Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

Cultural Snobbery 101

I’m writing under deadline today.  It’s the first time in two years (i.e. since college) that I’ve had to write under deadline, seeing as I have a job (or three) that a well trained Chimpanzee could easily perform…in fact, I think G.W. will become a P.A. as soon as he’s done with this White House gig.  Anyway, like I said I’m writing under deadline.  No, this is not what I need to turn in by a certain time.  I actually have to finish a screen play (I actually have to write about 25 pages) before 7pm tomorrow.  But I have to work tomorrow, so I actually have to finish tonight.  Now, this is nothing new for me.  I’m nothing if not a world class procrastinator.  Yes, I have been known to start and finish a 10 page analytical paper on the opera Carmen a mere 7 hours before its due time.  In fact, in that particular instance I had a major movie moment where I sped to school, parked illegally and sprinted to the door, which the secretary was just about to lock, miraculously turning my A paper in on time.  And yes, I really did receive an A.  In fact, it was one of the best papers I’ve ever written.  In any case, that’s not really what I’m going to write about today, you see, over the past week or so I’ve come to a major life decision.  I want to be cultured.  No, I don’t want to sip dry martinis (though I won’t say no to that) and talk about the merits of Proust’s ‘Remembrance of Things Past.’  I mean, I did try to read the first volume once, got 100 pages in and didn’t know the protagonists name, so I’m leaving Proust on the back burner for now.  This big epiphany came to be while I was reading Diablo Cody’s (writer of Juno) book about her year as a stripper.  Now, you all may or may not know this, but I do love to read the stripper/porn star/sex trade bios.  It’s endlessly fascinating to me.  In all fairness, I also love to read the rockstar bios, the drug addict memoirs, all that shit.  Basically, my theory is that these lives in no way resemble mine (except at one point some of the drug addicted memoirs) and thus are endlessly fascinating.  No, I’m not planning on hitting up the Body Shop for a job.  I never intend to work for Vivid Pictures.  In fact, I presume I’ll never get into a pair of leather pants and a sequined top and belt out anything on stage.  I’m quite content being holed up in my meat-freezer of an apartment and staring endlessly into the black eyes of my macbook, wondering how a place in Los Angeles can be so fucking cold.  And where the hell did I put my gloves because I actually can’t feel my fingers right now (thus explaining any typos).  But I digress.  Basically, as I was reading Diablo’s book, I a) was struck by how similar to me she seems in the book, and b) how much different popular cultural crap she references.  Now, I, for one reason or another, have always aspired to be one of those Dorothy Parker-esqe ladies whose tongue is as sharp as a knife and who always has some sort of obscure referential to throw out in any given situation.  I actually, now that I think about it, kind of attribute this want/need to Clueless.  I always thought it was great how quickly Murray called Christian and Oscar Wilde reading, Streisand ticket holding, friend of dorothy.  I mean that paints a pretty vivid picture, and as I have previously stated, I do love intertext.In any case, I think this desire to employ, as Seth Cohen calls it, ‘pop-culture laden bromide’, was helped along the way by Gilmore Girls, The O.C., Dawson’s Creek, Grey’s Anatomy, to name a few.  Amy Sherman-Palladino is the goddess of pop-culture laden language, as seen in Gilmore Girls.  It’s remarkable really, the crazy things she does with words.  But it’s not just about speaking in a way that only an elite few can understand (and yes I’m aware of how ridiculous and, for lack of a different word, elitist, that sounds, but I’ve always been in the pion group so I wanted to be elite somewhere, and if that made me incomprehensible, so be it).  On the other hand, even though I’ve always publicly detested pretentious people, especially pretentious New Yorkers, I, as a small town girl, always sort of envied them.  Sure at heart I’ve always been a big city lady, but really I grew up a million miles away from anything that resembled an intelligent and cultured environment, with the exception of my actual house, and even then spend 5 minutes with my father and it seems as though you’ve entered some sort of distorted reality that greatly resembles National Lampoon’s Animal House.  I also have recently realized that I spend an unhealthy amount of time talking about Movies and T.V. when really my interests, even within the entertainment industry, go far beyond that.  Funnily enough I actually got some great advice the other day from someone who said that the best thing a writer can do is make a name for herself and then get the fuck out of Los Angeles because really there isn’t any interesting fodder in L.A.  Now, I don’t know if I agree with that completely, but there is some truth to that statement.  I know I don’t want to spend my life writing about movies or television.  I mean, I’m content to do that a little, but there are more important things to write about.  So I started reading some Dorothy Parker.  And yes, I’ve read her before, but I started reading her again.  I realized that if I am going to get some culture in me, apart from the West Coast culture I already have, I’m going to have to suck it up and make nice with the pretentious New Yorkers.  Dorothy is a good way to slowly slip yourself into that kind New York is the center of the world and the only great city in America kind of bullshit that just makes me want to scream.  But today was a banner day.  Today I decided that I would give The New Yorker magazine another try. Now, I had a subscription to the New Yorker in college (the logic behind it was ultimately the same, smart, sophisticated people read and write for The New Yorker).  Of course, this was an ultimately stupid maneuver seeing as I double majored in Literature and History and barely had enough time to read street signs, let alone a weekly literary magazine.  But now, as I sloth around my apartment in between working 60 to 100 hours a week, I want some reading material.  I have a ton of books, but this is a great way to stay plugged in to my literary roots.  So today, I went to the newsstand and picked up a New Yorker. If you still think of me as you’re sweet little girl, which is misguided, but ultimately fine with me, you might want to plug your ears for this next bit because it’s the real me.  I just couldn’t help myself on the other magazine I bought.  You see, for weeks now, at Booksoup, we’ve been discussing porno mags.  I don’t know how it gets brought up, but it ultimately usually does.  In any case, my side of the argument has always been that Playboy is maybe the best magazine of all time because the articles in it, as cliche as this is, are really awesome.  I mean this month’s issue has a short story by John Updike, an interview with Tina Fey (comedienne extraordinaire), and an article about John Muir, among other things.  Sure there are naked ladies in Playboy, but I just read it for the articles, I swear.  Actually, my opinion on the matter is that men (and smart women) truly do read Playboy for the articles.  If it was all about the naked ladies, they’d buy Hustler or one of those other dirtier magazines that my small town girl eyes generally avoid.  So if you haven’t gotten where I’m going with this here it is.  Today, for the first time since my eighteenth birthday, I bought a Playboy.  I’m contemplating getting a subscription to both Playboy and The New Yorker because, unlike the pretentious New Yorkers I refer to, I get that being cultured means more than Proust and William Burroughs and Kofi Annan.  I’ve read Dickens and Shakespeare and Ron Jeremy and I loved them all in their own right and they each taught me something different.  So I’m going to go write the kids movie I’m supposed to be writing.  Maybe in five years you’ll see it on screen.  Maybe you won’t.  Maybe Miss Diablo Cody and I will follow similar trajectory (not with the stripping because we all know I don’t have the body to strip, but if I did I could see it as a lucrative way to make money) with our writing careers.  Maybe I’ll become a professor of pop culture studies at UCLA or Berkeley or Bowling Green, OH.  In any case, I’ll be cultured in the fullest sense of the word.Peace, Love, and Playboy,Julia

