the 1980s, the fan culture that formed around the nasties subsequent to their banning under the video
recordings act and the DVD and theatrical re-release of some of the nasty titles from 1990 onwards.
All in all, Trash or treasure? is an interesting and valuable work, though the necessity of hacking one's way through an often impenetrable jungle of academic jargon rather detracts from the overall effect, and there is a tendency, common to such
works, to state the obvious as if it were revelation.
On its own terms, however, it is well-written and cogently argued, but its future lies entirely within the walls of academe, not least due to its outrageous £50.00 retail price.
Over the last decade or so, politicians, media and public have woken up to the fact that the internet allows individuals to access a range and volume of pornographic material well beyond what was once available in an age of print and cellulose film.
At the same time, they have had to acknowledge that traditional approaches to controlling access to this material have proven legally ineffective. That same period, therefore, has seen a two-pronged attempt to stuff the internet genie back into its
virtual bottle. First, through an unprecedented passing of new and ground-breaking laws -- at times, seemingly, a new law every year: and second, through the implementation of technical solutions, including moderation, filtering and blocking to
achieve through brute technological force what may not always be achievable through law.
This book is a first attempt to document both these processes. It is not quite an academic textbook. It does, however, set out clearly the main pathways taken by legislators and public servants in attempting to deal with the issue of online porn. It
therefore provides a basic roadmap from which those interested in to carry out their own more detailed exploration of the territory can branch out on their own.
In terms of narrative, the book brings us to the end of 2014, at which point the government's central legislative measure â-- the law on possession of extreme porn â-- has been rudely challenged through judicial review. It is also the point at which
the public have begun to question the validity of filtering as a generic approach. We are undoubtedly living in interesting times.
Over the course of ten seminal issues in magazine format and a hugely successful book format edition, Flesh & Blood became established as the leading brand name in cutting-edge film criticism during the latter years of the Twentieth Century.
Always one step ahead of the rest, Flesh & Blood featured the world's best writers reporting on the most important sex, horror and exploitation cinema in the world. Flesh & Blood Compendium is simply The Best of The Best.
Ground-Breaking Articles on eye-opening subjects including: Prosthetic Sex Films, RealiTV and Death Film, Pier Paolo Pasolini and the Marquis de Sade, Jack the Ripper, Postmodern Slasher Movies, British Trash Films from the 70s, Charles Manson,
Rape/Revenge movies, African Witchdoctors, French vampires, Japanese Ultra Violence and Belgian artcore...
Bizarre Cinema, Weird Literature, Strange Music, Extreme Art
The most controversial and infamous British fanzine of the 1980s, SHEER FILTH returns in book form, bolder and filthier than ever!
Published between 1987 and 1990, SHEER FILTH offered a heady mix of shocking film and book reviews, wild music coverage, weird cartoons, incisive features and fascinating interviews with icons of cult cinema and adult entertainment. Mixing serious
analysis with wild enthusiasm, SHEER FILTH covered everything from XXX-rated cinema to true crime novels, from sleazy rock'n'roll to experimental movies, and from pulp fiction to cutting-edge art.
SHEER FILTH brought the world the first coverage of Jorg Buttgereit's Nekromantik, Psychic TV's extraordinary First Transmission, cult classic Death Bed: The Bed That Eats, and much more.
Under the guidance of editor David Flint, SHEER FILTH was the proving ground for a host of aspiring journalists and authors who would go on to write for Headpress, Ungawa, Divinity, Shock Xpress, Skin Two and Penthouse. SHEER FILTH ran for 9
ground-breaking issues. At long last, this 10th edition gathers together almost all of the original contents, and also includes plenty of sensational previously unseen material! Fans of horror, sleaze, exploitation, adult, fetish, underground,
alternative, and cult entertainment rejoice! The Filth is back!
Babylon Blue: An Illustrated History of Adult Cinema
An excellent read by an author who suffered a police raid whilst researching the book.
Review from Loaded
Book of the Month: Here, in intricate and quite literally anal detail, is the history and background to all the major hardcore films of the last four decades. Every key porn star and director gets a lengthy entry, so to speak: John Holmes, Mary
Millington, Traci Lords, Jenna Jameson, Ben Dover, the woman from the Oxo ads and Leslie Philips....Flint avoids mere titillation in favour of hard details. A moist 9/10.
Niki Flynn is a young woman on a journey into the dark heart of her own sexual fantasies. She is regularly restrained, spanked, caned and whipped in the most notorious adult films of modern times. And she doesn't do it for financial
gain. Nor because she's a masochist.
Niki Flynn makes extreme adult movies because of her curious and profound love of surrender and punishment. Her desires are all about authority and power in situations when she has none. Where she is at the mercy of others who lack
just that. And for the thrill of dread, anticipation, and the euphoria that follows when she admires the marks from the headmaster's cane or the pirate's whip, Niki Flynn is willing to endure torment. Flown to the secretive underground world of taboo
film-making, this strange art has led her all over the world. From schoolgirl canings in England to spankings in California, from a Stasi interrogation in Germany to a forced haircut in Prague, Niki Flynn progressed to her darkest role ever - in
Bratislava, where she danced with the fiercest werewolves of all.
Edward Snowden, the NSA and the Surveillance State
Glenn Greenwald's No Place to Hide is the story of one of the greatest national security leaks in US history.
