There’s a biopic out now in limited release about the writing, performing and subsequent obscenity trial of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl.” Ironically enough, it’s called “Howl,” and it’s supposed to be pretty, pretty good. I’d love to see it for myself but apparently the Philadelphia demographic isn’t cool enough to warrant a showing.
For the uninitiated, read Howl’s wikipedia entry. It will tell you what you need to know.
Here’s the whole obscenity shtick in a nutshell: people thought it was obscene. There was a trial. Ultimately, it was determined to be not obscene. And there was much rejoicing.
In conjunction with the film that I will probably never be able to see, there’s a promotional website called Are You Obscene? which asks a series of questions to determine how obscene you are. It was a lot of fun. For the record, I’m 39% obscene; the average person is 46% obscene. I’m not sure how to feel about that.
Give it a try and let me know how obscene you are. And if you happen to have a copy of the movie please let me know.