December 18, 2007 Posted by | Books, Culture, Education, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Politics, Porn, Ron Jeremy, Sex | 2 Comments

Mucho Gusto Me Llamo Bradley.

I’m sorry to all the people born in the ’80’s and raised in California
because I just got that song stuck in your head.

Okay, so the subject is the beginning of a line in a song called
Caress Me Down by a band called Sublime.  Sublime was one of the best
bands of the 90’s (and maybe of all time) and their album titled
Sublime is one of those albums (that are pretty much non-existent
right now) that everyone owns or has owned at some point.  In my
generation it was Nirvana’s Nevermind, Weezer’s Blue Album, Green
Day’s Dookie, No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom, and Sublime Sublime.

But this is not the point.  For all the people who are now finishing
the line in their heads (mom you know this line because I made you
listen to this song over and over and over again when I was 14 years
old) you know that it ends with a reference to a man named Ron Jeremy.

Now, it has come to my attention that not everyone has a vast
knowledge of completely useless information like me and, as I have
been talking to people about Ronnie lately, it has come to my
attention that many people don’t know who Ron Jeremy is.

Well folks tonight’s the night.  He’s a Porn Star.  That’s right, I
went there.  Ron Jeremy is the number one porn star of all time.  If
you look him up on iamdb.com (Internet Adult Movie Database) you may
find that he’s done about 1800 movies.  And that’s just the porn.

No matter what your feelings on Porn are, and I’ll make mine clear in
a bit, you have to admit that 1800 movies is a pretty successful
career.

Okay, I can feel everyone shifting nervously, wondering where I’m
going with all this.  Well, first I’d like to say that I personally am
not a big fan of porn.  I have seen it, but I didn’t inhale.  It’s
just not really for me.  I have not, do not, and will not judge people
who watch it, who like it, or who star in it.  I have the same policy
on porn as I do on most things.  Am I being forced to do it or watch
it or participate, no?  Well then why the hell do I care if other
people like it or do it?

So why on earth am I talking about porn, and more specifically, why
did I bring up Ron Jeremy?  ‘Cause I got to meet him today.

That’s right kids.  Living in L.A. has brought me many many many new
experiences, but today I saw something that, until now, has been
entirely out of my reality and comprehension.  Today, I hung out with
a big group of porn stars.  And you know what?  I had a really great
time.

The reason I met Ron was that he was doing a book signing at my work.
You see, he just wrote an autobiography (which I read) and he was
signing it.

A few years ago another porn star wrote an autobiography.  Her name is
Jenna Jameson and her book is called ‘How to Make Love Like a
Pornstar.’  Now, I haven’t read Jenna’s book (it’s on order) but I’ve
heard it contains some rather disturbing stories about her sexual
abuse as a child and whatnot.  Basically, it contains the kind of
stuff that makes you go ‘oh, that’s why she’s a pornstar.’  (and by
the way, she’s probably the most famous female pornstar in the world
right now).