In June 2013, reporter and political commentator Glenn Greenwald published a series of reports in the Guardian which rocked the world.
The reports revealed shocking truths about the extent to which the National Security Agency had been gathering information about US citizens and intercepting communication worldwide, and were based on documents leaked by former National Security
Agency employee Edward Snowden to Greenwald.
Including new revelations from documents entrusted to Greenwald by Snowden, this essential book tells the story of Snowden and the NSA and examines the far-reaching consequences of the government's surveillance program, both in the US and abroad.
THE HAMMER VAMPIRE is an in-depth examination of how a tiny film studio on the banks of the Thames changed a genre forever.
Hammer may not have invented the vampire film, but its technicians and actors certainly perfected it. The screen vampire as we know and love it today, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Twilight and True Blood, would not have existed in its present
form but for a series of sixteen Gothic horror films produced by Hammer between 1958 and 1974.
In this lively analysis of the phenomenon, author Bruce Hallenbeck takes you behind the scenes of the Hammer classics to show how the vampire myth was reinvented for the modern audience, taking the archetype that was established by Bram Stoker s
Dracula into a realm that was darker, more graphic and, most importantly, more sexual than had ever been depicted before.. Hammer s greatest contribution to the vampire film may have been in its evolution of the female of the species the seductive
vampire woman, who ultimately proved to be far more deadly than the male...
Fully illustrated with rare stills in black & white and colour. FOREWORD by Jimmy Sangster
Novel set in the world of film censorship by Paul Hoffman who was previously a senior examiner at the BBFC.
Do you remember the video nasty? It is 1984 and video has just arrived in Britain's homes. With it comes a widespread distrust and fear. The public dread a deluge of porn, ultraviolence, cannibalism and dismemberment. Eager to reflect the public
mood, Parliament decides to panic too, and gifts sweeping powers to the chief film censor, Nick Berg. Every film ever made has to be reclassified for home viewing. But rather than become a tool of moral hysteria, Berg has a grand plan. He will create
an entirely new kind of censorship - benign, thoughtful, intelligent. First he must create a team to implement his wishes. This 'Magnificent Seven' will have the power to decide what others can and cannot see.
They will encounter the great monuments of censorship - The Exorcist , Cannibal Holocaust and Reservoir Dogs - as well as the obscure and unexpected: Rupert Bear and Little Yum and the almost unwatchable Nappy
Love . But off-screen, all is soon not well in the inner sanctum. What Berg doesn't realize is that his prized rationale is flawed. Fault lines appear within his team of seven. And a struggle for power is set in motion.
Video cover art is a unique and largely lost artform representing a period of unabashed creativity during the video rental boom of the 1980s to early 1990s. The art explodes with a succulent, indulgent blend of design, illustration, typography, and
hilarious copywriting. Written and curated by Tom aThe Dude Designsa Hodge, poster artist extraordinaire and VHS obsessive, with a foreword by Mondo's Justin Ishmael, this collection contains over 240 full-scale, complete video sleeves in the genres
of action, comedy, horror, kids, sci-fi, and thriller films. It's a world of mustached, muscled men, buxom beauties, big explosions, phallic guns, and nightmare-inducing monsters. From the sublime to the ridiculous, some are incredible works of art,
some are insane, and some capture the tone of the films better than the films themselves. All are amazing and inspiring works of art that captivate the imagination. It's like stepping back in time into your local video store!
Initially, Anthony Burgess liked what he saw -- or, at least, he said he liked what he saw -- when Stanley Kubrick eventually deigned to meet and give him a private screening of the completed film. During production, Malcolm McDowell had asked
Kubrick if he ever met with Burgess to discuss the project.
Oh good God, no! exclaimed Kubrick. Why would I want to do that?
McDowell surmised, Kubrick didn't want interference from the author, who probably didn't know the first thing about making a movie.
Watching the completed film, Burgess didn't hold it against Kubrick when his wife, repulsed by its choreographed sex and violence, asked to leave the screening room after a mere ten minutes. Initially, he even managed to tell the press, This is
one of the great books that has been made into a great film.
Maybe he meant what he said. Or maybe he simply wanted to persuade Kubrick to direct his screenplay Napoleon Symphony. In the following weeks, as well as years, Burgess would radically reassess his opinion of A Clockwork Orange the
Is the Fear of Being Offensive Killing Free Speech?
In this blistering polemic, veteran journalist Mick Hume presents an uncompromising defence of freedom of expression, which he argues is threatened in the West, not by jackbooted censorship but by a creeping culture of conformism and
The cold-blooded murder of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists in January 2015 brought a deadly focus to the issue of free speech. Leaders of the free-thinking world united in condemning the killings, proclaiming Je suis Charlie . But it wasn't long
before many commentators were arguing that the massacre showed the need to apply limits to free speech and to restrict the right to be offensive.
It has become fashionable not only to declare yourself offended by what somebody else says, but to use the offence card to demand that they be prevented from saying it. Social media websites such as Twitter have become the scene of twitch
hunts where online mobs hunt down trolls and other heretics who express the wrong opinion. And Trigger Warnings and other measures to protect sensitive students from potentially offensive material have spread from American
universities across the Atlantic and the internet.
Hume argues that without freedom of expression, our other liberties would not be possible. Against the background of the historic fight for free speech, Trigger Warning identifies the new threats facing it today and spells out how unfettered freedom
of expression, despite the pain and the problems it entails, remains the most important liberty of all.
