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Max Hardcore: Pornographer in Flames

December 15, 2012

I am a man on fire. The heart and fuel of a crackling blaze, about two and a half times taller than me.  Surrounding me like a bulb radiates outwards around its filament.  Setting papers – entire newsagents! – on fire.  Singeing hallways and burning ivy off the sides of buildings.  Anything plastic, synthetic or petrochemical within about a yard’s distance melts, smokes.  The smell following me around is ridiculous.  Like burnt hair, real gross.  Especially when it’s someone’s shirt or trousers turning to hot sludge.  And the noise – people scream louder once they realise it’s their own clothing what’s causing the pain.  I’m not hurt.  But it’s been a pretty fucking annoying afternoon.

Wish You Were Here

if you’re feeling burnt out, take some personal time

I’m used to catching blame from irritated stupid people.  You may have heard of my adult video series or read about my time in prison for pedalling obscenity a few years back.  Some so-called ‘moralist’ bible-thumpers didn’t like my female talent claiming on film to be as young as twelve, seeing them get peed on, hit in the face, all the other ‘gonzo’ stuff my videos are famous for.  Hell, that’s why the fucking God Squad have watched this stuff, these scenes I produce.  Everyone knows that if you want to witness a fresh-faced twenty-year old participate in her own sexual brutalisation, you go for a Max Hardcore title.  All those rigid, repressed pew warmers, they don’t have the cajones to go and do it themselves.  They do have the $34.99 to spend on watching someone else do it, and they call it smut while they’re coughing up the change from the adult book store into the collection tin on Sunday.  They also do have wives with a bad habit of finding the magazines, the DVDs, the poorly-named file folders.   Then it’s some good, old public repenting done.  It’s just lust driving shame driving guilt driving persecution.  A masturbatory ouroburos.  Those self-righteous fucking pedophiles.

At least in Max Hardcore’s world, girls have signed contracts, know exactly what they are being paid to perform.  Studies show that pornography actually lowers rape, too, so who’s got the better moral argument here, right?

So when this mom on Berwick Street shouts at me that I’ve set her baby-stroller alight  and might have melted half her child’s face off, I kind of take it with a grain of salt.  Thanks for at least noticing that your pram was on fucking fire.  Couldn’t you see me coming for blocks by now?  Wouldn’t you cross the fucking street?  Geez.  Fucking breeders.

I had been down here in Soho for business.  We’re putting a larger brand-campaign in place in our European markets, and this was kind of the start of the tour.  We flew in two nights ago, did the usual dinners and meetings, and then the press yesterday.  Today was supposed to be our easy afternoon – drop into some vendors’ warehouses, do photo-ops with some of the girls at a few of the fine retail outlets on Craven Passage.  I went out for a cigarette and some air around 3:30, took out a smoke and my lighter.  Just watching the pedestrians, thinking of getting some amyl nitrate, and that’s when I realised I was a halo of flames.  This would happen in Soho, the six streets where you can’t swing your left arm without smacking into someone who’s absolutely flaming.  A few of the canvas awnings over the top of the shop doors burst into ash and smoke.  Hookers hold up their arms in front of their faces, move back up the stairs of their corner cat houses.  Pigeons disembark.  My cigarette is understandably gone.  I move out into the street.  My hand goes up reflexively to rub my forehead – my signature leather rancher’s hat is somehow still there.  I look down and see my satin-and-denim Urban Cowboy get-up is intact.  Some quick-thinker throws her coffee at me, startled look on her face.  It does nothing.  She drops the orphaned lid and the empty waxed paper cup and staggers away.  This is obviously going to carry on for a while.  Better go get a drink, I think.

I nip around the corner into Gerry’s Wines on Old Compton.  Fetch a few bottles of pear cider from the fridge.  Paw a few sterling coins out of my pocket.  I drop them on the counter and they kind of singe the tissue paper that they use to wrap the wines and spirits.  The clerk hasn’t even looked at me yet, even while he’s handing me my change.

