The willfully vulgar and “proudly repulsive” publisher of Screw magazine, Al Goldstein, has died at his home in Brooklyn. He was 77 years old. The New York Times lovingly described him as “a cartoonishly vituperative amalgam of borscht belt comic, free-range social critic, and sex-obsessed loser who seemed to embody a moment in New York City’s cultural history: the sleaze and decay of Times Square in the 1960s and ’70s.” New York magazine said “Through his porno rag, which debuted in 1968, and later his public-access show Midnight Blue, Goldstein single-handedly made America more filthy. Goldstein was among the earliest of the First Amendment porno-warriors. Screw predated Larry Flynt’s Hustler by six years, and Goldstein was arrested 21 times for his unprecedented indecency. ‘Obscenity was mostly boring,’ he said, ‘but I thought it should be legal.'” A constant presence on the New York scene in the ’80s and ’90s, he will be missed.
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