The book collects together essays by a well known and respected group of academics, from a range of disciplines, that explore the role of the police in shaping the boundaries of that aspect of our lives that we imagine to be most intimate and most
our own. It presents a snap shot of policing in respect of a number of diverse areas -- such as public sex, pornography, and sex work -- and considers how sexual orientation structures police responses to them.
The book aims to promote discussion of how policing is implicated in the social, moral and political landscape of sex and, contrary to the established rhetoric of politicians and criminal justice practitioners, continues to intervene in the private
lives of citizens.
Author Alan Jones is an internationally renowned reporter on the Horror Fantasy genre. He founded FRIGHTFEST and is currently a featured film critic in the Radio Times, the UK's biggest selling magazine. He also writes for Empire, Total Film, The
Guardian, GQ, Vogue & The Independent. He recently worked with Nicolas Winding Refn on the acclaimed FAB Press coffee table book The Act of Seeing. With a foreword by Buddy Giovinazzo, best known for his gritty-low budget debut film, Combat
Shock, and his collection of harrowing short stories, Life Is Hot in Crackdown. Born in New York City, Buddy was thrilled when Combat Shock received its first public screening at the Liberty Theater on 42nd Street.
An excellent history of video classification and censorship in the UK from the "video nasties" controversy to the present day. Includes chapters on the history of video, the "video nasties", the black market, the
prosecutions of traders in unclassified material, media effects, and sex vids. A well written and intelligent study, well worth reading. (David Alexander)
It's Only a Movie: Reel Life Adventures of a Film Obsessive
Summary Review : Difficult to classify
Like the banned films he so dearly loves, it's very difficult to classify. It's part documentary, part adventure movie, part love story and, of course, part horror. It's one hell of a ride though.
I'd love to hear this as an audiobook in the actual words of Ol' Big Hands himself (he'd have to slow down though - he'd gabble through it in about 25 minutes if his radio performances are anything to go by!)
In the meantime, I'd thoroughly recommend this book to absolutely anyone who likes films.
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) is precisely that: a cold-eyed character study based on the crimes of Henry Lee Lucas, who was convicted of eleven murders in the 1980s. Director John McNaughton presents an unflinching portrayal of
the semi-fictional Henry's crimes. The film proved immensely controversial, notably in the UK, where it confounded theBBFC, which went so far as to re-edit a crucial scene, in addition to cutting others.
Shaun Kimber's examination of the controversies surrounding Henry considers the history and implications of censors' decisions about the film on both sides of the Atlantic. Taking account of the views of audiences, critics and academics, both at the
time the film was released and in the years since, Kimber also looks at the changing political, social and economic contexts within which the film was produced and has subsequently circulated. Henry continues to represent a key film within the horror
genre, the history of censorship, and the study of film violence. Kimber's account of the film's production and its fortunes in the marketplace provides a fascinating case study of film censorship in action, and offers a sustained and wide-ranging
analysis of what remains one of the most disturbing films ever made.
An excellent in-depth analysis... Kimber effectively combines close readings of key scenes with detailed consideration of the history of different versions of Henry and its various engagements with critics, supporters and regulatory authorities.
Geoff King, Brunel University
Shaun Kimber is a Senior Lecturer in the Media School at Bournemouth University.
Palgrave Macmillan September 2011
Amelia May Kingston
The Triumph of Hope
From Amelia May Kingston
Some time ago I decided that my contribution against the proposed bill outlawing the possession of "extreme pornographic images" would be to write and publish a semi-autobiographical novel The Triumph of Hope to show
how BDSM can be part of a rounded life-style practised by intelligent, caring, creative people.
It is not pornography, but a challenging, erotic, autobiograpy detailing the changing perspectives of a disabled, middle-aged female psychotherapist as she interacts with the world of alternative sexuality. It follows her journey as a determined
survivor from childhood to maturity through varied life-experiences in many parts of the world and at last to a joyful and shameless old age in which she finally recognises and accepts herself.
Is it really about me? Now that would be telling ... but my playmates may recognise themselves in some of the composite characters I have created.
Violence and Sex Work in Britain explores violence and homicide in the context of sex work, showing how current law and repressive policing tactics exacerbate vulnerability. It exposes inadequacies in the criminal justice system, leading to failures
in investigations and prosecutions and failures to prevent violence from known offenders. It attacks the radical feminist ideology currently driving government policy, arguing that its stigmatization of sex workers' clients ignores sex workers' own
experiences and testimony while colluding with policies that make sex work more dangerous.
Hilary described her findings that it is generally not clients who perpetrate violence against sex workers, but individuals who pretend to be clients to gain access to a brothel or persuade a sex worker to get in their car, as well as community
vigilantes, law enforcement staff and robbery gangs targeting sex workers in the knowledge that as well as having cash on the premises, they are unlikely to report.
Dr. Marty Klein's recently published volume, America's War On Sex , is quite simply the best book yet written dealing with the collision between the adult industry, sex-positive activism and the religious right. Every single
page contains valuable information and analysis for anyone involved in the adult industry, and should be considered required reading for anyone who wants to understand why so many people in the United States, particularly the so-called "cultural
leaders," are so fucked up when it comes to all subjects sexual.
