Dir: Nicholas Steele
In a past life I was Jacques Cousteau, traveling the globe in search of adventure. Just a short baker’s dozen years ago, I spent no less than 28 days a month abroad on skateboarding tours. I was home so infrequently that I opted to no longer rent an apartment, but rather slept in any stranger’s bed for a night or under my desk at the legendary, defunct skate mag Big Brother. At some point I met my wife, moved back to New Jersey, had two sons, and settled into a peaceful life of domesticity in the suburbs.
Yet not one day passes that I don’t crave the open air of a strange and new place, wanting to find myself in inexplicable predicaments on foreign soil and barely escaping with my life. To try and spice things up, I’ve gotten myself into three car chases in the past two years, and on several occasions have just gotten in my car and driven for hours with no destination in mind. I try my best to take the family on the road a few times a year, but those adventures are different. The adrenaline rush tends to center around if the kids are going to break something or if we can pull over fast enough to avoid one of them shitting his pants.
In the immortal words of Clark W. Griswold: “I wanna paint, I wanna sculpt something massive… I want to… God, I just have a creative urge.” One that only a road trip can quench. Lucky for me I work for Vans, the greatest skate-shoe company on earth, and they’ve been kind enough to take me on a three-week European vacation. I’m writing this on the eve of my departure, and as excited as I am to mix it up overseas, I am beginning to stress out.
This will be the longest I’ve ever been away from my sons. I’m missing my firstborn’s first day of school and his fourth birthday. Worst yet, what really has me sick to my stomach is that I won’t be getting laid for 21 days. I haven’t gone that long since I first discovered the fuzzy britches of a woman. I don’t know that I’ll be able to handle it. So, I sat my wife down and discussed my options. I told her the tour had a one-night stay scheduled in Amsterdam and that I needed closure. She understood, gave me her consent, but feared for my safety.
The story goes that 11 years ago, in the early stages of our courtship, I found myself in the red-light district of Amsterdam. Not wanting to cheat on my new lady, I instead opted to buy a bag full of oblong vegetables for a prostitute to use as sex toys while I masturbated: no touching involved, and I’d gladly pay full freight. Turns out girls over there don’t care much for veggies. Every gal scoffed at the proposition; one sex worker got so angry that she called the enormous Moroccan security guards and nearly had me beaten senseless.
Babysit My Ass
Dir: Joey Silvera
In April, after a battery of tests, at age three and a half, my firstborn son was diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Perhaps I should have realized something was up sooner—like at ten months when he lined 34 pancake bites across his highchair tray equidistant apart from each other in a straight line. Or at age two when he became very particular about how his toys and books were put away and any deviation would result in a meltdown. But I had no idea what signs to look for. I was a first-time parent with no father to ask for guidance. It took my son’s preschool teacher to tell me his humming and outbursts warranted professional examination.
It seemed just as the diagnosis came back that things were at their worst; meltdowns and outbursts were becoming violent, and he nearly broke my wife’s nose with a kick to the face in one particular instance. I wrapped him up in my love and rocked him back and forth to calm him down. I whispered in his ear how bad it is to hit people.
July 1 marked my seventh wedding anniversary and I found myself in a car headed for Maine on a camping trip with my family. The campsite, as you would hope, smelled of inbreeding and white trash from various parts of America. The people at the cabin next door to ours were from Ohio. The wife and husband both wore glasses, giving them the appearance of being learned; I realized this to be false advertisement when their five-year-old daughter rode up on her bicycle and said, “Mommy! Drinky!” and proceeded to hop off her bike and run over to her mother who was simultaneously whipping out her deflated tit to put in the child’s mouth.
The swimming pool was ice-cold but had four hot tubs in a row beside it. My son liked to jump in the freezing cold water, letting his temperature drop, then hop in each of the hot tubs for exactly 34 seconds before moving on to the next. Two hot tubs were marked under 18 and two were marked over 18. He can already read but he chose not to heed the signs and I didn’t stop him; he was enjoying himself.
