Classical Greek dramatists believed that it was degrading to show extreme emotion on stage. Some action had to be implied off stage (ob skene) because it was unfit to display explicitly. The classical idea of obscenity included sexual conduct, but would also include expressions of anguish.
I’m more concerned about obscenity in the classical sense than the more narrow contemporary sense. I am not disturbed by salty language or innuendo as much as I am by seeing lives turned inside-out publicly. I am deeply offended, for example, by a reporter shoving a microphone in a hysterical woman’s face and asking her how she feels now that she has lost her husband. That is obscene.
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