Those who are trying to 'clean up' America say they're fighting for a number of critical reasons: the family, marriage, morals, education, community safety, " Klein perceptively notes at the outset. But this isn't really true. It's a
war against sex: sexual expression, sexual exploration, sexual arrangements, sexual privacy, sexual choice, sexual entertainment, sexual health, sexual imagination, sexual pleasure.
Klein's thesis is broken into several chapters dealing with such subjects as sex education, reproductive rights and the media, both broadcast and Internet, but as becomes quickly evident, those are really just different aspects of the same war,
fought with the same weapons, using the same (mis)information and targeting the same objective: To control and restrict everyone's sexuality, even their own.
What is the attraction of violence? What is the relationship between real and imagined violence? What should be the state's response to both? These questions are raised by Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971). The film is a graphically
violent, sexually explicit, wickedly funny, visually stunning and deeply ambiguous adaptation of Anthony Burgess's 1962 novel.
Drawing on new research in the Stanley Kubrick Archive, Peter Kramer's study explores the production, marketing and reception as well as the themes and style of A Clockwork Orange against the backdrop of Kubrick's previous work and wider developments
in British and American cinema, culture and society from the 1950s to the early 1970s.
This is a remarkable and highly unusual book. Kramer turns aside from the endlessly repeated queries about whether a film like A Clockwork Orange might 'cause people to go out and rape, and asks instead: how does this film participate in that very
debate? What philosophy of human nature drove Kubrick to construct the film? Kramer takes us into the film's detailed construction, so we can judge its contribution for ourselves. Martin Barker, Aberystwyth University
Peter Kramer is a Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of East Anglia,
Don’t judge a book by its cover (or its title, for that matter). I figured that I was in for another tedious anti-gaming screed full of myths and hysteria about games and gamers. Boy, was I wrong. Massively wrong.
Lawrence Kutner, PhD, and Cheryl K. Olson, ScD, cofounders and directors of the Harvard Medical School Center for Mental Health and Media, have written the most thoroughly balanced and refreshingly open-minded book about video games ever penned. They
cut through the stereotypes and fear-mongering that have thus far pervaded the debate over the impact of video games and offer parents and policymakers common-sense advice about how to approach these issues in a more level-headed fashion. They argue
Today, an amalgam of politicians, health professionals, religious leaders and children’s advocates are voicing concerns about video games that are identical to the concerns raised one, two and three generations ago with the
introduction of other new media. Most of these people have the best of intentions. They really want to protect children from evil influences. As in the past, a few have different agendas and are using the issue manipulatively. Unfortunately, many of
their claims are based on scanty evidence, inaccurate assumptions, and pseudoscience. Much of the current research on violent video games is both simplistic and agenda driven.
Behind the Scenes at the BBFC: Film Classification from the Silver Screen to the Digital Age
From promotional material:
Established by the film industry in 1912 as the nation's only official and independent classifier of the moving image, the British Board of Film Classification (originally the British Board of Film Censors) has long been a source of fascination --
and sometimes a bone of contention -- for filmgoers, filmmakers and industry figures. This new book, published in the BBFC's centenary year, addresses Britain's film classification history, and marks an unparalleled collaboration between the Board
and leading film critics, historians and cultural commentators.
These writers, given unprecedented access to the BBFC's archives, chart the organisation's history alongside the cultural, social and political forces that have helped shape it. Together they explore shifting public attitudes towards cinema's
portrayal of sex and drugs, horror and violence; the different perspectives of the Board's successive leaders; the impact of controversial decisions, and the ever-changing nature of moving image distribution and exhibition.
The book also features unique case studies, written by BBFC staff, focusing on significant films that have provoked debate and controversy both within the BBFC and more widely - Battleship Potemkin, The Snake Pit, A Clockwork Orange, Indiana Jones
and the Temple of Doom, and many more.
Behind the Scenes at the BBFC: Film Classification from the Silver Screen to the Digital Age is an entertaining and invaluable insight into shifts in public attitudes over the last century, and how film classification shapes what we see on screen.
Editor: EDWARD LAMBERTI is Information Services Manager at the BBFC.
There are an estimated one million swingers in the UK and according to the author of a new book, the sexy pastime could become even more common place thanks to the credit crunch.
Ashley Lister, who wrote and researched Swingers: Female Confidential , reckons that in the coming months more people will shun expensive restaurants and nights out in favour of cheaper pleasures.
And for many that means meeting regularly to have sex with someone other than their partners.
Ashley says: With a recession on its way, swinging is about to go through a boom period because it is such a cost effective way for people to enjoy themselves and to get maximum enjoyment from minimum outlay.
Ashley spoke to students, single mums in their 20s, unemployed swingers, top lawyers and even swinging doctors - of every age, size and shape imaginable.
And he discovered that contrary to popular belief, most shun the notorious swingers parties in favour of getting to know a small number of similar minded people socially. Then it is simply a case of consenting adults taking part in whatever sexual
practice they desire generally, with the full support and encouragement of their partner, husband or wife.
Ashley said: I found it riveting to talk to these people about a subject that is normally forbidden. They really are just normal people, it's just they have a liberated attitude towards sex. They could be your neighbour, your boss or even the
person who sits next to you at work and you would never know. But what I enjoyed about it all was the openness among themselves and they actually seemed empowered by what they do in that they could state exactly what they want and just do that.
Having researched and written his insight into the world of swinging, Ashley was only left with one question about the ever growing phenomenon - why do women do it?
