Maybe it’s my propensity for schadenfreude, maybe it’s just the bleak, black mood of my day, or perhaps I’m more cold and heartless than even I imagine (able to shock myself with my own total lack of emotion… is that as paradoxical as it seems?), but I’m having an interesting reaction to the news that Jon Dough — known almost universally to the porn world by his real name, Chet (‘cuz, really, how many “Chets” could there be in porn?) — killed himself over the weekend.

I don’t know the hows or whys or wherefores. I know he had been directing for Hustler, and having been there myself, that alone could have driven him to suicide.

I don’t mean to sound flippant or sarcastic or cruel, but I am, so you’ll have to either cope or quit reading.

I certainly didn’t know Chet well. Most of my dealings with him were in my capacity as the guy in charge at AVN, and given Chet’s extremely vocal hatred of all things AVN, it isn’t surprising that our interactions weren’t warm and fuzzy.

That being said, whenever I had to deal with him — even the few times we met after my AVNyears, Chet was rude, abrasive, surly, mean-spirited and arrogant. It’s no secret that he hated being in the adult business, and felt that it was beneath him. When his various attempts at mainstrream careers went bust, he always came back, more bitter than before.

I’m not trying to sandbag some poor bastard who isn’t around to defend himself, and I’m certainly not one to deny the power of bitterness… hell, bitter keeps me warm at night. “Bitter! It’s not just for coffee anymore!” I’m just fascinated to see the porn community yet again displaying its own version of Nixon syndrome. AVN‘s website and the gossip sites are already awash in people — almost all guys from the industry, strangely… hardly any chicks — talking about what a great, warm, loving, caring man Jon Dough was.

Even Gene Ross, whose lack of any capacity for factual journalism is usually accompanied by, at the very least, an acerbic sensibility, is making note of what a terrific guy Chet was. S’funny… that’s not what you had to say about him in private, Gene, when you coined the nickname “Jon Duh” during nominations.

Strength of character and lack of the same about Jon Dough — or anyone, for that matter — isn’t the point, it’s the hypocrisy that infuriates me. Christian Mann gave me grief for not attending Jim Holliday’s wake. I explained that Jim Holliday hated me, for various AVN-associated reasons. The last time I saw Holliday, he refused to even speak to me, so incensed was he that was directing for VCA while they were giving him nothing but grief.

Christian said I should have gone anyway. I say bullshit. I might not have been friendly with Holliday, but I knew him. I understood him, and he would have been offended if I’d been there. I imagine the same sort of thing is true for Chet. No one commits suicide amongst friends; they do it alone. In a place of deep, dark, solitary despair that leaves no choice. As I said, everyone knew this guy was a miserable bastard for the last few years, and no one can be surprised that he’s offed himself.

Maybe, just maybe, if some of the people who are voicing their posthumous alleluias for Chet had offered some of those sentiments while he was alive, I might not be wasting my time writing this now. Whatever the case, if there were an afterlife (no, there isn’t), I bet it would piss him off to no end to see it happening. I know it would me.

Truman Capote and Gore Vidal engaged in a bitter blood-feud fought in the pages of various newspapers and magazines throughout the sixties and seventies. When Capote died, I always thought it was the height of respect that Vidal, when asked to comment about his enemy’s death, remarked “I think it was a good career move.”

So, when I die (and most of you reading this will probably outlive me, so pay attention), please have enough respect for me to tread honestly into whatever shallow footprints I’ve left behind. Feel free to talk about what a bitter, hateful cocksucker I was. Enjoy the fact that I died bald and fat and broke. Don’t be shy about pointing out that I never accomplished one fucking thing Ireally wanted to do.

Say whatever you want, just let it be true. And if there’s any kind of memorial service (a complete waste of money which I heartily discourage), I’m leaving behind a list of people I don’t want admitted, because I can’t stand them anymore than they can stand me. Matt Zane is still at the top of the list, but I’ve scratched off Holliday.

And Chet.

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