I started this blog almost three months ago in order to share my passions with others.
When I was growing up, I was always the kid with the monster mask, the scary magazine, or the bone in a jar that I prayed was human. I had a knack for finding weirdness, and weirdness had a knack for finding me.
What I didn't count on when setting out to write about my obsessions was interacting with so many good-hearted, decent people.
But, you know, I've always found people into weird stuff to be the nicest people I know. They're the most broad-minded, they're the most accepting, and they're the most interesting.
They're "nice" because they're not buttoned up. They're not repressing their true selves (not completely, anyway), and they're not going to judge you based on your passions. These folks have exposed themselves to the extremes of art, so their hearts and minds have opened wider as a result.
It's the people who steer clear of this stuff, and want YOU to steer clear of it, that you should worry about.
It's the hypocrites who preach one thing and do another that bother me. They're the people I don't want my children around (if I had any).
The horrific and the sexual in art and literature provide a healthy outlet for the stresses of living.
They're akin to a safety valve that, when loosened, releases the pressure life creates.
We live in a world where we are often judged by our tastes, sexual choices, or eccentricities. I'm not sure what is being judged, but the process seems like a terribly flawed one. How can one gauge a man or woman's personal integrity based on the above criteria? Only an idiot would make a judgment about your honesty or ability to work hard based on the movies you love or the people you like to have sex with.
Yet it happens all the time.
When I was quite a bit younger, I worked at a production company where my personal film preferences branded me as a weirdo. As a result, I was not taken seriously when I pushed for better work. Eventually, I got what I wanted, but that was because the decision maker was replaced. I remember having a discussion with said replaced boss about I Spit On Your Grave because the film was being duplicated for VHS in one of the company's dubbing suites.
As Camille Keaton was being raped on a rock on a monitor in front of us, my boss said to me: "What's this crap?" I answered: "It's actually quite an interesting film." He rolled his eyes and looked at me thrice: "Maybe for someone like you it is."
I think this is how the concept of Guilty Pleasures was born. It is a "Get Out of Jail Free" card for films you are supposed to feel guilty about liking. By stating that your fondness is a guilty pleasure, you communicate your awareness that the film is unacceptable. By doing this, you assure others that you are still pretty much like them, if occasionally offbeat.
It's a weird form of conformity.
And another wonderful bi-product of religion.
I've never felt guilt about loving a movie or a book. Why should I?
Even though I grew up in a country where admitting you liked porn was like admitting to the nation that you were a pervert, I did so, anyway.
There is merit in everything.
As a teenager, I used to freak friends out when I'd discuss the best and biggest Euro porn publishers by name. If someone was trying to remember the name of a magazine they'd seen, I would ask: "Who's the publisher?" They'd look at like I was some kind of nutcase. "What do you mean Who's the publisher?"
I'd say: "Is it Rodox Trading? Seventeen? Silwa? Magma? VTO Teresa Orlowski? Dino? Private?"
I've always been interested in the business side of pornography and I'm a keen reader of any available literature on the companies.
I researched Peter and Jens Theander, the founders of Denmark's Rodox Trading (Color Climax), the biggest porno empire in the world for some time.
I read enthusiastically about the pioneering days of Berth Milton Sr., the creator of Private, a company that has made a successful transition to new technologies. Many haven't.
I found out everything I could about Teresa Orlowlsi (Foxy Lady), the first female publisher of pornography, and her husband/photographer Hans Moser. I even interviewed them for a Japanese fanzine.
And I marveled at the accomplishments of Beate Uhse, the porn baroness who, with her son Uli, struggled hard to build an empire of high end sex boutiques in many European airports.
These folks had nothing to be ashamed of.
I didn't either.
I save my guilt for honest failings.
I am committed to sharing a broad spectrum of PULP interests with anybody who's interested.
Some will appeal to many.
Some will appeal to a few.
Already, I'm getting some indication of the topics that score high in the interest department and the topics that score low.
I'll endeavor, however, not to be ratings-driven.
We've seen ample evidence of where populism can take us.
Writer James Purdy, who died last week, divided critics and provoked controversy with fierce, original works such as Cabot Wright Begins and Eustace Chisholm and the Works.
Reviewing Cabot Wright for the New York Times, critic Orville Prescott slapped Purdy for the book's "obsessive concentration on perverted and criminal sexual activities".
Susan Sontag likened the book to Voltaire's Candide.
But Mr. Purdy had the last word, and evidently did not entertain guilt when embracing his pleasures:
"When you're writing," he said, "you're so occupied by the story and the characters that you have no interest in what people may think."