1970s >> 1971 >> no-804-august-1971

What is obscenity


On learning that you wish to investigate the pornographic and the obscene in our society, might we respectfully suggest some relevant fields of enquiry? So far you have only apparently investigated the obscene in relation to art and entertainment, such as books, films, plays and peep-shows.


This however is too superficial an approach! The Soho growth industries are merely a pimple on the very warty nose of an extremely nasty way of life.


Is it not obscene that millions of men and women have no roof over their heads and with their children have to queue in refugee camps for a bowlful of stodgy rice? This is obscenity.


Is it not also obscene that one class of men lives in poverty and misery, whilst producing all the wealth owned by that other class, the class of affluent parasites? This, too, is obscenity.


Is it not also obscene that in every country the wealth spent on armies and police, with all their inhuman paraphernalia of napalm and H-bombs, gases and coshes, that this wealth is produced by the very class of people who will find these weapons turned against them ? This surely is obscenity.


Is it not also obscene that this once beautiful world in which we live is being so polluted in pursuit of quick profits that society now has to pay the polluting class to make profits from de-polluting the places they themselves have polluted? This paradox too is obscenity.


Is it not an appalling and filthy obscenity that man throws food into the sea rather than give it to his starving and impoverished fellows? This, Lord Longford, is obscenity.


Poverty is obscene: will you investigate this?


War is obscene: will you investigate that ?


Capitalism’s sordid cheating, squalid exploitation and phony values are all obscene: will you investigate them?


Capitalist society is an obscene and filthy thing: it has been investigated. Will you join us in destroying it, Lord Longford, or will you continue to damn the effects while defending the cause ?


Charmian Skelton