Ashley said: Nobody asked me why men did it, they seemed to understand men would do that kind of thing for more sex, but everyone asked what motivated women, so I decided to look into it and write Swingers: Female Confidential .
Antony Loewenstein, a Sydney-based freelance journalist and blogger, has recently published his new book: The Blogging Revolution. This book talks about the impact of blogging on six countries: Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, China and Cuba.
I chose the six countries in the book because they are routinely referred to in the West as “enemies” or “allies” of Washington and we were rarely gaining true insights into life for average citizens, away from stories about
“terrorism”. I wanted to talk to bloggers, writers, dissidents, politicians and citizens and hear their stories, removed from “official” perspectives.
n fall 2009, I sat in a large auditorium festooned with red banners and watched as Robin Li, CEO of Baidu, China's dominant search engine, paraded onstage with executives from 19 other companies to receive the China Internet Self-Discipline Award.
Officials from the quasi-governmental Internet Society of China praised them for fostering harmonious and healthy Internet development. In the Chinese regulatory context, healthy is a euphemism for porn-free and crime-free.
Harmonious implies prevention of activity that would provoke social or political disharmony. Related
China's censorship system is complex and multilayered. The outer layer is generally known as the great firewall of China, through which hundreds of thousands of websites are blocked from view on the Chinese Internet. What this system means in
practice is that when one goes online from an ordinary commercial Internet connection inside China and tries to visit a website such as hrw.org, the website belonging to Human Rights Watch, the web browser shows an error message saying, This page
cannot be found. This blocking is easily accomplished because the global Internet connects to the Chinese Internet through only eight gateways, which are easily filtered. At each gateway, as well as among all the different Internet
service providers within China, Internet routers --- the devices that move the data back and forth between different computer networks --- are all configured to block long lists of website addresses and politically sensitive keywords.
There are so many myths and misunderstandings surrounding sex that I was puzzled as to which one warranted a whole book. It turns out that Dr Brooke Magnanti (previously known to most of us as the blogging call girl Belle de Jour) tackles most of
them. She accomplishes this heroic task with humour, skill and passion in a book that is as entertaining as it is erudite.
Magnanti exposes the weak, even non-existent, evidence base for periodic moral panics surrounding sex. She dissects the factoid evidence on the new disease of sex addiction, the sexualisation of children, the way pornography humiliates women,
the dangers of porn on the internet, the evils of prostitution and trafficking.
Her book should be required reading for all newspaper readers, and for anyone interested in understanding how advocacy research manufactures findings that are selective, tendentious, dishonest, even incompetent.
It was 20 years ago this month that Ayatollah Khomeini pronounced his fatwa on Salman Rushdie. I inform all zealous Muslims of the world, he proclaimed: that the author of the book entitled The Satanic Verses . . . and all those
involved in its publication who were aware of its contents, are sentenced to death.
This was not just a brutally shocking act that forced Rushdie into hiding for almost a decade; it also helped to transform the character of British society. The Rushdie affair was the moment at which a new Islam dramatically announced itself as a
political force — and the moment when Britain realised that it was facing a new kind of social conflict.
Muslim fury seemed to be driven not by harassment or discrimination, but by a sense of hurt that Rushdie's words had offended their deepest beliefs. Where did such hurt come from? How could a novel create such outrage? Could Muslim anguish be
assuaged and should it be?
The front cover of The Porn Report - hot-pink lettering on a sinister black background - would seem to reinforce this sense of pornography as something dark and dangerous.
But this is the very view with which the book effectively takes issue. In that sense, the authors have followed the example of Alfred Kinsey and Shere Hite, whose reports on human sexuality sought to debunk pervasive myths, or ended up debunking
them. Whether or not one agrees with their conclusions, the fact that they've broached the subject at all is sure to have a positive effect. Too often the debate about pornography is commandeered by capital-letter moralists and demagogic politicians
who can always buy a few cheap votes by engineering a moral panic.
The book is based on the Understanding Pornography in Australia research project, funded by the Australian Research Council. It begins by placing pornography, obscenity and censorship in a historical context and shows how the moral emphasis
has shifted from protecting women and the working class to protecting children. This is followed by a modest survey exploring pornographic consumption (including interviews with some respondents), a study of pornographic content and a discussion of
various ethical issues connected with the making and consumption of porn.
On the whole, the authors are fairly sanguine about the nature and effects of porn. Indeed, I think they are rather too sanguine. For example, there is a lengthy survey of "cottage industry" or "DIY" porn but hardly any
consideration of the seamier regions of the internet (with child pornography an exception).
This book is a real labor of love; a collection of lengthy interviews and background stories behind 25 women of the golden age. Each chapter is effectively a mini-biography, with intimate interview responses from the women themselves and occasionally
their loved ones (as in the case of those no longer living, such as Marilyn Chambers and Ann Perry), as well as brief analyses of significant works by the women in question and a plethora of photos. At nearly 1000 pages, this is no fluff piece, and
Nelson's (and her publisher's) willingness to allow the space necessary for these women to voice their experiences - diverse, unexpected, often inspirational, sometimes sad, occasionally unsettling - should be applauded.
