WiNTER SOLSTiCE in BONOBOVILLE: Poledancing Angel, Baby Jesus Butt Plug, Youtube Victory & RIP AL GOLDSTEIN
Length 1:30:04 Date: Dec. 21, 2013
Wrapped in my hot cider-fueled fantasy of a kinky Mrs. Claus, I preside over a very merry Winter Solstice on DrSuzy.Tv, as a poledancing angel, the divine Jesustine Katface, spins through the firmaments above me, jolly Capt’n Santa-Max, and the rest of Bonoboville, lighting the fires of our Pipedream cock candles below. On this chilly Solstice night in the dead of winter, we celebrate sex, love and life itself, but we must also honor the cold power of death that takes even the liveliest of us as we say farewell to fiery Free Speech warrior and maverick Screw magazine publisher, our old pal Al Goldstein (1/10/1936-12/19/2013).
But before we speak of the dead, let’s enjoy the living. And I must say that our new Bonoboville @ LAX, though still under construction, is looking like a little bit of heaven in a ho-ho-ho house, topped off with an XXXmas tree festooned with lights, lingerie, condoms and anatomically correct boob and dick ornaments (thank you Cat, Sam and Condomania!). We also have our naughty Nativity Scene, featuring a Mother Mary dildo praying over a beatific little Baby Jesus butt plug (when you insert it, you can rightfully say, “Jesus is in me now!”) and three phallic kings. Thank you and bless you for these holy instruments, Divine Interventions. Amen & Awomen. To serenade us, we have Elvis impersonator and Good Samaritan Smokey Binion, Jr., calling in live from Texas, singing “Blue Christmas.”
As for the Xmas angel spinning above us, J. Katface, wearing nothing but a pair of sheer panties (Happy Birthday,Panty Boy!), diaphanous “angel wings” and a bit of red, white and black tape in strategic places, is our featured guest. Kat is all about poledancing. The facts that she’s Polish, or that stripper poles are incredibly phallic, are besides the point. Kat is a poledancing instructor with a mission to help women (and men) of all kinds improve their body image and get fit through poledancing. At this point, poledancing is not just for strippers and porn stars like the amazing Bonnie Rotten and Angela Sommers. Like bellydancing and yoga, it’s become a way for all kinds of women (and some brave, metrosexual men) to stretch their limbs and play.
Though we’re now broadcasting out of our tiny RadioSUZY1 studio (larger party-style DrSuzy.Tv studios are currently under construction in lower Bonoboville), where we only have room for just one or two guests, in the center of it all, we do have a stripper pole! Kat makes full use of this particular piece of studio furniture, leaping up onto the platform and removing her huge shitkicker boots to reveal lovely, high-arched ballet trained feet, to the podophilic delight of all the foot fetishists watching DrSuzy.Tv. Then she makes gymnastic love to my pole (ooh baby!), whipping around that thing like a Juxleather cat o’ nine tails in heat. She even manages to teach me a few moves. It’s all in how you twerk it!
Speaking of twerking, Capt’n Max and I savor a few moments of our own most recent Free Speech victory: YouTube just reinstated our Tempest Storm Interview. We posted the video last week, and then, citing “copyright violation” for a couple of Miley Cyrus tunes that we play in the background as we talk about her, they took it down.
But Capt’n Max, on the front lines of the Free Speech movement since the 1970s, told YouTube that we had a right to include these songs—and the videos—as part of our show. He also called Sony, explained the nature of the show and asked for permission to use Miley’s videos to defend her right to self-expression, as well as address the subject of slut-shaming. Actually, being Capt’n Max, he demanded permission. They didn’t exactly give it to us with a bouquet of Xmas lilies. But within a couple days, our Tempest Storm Interview was back up in its entirety. And now the episode even has Sony’s Miley Cyrus music commercials, playing in rotation with other ads, in the beginning.
Al Goldstein would have been proud of us. Like Max, Al fought for his and everybody’s First Amendment rights to Freedom of Speech in the press. I met Al through Dr. Toni Grant (around the same time I met Ron Jeremy), when I was helping Toni to write Being a Woman. When Toni denied my considerable work on the book, Al stood by me. In return, I stood by his story that he screwed the distinguished Dr. Grant on the pool table of the Playboy Mansion. Though unfortunately, I was not an eye-witness. That must have been quite a sight, and a miracle that they didn’t break Hef’s pool table and his floor, considering Al was about 300 pounds at the time.
Big Al was a big man with big appetites. He was famous for his appetite for sex. Screw’s success was, at least in part, built upon his personal visits to all the “massage” parlors in New York to review their oral services. Al understood his readers, frustrated guys who, for one reason or another, couldn’t get what they wanted from the women in their lives. They wanted fantasy women—and maybe a few men or a shemale—to fulfill their desires, and they wanted to vent their anger too. But they also wanted a good, rude laugh and even a little bit of art, as long as it didn’t take itself too seriously. Al gave them all of that in Screw. And Screw gave a lot of important artists and cartoonists, including Robert Crumb, Art Spiegelman and Peter Bagge, their first break. Screw also gave America—even those Americans who would never look at it—freedom of expression, since Al defended that freedom as often as he could, for all of us.
Second, Al had a big appetite for love. He married and divorced more women than I can count, some of whom emptied his deep pockets of more cash than Al could pay. He was also extremely generous with his friends, associates and even people he hardly knew, especially if they could give a good blowjob. He may have called a lot of people whores, but he had a rare respect and true love for real whores, porn performers, sex experts and writers. On the day he died, Annie Sprinkle, Howie Gordon, Dr. Betty Dodson and many others all wrote touching stories of Al’s generosity. Al and I interviewed each other several times for our respective shows (coincidentally, one interview I did with him, “Big Al,” will rerun in January on our BTV show, produced by the late great Frank Moore). Max and I also had a trade with Al: he ran ads for The Dr. Susan Block Institute in Screw in exchange for the Screw commercials we played on our New York edition of The Dr. Susan Block Show. But considering how many desperate, frustrated, complicated and remarkably intelligent Screw readers became our devoted clients, I always thought we got the better end of the deal.
