A Blast From The Past: Perversion For Profit


Today’s blast from the past comes to us from the Citizens For Decent Literature, Inc.  Originally made and released back in 1965, this 30-minute film features a deep-voiced authority figure explaining the dangers of adult magazines and sordid paperbacks.

How can I put into words how much I love this little piece of politically incorrect  Americana?

It’s just so 1965.

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3 responses to “A Blast From The Past: Perversion For Profit

  1. I can’t believe nobody else has commented on this.

    This sort of mentality prevails today–not so much the anti-smut brigade, but the notion that everything “evil” in the world can be blamed on communism.

    Neo-conservative idiots fall neatly into the category. They’ll be the first to dub anybody to the left of Ronald Reagan a “communist”, only to then denounce their Red political adversaries as hypocrites by pointing out the fiercely “capitalistic” behaviour of their rivals. Um, yeah, the Obamas and Gores of the world do in fact embody strong capitalist-elitist tendencies because…you know, maybe they’re NOT communists!

    Basically, neo-cons regard anybody who disagrees even slightly with them as a potential subversive, and it disgusts them that somebody who for the most part represents the same things that they do could have the audacity to deviate from the script, so to speak, of what a good little running-dog capitalist ought to be. So they brand their foes “communists” in a desperate attempt to exclude these “subversives” from their own little Group Think Tank. You know, much like disowning your siblings for the most trivial of reasons.

    What’s really funny is that even before the narrator mentions “communism”, you just know he’s going down this path. I was fully aware that this film would descend into mindless Red-bashing, which made the narrator’s explanation/indictment of the “perversion-for-profit” industry and Capitalism 101, which actually takes place BEFORE he lashes the commies, all the more ironic.

    Take a look at his collection of flashcards, including the one with the big fat greedy capitalist hoarding his loot–this is EXACTLY the sort of caricature of an avaricious tycoon that you see depicted in socialist-communist propaganda. Really, the narrator’s whole reasoning in this section sounds like it’s been ripped straight from the pages of a red-feminist student newspaper. Decadent capitalists…taking advantage of free enterprise…a two billion dollar industry…the perversion of sexuality…he even notes how the swift advances of technology–something that the most ardent worshippers of capitalism trumpet as a by-product of free enterprise–such as modern printing presses, planes, ships and road delivery, have accelerated the spread of pornographic materials to every newsstand in the free world.

    Basically, this sounds like a Red-soaked indictment of that shining watershed of Modern Capitalism, that little thing know as the Industrial Revolution.

    (Having said all this, I’m pretty certain that you can’t go to a newsstand in North Korea and purchase a copy of Playboy or Penthouse from a decadent smut-peddling street vendour).

    Apart from the blatant hypocrisy highlighted above, there’s the more obvious contradiction of the narrator denouncing these smutty books and mgazines, only to underestimate the imagination of his audience by exhibiting the offending materials for the camera. My personal favourite is the naked women who is bound in some sort of strange sadomasochistic ritual with possible religious subtext. They spend several minutes showing censored pictures of naked women, only to suddenly spring that on the audience.

    I’m also fond of the bit where George Putnam (Outstanding News Reporter!) reads from the pulp novel about the juvenile delinquent who talks about his “kicks”.

    One can only imagine the George Putnam Version:

    “I remember flying bombing missions over Korea, incinerating gibbering yellow heathens with the press of a single button–that was a kick. I recall when I was serving on border patrol in Arizona and I picked off that dirty Mexican whore who was tangled in barbed wire, no threat to anyone except herself, just unloaded a round right in her head–that was a kick. Then there was the time when I was on jury duty and had the deciding vote as to whether to send that rotten little hoodlum to the gallows, and found him guilty without even considering the possibility of reasonable doubt–that was a kick. Or the time when I got to throw the switch on the electric chair and sent ten thousand volts of juice through the quivering body of that juvenile delinquent who was convicted of murder after the cops buried the evidence–that was another kind of kick.”

    George Putnam actually passed away not that long ago, back in 2008, so he well and truly lived long enough to see the unprecendented onset of decadence enjoyed by modern society. It also seems like the most cruel type of irony that his call for morality and decency has founds its home on the internet, cast adrift in the murky waters of a medium whose prime reason for existing seems to be to act as a haven for pornographic filth.

    On a brighter note, Charles Keating, who financed “Perversion from Profit”, is still with us! On a not-so-bright note, Keating’s name is still tarnished for his part in a financial scandal going back to the 1980s.

    Any surprise this Ohio-native lives in the remarkably progressive state of Arizona?

    • I suspect that this short film — even with its use of censorship bars — probably introduced more people to pornography than anything else. I have to admit that when Putnam uttered the bit about communism, I found myself wondering if maybe this entire video was meant to be some sort of parody but no … it’s real! :)

  2. You just know that Putnam had a raging hard-on when he spoke in length about those indecent men in those physical culture magazines. I wonder how many takes it took them to shoot this film, what with Putnam having to relieve himself so often. Putnam probably got all excited just from thinking about commies and sadomasochism in the same speech. Putnam’s most frequent wet dream was probably a trampling fantasy that looked something like this…

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/60th/images/attachement/jpg/site1/20091001/0013729e47710c2e50553f.jpg

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