A 40-year-old redneck guido (picture a mullet and gold chain, Oakley Blades, and a Pam Anderson barbwire arm tattoo) tried to regulate a hot tub for him and his bro. My son paid him no mind and slid into their tub. The guy told my son, “No kids allowed.” My son ignored him and continued to count to 34. I told the fucker, “It’s fine, I’m his dad.” He kept on and pointed to the sign and said it was 18 and over. I looked at him and laughed. He had no idea how important counting to 34 was to my boy, and I wasn’t going to tell him. It was none of his goddamn business, and I wasn’t going to give my son a “He’s special” crutch to walk around with his whole life. If his wild eccentricities make him happy, there’s no reason for him or anyone else to apologize for them. I told the Kenny Powers stunt double, “It’s a campground. We’re all on vacation. Chill out.”
With that he leapt out of the water and puffed up in my face. He was begging me to pummel him senseless and fill that tub full of blood, and it took everything I had to restrain myself.
“You are fighting in defense of a hot tub, you cocksucker. I am fighting for my son. Who do you think is going to win that fight?” I asked him. Maybe his Oakley Blades made him a learned man for that instant because he let it go.
It was the closest I’ve come to beating a man in front of my son. I feel awful he saw me that way, and I could tell in his fearful eyes that it resonated in him.
“Thirty-four?” I asked him.
“Do you want ice cream?”
As we walked for a chocolate cone with rainbow sprinkles he asked, “Were you going to hit that man, Daddy?”
“No, boy. We don’t hit.”
Read more Skinema from our past issues here.
Meet the ATL Twins, Part 1
Our resident porn reviewer, Chris Nieratko, travels to Atlanta to meet the one-of-a-kind ATL Twins and asks them why they share the same bed, wear matching outfits, and sleep with the same girls. Chris also gets them to open up about their short-lived engagement to the same Penthouse Pet and their breakout acting role: playing James Franco’s gangster sidekicks in Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers.
LA Pizza That Doesn’t Suck
I lived in LA for four years at the turn of the century. It was a different time: The country was confused by Reagan’s chimpanzee seated behind the desk in the Oval Office; our world was rattled to its core on 9/11; and hope was still years away. But there are some basic values that have stood true since the birth of this great nation, and back in 2001 we held to them like the last life preservers keeping democracy afloat. These undeniable truths are 1.) Polish jokes never get old, 2.) as Americans we can bomb or blow up anything we like whenever we like, 3.) and if you order pizza outside of the New York metropolitan area it will suck. (Sorry, Chicago. Nice try, though.) Nowhere in this country is that last rule more evident than in LA. During my years there I tried each and every pizzeria in the county, one by one, just to make sure they sucked. The consistency of suck was impressive. There was one place, Vito’s on Vermont, which was the lone exception. Vito was from Elizabeth, New Jersey, and he knew what he was doing. On my lunch breaks I’d drive 30 minutes each way to get a Vito’s slice. One day I showed up, and he was gone. I assumed the other shitty pizzerias had had enough of his sullying up the suck-scale and ran him out of town. (I’m told Vito’s has reopened on La Cienega in Beverly Hills. I don’t need to go there to know Vito has lost his magic—anything with a 90210 zip code sucks.)
Earlier this month I was out in LA filming the last bits of Belladonna’s interviews for her Skinema episodes. I found myself at my buddy/former pro skater Salman Agah’s downtown LA pizzeria, Pizzanista. Naturally, he offered me a slice of pizza. This happens often to East Coasters in LA. Los Angelas as a whole has an insecurity problem, and they’re always seeking validation. Salman wasn’t offering me a slice because I looked hungry; he wanted me to tell him it was good, that it was worthy of a superior palate such as mine. I didn’t want the pizza. Not because I wasn’t hungry, but because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings when I told him it sucked. I also didn’t want to get socked in the mouth by the big fellow, or worse, see him cry.
“So do you want a slice?” The pioneer of switch skating and one of my childhood idols asked as he towered over me.
“Fuck… dude… I don’t want to—”
“Just try it. I want to know what you think.”
There it was. The sentence that I assumed would set up the inevitable death of our friendship.
“It was nice knowing you,” I said as he handed me a pepperoni slice.
I loaded it up with crushed pepper and garlic and oregano and Parmesan cheese and anything I could find to mask the suck I was about to ingest.
“You don’t need all that,” he told me.
I took a deep breath, dove head first into the empty pool of suck, and prepared to die…
But the crash never came. I just kept falling and falling, and God, I don’t even believe I’m saying this… falling in love with a slice of pizza in LA.
I opened my eyes and told him I didn’t understand.
“You don’t like it?”
