In Praise Of The Explicit

How one generation tried — and failed — to censor us.

July Westhale
Jan 9, 2020 · 7 min read
// photo by Lennart Takanen

Those folders of lyrics to me, always a poet, were wonderful. In the grungy, faux-gothic era of the 90s/aughts, the paper was nearly always dark with light print, and it often smelled freshly-inked, slightly noxious, and filled me with a sense of extreme discovery — I was about to truly know, in an artistic comprehension that bordered on near-Biblical, the secret meanings behind all of my favorite songs.

While this happened the year after my oldest sister was born, and the year before I was, the PMRC’s black-and-white stickers catered to the kind of moral mania that my parents gulped up readily — a sort of (literal) sticker solution to the eighties-and-nineties moral drudgery that was (in their eyes) likely brought on by Gen X hedonism and apathy, but was probably actually caused by the major fucking comedown of Boomer excess.

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July Westhale

Written by

co-founding executive editor of medium.com/PULPMAG. Writer, translator, professor, media roustabout. Gender queer (she/they).

PULPMAG

PULPMAG

PULP is a multimedia sex, sexuality, and reproductive rights publication celebrating this human coil hurtling through time and space.

July Westhale

Written by

co-founding executive editor of medium.com/PULPMAG. Writer, translator, professor, media roustabout. Gender queer (she/they).

PULPMAG

PULPMAG

PULP is a multimedia sex, sexuality, and reproductive rights publication celebrating this human coil hurtling through time and space.

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