FYI, the 25 women included in the project are: Ann Perry, Barbara Mills, Georgina Spelvin, Marilyn Chambers, Roberta Findlay, Jody Maxwell, Candida Royalle, Gloria Leonard, Rhonda Jo Petty, Serena, Annie Sprinkle, Sex Kitten Natividad, Sharon
Mitchell, Kay Parker, Juliet Anderson, Seka, Kelly Nichols, Veronica Hart, Julia St. Vincent, Laurie Holmes, Ginger Lynn, Amber Lynn, Christy Canyon, Raven Touchstone, and Nina Hartley, followed by honorable mentions.
Golden Goddesses vibrantly casts light upon twenty-five significant women involved in the erotic film industry during its Golden Era, between the years 1968-1985 when participation in adult productions was illegal. Profiling performers, directors,
scriptwriters and costumers, Golden Goddesses is a palate of insights, intimacy, vulnerability and strength, as it immerses readers into the lives of these celebrated and audacious females. Delicately crafted with film highlights and more than 300
photos, Golden Goddesses captures the quintessence of a rebellious spirit from days gone by.
Porno Manifesto will change your view on porn films
Numerous people still have a lot of reservations when it comes to watching porn films. They perceive them as something dirty and think that they are watched only by people who are perverse and immoral. That is why we recommend
the book Porno Manifesto which was written by a French porn diva Ovidie several years ago. Let us look at what the book is actually about and why it might change your view on porn films and industry.
Ovidie, born in 1980 in France, a persistent feminist and a graduate in philosophy, is convinced that porn business is good for a woman's self-confidence and erotic films do not humiliate women. She is also convinced that every
woman should make time to enjoy her sexual life if she wants to be a real woman. So at the beginning, Ovidie is convinced that watching and shooting porn films is a good thing. It is these films that raise self-confidence in women. Moreover, acting
in such films turns a woman into a real woman. Of course, this is an exaggerated statement because a real woman does not need to prove her sexuality in that way, but Ovidie has her own mind and speaks from her experience. The reason she speaks in
such a provocative way is that she is a porn star and she wants to enlighten women in her own unique way.
Illicit Flirtations: Labor, Migration, and Sex Trafficking in Tokyo by Rhacel Parrenas offers a scholarly, sociological portrait of Filipina hostesses and waitresses in Tokyo's red-light districts that is clear and compelling
enough for the lay reader. To write this book, the author herself worked as a hostess in a Tokyo nightclub.
In 2004, the U.S. State Department declared Filipina hostesses in Japan the largest group of sex trafficked persons in the world. Since receiving this global attention, the number of hostesses entering Japan has dropped by
nearly 90%, from more than 80,000 in 2004 to just over 8,000 today.
To some, this might suggest a victory for the global anti-trafficking campaign, but Rhacel Parrenas counters that this drastic decline which has stripped thousands of migrants of their livelihoods.
Parrenas worked alongside hostesses in a working-class club in Tokyo's red-light district, serving drinks, singing karaoke, and entertaining her customers, including members of the yakuza, the Japanese crime syndicate. While the
common assumption has been that these hostess bars are hotbeds of sexual trafficking, Parrenas quickly discovered a different world of working migrant women, there by choice, and, most importantly, where none were coerced into prostitution. But this
is not to say that the hostesses were not vulnerable in other ways.
Stanford University Press
28 Sep 2011
Welcome to Pornoland
Welcome to Pornoland! Ric Porter had a job in a dead-end clothes store when he fell into working in the british adult film industry, accidentally blundering into a succesful career in movies, magazines and television. This is an amazing real-life
story that reads like a cross between Boogie Nights and Carry On ! It's 50 shades of outrageous! The book charts Ric's experiences from working with the then unknown Ben Dover on early films through to managing the UK's most
prolific adult magazine publishing group, to becoming a producer for British adult satellite TV and much much more, featuring anecdotes of many well known adult and mainstream celebrities. An amusing and insightful look at the British adult industry
from the inside. Welcome to Pornoland!
From review by Dale Bradford
This book is the story of his journey and those readers who go along for the ride will encounter many of the most familiar names in Britporn, including Ben Dover, Phil McCavity, Super Marino, Big Willy's Omar, a whole host of famous porn star girlies
plus some of the movers and shakers behind the scenes. Welcome to Pornoland also lifts the lid on aspects of the adult marketplace the public doesn't usually get to hear about - including some of the outrageous scams perpetrated on consumers in the
industry's early days. Most memoirs are self-serving and pretty bland, and if they do drop in a bit of spice the names of the guilty are usually withheld - not in this one they're not.
The author labours certain points a little - not least as he's a Tory and thus not entirely unbiased. But overall, I'd say it's a superb analysis of certain problems with the last government's illiberal approach.
I say certain problems as for example issues of censorship - and other media regulation - are not at all addressed.
But I must say it's a very impressive read. Some things one has a instinctive feel for, regarding its danger to liberty etc, but one cannot always oneself put it into words. Raab however manages.
At times it's heavy going. But overall I'd class this book as one of the most worthwhile things I've read in recent years.
The Assault on Liberty , Dominic Raab’s lament for Britain’s lost liberal democracy should reinforce the arguments of those already worried by the state of British human rights; and it should make those who dismiss these
concerns think again.
The roots of the problem are, according to Raab, a mix of the political day-to-day and the philosophical underpinning of a pro-European centre-left party. The 24-hour news culture and baying for blood of the tabloids has meant that successive prime
ministers and home secretaries have needed to sound tough. The more crime was perceived to rise, the more ministers vowed to do ‘whatever it takes’. This auction of fear led to antisocial behaviour orders; the events of 9/11 in America and 7/7 at
home led to a similar trade-off of our liberties to counter the terrorist threat. So far, so incontrovertible.