There are a couple of large dropper bottles on the counter in front of him, marked something-something Elixir… being naturally curious, especially when involving liquors or young women’s sexual boundaries, I ask him what kind of medicine comes in a bottle that large.  The guy finally looks over at me, and freezes.  His eyebrows go up just a half of a half inch on his head, and then he looks down at the bottles, unfreezes, unscrews the rubber top of one of them, fills and withdraws the glass dropper, and holds it up level with his chest.  He tilts his head back, looks down his nose through wire-rimmed spectacles, and the fluorescent lighting behind his graying, greasy head makes the whole scene feel somehow clinical.  Greasy yet aseptic.  Kind of how the casting office must feel for those girls their first time.  “Put out your tongue,” his tone indifferent.  The look in his eyes becomes blank again, but something there like enjoyment,  nonetheless.  I try to put my tongue out far enough, he depresses the rubber ball, and a dram or so of greenish treacle dribbles into my mouth.  It’s like a chartreuse, or an absinthe… no, more like a Benedictine syrup.  “How was it?”  I tell the clerk about the bitter aftertaste, and he laughs.  “Not the first time that’s been heard in Soho.”   I chuckle at his bedside manner and ask for a bottle opener.

“Aren’t you that pornographer who does the handcuffs and the pissing?”  Yep, I sure am.  “Cool.  How long you been burning like that?” he asks me, applying his own dosage via the dropper.  Dunno, I tell him.  Maybe ten minutes.  Doesn’t hurt.  “Have you tried a fire extinguisher?”  Tried a latte.  Stained my shirt.  He obligingly grabs the red canister off the wall behind him, gives me a good dusting with the white smoke.  Hasn’t even moved, just swivelling around on his fat waist behind the till.  I’m still blazing.   “Gutted.  Well, worth the try, I suppose.  Sorry, Mr. Hardcore, you’re starting to singe the ceiling, and I’m’a hafta ask you to be on your way, now.”  No bother, thanks for the drink, see ya’gain.  “Hope you get yourself put out.  Cheers.”

Back out on the street, I’m just sat at the curb, necking my bottles of cider.  Where the fuck is the law, I’m thinking.  Back in the States, I’d have been interred at Gitmo already.  They’d have flushed an issue of Penthouse Forum down the toilet.  Just then, a real queen leans over, his hand holding a cell phone through the straps of his shopping bags.  “Should I phone emergency services for you, darling?”  I jolt back in dismay.  Get fucked, you fucking queer-bait!  I scream reflexively, him all in wool and cotton.  “Yeah, yeah, I’m a homosexual, and you’re on fire, yes –  are we going to point out more obvieties to each other, or shall we phone up the fire brigade before you become an arsonist too?”  He’s talking sense.  I relax.  Sorry, force of habit.  I had a rocky childhood relationship with a family friend, an itinerant carpenter named Shep who said he liked my long, strong legs.  He used to massage them.  Hold me down.  Occasionally it got, er, gruesome.  Still get jumpy around the pud-pullers.

I’ll be alright, I tell him.  It doesn’t hurt.  The fire, I mean.  “No dramas, deary.  If you’re ever looking for someone to be your Uncle again, you’re only a few blocks from my bar, the Shadow Box.  You know, work those issues out.  Just make sure you don’t come in like that,” making a wave towards me like this was a wardrobe decision, “unless you plan on helping with a lengthy insurance claim.”

He’s already skipping away.  I told you, it wasn’t my Uncle, I mutter after him.  It was just a family friend.  I can see I’ve spilled my cider down the pavement, and the guttering flames surrounding my person crackle with shame.

