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Huffington Post Blog Condemning PG-PORN

So this woman, Theresa Darklady Reed, posted a blog on the Huffington Post last evening entitled, ‘PG Porn Says "No" to Nudity and "Yes" to Violence Against Women‘, in which she claims my brothers Brian and Sean and I are sexists.  You can read the entire article HERE.  You can see the PG PORN video she’s referring to HERE.

As Tim Stotz, one of my Twitter-followers, points out, Ms. Reed’s article reads very much like something out of the Onion.

I have no idea how Ms. Reed doesn’t understand that PG PORN is, uh… a joke.  But she doesn’t.

Now, Ms. Reed CLAIMS, in response to the comments on her page coming to PG-PORN’s defense, that she does understand PG-PORN is for laughs.  She says:

I assure all of the commenters that I "get" the joke.



But my question remains: Why is it funny and nothing to fret about when it doesn’t include graphic sex, but when graphic sex is added, its creators are hauled into court and their creation accused of being legally obscene?

I attempted to respond to this in her comments, but Ms. Reed has not allowed my response to go through (three times.)  I tried to be somewhat kind in my response, understanding that Ms. Reed may be mildly retarded.  However, because she refuses to post my comment, I see no real reason to hold back here…

Ms. Reed:  What in the fuck is wrong with you? 

Firstly, what does PG PORN, or my brothers and I, have to do with anyone being hauled into court anywhere?  I never hauled anyone into court for making porn, nor do I think they should be (well, unless the people in the porn are really unattractive).

Secondly, future episodes of PG PORN contain violence against men as well as women, so the misogyny claim kind of falls flat.

Thirdly, you quite plainly do not "get" the joke.

In your article, you claim "the Gunn brothers apparently consider violence against women to be not just acceptable but sexy."   Your  supposition is that the object of PG-PORN is to be sexy, when its actual intent is clearly humor.

You then go on to say:

According to the website, the goal of the Gunn’s (sic) video segments is to provide their sex-weary but strangely porn-loving visitors with all the best parts of erotic videos without having it "ruined" by "PEOPLE HAVING SEX."



Heaven forefend.

If you "get" the joke, why would you respond to a joke statement with "Heaven forefend." 

Come to think of it, why would you respond to anything with "Heaven forefend"?  Isn’t that embarrassing in and of itself?

And, fourthly, in your picture, tilting your head like that and cutting off the frame right below your chin doesn’t trick anyone into thinking you’re not fat.

In your article, you also suggest that my brothers and I need therapy. 

I am offended by this.  Sean and I may need therapy, sure, but my brother Brian is a well-balanced, happy, kind individual.  How dare you put him down?  

In the end, your article pisses me off because it’s just another example of how every idiot thinks his or her voice is worth hearing on the internet.

And it pisses me off because somehow the Huffington Post sees fit to allow you to post your drivel.

But mostly it pisses me off because you didn’t provide a link to the video itself.

For that: Fuck you.

I am pretty much betting you wished you posted my comment now.

Come back Monday for an actual real blog in this space, with another VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH ARIA GIOVANNI as well as a feature on THE ART OF BED, BATH, AND BEYOND.

See you then,

James

PS Over 600,000 hits in a little over three days!  Keep it going!  Keep the No-Porn alive!
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Added 10/13/08 – My brother Brian Gunn, who is far more intelligent (and kinder) than I am, responded on Darklady’s blog as follows:

As one of the creators and writers of PG Porn, I’d first like to thank you, Darklady, for watching our first episode, and your critique is well taken. Two points, however:

1. You write, "the Gunn brothers apparently consider violence against women to be not just acceptable but sexy." First of all, the joke here is that the MPAA will give PG ratings to movies that are hyper-violent, but slap anything sexually provocative with an R rating. What’s more, there’s simply zero evidence to support your claim that we consider Aria’s death "sexy." It is portrayed as something thoroughly UN-sexy, and your interpretation is simply inaccurate.

2. You also write, "According to the website, the goal of the Gunn’s video segments is to provide their sex-weary but strangely porn-loving visitors with all the best parts of erotic videos without having it ‘ruined’ by ‘PEOPLE HAVING SEX.’ Heaven forfend."

That’s the joke of PG Porn. OF COURSE it’s not as enjoyable as actual porn. The quote from our website was ironic.

Of the half-million people who have watched our first episode, you are the only one, to my knowledge, who actually took it literally. And yes, I know, you’ve answered your critics here by assuring us that you "get" the joke, but the entirety of your article belies that claim.

Brian Gunn

__________________________________

Added after that last thing: Darklady responded to my brother:

I appreciate your comments, Brian… and you’re right, I can’t know your minds, although I figured your metaphorical tongue was jammed into your metaphorical cheek… but I think that when you chose to tackle the topic of porn (PG or otherwise) and used a death as the punch line, you sexualized it and made it the "pop shot," if you will.

While it may be "funny" to those outside of the industry, to those of us who deal with fear of the Department of Justice constantly, it’s just not as funny. I smirked when I saw it, because it seemed like a dark case of a hot fantasy gone terribly, terribly wrong… but it still seemed an odd first offering, given how little context is provided for the viewer.

You’re playing with powerful archetypes and because you’re eschewing nudity, you can likely get away with more than a director whose models get naked. This isn’t a fault of yous or porn’s, but it is a hypocrisy of the government’s which you are able to take advantage of. Perhaps that’s your point, but it’s a bitter point for those of us on the other side of that thin veil of respectability — and a point I felt compelled to make, since the voice of the industry is rarely heard directly and is so often distorted when filtered through the so-called "mainstream media."

What I’ve noticed since I originally posted this piece is that folks outside of the adult entertainment industry tend to respond with "gosh, can’t you see the joke" manner, while people who work within the adult entertainment industry tend to respond with "yeah, I noticed that too, thanks for saying what I was thinking."
 