But Ronnie’s book, Ronnie’s book contains no such anecdotes.  He
didn’t have a messed up childhood.  Sure, he’s particularly well
endowed (to put it mildly) but so is Brad Pitt (supposedly) and he’s
not a pornstar.  No, Ron Jeremy’s book is a fabulously well
constructed narrative of an endlessly interesting life.  The Ron
Jeremy portrayed in ‘Ron Jeremy: The Hardest (working) Man in Showbiz’
is a great protagonist of an almost Forrest Gump-like Saga.

He tells endlessly amusing stories about everything from going to
Woodstock to hanging out with his friend Sam Kinnison, to partying at
the Playboy Mansion.  While he’s weaving these great tales of
celebrity, Ron creates this amazing portrait of a certain kind of
history of Los Angeles.  He talks about the great days of hanging out
with Poison (an ’80’s hair band.  If you’re interested, download
‘every rose has it’s thorn’) at the Viper Room (which used to be owned
by Johnny Depp.  Also, where River Phoenix died in 1993).  He talks
about the Comedy Store where comics like Jim Carrey and Sam Kinnison
were no name opening acts.  And he talks about the heyday of the Porn
industry, when porn was shot on film and had the same artistic
integrity of many films.  Where they just thought of it as film where
people had sex, not as this hidden away dirty little secret
multi-billion dollar industry.

Without seeming like he’s trying Ron shows us a side of not just Los
Angeles, but a side of him that seems long forgotten (and perhaps
never really looked for).  I found myself nearly brought to tears a
few times because you just want him to win so badly.  Ron took himself
out of the label porn star and successfully made himself a completely
loveable protagonist.  Perhaps the best real person turned protagonist
since David Copperfield.

I don’t care what your feelings on porn or pornstars are, you should
read this book because this is what good writing looks like.

So, now to the fun.  When I heard Ron Jeremy would be doing a book
signing at Booksoup, I was elated.  Ever since I first heard about him
in that Sublime song, and went home to look him up on a very very slow
dial up internet search engine, I’ve been sort of curious about Ron
Jeremy.  What was he like?  What was his life like?

Now, I’m glad I live 400 miles away because my mother is going to kill
me when I say this, but after meeting him last night, I can say that
Ron Jeremy is my father in a much different profession.  God, he made
me miss my dad so much.

I was sitting there watching him interact with all these people.
People just wanted to be near him.  And it was everyone.  Everyone
from nerdy high school kids who could spout off every movie he’s ever
made and every co-star he’s ever had, to ridiculously hot pornstars
(Lisa Sparxxx, I’m not lying that’s really how you spell her name)
with natrually ginormous boobs, to regular, everyday guys asking him
to sign their girlfriends breasts. He was answering the cell phone,
telling people to get down here and come hang out.  As he was talking
about the fact that he has to fly to Mexico City at 4am, he’s inviting
people to the Rainbow Bar & Grill to hang out.  (obviously he sleeps
about as much as I do).

And all this reminded me, to a certain extent, of a certain oyster
bar, in a certain rich part of a certain sprawling city.

The thing that was really different (or maybe similar) than any
experience I’ve ever had was the fact that these really big named
pornstars were just hanging out and chatting about whatever.  Lisa
Sparxxx and I had a great conversation.  She told me about her parents
disapproval of her career choice and how much she hates that her mom
just doesn’t get it (and no that wasn’t a dig at my obscenely
supportive mother, but we can all relate, yes?).  She talked about her
husband, her kids, her cell phone plan, everything.  She and Ronnie
talked about some tattoo expo in San Antonio that they’re both going
to next week.  And then she politely excused herself because she had
an early call time tomorrow morning.

In Hollywood, this is not an unusual thing to hear someone say.  But
when you think about it, most people don’t have to go to bed early, to
prepare for their early call time where they will be having sex with
multiple people (perhaps at the same time).  And this is when I
realized (for the 8 millionth time) that I wasn’t in Santa Cruz
anymore Todo.

But you know what?  As Lisa left and Ron flitted about signing the
covers of (what I’m assuming are) well used dvd’s, among other things.
 I started thinking.  Thinking about how nice it must be to be that
guy that everyone want’s to be around.  Thinking about how much I miss
being around that guy everyone want’s to be around (no matter how many
times I have to hear the same exact story over and over).  So, as Ron
Jeremy shook my hand, kissed my cheek, and bid adieu.  I called my
friend, met him at Canter’s Deli and had a nice quiet grilled cheese
sandwich from the best Jewish deli in the best jewish neighborhood in
the world.  And I realized that as much as I love being around that
guy.  I’m glad I’m not that guy.

Peace, love, and no offense meant by this little rant,

Julia

June 14, 2007 Posted by | Hollywood, Los Angeles, Movies, Music, Ron Jeremy, Sex | Leave a comment