[ by pjohnson ]
"Chris is, simply put, an asshole."
This revelation comes in the first paragraph of Johnny Knoxville's forward to Chris Nieratko's collection of porn reviews/personal stories, Skinema. Calling someone an "asshole" is pretty bold, but Nieratko relishes the label. He is an asshole. In fact, that's pretty much the running theme of the book. Sure, the overconsumption of booze, pills and powders, womanizing and fighting all figure heavily into his story, but the sum total of these parts leaves the reader with one impression: dude's a Grade A douchebag.
Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. For all of Chris's faults—which he'll readily admit are many—his brand of nihilism is pretty fucking funny. We burned through the former Big Brother editor's book in a couple of nights hoping that the next review/story would top the last. For the most part, they always did.
To properly review the work, we figured it only fitting to do so in the same style Chris uses. A style that can best be summarized by Niertko himself:
"Like everything in my life, my writing has always revolved around me, me, me. Reason being: I am infinitely more interesting than nearly any subject matter I've ever covered."
We now present our review of Skinema. We'll be using the first-person, so don't be frightened when you encounter "I" instead of "we".
I had every intention of not reading this book. I can only take so much porn in my life. And that's actual, you know, porn porn. This was a book about porn. That ranks it right up there with Ann Coulter's Treason and religious genocide.
Some people think working in the smut business would be the best thing ever. I'll be the first to tell you that those people are stupid. It's conceptually similar to having an insanely hot girlfriend. An old boss once to me, "No matter how hot you think a girl is, her boyfriend's probably tired of fucking her." The minute you have unfettered access to the thing you most crave, the appeal has been lost. Same idea goes for porn.
I can't tell you how many times I've been unable to watch a scene because we know the dude, the girl or the director. One minute, I'm thinking, "She's fucking hot. I'm psyched to watch her make love with someone for money," and the next it's, "Is that Van Style's fucking hand? Goddamn it, Van. Stop talking and get your hand out of the shot. It's creeping me out."
That's why I use only the finest in Sears catalogs when I'm making love to myself. There's no chance that I'll encounter the familiar: some girl I know gossip about, some dude I can't stand or some semen-stained couch that I've unknowingly sat upon.
I've come to realize that ignorance equals bliss. Without a doubt, stupid people are generally happier. Look at how excited the retarded are about everything. They're all "hot fudge sundae!" and "I won a gold medal!" and don't care that they look like Rosie O'Donnell. The last time I was that psyched about life I was floating in amniotic fluid.
Don't get me wrong, my job has insanely awesome moments. But it is still a job. Working in porn is not the constant stream of fellatio and naked ladies that people outside the industry think it is. I wake up every morning wishing I could sleep until noon. I get into passive-aggressive E-mail exchanges with co-workers. I hate my health insurance.
I just happen to work in an office where e-mail forwards usually contain a picture of a 70-year-old grandpa taking a dump on his wife's chest.
Skinema is out now from Vice and available in bookstores everywhere.
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© 2007 chrisnieratko.com