Owning Porno Used to Mean Something, Damnit
1. When I was in high school I kept my porn in a white box. Inside the box was a stack of magazines—almost entirely Playboys, because I liked the clean stuff—as well as a purple folder full of the images I liked best, so that I could spread them out on my bedroom floor and sit in the middle of them, kind of like a crude manual version of Tumblr.
2. The internet really changed the way people masturbate. Today, if you want to see someone naked you just press the buttons and poof, there’s a boob. But as a teenager I remember thinking of pictures of naked women as a kind of secret relic, something you had to search out, anticipate and covet, which made them that much better when you got them.
3. I saw my first porn magazine in fourth grade when some kids in my class were passing one around under the lunch table. I remember feeling a weird sense of doom, like I was going to get caught the second I touched the paper, even though everyone else was laughing about it. I’m not sure what magazine it was, but the pictures were of naked women holding automatic weapons, dressed up like military personnel. I remember the feeling of seeing more than I actually saw.
4. The kid who owned that magazine briefly ran a business where you could buy a page out of other, similar magazines for a dollar. He carried them around in a duffel bag with a padlock on it. They were his dad’s magazines, he said, and there were more where those came from, if you had the money. I never bought one. Eventually he was caught and suspended.
5. I used to occasionally go to work with my dad. I remember feeling an insane sense of agency whenever he would stop at this one gas station that had a rack of tattoo magazines with tits in them. I would stand in front of the rack and wait until I knew I had half a second with no one watching, and then I would open the magazine as if I didn’t mean to, in case someone caught me. So instead of full visions, I caught flashes and tried to embed them deep in my memory so that I would be able to see them for a long time afterward whenever I shut my eyes.
6. A very brief, insanely vivid memory from when I was probably four or five, of picking up a magazine my dad’s friends were passing around at a camp in the woods, and the men laughing as my dad took it away from me before I could see. I remember my uncle saying something to the effect of, “one day you can have that,” and everyone laughing. I don’t remember many other things from that early stage in my life.
The super special September issue of VICE was exclusively culled from the archives of Bob Guccione Sr.—the legendary magazine publisher who built a media empire that started with Penthouse. This portion of the issue features an interview with a frustrated Playboy butler who was fired for “an intrusion on his personal life.”
I Went to the Playboy Mansion (and It Was Kinda Depressing)
A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the Playboy mansion for a screening of that new Jennifer Lopez/Jason Statham movie, Parker. I don’t usually go to press screenings because it’s much easier to download the movie and watch it at home and not have to talk to other people, but I’d literally wanted to visit the Playboy mansion ever since I’d found out it was an option for me several seconds earlier. So I HAD to go.
Before the screening there was a reception featuring drinks and “photo opportunities” with some Playboy Playmates™® in the mansion’s main entry hall.
Hugh was supposed to be in attendance too, but he was sick. So we had to make do with this thing.
The screening was held in the drawing room. Here’s an exclusive sneak preview of it. This is from a scene where (SPOILER ALERT!!!!) Jason Statham hits someone with something.
Right after I took this picture, I whispered something to the girl sitting next to me and a guy wearing a suit with Converse shoes came over and told me off for being too loud. A suit with Converses is my least favorite look ever. Do you have any idea how humiliating it is to be yelled at by someone wearing an outfit that was last acceptable on Tom Green at the 2003 Nickleodeon Kid’s Choice Awards? Horrifying.
I needed to get out of there, so I decided to “get lost” while trying to find the bathroom, and see how long I could wander around the mansion before someone made me go back to the movie.
The first thing I did was go find a bathroom to poop in. I didn’t even need to, really. But how often do you get a chance to poop in the Playboy mansion? This is what you get to see while you’re pooping there, if you were wondering.
After pooping, I started to notice how crappy everything was. Am I an idiot for thinking the mansion would be nice? I figured it would at least be a little bit fancy. That was the main reason I’d wanted to visit—I’m gay, btw. Wait, are straight people even into the women in Playboy anymore? Or did that stop in the 90s? Wait, how does Playboy still exist now that the internet exists? Who on Earth is buying the magazine? The kind of person who wears a suit with Converses, probably.
Anyway, this is less nice than my bathroom at home. I keep my air freshener in a cupboard and everything.
REVENGE OF THE ZANILY MUSTACHIOED NERD
I was incredulous at all the bullshit literature illustrated on the cover of your Fiction Issue. Whose bookshelf was that? Some 19-year-old with a sweater complex who thinks he’s Holden Caulfield?
I thought you guys were cool but it turns out that you’re just a buncha nerdos. Tree of Smoke?! More like “trees to smoke,” as in, let’s get some trees to smoke over here, away from these gay and lame books. Jack Kerouac, Woody Allen, and Bret Easton Ellis? Let me teach you know-nothing know-it-alls a little something about a real shelf.
I’ve included a photo of one of the favorite levels of my bookshelf. Some of the other shelves in this bookcase have piles of Marvel comics, board games that are packaged to look like books, and CD box sets. This one has the most books on it so I figured I’d share it.
Here’s what’s on my shelf from left to right.
1. A shitload of Star Wars novels—People talk like these are an embarrassment, but Star Wars is the best movie so it’s no surprise that it is also subject of the best books. These are great because you can get them for a dollar or less at any Salvation Army or the dump. They are the kind of books you can buy by the pound and you get your money’s worth. If you want to know what Luke, Han, and Leia did before and after the movies you can read a book and it’ll tell you. I’d buy that for a dollar.
2. Guns of the Third Reich—Nazis sucked and we kicked their asses bad, but everyone will relent and admit that they were superior in a lot of aesthetic ways. Mausers, Lugers—those are rad guns. Most guns are pretty cool, but Nazi guns were beautiful. Sorry.
3. NO by Boyd Rice—Some hear Boyd Rice’s name and instantly get angry and accuse you of being a bad guy and say, “How can you have this in your house?” He’s really funny, is how, and also has good stuff to say. Did you know he was visiting Charles Manson in prison on a regular basis? Not everybody got to do that.
4. How to Give Her Absolute Pleasure by Lou Paget—This book was written by a girl and she dedicated it to “My father, the first man I ever loved.” There’s no way that isn’t gross. This book was a gift from my first girlfriend. It’s inscribed to her older brother, from his girlfriend at the time. Most of it is pretty stupid, but there’s a funny diagram of a dildo that you strap to your head called “The Accommodator” and it juts out of your chin, making you look like a New Yorker caricature of Jay Leno.
5. Holocaust book—I got this at Dachau. It’s weird that a Holocaust museum has a gift shop. Looking back, it’s also weird that I was moved to buy a book so that I could remember it always.
6. Faces of the Enemy—It’s good to know who your enemies are. You get to the last page of the book and it’s a mirror. Not really. I can’t remember what this book is about and I am too lazy to look.
7. Guns of the Reich—This is another of my books about guns that Nazis used. I wish I could subscribe to a Nazi-gun-book-of-the-month club.
8. Statuette of the devil with huge boner—I bought this from three homos in Hell’s Kitchen. They told me that they’d painstakingly scrubbed paint off of it and that I could use his giant golden penis to keep rings on.
9. Six issues of Playboy from the 60s in a Playboy binder—This is a big binder with old Playboys in it. I jerk off to women who are either dead or very haggard now.
10. The New Encyclopedia of Handguns & Small Arms—I think it’s important to have this so that people see that I have some books about American guns too and don’t just think I’m a freak who’s totally into Nazi guns exclusively. This is my beard. I don’t care about most American guns.