opinion

Paris Hilton: Porn's Martyr

Tom Hymes
The porn industry should be rallying to the defense of Paris Hilton. At the very least, it should be marshalling its PR resources to send a loud message directly into the heart of the mainstream media and the judicial system that screams: leave the fucking girl alone! Mess with her and you are messing with us. And the industry should mean every word, because Paris, whether we realize it or not, is our Joan of Arc, a patron saint and martyr for the cause.

First of all, she's in jail because of us. Or put a better way, she would not be in jail were it not for us. I include everyone in that us, or rather, everyone who has had anything to do with this industry from the time her sex tape first appeared. Why would I do that, since only a limited number have profited directly from sales of the video?

Because that video stared a new genre, if you will; and more importantly, because she single-handedly took the 'Mainstreaming of Porn' to a level even Jenna Jameson could not achieve. She did not know she was doing it, but she did it nonetheless and has paid a steep price.

Now, I know that a lot of you marketing geniuses are going to say that she didn't do squat but have sex with a boytoy boyfriend on tape, and that it was he and his oh-so-clever cohorts, not she, who took that tape and made it one of the top-selling adult videos of all time. And I would call each and every one of you a soulless ghoul, a blackguard and a scoundrel and the lowest of street pimps, no matter your position or income. I don't care who you are; if that's your opinion, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. You do not possess the common decency to belong in this outstanding business.

On the other hand, you do not lack for company. Many pornographers are famous for celebrating the downfall of once-prized performers and colleagues.

These vampires seem to take an inordinate amount of pleasure in the spectacle of a performer falling on hard times or getting into trouble. They're whores anyway, they reason, skanks with no self-respect. Compassion is too precious a commodity to be wasted on people who should have known what they were getting into in the first place.

Not everyone is so callous, of course; it is always gratifying to see members of the business come together to benefit those who are ill or have lost a family member. But it's easy to help someone suffering from cancer or the loss of a loved one.

For some reason, when life takes a toll, law enforcement makes a call, or a one-time standard-bearer for the industry goes through rough times and loses a lot of weight, we turn on them as if they had done something to us, when in fact it is we who are not doing anything for them.

Paris may not be a bona fide member of the industry, but she will always be associated with it. I think that's reason enough to show her some support and love, if not make the day of her incarceration — June 3 — a holiday in the industry; Paris Hilton Appreciation Day.

We'll throw a big party in her honor every year on that day, and even though she will not accept our invitations, we will know and remember what the pretty rich girl did for us, and maybe we will become a better, more appreciative business for it.

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