I do wonder, though, how a future Tory government would deal with these dilemmas. Would David Cameron or his shadow justice secretary Dominic Grieve (for whom Raab works as chief of staff) really face down the Sun and the Daily Mail once in office?
Would they put their concerns over prison overcrowding into practice, by agreeing to early releases, or telling the courts to take a more subtle approach to sentencing, as those perfidious Europeans do? Somehow I doubt it.
How China censors the net: by making sure there's too much information
A new book shows how the republic's government has adapted to the challenge of a networked age
a remarkable new book by Margaret Roberts, one of a number of dedicated scholars who have for some years being studying how the Chinese regime is managing the internet. What these scholars have been unearthing is a detailed picture of networked
authoritarianism in action. Roberts's book is a magisterial summary of what we have learned so far.
As Jasper Sharp's excellent, exhaustive study Behind the Pink Curtain: The Complete History of Japanese Sex Cinema makes clear. Many of the leading directors in the Japanese film industry today, especially those who
entered it after the studio system collapsed in the early 1970s, learned their craft in the porno industry.
Sharp explains in thoroughly researched, fluently written detail, Japan's adult film industry has long since passed its two-decade heyday, which began with the migration of the movie audience to television and the subsequent loosening of on-screen
restrictions on sex and nudity in the 1960s, and ended with the rise of video in the 1980s, which sent erotic films for theatrical release into a long, irreversible decline.
In the past two decades, the adult film (as opposed to adult video) industry has solidified — or rather fossilized — into a small circuit of specialized theaters supplied by a small number of companies. The makers of what are now called "pinku
eiga" (pink films) have developed a rough formula that Sharp carefully defines, but essentially amounts to a one-hour running time, with scenes of simulated bonking tossed in every 10 minutes or so.
All in all, however, Sharp has written a monumental work in a long-neglected field that no one will probably feel the need to expand on significantly for years, even decades. Behind the Pink Curtain is as close as a book
comes to being a category killer.
Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs ignited fierce debate among censors, critics and audiences on both sides of the Atlantic on its release in 1971. When Amy (Susan George) returns to her home village with her American peacenik husband David (Dustin Hoffman),
the residents of this tight-knit Cornish community slowly turn on them. The sexual tension and latent violence finally erupt in an explosion of violence that includes a rape scene that has remained controversial to this day. The film was heavily cut
for theatrical release in the US, and the press inspired furore in the UK led to several local councils cutting or banning it outright. Later, caught in the wake of the video nasties panic of the 1980s, Straw Dogs was refused a home-video
certificate in the UK for nearly twenty years.
Stevie Simkin's study sheds light on the film's treatment by the BBFC and tracks its subsequent tortuous journey towards home-video release, buffeted by various shifts in the BBFC's policy on representations of sexual violence. But, equally
importantly, Simkin provides a highly original account of the making of the film, drawing on extensive research in Peckinpah's archive, including analysis of draft scripts, notes, memos and contemporary press items, as well as insights from a number
of Peckinpah's associates, and key figures at the BBFC.
Stevie Simkin is Reader in Drama and Film at the University of Winchester, UK.
Stephen Farber, Film Critic, The Hollywood Reporter:
A swift, compelling read. Thorough and scholarly without the faintest whiff of academic stuffiness, Stevie Simkin's study of Straw Dogs summons up the turmoil of the 1960s and 70s and illuminates the highly charged subject of sexual violence on
In 1973, short on cash and with the rent due, a peacenik former Broadway gypsy living in Manhattan's Meat Packing District signed on to cook for the cast and crew of a new film, The Devil in Miss Jones . She soon found
herself cast in the lead role, and her legendary erotic performance launched her on a career that would come to define the era of Porn Chic.
This is the story of Georgina Spelvin, a poignant and wholly bawdy memoir of her life before and after porn fame, full of riveting anecdotes and marvelous gossip from time spent among the famous and the infamous. With a
storyteller's touch, Georgina takes us to the bright lights of Broadway, the glamour of Manhattan's Latin Quarter, the fervor of the Vietnam Era peace movement, and, of course, the so-called Golden Age of Porn.
Thirty years in the making and five years in the writing, there are more laughs than tears, but no apologies or excuses. It is not a victim's whine, but a romping good read, filled with the colorful details of a road less
In 1964, Mary Whitehouse launched a campaign to fight what she called the propaganda of disbelief, doubt and dirt being poured into homes through the nation's radio and television sets. Whitehouse, senior mistress at a Shropshire secondary
school, became the unlikely figurehead of a mass movement: the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association.
For almost forty years, she kept up the fight against the programme makers, politicians, pop stars and playwrights who she felt were dragging British culture into a sewer of blasphemy and obscenity.
From Dr Who ('Teatime brutality for tots') to Dennis Potter (whose mother sued her for libel and won) to the Beatles - (whose Magical Mystery Tour escaped her intervention by the skin of its psychedelic teeth) - the list of Mary Whitehouse's
targets will read to some like a nostalgic roll of honour.
Caricatured while she lived as a figure of middle-brow reaction, Mary Whitehouse was held in contempt by the country's intellectual elite. But were some of the dangers she warned of more real than they imagined?
