About

As an historian, I write about sexual politics, the law, gender, culture, and heterornormativity, particularly through the lens of obscenity and pornography. My first book, Perversion for Profit: The Politics of Pornography and the Rise of the New Right, came out from Columbia University Press a few years ago. My second, Obscenity Rules: Roth v. United States and the Long Struggle over Sexual Expression, arrived in September 2013 from the University Press of Kansas. I am mostly too lazy to blog rigorously about matters academic; cinematic depictions of Newark seem to be where things here tend, but I try to keep it updated in regard to more formal things I’ve written or occasionally cool archival documents I find.

Titling one’s blog after oneself is surely the height of pomposity, unless one’s profile in the world can bear such weight. And no Jack Balkin or Eugene Volokh am I. But what I have that those esteemed professors lack is simple: a name that ends with a B. Resistance is futile when it rolls off the tongue so smoothly. So strublog it is. Also, I didn’t have any better ideas when push came to shoving the enter key.

On my slightly cheesy Amazon profile, I claim to spend a lot of time taking pictures of my cats. It is a true claim, I assure you, but I’ll try not to get carried away with it here. They are pretty cute though, let the record show:

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Drop a line: wstrub at gmail dot com

Recent Posts

Paul K. Forever

I loved Paul Kopasz forever within seconds of first hearing him. I was a teenaged loser in mid-1990s LaCrescent, Minnesota, and what I mostly did was work a shitty fast-food job at the local Hardee’s and then every two weeks when I got paid, splurge on CDs across the river at Deaf Ear in La Crosse, Wisconsin. I’d never heard of Jorge Luis Borges and as such, The Garden of Forking Paths meant nothing to me, but it was before the modern internet and my policy was to buy anything that looked like it came from a lonely, alienated person howling into the void. A trash heap in front of a city skyline fit that bill.

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The first thing Paul did was howl, and then it turned into words: “We failed, we fucked up, now it’s time/to live our lives more quietly.” That was enough, I was hooked. That was around 1995, and I’ve never stopped listening. Continue reading

  1. Class War at Newark Penn Station Leave a reply
  2. The Cinema of Newark Leisure Culture, Part 1: Headpin Hints (1955) 1 Reply
  3. Radical Art, Radical Politics, and Community-Based Filmmaking in Newark: Being Gladys (2019) Leave a reply
  4. The Death of Nineties Indie Film on the Newark Tarmac: Hal Hartley’s Henry Fool (1997), A Personal Reflection Leave a reply
  5. Newark Stripped Bare: A Cold Wind in August (1961) b/w the Vibrant Mood Swings of Scott Lewis Leave a reply
  6. Baby It’s Newark: A John Sayles visit, with a little Bruce Springsteen too, even! Leave a reply
  7. The Backroom at the End of the World: Goodbye, Flash Video (Pornography in Newark, Part 5) Leave a reply
  8. The Yaku and the Undefeated (2017) 1 Reply
  9. The Zebedy Colt Teenage Sex (?) Scandal Leave a reply