As we stumble into 2007 — most of you due to various excesses, me due to clumsiness and lack of sleep — I think it’s fitting to look back on ’06 as we say goodbye with not a single tear. K reminded me that I have an annoying tendency to declare “I’ll be glad to see the back of this one” during our yearly ritual of spending New Year’s eve at the movies. 2006 was no exception, and I’d like to add a heartfelt “don’t let the door hit you on the ass as you go.” Sure, it wasn’t all bad, but viewed through the lens of my sardonic sensibility, I’m sure I can find a way to darken even the brightest moments. After all, every silver cloud has a black, hopeless lining…

  Goodbye KSEX, Hello Podcast
With a bittersweet mix of sadness and relief, Kylie & I said goodbye to our Thursday night KSEX show as Playboy & Sirius took over Kylie’s radio life. Yes, KSEX is a rudderless cluster-fuck run more by Sox and Lorraniac than by the “Program Director,” Mr. Tyler Faith, and the frustration level of “working” there was pretty high (still is, I imagine)… but… It sure was fun getting to unleash our unique brand of train-wreck-masquerading-as-radio every week.

Given the staid, formulaic nature of Kylie’s current radio outing, we’ve both talked about how we miss the chance to rant about the stream of idiots we seem to encounter, and the fans seemed to love it. So, starting this year, we’ll be doing our own bi-monthly podcast and Vlog. We’ll make sure you get all the info, and it’ll be posted for free everywhere you can store a video for streaming and download. Look for the first one to go up while we’re at AEE.

 The Ricky Gervais Show
In the completely bright and sunny category, K & I discovered The Ricky Gervais Show, which is the most popular podcast in the world. Yeah, we came a little late to the party, only finding out about it midway through the second series, but we’ve both gotten a lot of laughs from these downloads. If you’ve never heard these shows, the best place to start is 
here. Each show is essentially a freeform conversation between Ricky Gervais (how can you not know who he is? Get your head out of your ass and watch the original BBC version of The Office, moron!), Stephen Merchant, who is Ricky’s frequent writing partner, and their friend Karl Pilkington, who just might be the stupidest human on the planet.

Both Kylie & I shot a handful of movies for DVSX in the early part of the year. Unfortunately, their unshakable commitment to have only the cheapest, shittiest product available, constantly jack with talent on their rates ensuring C-grade performers, miscommunicate, hand out an endless series of worthless checks, and support all that savvy business policy with an abject lack of any publicity whatsoever led to she and I splitting from the company at a time when, frankly, we could both have used the gig.

 DVSX Crumbles
Saying that I relish a little occasional schadenfeude is like saying George Bush makes the occasional misleading statement. So I’ve watched DVSX fall apart over the past year with enjoyment ranging from a quiet smirk to cackling glee. I just thank the Big Electron that we never got into bed with them to distribute SlutWerkz’ titles. Everything I hear about them implies a company hanging on by its fingernails, and now, with Javier — who was the only business head in the place — going away for 18 months (for getting stopped with pot and a gun in his car is the rumor), that should just about push them off the cliff.

Had they even ventured to send in titles for the AVN awards — the bare minimum you can do when you actually get some freakin’ nominations (thank you, Kylie… Thank you, David… Thank you, Eli…) — I might have felt bad about my ghoulish delight over this impending demise. One suggestion if you work for them: demand cash. On the day.

Aborting our plans for a return trip to our future home (London) due to being flat-out freakin’ broke, and because DVSX wanted us to go shoot there without paying for… well… anything at all, really (what? You were going anyway. Just go to York instead and shoot for a week. Out of pocket. We’ll cover it when you get back), we instead lucked into a super-cheap online deal for a resort in Jamaica that didn’t allow kids. So we spent four days on the beach doing very, very little. Admittedly, we were arguing long-distance with DVSX the entire time, which was sphincter-clenching. But that was okay by me because I’m just not geared for that kind of relaxation.

I’m a finely-tuned engine of bitterness, self-loathing, stress, recrimination and regret. Plopping me down on a beach with nothing to distract me but a mediocre book and vast swathes of whiter-than-white Euros in disturbingly tiny swim trunks spending their fourth (of six) week of vacation “slumming” at a four-star all-inclusive in Jamaica is a recipe for psychological disaster. However, Kylie had a great time, and I was able to get myself unknotted about 50% of the time, which is pretty good for me. I’m anxious to go back sometime when life in the real world won’t be collapsing to see if that helps. Either I’ll be able to actually relax, or I’ll come home in a basket. Either way, I’ll know for sure.

As K & I sat down to compare notes before writing our respective year-end wrap-ups, we both realized that Corruption was such a huge part of our year everything else paled in comparison. And, yeah, it gets the mixed-reaction smiley face because with something this consuming, there’s always going to be bad with the good. I got to meet Bo which was great, and we’ll be doing a lot of work for him in the coming year, but now I have to worry that everything I do for SexZ is going to be compared to Corruption, and that’s really stressful.