Ben Thompson's selection of material from her extraordinary archive shows Mary Whitehouse's legacy in a startling new light.
From her exquisitely testy exchanges with successive BBC Directors General, to the anguished screeds penned by her television and radio vigilantes, these letters reveal a complex and combative individual, whose anxieties about culture and morality
are often eerily relevant to the age of the internet.
Countercultural Messages of Films from Frankenstein to the Present
Horror cinema flourishes in times of ideological crisis and national trauma--the Great Depression, the Cold War, the Vietnam era, post-9/11; this book argues that a succession of filmmakers working in horror--from James Whale to Sylvia Soska--have
used the genre, and the shock value it affords, to challenge the status quo during these times. Spanning the decades from the 1930s onwards this critical text examines the work of producers and directors as varied as George A. Romero, Pete Walker,
Michael Reeves, Herman Cohen, Wes Craven and Brian Yuzna--and the ways in which films like Frankenstein (1931), Cat People (1942), The Woman (2011) and American Mary (2012) can be considered subversive.
Bound and Gagged : The Secret History of Obscenity
I have just finished reading Alan Travis' book and found it an excellent read. The majority of the book is about book burning from the 20's up to and including the 60's. It provides a fine illustration of how a few mad Home
Secretaries, Public Prosectors and Customs could so successfully keep the Home Office furnaces well fired with fine literature. During this period, the authorities maintained a secret list of a 1000 books that were liable to burning. Roy Jenkins
comes out of it heroicially as he added a defence to the Obscene Publications Act allowing literature to be exempted. This was the begining of the end of book censorship in the UK
The book is 300-plus pages of horrific cover images culled from comic classics like Space Western featuring Spurs Jackson and his Space Vigilantes and Famous Authors Illustrated featuring Shakespeare's MacBeth.
(OK, most of the images are from books like Weird Terror, City of the Living Dead, Startling Terror Tales and the like. But, come on! Spurs Jackson!)
In addition to the covers, there are selected panels and pages from the purple prosed pulp pamphlets, as well as more than a dozen complete stories of murder and mayhem from the 1950s. (I had only come across one of these
stories, Basil Wolverton's Brain Bats of Venus before this book. It's a neat one to have.)
Interspersed throughout the garish eye candy are Trombetta's notes on how our [US] government wanted to shut down the crime and horror comics of the time. He also details the creation of the Comics Code Authority as a last
ditch effort to save the industry. Essentially, the Code took out any element that made the books interesting. You couldn't even have the word Crime on a cover. The tales of censorship, manipulation and outright lies about comics as a
medium are scarier than the comics themselves.
The book comes with a DVD of a 1955 news show, Confidential File, dealing with the comic book menace, and how it was the source of juvenile delinquency, back in the day. Or so they said.
For all Paul Raymond's manifest faults and unappealing characteristics, I began to see him as an unexpectedly heroic figure. There was something admirable about the dogged yet stylish way in which he challenged the
authorities and the old, often hypocritical assumptions. His first major brush with controversy came in April 1958 when he opened the Revuebar, located in the heart of Soho, an area traditionally associated with the commercial exploitation of
sex. Among Britain's first strip-clubs, it cunningly sidestepped the rules on nudes having to remain static. Raymond did so by making the Revuebar a private members' club instead of a conventional theatre. Since the delights of striptease had
hitherto been almost inaccessible, his club attracted a sizeable membership list before it had even opened. Its popularity was destined to bring him into conflict with the Metropolitan Police's Clubs Office which sought a pretext to close down
Through his battle with the authorities, which continued for well over a decade, Raymond played a pivotal but largely unacknowledged role in the erosion of stifling censorship and the establishment of the so-called Permissive Society
in Britain during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Motivated by commercial self-interest that masqueraded as staunch libertarian principle, he challenged the police, judiciary and press. Successive court cases, one of which could have led to
him being gaoled, enabled him to push the skin trade — be it strip-shows, magazines or theatre shows — from the margins into the mainstream.
The official history of the D notice system, the voluntary self-censorship arrangement between the media and Whitehall, has just been published - though, ironically, only after five chapters had been excised.
The history, written by Rear Admiral Nicholas Wilkinson, one of the more enlightened past secretaries of the Committee, provides telling insights into the relationships between editors and Britain's defence, security and
intelligence establishment. The voluntary nature of the D notice system - it has no legal status - meant that personal friendships were crucial. Some would say they still are.
Plans are afoot to publish the full history - including the past 12 years - as soon as Labour is out of power. Self-censorship acts in mysterious ways.
This is not the first account of how the Satanic Verses affair came about, but it is by far the most wide-ranging and best informed. It also includes equally authoritative accounts of numerous subsequent incidents such as
the murder of the Dutch film-maker Theo van Gogh and the Danish cartoons controversy, which, it is convincingly argued here, need to be seen as ramifications of the Salman Rushdie case. But this is far more than simply a recital of the facts,
richly detailed and highly informative though it most certainly is in this respect. For what we also have here is a resounding defence of the principles of free expression, not in the debased, self-interested and ill-informed manner in which the
British press habitually defends its 'right' to do as it damn well pleases, but in highly sophisticated philosophical terms. This is a key contribution to the debate not only on the right to free expression, including the right to offend, but on
media freedom in general in the post-Leveson era. - Julian Petley, Brunel University, UK