The best reporters know how to lay their subjects bare.
In these virus times we need viral stories more than ever. An item hit the wires yesterday concerning Louise Fischer, a journalist in Denmark, who conducted an interview at a suburban Copenhagen sex club called Swingland and got into the swing herself. In a move that would have impressed Hunter S. Thompson, she demonstrated experiential jounalism to the utmost and took her interviewee on a Fischer expedition. Her story orginally dealt with the club reopening after many months closed due to virus prevention. We mean COVID-19, not HPV. But the story evolved. The video clip she later posted lasted only two minutes, but we can be pretty sure her research went on longer than that. This actually happened back in March, but it takes time for rumors about who you had sex with to proliferate. Trust us—we know. A prude has to find out, then they'll check to be sure everyone they know is outraged.
Yesterday Denmark's Radio 4 reshared the interview, and this time British and U.S. internet outlets provided the prudes by spreading the story far and wide. Anytime someone talks about sex it's the perfect clickbait to agitate legions of self-appointed moral judges, particularly when that sex comes without negative consequences and abject regret attached. We glanced at the comment threads on a couple of websites and were reminded what benighted lives some people lead. Many commenters zeroed in on the reactions of Fischer's parents, who dared to not be outraged or shamed, and even, seemingly, believe that sex is a part of life and casual sex can be healthy and fun.
As a sex positive site, we here at Pulp Intl. didn't blink. If our parents had been more open about sex we'd have spent less time reading Penthouse Letters, and PSGP probably wouldn't have torn his ulnar collateral ligament masturbating. Reconstructive surgery was a wake-up call, and he's sexually healthy today. We have a few friends who aren't. Some are so repressed that their lives have been ruined. We think of one in particular who was so intent on saving her virginity for the right man—who of course had to be wealthy and handsome and funny but mainly wealthy—that she reached her middle thirties with only a single unfulfilling sexual experience on her résumé and was in therapy trying to discover her self worth. We're talking about a good-looking woman. Nicely proportioned, creamy skin, nose surgically nudged toward perfection. We tried to steer a male friend or two her way but her doctrine of having a like-new vagina to bestow upon a future husband scared away well-adjusted guys by the third date.
Fischer has some ideas about sexual repression too. Here she is in her own words: “Hypersensitivity to our own sexuality and drive is dangerous. At least I totally believe that you can and should do what you want. Then life becomes much more fun.” We agree, and we're all about her in-depth journalism. Find a story, follow wherever it leads, even if it's on top of a dick. Her objective assessment: “It wasn't the best sex I ever had.” But it wasn't bad either, judging by the moans that can be heard emanating from the interview audio (see captions below). Would we go to a swinger's club? Only if we wanted our crab-gnawed corpses to wash up on the local beach with dents in our skulls matching the Pulp Intl. girlfriends' prized cast iron skillet. But even if we were single we wouldn't do it. Just not our bag. But it's some people's bag and we respect that. And we respect Louise Fischer. Hell, we admire her. She'll get genuine laughs telling her swingers club story for the rest of her life.
I enjoy staring evilly, ignoring people, occasionally rubbing my ass on the furniture. The usual cat stuff.
She was born in Copenhagen, Denmark as Kirsten Svanholm but when she hit Hollywood she called herself Kitty Swan. Under her Americanized moniker she appeared in such films as Tarzan in the Golden Grotto, House of 1,000 Dolls, and Virgin of the Jungle, all of which sound like pure cinematic awesomeness. We're going to watch all those movies. We promise. But we're going to start with Gungala, the Black Panther Girl. That one sounds like the best of all. We can't wait. Seriously. This photo is from 1971.
Whisper dishes dirt from Sukarno to Lollobrigida.
Whisper features a political figure on this cover from March 1964, namely Indonesian ruler Kusno Sosrodihardjo, later known as Sukarno, who we’re told was offered twenty prostitutes while visiting his country’s embassy in Copenhagen in 1961. In fact, the magazine goes on to claim that the embassy housed a brothel. Though it sounds like a typical tabloid tall tale, it’s actually true. Time magazine had written about it in its October 1963 issue, stating: A diplomat may be only a cookie pusher, but the kind of cookies pushed by Indonesia’s charge d’affaires in Copenhagen tumbled, not crumbled. Last week Danish police announced that Gustin Santawirja not only ran his country’s embassy, [snip] but was also a procurer on the side. Santawirja got into the tart tradein 1961 when Indonesia's President Sukarno showed up in Copenhagen on an unofficial visit. Amiably, he rounded up some girls for the visiting entourage. So successful was the venture that he decided to supplement his entertainment allowance by running a fulltime poule hall. “Poule” is French for “hen,” by the way, and Whisper was correct, but it was also late to the party. We give no credit for publishing what was already widely known.
