For some reason the death of Jesse Helms a few weeks ago totally passed me by( I must have been otherwise engaged either pissing on a crucifix or opening up a cadaver while browsing my extensive collection of Mappethorpe porn...
Helms first came to my attention during my art school days, around about the time he was causing such a stink in regards to Serranno's Piss Christ and Mapplethorpe's homoerotic photography. He believed work of that nature to be dangerous and depraved and basically wanted them removed from exhibition. Freedom of artistic expression was something Helms cared little about. Ironically in causing such a storm he brought worldwide attention to the very works he was railing against and helped garner the public infamy that they still have to this day. Kriston Capps has written quite an informative little piece for the Huffington Post which can be found here:kriston-capps/jesse-helms
Now I'm not usually one to find joy in someones demise... de mortuis nil nisi bonum and all that: but I have to say that's one voice that won't be missed.
To put that comment in context: The art debacle was one of his minor crimes, google him in regards to his thoughts on AIDS, racism or abortion. I should mention through obvious dementia and the second coming(Bono) he did seem to soften in his later years helping to raise funds to fight AIDS in Africa.
Here's some nice art in his memory: