Posted in NYC on December 19, 2013

by Bill Pearis

Al on 'Midnight Blue'
IMAGE

A true NYC iconoclast, Al Goldstein has died. From the NY Times obit:

Al Goldstein, the scabrous publisher whose Screw magazine pushed hard-core pornography into the cultural mainstream, died on Thursday at a nursing home in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. He was 77.

The cause was believed to be renal failure, his lawyer, Charles C. DeStefano, said.

Mr. Goldstein did not invent the dirty magazine, but he was the first to present it to a wide audience without the slightest pretense of classiness or subtlety. Sex as depicted in Screw was seldom pretty, romantic or even particularly sexy. It was, primarily, a business, with consumers and suppliers like any other.

The manifesto in Screw's debut issue in 1968 was succinct. "We promise never to ink out a pubic hair or chalk out an organ," it read. "We will apologize for nothing. We will uncover the entire world of sex. We will be the Consumer Reports of sex."

Mr. Goldstein, who lived to shock and offend and was arrested more than a dozen times on obscenity charges, stuck around long enough for social mores and technology to overtake him. By the time his company went bankrupt in 2003, he was no longer a force in the $10-billion-a-year industry he pioneered. But for better or worse, his influence was undeniable.

"He clearly coarsened American sensibilities," Alan M. Dershowitz, the civil liberties advocate and Mr. Goldstein's sometime lawyer, said in 2004.

"Hefner did it with taste," Mr. Dershowitz added, referring to Hugh Hefner, the founder and publisher of Playboy, which predated Screw by 15 years. "Goldstein's contribution is to be utterly tasteless."

While I was never a Screw reader, I will admit to watching his show Midnight Blue occasionally on MNN paid access Channel 35 when I moved to NYC in the late '90s. There really wasn't anything else like it. What I remember more than the rampant sex and nudity was Al Goldstein's epic "Fuck You!" rants which he would aim at airlines, car rental agencies, restaurants, basically anyone that pissed him off. You can watch a NSFW compilation video of some of his Midnight Blue rants, below. Rest in peace, Al.

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MIDNIGHT BLUE AL's F--k You Department Rants

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Tags: Al Goldstein, RIP

Comments (21)

a legend.

Posted by Anonymous | December 19, 2013 2:41 PM

one of the greatest public access figures in NYC history.

Posted by Anonymous | December 19, 2013 3:01 PM

Might not be known to this audience because of both age and where they grew up but if you remember the nyc cable boxes with letter channels than you know channel J and Midnight Blue and Al. Insane.

Posted by Anonymous | December 19, 2013 3:02 PM

i can not believe that 4 hours and 20 minutes after the initial post there are only 3 comments under this post.

Posted by Anonymous | December 19, 2013 6:21 PM

6:21, see post 3:02 where he says "Might not be known to this audience because of both age and where they grew up".

Posted by Anonymous | December 19, 2013 6:29 PM

He will be missed...

Posted by Anonymous | December 19, 2013 7:52 PM

he's right about ads...they have taken over "they live" style

Posted by Anonymous | December 19, 2013 9:52 PM

Fat slob.

Posted by Anonymous | December 19, 2013 10:04 PM

Order now and you'll get both "the go-gos backstage" and "is this chuck berry" for the low low price of $19.95

Posted by Anonymous | December 19, 2013 10:19 PM

>> can not believe that 4 hours and 20 minutes after the initial post there are only 3 comments under this post.

maybe because the rubes from the mid-west who moved here in the last 5 years are absolute morons?

Posted by Anonymous | December 19, 2013 10:47 PM

It's such a loss in the industry to have lost this great guy, his contribution in network is unremarkable and he has given all his talent for the show. -

Posted by Feed the Children | December 19, 2013 11:32 PM

I'm very pleased that the internet has made his livelihood obsolete. Now it's just a great way to launder money. Recruit a bunch of talent to make a bunch of POV clips, establish a minimum web presence, and suddenly you have subscribers from everywhere in the world, paying you for multiple purchases of the same digital files, which they could easily obtain for free. Of course, most of that money goes right through your hands to your "consultants", but you got to take your pick of talent to have fun with.

Posted by Anonymous | December 20, 2013 12:10 AM

obd code scanner

Posted by obd code scanner | December 20, 2013 2:42 AM

i don't want to die in Cobble Hill.

Posted by a resident(!) | December 20, 2013 6:51 AM

Channel 35

Posted by Anonymous | December 20, 2013 9:58 AM

rot in hell

Posted by Anonymous | December 20, 2013 10:06 AM

Fat slob.

Posted by Only Seth Is Real | December 20, 2013 10:25 AM

Al Goldstein lived to be 77, which is pretty fucking amazing considering his obesity and his lifestyle. That's the takeaway from this story.

Posted by Anonymous | December 20, 2013 11:20 AM

10:47 for the win by a KO.

Posted by Anonymous | December 20, 2013 12:16 PM

Goldstein living to be 77 is not that shocking, considering he had Gastric Bypass Surgery, which dropped him from 350 to 180 pounds. A true legend and first amendment advocate is gone. R.I.P.

Posted by Anonymous | December 21, 2013 2:20 PM

Fat slob.

Posted by Reddit | January 1, 2014 7:55 AM

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