The magazine moves on to the subject of sexual shenanigans at Harvard University, Carol Lynley’s divorce, Sonny Liston’s world, Roland Gilbert’s bed hopping, and George Bernard Shaw’s love child. The latter is a curious story, since Shaw had died in 1950. But the woman in question, whose name was Patricia Joudry, claimed to have conceived spiritually. In addition to Shaw apparently transmitting his seed from the netherworld, Joudry claimed he transmitted a treasure trove of written material to her, explaining, “There are eighteen full length stage plays, a dozen TV plays, two full length novels and essays. At first George and I worked out an alphabet so we could speak, but now I am a clairvoyant and clairaudient. Now I can see him and hear him.” We actually believe this story because our entire website is transmitted to us by Rodney Dangerfield.
Lastly, Whisper offers up an exposé of Gina Lollobrigida’s complicated personal life. For years she had been protesting that she was not a sex symbol (as if she’s the one who actually gets to decide that), but rather a nice girl. She tells an interesting story from her early career about Howard Hughes’ efforts to romance her, which were fruitless but led to her being stuck in a hotel “for six weeks like a prisoner.” In the end,
she fled back to Italy and, because Hughes owned her American contract, she was unable to make movies in the U.S. She became an international star just the same, acting exclusively in Europe, but having attained celebrity claimed it was difficult for her. She complained: “When I am with people I am constantly watched, and I can’t get used to this sort of thing—that they look at me as a chimpanzee in a zoo.” Sounds bad, but she eventually learned to enjoy it. In 2000 she commented to Parade magazine, “I’ve had many lovers and still have romances. I am very spoiled.” So it seems even the worst parts of celebrities’ lives aren’t really all that bad. Assorted scans below.
Curious George goes to the hospital.
This January 1954 issue of Whisper tells readers about a stripper named Lola Dewitt Stewart who bit a cop, covers a gala Harlem dance, and exposes the voodoo rites of Haitian virgin priestesses. The issue also contains a profile of Christine Jorgensen, the most famous transsexual of her day. Jorgensen—whose name is misspelled "Jorgenson" by Whisper editors—had been born George Jorgensen and had lived unhappily as a male for twenty-five years. After a stint in the Army, he learned about the possibility of becoming more feminine and started by taking hormones, and later travelled to Copenhagen, Denmark to have his male sex organs removed. At the time, Denmark used castration on sexual criminals, which is why the procedure was legal there. Jorgensen, now female in appearance, returned to the U.S. and New York’s Daily News broke her story with one of the most famous headlines in publishing history: Ex-G.I. Becomes Blonde Beauty. Jorgensen parlayed the recognition into a show business career, establishing a blueprint for later transgenders like Coccinelle. Jorgensen finished the last of her reassignment surgeries in the mid-1950s and, now sexually female, continued in show business for many years. She danced in Las Vegas, appeared on The Dick Cavett Show, was voted “Miss Neutral Zone” by American soldiers serving in Korea, and had high-profile romances. Later in her life she reflected that she was proud to have been part of the sexual revolution. “We may not have started it,” she said of herself and other transgenders, “but we gave it a good swift kick in the pants.”
The unhappy hooker goes to Stockholm.
We just finished watching L’ultimo giorno di lavoro di una prositituta, and it’s pretty much exactly what the title says—the last day in the job of a prostitute. Lovely Dagmar, played by Diana Kjær, is a hooker in Copenhagen and has decided to quit the rackets and escape to Stockholm. We follow her during her last day as she sees various clients, co-workers, friends and relatives, and also gets slapped around by her pimp. This movie is really bad—it’s poorly acted, poorly produced, and poorly written. In parts, it’s unintentionally funny, but the deliberate attempts at comedy fall flat. Stereotypes abound: you get a couple of Japanese guys with bowl cuts who say “Ah so,” and know karate, a Russian diplomat who’s always drunk on vodka, a mustachioed Italian guy who air-conducts classical music, and a hippie who’s trying to be a rock star and needs money to get his girlfriend an abortion. While we didn’t enjoy the movie, it’s worth noting that the radiant Anne Grete Nissen appears in a minor role, and we absolutely love the rare Italian poster you see above. L’ultimo giorno di lavoro di una prositituta, aka Dagmars Heta Trosor, aka Dagmar’s Hot Pants, Inc., premiered in Italy today in 1971.