You have “Let It Be” tattooed on your butthole and you’re not into the Beatles???
I’m not against the Beatles, I know a bunch of their songs, but I’m not a huge fan.
Then why did you get “Let It Be” tattooed on your butthole? Are you not into anal sex?
No, I’m into anal sex, definitely. I got it because we got drunk and it was just a really funny idea and my friend said he’d do it for free. I sat on it for a couple days and was finally like, “Man, I’m gonna get a butthole tattoo that says “Let It Be” with a bumblebee flying out!”
You didn’t spell it like a bumblebee. Why?
I don’t know. It’s funny. It’s cool. I like it. It’s unique.
But, but, but—
You sound like you’re disappointed that I’m not a Beatles fan and there’s no huge meaning behind it.
I thought you were the world’s biggest Beatles fan!
I’m totally not!
Read the hole interview
No Warning 7: Ambushed
Dir: Aiden Riley
Two weeks before writing this, I was in sunny Los Angeles with VICE’s global editor, Andy Capper, filming retired porn star Belladonna for an upcoming episode of my Skinema show. The family was back in New Jersey, and I could drink until sunrise, pick fights with Parisians, and walk around my hotel room nude; I was on vacation without a care in the world. I should have just stayed in LA, because the day I arrived back home in New Jersey the airport was full of fearful folk running around with their hands above their heads, doing the Steve Martin and screaming, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”
We were 24 hours away from getting ass-raped by Hurricane Sandy. California refuses to acknowledge any part of the country outside its borders, so during the week I was out there I had heard nothing of this megastorm. I had to prepare my home, my skate shops, my family, and my world in general for outright disaster, and I was very late to the party. None of the stores in or around my town had any generators, flashlights, food, or really anything left on the shelves.
Luckily, every skateboard filmer owns a generator, and my friend R.B. Umali was kind enough to lend me his since he undoubtedly wouldn’t be able to run it in his Manhattan apartment once Sandy hit. Less than two hours before the city closed the Holland Tunnel, I raced in and out of NYC to grab the only hope I had of keeping my family warm and our fridge running.
Thankfully, I was spared. My home received only minimal damage, my shops were unscathed, and I was only without power for a week. But the rest of New Jersey was absolutely devastated. My hometown and the boyhood home of Jon Bon Jovi, Sayreville, was flooded by the Raritan River at high tide on the night of October 28, and the full moon only brought the surge farther in. Houses are now kindling. The high-water marks show that, in some places, the surge reached well above head-high. Many good, hardworking people lost their homes, which were condemned because they were flooded with toxic water contaminated by a feces-filled sewage plant on one side of the river and the Edgeboro landfill on the other. Every town in New Jersey along the river, the Atlantic Ocean, and Raritan Bay suffered the same fate. I have been overwhelmed with sadness and despair for my fellow New Jerseyans.
In the aftermath, while delivering food and warm clothes to those in need, I have seen underdressed infants shivering in cold and dark homes without power; as of press time, there have been no signs of power being restored, and aid workers are nowhere to be found. One father I met was working diligently, without light or heat, to cut open all the walls on the first floor of his house in an attempt to remove the drenched and damaged drywall and insulation before mold set in. He told me that FEMA had cut him a check. I asked whether it would cover the damage, and he laughed and said, “It wouldn’t even cover a new heating unit.” And because his property had been rezoned two years ago, he was without flood insurance. With tears in his eyes, he removed his glove to shake my hand and thank me for the box of donated clothes that skate companies had sent me. His palms were so cold it was like shaking hands with a corpse.
Someone in California texted me, asking, “Is everything back to normal over there? The national news isn’t covering it anymore.” I laughed. We are going to have to create a new definition for “normal,” because things will never, ever be the same for the people of New Jersey.
Measure B Is a Pain in the Dick
Let’s not bullshit ourselves, condoms flat out suck—both in one’s private life and in pornos. They’re uncomfortable boner-ruiners and girls are always trying to put holes in them to get my babies. In porn, from a fan’s perspective, it’s just not stimulating to see a plastic bag going in and out of a girl’s mouth/butthole. I understand the need for them, but I just don’t like them and I am thankful I’m married and no longer forced to use them. Recently, a law was passed in Los Angeles that is so preposterous it could send porn stars and porn industry people to jail if they don’t use condoms, dental dams, and all sorts of other forms of safe sex in their films. The law is called Measure B (or Measure Bullshit to the folks who will be pummeled by its iron fist).
