Underground Porn King and Screw Magazine Publisher Al Goldstein Is Dead

Categories: In Memoriam, Porn

Image via Danny Hellman's Pinterest, another longtime Screw illustrator.
A November 1978 issue of Screw, with art by Spain Rodriguez.
In 1999, in the pages of the Village Voice, pornographer Al Goldstein had a tender moment, reminiscing about founding Screw magazine back in 1968.

"I was a walking hard-on," he said. "I believe my hard-on is the greatest gift to the world."

It was that kind of delicate sentiment that made both Goldstein and Screw famous: a view of sex that was coarse, in-your-face, and unapologetically scuzzy, although exuberant in its own way. Celebratory, almost.

After a lifetime in the sex business, both in the shadows and in the spotlight, Goldstein died on Thursday, at the age of 77, in a nursing home in Cobble Hill. His lawyer, Charles DeStefano, told the New York Times that the cause was believed to be renal failure.

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What's Happening to the Light-Up 9/11 Memorial?

tribute in light .jpg
The ten-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks is coming up in less than a month. Every year, the fallen Twin Towers have been memorialized with twin beams of light shooting up into the sky overnight; the "Tribute in Light" is organized by the Municipal Art Society (MAS) and has returned annually via funding from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and from private donors.This year, though, could be the last time the memorial is ever lit up. A block of text on the MAS website reads, "Around the world, people assume that the Tribute in Light is a permanent annual installation. But the reality is that the future of the lights is not guaranteed beyond September 11, 2011." More »

9/11 Memorial Tickets Are Extremely Popular

The box office for the World Trade Center's 9/11 Memorial opened online yesterday, but by evening the website had faltered under the weight of 24,000 requests. As many as 1,000 people were trying to make reservations at once, as opposed to the usual 40 people before the Memorial was added, with 5,000 tickets reserved in the first hour alone. The Memorial will debut on the tenth anniversary of the attacks for families and invited guests, and on September 12, it will open to the public, with 6,000 visitors booked for the first day. Reservations to see the 8-acre plaza are free, with donations optional, though a museum set to open next year could have a fee, or at least a suggested price. Yesterday, one future visitor -- a local -- pledged $911. [NYP]

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; Gabrielle Giffords' Condition Improves; Steve Jobs Takes Medical Leave

Today is the 25th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. As King is honored around the nation, government offices and schools are closed, and there's no mail delivery or garbage or recycling collection in New York City. The MTA is on a special schedule. In remembrance, here's King's "I Have a Dream" speech (or watch it here). And here are essays he wrote for The Nation between 1961 and 1966. Meanwhile, Baratunde Thurston imagines what King would have done with Twitter. [Yahoo, The Nation, Vanity Fair]

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Ellen Stewart, La MaMa Founder, Has Died at Age 91

Ellen Stewart at La MaMa in 1991 (Jonathan Slaff)
Ellen Stewart, 91, universally known as La Mama and acclaimed as one of the formidable figures who shaped the Off-Off-Broadway theater movement, died peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday night. The founder and guiding spirit of Café La MaMa, later known as La MaMa E.T.C. (standing for "Experimental Theatre Club"), she created a haven for innovative playwrights, directors, designers, and performers that has had permanent artistic effects worldwide. A homey, straightforward, no-nonsense woman, she was famous for the signature gesture by which, in the early years, she opened every La MaMa performance: ringing a cowbell and declaring, "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to La MaMa, dedicated to the playwright and to all aspects of the theater."

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