Tabloid had Tiger Woods by the tail two years ago but buried the story.
Until now, the Tiger Woods scandal has lacked that element of pulp sordidness that interests us. Sure, there were multiple dalliances with a porn actress, but no grand scams or hidden bodies. All that changed yesterday when The Wall Street Journal published an article claiming that The National Enquirer had photographic proof of Tiger Woods’ infidelity back in 2007 and traded it for an exclusive interview for its sister publication Men’s Fitness. This is simply not the way a true tabloid is supposed to behave. A true tabloid would publish a story about Woods being an alien hybrid who became great at golf from playing in zero gravity, so quashing a blockbuster about history’s greatest golfer tomcattin’ around is a major transgression of tabloid ethic— uh, ethiclessness— er, of a tabloid’s presumed (and indeed required) ethical bankruptcy. We’re all used to the failings of the mainstream press, but when muckraking tabloids can’t live up to even nonexistent ethical requirements the end times are truly near.
We suppose this sad failure by The National Enquirer is a testament to the sheer power of Tiger Woods. After all, The Enquirer cheerfully outed John Edwards’ affair as blithely as if reporting another celebrity wedding. We’re talking about a U.S. Senator who could have presumably had Homeland Security put the entire Enquirer editorial staff on a barge to Guantánamo. But these hardnosed news hawks were cowed by a golfer. We said earlier in the week that the (now failed) Copenhagen talks should be helmed by prostitutes. We take that back. With the kind of power Tiger has, we should have sent him into the negotiating chamber with a sand wedge. Right now ice shelves would be unfracturing, snows would be reaccumulating on Kilimanjaro, and we’d all be hearing a loud hissing noise from excess CO2 venting into space. We’d love to be that powerful for a day. Know what we’d do? After stopping global warming and putting a curse on the Boston Red Sox, we’d give the power away to a lowly assistant whose only job would be to periodically remind us that, in this day and age, recognizable and respected people who fuck around will always get caught. And by “remind,” we mean he’d wear a Bill Clinton mask and squeeze our nuts with vice grips while slapping us in the face.
Maybe the politicians should let some real experts forge a climate deal.
It’s come to our attention that, in advance of the big Copenhagen summit on CO2, city officials placed tens of thousands of flyers in hotels, bars, and other establishments urging visitors to avoid a different type of emissions altogether—namely the sticky kind associated with patronizing the city’s many sex workers. We can just picture the bureaucrats patting each other on the backs after coming up with this idea. But the prostitutes are cunningly offering discounted rates to any customer who presents a flyer to them. Not only does this make the suits look like amateurs for being so easily outmaneuvered—in effect, it turns the flyers into coupons. We aren’t scientists, but that sounds like true sustainability at work. Now the question is: Can we somehow put the sex workers in charge of the summit? They’d put together an emissions deal that leaves everyone satisfied.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1964—China Detonates Nuke
At the Lop Nur test site located between the Taklamakan and Kuruktag deserts, the People's Republic of China detonates its first nuclear weapon, codenamed 596 after the month of June 1959, which is when the program was initiated.
1996—Handgun Ban in the UK
In response to a mass shooting in Dunblane, Scotland that kills 16 children, the British Conservative government announces a law to ban all handguns, with the exception .22 caliber target pistols. When Labor takes power several months later, they extend the ban to all handguns.
Pierre Laval, who was the premier of Vichy, France, which had collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, is shot by a firing squad for treason. In subsequent years it emerges that Laval may have considered himself a patriot whose goal was to publicly submit to the Germans while doing everything possible behind the scenes to thwart them. In at least one respect he may have succeeded: fifty percent of French Jews survived the war, whereas in other territories about ninety percent perished.
1966—Black Panthers Form
In the U.S., in Oakland, California, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale form the Black Panther political party. The Panthers are active in American politics throughout the 1960s and 1970s, but eventually legal troubles combined with a schism over the direction of the party lead to its dissolution.
1962—Cuban Missile Crisis Begins
A U-2 spy plane flight over the island of Cuba produces photographs of Soviet nuclear missiles being installed. Though American missiles have been installed near Russia, the U.S. decides that no such weapons will be tolerated in Cuba. The resultant standoff brings the U.S. and the Soviet Union to the brink of war. The crisis finally ends with a secret deal in which the U.S. removes its missiles from Turkey in exchange for the Soviets removing the Cuban weapons.
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