Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Striking While the Iron is Hot

I've retained the interest of my nemesis for at least another week, as Laymamerican Idol marches on. Oddly, or not so, more than a few of the survivors had posts featuring reference of a decidedly adult nature... The clincher was The Wretched Girl's mentioning of her casual encounter with Belladonna, and the surprising revalation that Layman did not know who she was! Baron knew, not so surprising. I knew (even less so). Belladonna is a fairly well known adult actress by adult actress standards, which is unusual in her case because she is definitely not from the glamour arena of the adult industry. She was even the feature of a lengthy segment on Primetime Live not long ago, where Diane Sawyer catered to the much-sought young hipster audience by sitting down and attempting to deconstruct Miss Bella. Gosh it's keen when mainstream media covers porn. It's like watching grandma fiddle with her iPod... dear lord that did not come out right.

Belladonna may have her circle of note, but of course she's no Jenna Jameson. Hell, Jenna is a "commenteer" for VH1, and she even gets hosting gigs for the Spike TV Video Game Awards. Anytime a network show needs to reference porn, Jenna is the de-facto callout, she's done pretty well for herself like that. So then if the Jenna Jameson E! True Hollywood Story is the "how to be a porn superstar," the Savannah E! True Hollywood Story is the "how NOT to be a porn superstar." A intriguing, but tragic tale… I was aware of her fateful Cobain-like demise, but I shocked to learn she was only 23 at the time. Of course she was fucking Greg Allman when she was 16, so I guess she was living a compacted life. In the end her downfall was drugs. Hard on heroine and coke, wouldn’t you know. If it was her shitty self image and low self-esteem that lead her to suicide, drugs certainly paved the road.

Drugs are an expensive habit. Much more so than, say, comic books. When one is on a daily binge, I just can't fathom how much money goes up your nose/in your arm. And at her peak, early nineties I guess, Savannah was only getting 4K a film from Vivid. She was also not that prolific a performer… I wonder where the rest of the dough came from. She was a headline dancer, that pays well, but still. The main thing newbie porn stars have against them is that they just don’t think ahead. All that money… by the time they are 25… just living the lifestyle. I think if you choose a career in porn (and believe me, now more than ever girls are choosing a career in porn, although much different from succeeding) they should have to attend business school.

That will never happen. The producers want them as young and stupid as possible. In candid conversations amongst friends, it's been surmised that women have the potential to completely rule and govern the entire adult industry, it's just that no one is going to lift a finger to help that come to be. You know, unlike any other profession, if you choose a career in porn, that's pretty much it. It's not like there is a Friday's or a Wal-Mart handing out jobs to former sex industry queens (or kings). Or is there??? The sheer VOLUME of women doing porn certainly can't stay in porn… they have to eventually get a real job, right? When you think of all the starlets who have come and gone, what the hell are they doing now?

Another recent TV news magazine report mentioned college students are pretty oblivious to porn nowadays, there is little or no taboo. Quite the opposite. It seems that it's "cool" to have porn running on the TV at a dorm party or what have you. Huh? When did porn become cool? How is porn cool? I mean, yeah, porn is nifty. But "cool?" It can't be any harder to get than a pack of cigarettes these days, internet or no. It's not like the host would had to have gone to any great length to obtain any number of adult movies. Me, I don't know… I dig porn as much as the next guy, but If I was at a party and there was porn playing on the TV, I'd be pretty shocked. I don't think that would make the host cool, I think that would make him an idiot. Now if the TV was playing Touch of Evil or The Care Bears Movie, that would be cool. But I'm 32. I'm an old man. Tho if the host was a lovely lady? THAT would be cool, because we love our double standards!

The porn lifestyle is often likened to the rock and roll lifestyle, and it's generally true. In that respect, when your favorite indy band hits it big they quickly lose their charm. I saw The Donnas play once in San Francisco eight fucking years ago. But remember a only a couple years ago when MTV started flouting them about on TRL? It was like Christ returned in the form of 4 girls you'd think were really hot if you were drunk.* So now if porn becomes mainstream and "cool" it will decidedly morph into anything but. What I predict will happen is that the holy grail of porndom, the true "crossover artist" will finally come to pass. Contrary to popular belief, Traci Lords was not that artist. And I don’t think Jenna Jameson is that artist either. Paris Hilton... close call but no. Some other skin-chickie is waiting in the wings and is going to have a hit Top-40 single. Or some obscure filmmaker will have a girlie in a bit role that does well at Sundance that snowballs her into a media darling. Or some ballsy TV exec is going to cast a charismatic barely-legal hottie in a sitcom. It'll happen just like that, and suddenly being a porn queen will be the hot thing in hollywood, for real this time. And only new starlets will be called for… no one will want to drag out the has beens from an industry where the average peak notability is a year or less. And no mainstream audience will be familiar with "classic" stars. "Classic" of course referring to anything before 2002. Finally, in a completely new mutation, hordes of girls, young and young-ish will spread wide in hopes of catching that producer's eye one night in a dark room with a coke-stained hundred dollar bill and a stack of DVD's set precariously on the coffee table. Or, may god help us all, established stars will make the move into adult film.

It used to be that a girl went into porn with hopes of becoming a famous actress. For whatever reasons, she just stayed in porn. Then it was that a girl went into porn with hopes of becoming famous-- in porn. There are plenty of examples of that. So if it comes full circle and a career in porn actually does lead to a career in hollywood, it's over. It's all over. Porn will not be dirty, porn will have no mystique. There will be no giddiness when your cable mysteriously descrambles, nor any nervous anticipation towards receiving a plain brown package in the mail. Yearbooks will brandish labels such as "Most likely to be a porn star." Lesley Zen will be a guest on the Tonight Show. Folks can go to the theater to see their favorite leading lady in the latest summer blockbuster, then go home and watch her take it up the ass.

I ain't exactly trying to advocate anything here one way or the other. Porn is not exactly the model industry it makes itself out to be. Not to mention "porn" is different things to different people. But what you can't argue is that there is more porn now than ever before. Odds are that if you don’t already, you may soon know someone relatively close to you who is in porn, has done porn, or will do porn. This is unless you are actually doing porn yourself, at this very moment. I have a feeling the damn has yet to break.

* In reality my affection for The Donnas has little to do with my current state of sobriety or lack thereof.

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