 I was initially going to cover PGPorn.tv as a straight news story, but read an editorial by AVN.com’s senior editor Mark Kernes and decided to look deeper.
 
 Those who think Max and Rob Black are rightly condemned or even censored, even though their scenes feature women who consent and enjoy that kind of activity, reinforce in my mind that it’s folks outside of the world of porn who don’t "get it."
 
 There IS a lot of humor potential involved here and death doesn’t necessarily have to be the punchline. I’d love to see that you know that, too.
 
 I’m not interested in seeing your work stop; I just feel it’s unfair for Hollywood to have a get-out-of-jail-free card when it comes to mixing sexy situations with violence, while directors who mix graphically sexy situations with violent themes or aggressive sexual activity fear they’ll lose everything they own and serve time in jail. Nobody dies in either situation, regardless of whether the scripted violence/death is "accidental" or not.
 
 BTW – I’m impressed by the intelligence discussion of my virgin HuffPo entry. Thanks. :-)
 
My brother Brian tried to post the following – it was NOT accepted:

Thanks for your reply, Darklady, but your contention that "people who work within the adult entertainment industry" tend to agree with you is nothing more than selection bias. PG Porn has been received enthusiastically by a wide range of folks within the adult entertainment industry, and several of them have participated in upcoming episodes. Not only are they savvy enough to get the joke, they also understand (unlike you) that PG Porn and actual porn aren’t competing with each other. If anything, I would think the boner-killing anticlimax of "Nailing Your Wife" (which is the very OPPOSITE of a sexualized "pop shot") would send viewers rushing off to watch some honest-to-goodness, all-American real porn.
 
As for your other points, I’m at a loss. I’ve read phrases like "it is a hypocrisy of the government’s which you are able to take advantage of" and "[t]here IS a lot of humor potential involved here and death doesn’t necessarily have to be the punchline" over and over and, try as I might, I have no earthly clue what you’re talking about. Your points are either over my head or gibberish; I’ll leave it to others to decide…

My experience has been the same as Brian’s: the overwhelming response I’ve seen and heard and read about by people in the adult industry has been positive.  If these people in the adult industry "noticed that too", you’d think there’d be some evidence in the comments to Darklady’s blog… but nope — the only person who agrees with her is some clown giving a speech about violence in America who shows no evidence whatsoever of having seen "NAILING YOUR WIFE."

Then on 10-16, Sayra responded in my comments:

Well I found the video funny, but I also thought that what Darklady said made alot of sense. I realise that you will disagree with me but what I get from that vid is the message that sexualised women should be punished.

Furthermore, the way that you- James- responded to her, especially by trying to shame her for her looks ("tilting your head like that and cutting off the frame right below your chin doesn’t trick anyone into thinking you’re not fat"), cast doubt on her ability to think ("Ms. Reed may be mildly retarded") and to undermine her right to have a voice, an opinion ("every idiot thinks his or her voice is worth hearing on the internet"). Why is it not acceptable to speak when you are a larger lady? I read that as you thinking that fat women should be ashamed for their existence and should wait for some man to allow them to speak, because heaven forbid (and BTW there is nothing wrong with that phrase), women should think that by being alive and being people that should have the inherant right to be alive and be treated like people. The same goes for mentally impared or mentally ill people. Or, you know, anyone who is human.

And on the topic of it being simply a joke- If someone makes a racist joke, they are thinking racist thoughts and are therefore a racist. If someone make a misogynist/woman-hating joke, they are thinking misogynist/women-hating thoughts and are therefore misogynist and women hating. What we say and what we find funny reflects what we think, and if society as a generally thinks its funny that doesn’t make it right, it’s just a symptom of a sick society.

I was going to keep an eye out to see what else you made, but, because of this post, I won’t be, Nathan or no Nathan.

MY response to her is as follows:



A) I never said there was anything wrong with being fat.  My Mom and Dad are fat.  I made fun of her for trying to hide it.  Perhaps I was wrong about doing so, I’m not certain.  I showed it to Terra before I posted it — she laughed, so I went ahead and left it in.  Quite honestly, humor usually trumps tenderness with me.  If that’s something that offends you, you probably shouldn’t be reading my blogs.  I’m sure I’ll offend every one every now and then (including myself). 


B) Ms. Reed’s writing simply doesn’t make sense.  Many of the sentences are difficult to understand.  Most people didn’t even understand her point until she posted a reply to my brother… and her point was still illogical.  I’m sorry I made fun of mentally retarded people by comparing her to one.  That is not nice to mentally retarded people.  Most of them, in my experience, are quite awesome.



C) Are you saying I’m a misogynist?  I don’t think I or my brothers made any women-hating jokes whatsoever.  We made a joke about someone getting accidentally killed.  It could have just as easily been a man.  And if you knew about my other work, from TROMEO & JULIET to SLiTHER, you’d see that there’s a lot of comedic death, and most of it happens to men.  This has to do with my own struggle, through humor, to deal with death itself, and it’s my way of turning the most awful, terrible thing about life into something funny.  A lot of humor is only a half-step away from sadness, and I think that’s the case here.  The message YOU place upon it is that "sexualised women should be punished".  I think that says a lot more about you than it does about me or "Nailing Your Wife."  And, by the way, if there WAS a message why would THAT be the message and not, say, "adulterous people should be punished".  But, again, this isn’t that.  It’s simply the comedy staple of great times being instantly inverted into bad times for humorous affect. 


D) Darklady didn’t say "heaven forbid."  She said "heaven forefend."  And I find it pretentious, especially in the context it was used.  Perhaps you don’t.  Then heaven forefend away.

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