Monday, August 07, 2006

Who's afraid to ask the hard questions? Certainly not the Insomnia Report!


Imagine that you’re a single person. Now, imagine that you meet an attractive, witty, intelligent, caring, funny and compassionate woman or man. They are everything you ever wanted in a mate, and—what’s more—they feel the same about you. You can envision your future with this person. Growing old, becoming senile, and getting shipped off to a nursing home with this person seems like the most blissful of fates. You are in love.

But, shortly after coming to this realization, you find out that your lady/gentleman friend acts in pornographic films. Note that I didn’t say that they were a “porn star”. They’re not. They’re basically just one of the thousands of nameless, hard-working people who make their living having hot nasty animal sex on camera. Your special someone doesn’t do any of the truly sick stuff, mind you, but she/he doesn’t stick to the tasteful, soft-focus “erotica” genre, either.

What would you do? And let’s assume there was no outright deception involved: when you asked what his/her job was, she/he answered that they were “a model” or “in film” or something like that and you chose not to pursue it. That’s not very likely, I know, but just play along with me here. I mean, if you’re a guy, the first instinct that probably comes to you is, “Awesome! A porno actress! Score!”. But let’s take this beyond the “stoned-frat-boys-at-three-in-the-morning” aspect of the discussion. Because, to me, it doesn’t seem like it would be very awesome at all.

The assumption is that someone in the porn industry would be some sort of wicked awesome sex machine. But is this really true? I mean, these people do the naughty what-have-you all day long. Why would someone think that they would want to come home to their significant other, tear off their clothes, and go at it some more? Wouldn’t that be like bringing work home? Wouldn’t they rather just read a book or watch television or play Uno or something? Maybe one of the cornerstones of the dumb guy understanding of the universe is just flat-out wrong. Perhaps porno people are actually far more boring than the rest of us.

And let’s talk about jealousy for a moment. Because, as much as we might like to hide it, it would be an inevitable antagonist in any relationship with adult film talent. You might fancy yourself the coolest, most liberated, least hung up guy/girl in the universe, but I imagine that there would be moments where you feel like your amateur erotic stylings just can’t measure up to those of the legendary Johnny Eleven Inch or the bewitching Natasha LeFur. Maybe your paramour would be able to separate her working life from her true love, but could you? Be honest now.


If you asked all women between the ages of twenty-six and thirty-eight what their favorite movie of all time is, 43% of them will say The Princess Bride. Why is this? I’m not being flip, either: I really want to know.

(By the way, if you asked all men from that same age group the same question, 89% would answer The Godfather.)


Whatever happened to those teenagers who worship Satan? Back when I was growing up, you’d always read about devil cults and heavy-metal death pacts. Not anymore, though. Why have disaffected teenagers turned their backs on Satan? Why? Why? Why?


Try to think of the most disgusting act possible. Make sure that this act is not excessively dangerous (like tongue-kissing a rabid pitbull) or unquestionably amoral (like setting an orphanage on fire). Do you have something in mind? If not, let me suggest either (a) making out with Donald Rumsfeld or (b) digging through five thousand gallons of watery pig shit in search of a dozen carefully-hidden “Craisins”, which you will then eat. Now that you’ve got that image in your brain, I want you to envision a mysterious wayfarer appearing in your living room one evening. This gentleman, dressed in dapper silks and with a designer briefcase, offers you one billion dollars if you will perform the aforementioned disgusting act for his personal amusement. He promises you that no one else will even know (except perhaps Donald Rumsfeld, if you choose that route), and he shows you the money so you can be sure that he’s not just a devious prankster. What do you do?

If you’re like me, my first instinct is to say “hell no”. After all, my dignity is more important than some lousy money. I mean, I have a pretty comfortable life already, and very few shameful secrets in my past. If I did what the stranger wanted, I’d be well-rewarded for sure, but wouldn’t I be forever haunted by the horrible origins of my wealth? Wouldn’t I look at all the happy people with less money than me and envy them because they didn’t have to do the sick, wrong and repulsive thing that I had to do? No, no: better to settle for less and maintain your good opinion of yourself.

But perhaps this is an overly naive and optimistic way to approach the question. Maybe it’s better to think about the mysterious stranger’s offer in dire, bitter terms. Because it seems to me that, in America today, a vast amount people wind up doing things they’d rather not do just to eke out a living. This is a country full of people in cubicles who want to be poets, people in business casual who dream of being rock stars, millions upon millions of people doing that quiet desperation thing as their life slowly dwindles away under florescent lights and the hum of the copy machine. If this is the case, wouldn’t it be better to get all the humiliation and degradation out of the way at once, rather than stretching it out over forty or fifty years? You can think of it this way: maybe you ate some doodoo-covered Craisins one time, but at least you’re not one of those suckers at the office park. Those poor bastards are eating doodoo-covered Craisins every single weekday, and they aren’t going to be stopping any time soon. Meanwhile, you’re on your yacht off the French Riveria, sipping Dom Perignon out of a fashion model’s navel. Who’s suffering more?

Or maybe that’s a depressing way to look at it...