Measure B, which is really just a witch hunt and a means to run pornographers out of LA County, was proposed by the well-financed AIDS Healthcare Foundation President, Michael Weinstein. The language on the ballot was so deceptive it led voters to believe it was a law to protect the performers in the porn industry. The reality is that Measure B calls for pornographers to purchase health permits and it opens their shoots up to random inspections from the Health Department to make sure they are complying with the law. This goes for everyone, even the lowly cam girls who are in the safety of their own homes doing solo shows to help put themselves through college.
Many of my friends are both up in arms and fearful of what is to come. Director Kimberly Kane, who you know from my recent episodes of Skinema and her VICE magazine feature on Zak Smith and Mandy Morbid, is now a criminal under Measure B. She was uncharacteristically speechless when I asked her for a quote about the law. She didn’t know what to say for days. She finally told me, “Technically they’ll penalize you for breaking the law even if you’re married and performing with your spouse without a condom. Everything I do now is illegal without a permit, a condom, and probably someone on set from the Heath Department making sure that everything is up to code. I don’t know what we’re going to do. They say it’s a First Amendment violation and it could be litigation for a long time. But no one knows. Everyone is very worried. Measure B basically runs us out of town on a moral stance. They say Vegas or Nevada is an option [for relocating the industry]…”
Dir: Mike Adriano
Are there scouts in the porn business like in baseball who travel the minor-league circuit looking for the next big star? If so, I think that’s what I’d like to do when I grow up. I feel that I have an eye for who is and isn’t slutty, and this goes far beyond my default fantasy of “Well, she’s got a mouth, she’s got to be slutty.” Like a batter, there are a lot of telltale signs. Instead of hip movement or bat swing, first check the eyes. Are they slowly scanning the room, seeking something? If so, most likely you have a good case of daddy issues on your hands and she’s probably a nice prospect.
As I’ve said in the past, tattoos are the quickest indication that a gal likes anal. Is she covered in ink? Chances are she loves it in the ass and prefers it there first. Freud tied the whole yearning-for-pain thing back to the loss of virginity in his book about porn; I forget what it was called.
The young lady above is named Christy Mack, and I wish I were the scout who found her in Indianapolis. Aside from the necessary three holes, she’s got all the attributes needed to play in the big leagues: attitude, a unique look, and big tits. I don’t know who the (not dead) George Steinbrenner of porn is, but I can imagine calling him from my cell phone in the parking lot of the Brass Flamingo or whatever club I found Ms. Mack patronizing, and saying, “I just found your next Derek Jeter (of butt sex).”
I always wanted to own my own Brass Flamingo. From the moment I walked into my first strip club—smelling the coconut lotion and pressing my head to a stripper’s vagina in the champagne room and hearing the ocean—I knew it was the tropical locale where I wanted to live out my days in retirement. At the time we were at war with someone in the Middle East, and I remember thinking that the Gaza Strip would be a great name for a strip club, but as I traveled more I realized it was important to come up with the basest name possible to attract the sort of clientele who frequent such places: Tit World, Ass Palace, and Place to Look at Pussy (PtLaP) were quickly added to the list of possible names.
Then I moved to Cincinnati for nine long months and ballooned from 135 to 215 pounds. While living there I went to Sudsy Malone’s, a local rock venue/laundromat, and that’s when it hit me: Open a titty bar in a college town where you can pay the girls to do your laundry and give you a lap dance. I’d call it the Muff ’n’ Fold. Every year I’d get a new crop of girls who honestly and truly were just trying to put themselves through college. If they were unsure of what occupation to pursue, and if they had the right stuff, perhaps I could suggest to them a fun and exciting life in the not-at-all seedy world of pornography. I envisioned it as a wholesale family business with my sons recruiting the prospects for training camp, me scouting for the bigs, and my wife making sure the girls knew how to do laundry because I have no idea how that works. I tried once and flooded the entire basement with suds. Then again, they love those foam parties in Ibiza. Maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
More stupid can be found at ChrisNieratko.com and twitter.com/Nieratko. You should also watch the Skinema video series on VICE.com.