And then there were the sumptuous brunches at Dupar’s, the House of Blues, the Friar’s Club, Morton’s and Spago’s. Al always picked up the tab. At Al’s Spago birthday dinner, we met an Orange County real estate developer named Dennis Hof who had just purchased a couple of old brothels in Nevada and was trying to figure out what to do with them! Soon they became the Bunny Ranch and Cathouse, and the rest is ho-ho history. Besides high-class pimps and hos, Al’s grand brunches were filled with waffle-munching porn stars, hung-over swingers, mimosa-slurping First Amendment lawyers, flirtatious cigar makers, horny comedians and curious mainstream actors like John Clark and Lynn Redgrave. Then there were those evenings at the Playboy Mansion (when Al and Hef weren’t feuding), filled with enough feminine eye candy to give anyone’s eyeballs sugar shock, but with less actual erotic action than an off night at Cantor’s Deli.
Al also had a sizeable appetite for gadgets. When I met him, he drove a shiny, purple Excalibur and always wore huge, complicated watches on both his big, hairy, suntanned wrists. He loved the Sharper Image catalog better than Screw itself. In fact, he tried to publish a magazine he called Gadget, but it just never took off like Screw. He was also always trying the latest starvation diet or stomach-stapling fad, though none worked for longer than a few months. But his appetite for food—both very good and very bad—was utterly bottomless. Nowadays, there seem to be a lot of people rolling around town at Al’s gargantuan weight, but back in the 1980s and 90s, he was almost always the most rotund man in the room.
Perhaps Al’s biggest appetite was for attention. He was driven to command an audience, and he was charismatic, smart, self-effacing and funny enough to do it fairly often. But he had to have that attention, and if he didn’t, he’d get bored with whatever was happening and either leave or make trouble. I’ll never forget how he plunked his (at this point) 400-pound self on some poor shmuck’s car, puffing a cigar and bloviating to a crowd standing in the cold outside of the Jack Tilton art gallery where we performed Sex Acts with Heilman-C (produced by Heilman’s patron, the late Don Christal, whose collection of Andy Warhols disappeared when he mysteriously passed away). The well-heeled gathering of art patrons, some 3000 of whom filed through the gallery’s doors that special night for our performance, loved Al, and Al loved every minute of being loved like that.
Al was loveable. But he was also hate-able. He was abrasive, to say the least, and he got a lot of people angry. You might say, he liked fucking with people even more than he actually liked fucking. And that was another of Al’s big appetites. He loved to attack, complain, fume, humiliate and expose. He was famous for saying “Fuck You” in his editorials in Screw and on his cable show Midnight Blue, as well as with his own big, fat, middle finger. He even put a giant model of his “Fuck You” finger on the lawn of his beachfront Florida mansion, essentially saying “Fuck You” to his neighbors and the yachts floating by.
Speaking of which, Max takes the opportunity of this show (listen free above) to also correct the record on a few points. One is regarding the notorious nude photos of Jackie O, aka Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Al claimed to have published them first in America, and he usually gets credit for that. But actually, Max published them a few weeks before Al in the LA Star, having lifted them from the German magazine Stern. Of course, Max was a hippie who didn’t publicize his scoop, and Al was a huckster who trumpeted the news to the world. Though the real loser in the whole deal was Larry Flynt, who claimed to have paid a million dollars for the naked Jackie O pix, but couldn’t publish them in Hustler until a couple months after they had already been seen in the LA Star and Screw. Though Al is also often credited as America’s most prosecuted publisher for First Amendment issues, Max was actually prosecuted several times more than Al. Actually, Al acknowledged that honor a few times—not in public though, just quietly over brunch.
And of course, Al’s Days of Brunch & Blowjobs were eventually numbered. Towards the turn of the millennium, when Max and I were preoccupied with our own First and Fourth Amendment woes, the Screw empire collapsed as Al and his people couldn’t transition into the digital age. At the same time, Al was picking battles that seemed less and less sympathetic. Rather than raging against Nixon, Reagan, Trump and Time Warner cable, Al was now suing his son, accusing him of stealing his watches, and publishing his former secretary’s home phone number in Screw, encouraging his readers to harass her. In the end, he lost all his many fabulous gadgets, and the man who once had homes in New York, Florida, LA and Amsterdam—all at the same time—was suddenly homeless.
Fortunately, his friend, the amazing Penn Jilette (to whom I gave a 5-star review in the San Francisco Bay Guardian when he and Teller were just starting out), began paying Al’s rent and bills, making sure he was well cared for. Towards the end, Penn tweeted that he was with his “hero” Al Goldstein as he lay dying in the hospital, PornWikiLeaks interpreted Penn’s tweet to mean that Al was already dead, and the obituaries started flooding the net. But Al wasn’t dead yet! We had a good laugh over that. For the next 48 hours, it was like Al was pranking the universe, giving us all the middle finger one last time.
Then Old Father Christmas, who looks a lot like Father Time, aka Chronos (Greek) or Saturn of the Roman Saturnalia, famous for saying “Io, io, io!” which is pronounced remarkably like “Ho, ho, ho,” told Al his time was up. Seriously now.
So farewell, Al! Thanks for helping to make Free Speech a little freer in the USA. Hopefully, your place in heaven, or down below, is filled with plenty of Ho, Ho, Hoes—both the hookers and the laughs.