Let me state this to you clearly: I wouldn’t have had my life any other way.  Yeah, it was hard work scrambling out of the chicken-shit gutter of the South to the very pinnacles of a porn empire.  Getting away from the degradation of physical molestation – those psychologists would call it abuse.  Bullshit.  I look at it as a crucial part of my education.  It opened my eyes to my true path.  People need help in our societies, they crave a specific kind of sexual entertainment that might be perhaps shunned and even damaging to other’s well-being.  But in the end, they’re only sex acts.  Just as one guy would be too lilly-livered to jump out of planes, there are others without that sticky response who strap it on and take the plunge without a second thought.  So why not let the one live vicariously through the other – that what entertainment is all about.  That primitive part of every person is otherwise, right or wrong, repressed by polite society.  Nobody except kings and cult-leaders can satisfy the violent bodily need to propagate our genes as far and wide as commanded.  Male and female, we are wired for new mates, variety, the exotic: who knows how much damage we do to ourselves keeping it chocked up… but adult entertainment, well, it releases that drive in a productive kind of way.  People get to fantasize at their leisure, other people get to earn a livelihood, nobody gets hurt…  much.  Call it filthy, I call it necessary.

Not to say it hasn’t been rough going at times.  Maybe the entire first decade was just trolling through strip clubs and seedy streets in Florida, Atlanta, paying talent in cash, releasing titles to mailing-lists, C.O.D.  After the first big distribution deals with retailers got our product out of the postal system and into shop fronts, the business model became very lucrative.  Of course, then you had the internet come in, and although I will admit that we never had high production values to begin with, the medium was changed.  Companies had to get talent to do filthier acts at the same time as they trimmed budgets, sunk smaller investments.  But Max Hardcore made it when others didn’t.  And now here I am on fire in Soho getting hit on by middle aged businessmen and solicited for rough trade.  I feel just like any one of the talent hopefuls that come through the agency doors every day of the week out in the Valley.

Each one squidging through the steel and plate glass swinging door, already slippery with lubricants, intoxicants.  They are the embodiment of Diana.  Athene.  Woman is the priestess, her sacramental cunt full of red wine.  Men supplicate themselves to her magic.  Even the fairies idealise that image of woman, of life.  We give these nubiles their first sullying, their first drubbing, until we knock the goddess out of them and send them back to work at TGIFridays and the Starbucks.  And then the next wave comes through, ready for us to steal their glow, absorb their blessed, true natural energy.  And let me tell you, they ain’t none of them been fucked that way before.

Just then, some Japanese guy snaps a photo of me.  All exposed.  Feeling low.  The role reversal is complete.  The camera flash drags me back into the moment.  The reality of feeling equally self-righteous and confused for three or four minutes now.  A lot of unwanted attention.  So I push back towards the bookstore where I left my people.  A few steps from the place, it dawns on me that I can’t go inside without setting the thing ablaze.  Old Gerry’s has got those lofty high ceilings and bare cement walls, but this is all bookshelves and oak paneling   I am going to have to either wait for someone to come find me outside or ask to use someone’s cell.  I still can’t believe the fire brigade hasn’t shown up yet, but I guess no one has bothered to phone it in.  These Brits are just too polite.  Stare in the shop windows, down at their broadsheets and phone screens.  Anywhere but at the crackling pyre of a porn kingpin out here in the street.  Like cocksman’s wood on the set: a vital piece of property, yet ultimately superfluous to the action.

And just like that, my assistant Timothy pops out of the building.  Holding two flutes of champagne, he scans around, sets eyes on me, and then there are suds and broken glass all over his shoes, the sidewalk.  I know, is all I can say to him, my voice closing the distance.  Fucked up, right?  Like those monks in Tibet or wherever.  It doesn’t hurt, don’t worry.  “How do you want to play this, boss?” he asks me.  He’s a good boy, Timothy.  His hands still up where they were holding the champs.  I’m just going to wait it out, I tell him.  I figure it will go away on its own, like a herpes flare up.  Can you go fetch another bit of bubbly, though?  And try not to break it this time.  People could cut themselves on that shit.

Readers also enjoyed:

“So, I’m Banging Claire Danes & Murdering Zombie Rebels” – https://icygrapes.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/218/

“Field Work: A Horror” – https://icygrapes.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/fieldwork/

From → Diary ah?

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