Previously - Panty Pops
Dir: Axel Braun
As I write this review with heavy heart, the tragic shootings in Aurora, Colorado, by James Holmes at the opening of The Dark Knight Rises are barely a week behind us. I stare at the Wikipedia page for the Aurora shootings to make sure I’m spelling “Aurora” correctly, and I can’t help but wonder what ever happened to that short, big-titted Puerto Rican chick named Aurora I knew when I was 18 who worked at that weird science store, Star Magic, in the Newport Centre mall in Jersey City.
I don’t remember much about her other than her rack was enormous and she always wore low-cut shirts to work (the reason, I assumed, that a store that sold crystals and bags of astronaut ice cream was so busy). She also had the token Robert Crumb-drawing Puerto Rican ass and was barely four feet tall—perfect for standing blowjobs, I imagined. The best way I can describe her is as a bald, sexual Ewok. (Side note: When I was 18 I sent a pitch to Star Wars Insider, via US mail as was customary at the time, and it was accepted! I have the acceptance letter written on Star Wars letterhead to prove it! I was so excited and proud that I smoked all the weed that was available on earth that night. I got so high that I never wrote the article. God, weed sucks.)
If only there was a way to track down that fuckable Ewok and see what she’s up to and what she looks like… oh, right. Facebook. Let’s see. Why do private detectives exist in 2012? I found her in less than three minutes thanks to her being a friend of a friend of mine. Looks like she had a kid a while back and eventually wound up cheating on the dad with a black-belt neighbor who was also married with child. Her baby daddy dropped her like shells from a gun in a movie theater, and she ran off with the married dude.
It seems as if they’re living happily ever after in Harrison, New Jersey. But it appears that her tits are now located a lot lower than I recall, and they don’t really fill out her shirt the way they did in 1994. Just as hip-hop died outside the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, so did her big beautiful breasts in 1997. I’m no Columbo but I’ve seen a lot of episodes of Law & Order, and I can’t help but wonder if the two crimes are somehow related. Perhaps her baby daddy killed Biggie? Or maybe, just maybe, her baby daddy isn’t the baby daddy. Maybe the father is Biggie Smalls, and his soul was transferred into the fetus at the time of his death. In which case, fuck her tits.
I never actually saw them unsheathed in person, so if her tits had to go to shit so that the world could witness the resurrection of the greatest rapper of all time then that’s a sacrifice worth making. Let’s say the kid was born when Biggie died in 1997. That would make him 15, which means it should just be a few more years before he looses that Chi-Ali kiddie voice and starts rapping like a man. I wonder if he has a Facebook page? I want to be the first to friend Biggie II.
And while I’m stalking MILFs, what ever happened to Charli Baltimore?
More stupid can be found at Chrisnieratko.com and @Nieratko on Twitter.
Previously - Panty Pops
My Buddy’s Dad Was a Blood Diamond Smuggler
VICE: Give me the overview of the story with your old man.
Brandon Asraf: Before you can understand the story you have to understand where my dad came from. My dad is from Morocco. When he was young they had to leave because they got kicked out; no one ever told us why. He lived in a hut in Israel with 12 other kids and no water. At 18 he snuck out of the Israeli army and made it to the US where he started hustling.
He got a job working as a bus boy and met these guys who were rich mafia dudes. They asked if he would open the restaurant after hours so they could have card games. So at 20 he started an illegal gambling ring at this hotel’s restaurant in Florida. He quickly made a million bucks. He came from nothing in a country where there are no rules or taxes, and got to America and made fast cash.
He eventually met my mom and moved to Jersey where he hooked up with these people who knew the guys in Florida and ended up in a diamond smuggling ring. He made millions and millions of dollars and he’d send people around the world to smuggle diamonds. Basically, if you go to Seaside Heights and it’s all scummy with a bunch of Israeli dudes owning the stores, it’s because my dad invented that shitty way of business.
Is your dad responsible for the scumbags on that show The Jersey Shore?
No! He’s not. I’m talking like 1980s Seaside Heights.
You told me you grew up poor. How is that if he was pulling in millions?
He left when I was ten. All the businesses were in my mom’s name and she had no money. My dad just split and he hadn’t paid any of his taxes for years because he thought they were unfair. So we went from living in a big house to sleeping in an apartment hallway. Three days after my dad left my mom was freaking out, and she brought us to the mall and maxed out every credit card she had. Took all the clothes she bought us and hid them in my uncle’s basement.