When AVN's Mike Ramone asked for my thoughts on his submission for the X Prize, a spacecraft that he had built on the railroad tracks behind Eton Ave., I got a team together from Metro and New Sensations and one of the warehouse guys from Wicked to check the chemical mix of his fuel and sign off on the telemetry. While he didn't win, now my former employer has a new revenue stream in space travel and I couldn't be happier.
When Larry Flynt asked me how to reinvigorate his employees, I said, "always keep them guessing."
When the frank and devastating Kami Andrews came to me with a problem concerning ethnic rivalries among the staff of her West Virginia llama farm, I told her to address the Dominicans as "amigo" and the Haitians as "ami". She writes: "Now everyone is working together to create the happiest llamas. Thanks, Gram!"
It was in this spirit that I started a school for porn publicists. With a MacArthur Foundation Genius grant, a group of dignitaries yeterday christened it the Ponante School of Gaping Media and Applied Dildonics.
Over a light dinner prepared by one of those naked chefs they had in New Jack City, I instructed my students in the finer points of porn publicity:
1. Check your spelling.
2. Check your grammar.
3. If you have one of those arrangements with AVN where you've agreed to send them the copy a day early, earn your money and at least change the salutation when you send it to me. Despite the fact that AVN.com's Dan Miller is an excellent human being, please don't send me mail beginning with "Hi Dan."
4. Don't put yourself in the story. While you might have a steadier income than some of your clients, they are still the people getting naked on film.
5. If you are going to invent quotes for your out-of-the-country clients to say, don't make them sound like Megan's Law listees.
6. Too much hyperbole in every press statement will negate the legitimate enthusiasm you and your company have for a big release.
7. Better to dump a client who consistently puts out bad product than let your association with (him) sully the good reputation of your other clients.
We then had a discussion period. Kwambe', a scholarship student from Chad, posed the first question:
"Discuss some of the reasons porn press releases are often bad."
Hands shot up. "Because publicists think that only people in the adult industry read them, and they think people in the adult industry won't notice errors that might be apparent to other people," one student said.
"Because company owners who hire publicists might not know a good release from a bad one, so they hire people who write like them," another offered.
"What about porn consumers?" Kwambe' asked. "What does a poorly-written press release imply about them?"
"That they are idiots," someone said, "who don't deserve any better."
We took a quick break, during which we all did rails off the landing strips of several years' worth of XRCO Orgasmic Analist nominees.
"If the brunt of the literature coming from within the adult industry is so poorly put together," began Gretel, who posited the NASCAR Corollary, "wouldn't that make the industry as a whole look bad, and make it vulnerable to attack?"
"Yes, but even the President of the United States can't speak its primary language coherently, or any other," someone said. The class then went off on a tangent about how red states consumed the most porn but blue states produced most of it. "Haven't we created a climate of diminished expectations that porn is just reflecting as a perfect microcosm of American society?"
"But how does one write well about anal creampies or contract stars or spoonfeeding cum or sex with vampires?" asked Leon from Maine.
"The same way one writes well about the LPGA Tour or videogames or animal husbandry or any other industry-specific niche subject," I said.
Since we didn't have a school song yet, we ended class by singing Ronnie James Dio's "Rainbow in the Dark."