We just shot a feature called Perfect Creatures for SexZ. It’s going to be a great feature, and we really busted our asses on it (Ren Savant, Belial & I spent an entire day building a set that was only for dialogue! How nuts is that?), but is it Corruption? Of course not. Also, we’re gearing up for the big summer 2007 movie, which is a 180° turn from Corruption (and for those who’ve asked, it isn’t a sequel; that’s officially on tap for ’08). We’re months away from starting that, and I’m already stressing over it.

I’m extremely proud of Corruption, but that was a lot — a lot — of really hard fucking work. Forporn. I think it’s transcendent porn, but it’s porn nonetheless. And the post-production was beyond grueling. Yeah, let’s do that again. Hell, I’m not even sure I can pull off the project I have in mind on a porn budget. When you aim too high and miss, you end up with Manhunters, which I personally think is just embarrassing.

So, yes, proud of Corruption, glad we got a boatload of nominations, glad it sold well, glad Bo’s happy, glad the vast majority of reviews were raves. But do I get a warm fuzzy from thinking about making it? No. Do I get a stiffy from the thought of doing it again? Whaddaya think?

 By Fleshbot Betrayed
As I mentioned, the majority of Corruption reviews have been extremely positive. We even got a great review from a guy I know has an axe to grind with me personally (still can’t figure that one out). In fact, of the three-dozen or so reviews we’ve gotten, I’m only aware of four that are negative. One is from Den at CAVR who gave the movie his lowest possible rating because he objects to the tone of the content and the stylized nature of the production. One is from Roger Pipe who actually gave the movie a B rating, but wrote a review that reads more like a firm D- (he even mentions it himself, explaining that it sounds much worse than he means it to), so I count that one as negative. The third is from a gossip columnist we’ll call Mary Sunshine who I completely discount because he has definite axes to grind with several of the principals.

None of these bother me. I respect bad reviews. Den & I exchanged several e-mails after his review went up, I think because he was expecting me to bash him either here or in some other forum. I had a few similar exchanges with Rog. I explained to both of them that I have no issue with bad reviews; if your opinion is honest and well-presented, I respect your opinion as much as anyone else’s. In an entirely subjective framework, there’s no “right” or “wrong.” What you think iswhat you think, and therefore, 100% correct for you. Yes, I disagree, but I don’t get angry about it, or deny the equal validity of your opinion. The reviewer’s job is to express good and bad opinions as appropriate.

In fact, when one reviewer e-mailed saying he wanted to do my a favor by not reviewing the movie because he was offended by the Herschel/Hillary scene, I e-mailed him back and told him to go for it. I simply asked that he watch the whole movie rather than base it on that scene. I told him if, after watching the whole thing, he felt the movie was completely despicable, he should say that. He ended up writing a love letter of a review when he saw the whole thing in context, but the point is, I didn’t try to dissuade him from expressing his opinion.

As for Mary Sunshine, that doesn’t bother me because I have absolutely no regard for him as a person, and no respect for his integrity. It would be like getting offended by a review written by a Rhesus monkey. No, the review that sticks in my craw is the one Gram Ponante wrote for Fleshbot.

Let me explain that I consider(ed) Gram to be a friend; he’s an incredibly bright, charming, funny guy. We hosted his website for a while (might still do for all that I know) gratis in exchange for a banner, and hell, he’s married to one of my exes who’s one of my best friends in the world. None of that is the point. I don’t expect good reviews from him, just fair reviews. If he doesn’t like one of my movies, I expect him to say so. What I don’t expect — didn’t expect — and keep finding — is all the cheap shots. I read between the lines really well. I worked as a reporter before I ran AVN, and I recognize when a writer is simply saying what they’re saying, and when they’re secretly saying what they mean.

The Fleshbot review is full of these cheap shots, things meant not to enlighten the reader but to goad the filmmaker, e.g. Gram’s line “there is more ‘acting’ in it than any hardcore movie, ever.” This is written with one purpose: to insult. If you can find a better acted adult film than Corruptionanywhere, you show it to me. Is Gram offended that we dared to try something above and beyond what porn is supposed to be? His top-10 list for the year is sure a who’s-who of S.O.S. porn (wow… The DaVinci Load… I guess stupid is as stupid does).

The thing that really rankles me is how the eponymous GP keeps finding ways to take cheap digs at us. That he would take the opportunity of writing up Corruption‘s release party to express how much he wanted to slash his wrists while watching the movie was a given; that he would find chances to shit on the movie in his intro for the Sacred Sin review; his own list of unrecognized “Also-Ranny” award winners; even in his aforementioned 10 best movies of the year list. I’ve long known that Gram was buddy-buddy with my good friend Puke Fjord, but I never assumed that his association with that shitbag pimple on the ass of the industry would spill out onto me. Now I’m not so sure.

 Oh, the Humanity
The big disappointment of the year gone has to be the complete collapse of a mainstream project I’ve been working on for several years. I’ve been around long enough to know that these things happen, and I’ve even been through it before. Still, it’s frustrating. We’re starting all over again now, but that’s a long, hard road. If we succeed, that’ll definitely make ’07 a banner year.

Doctor Who
This year, I got the joy of hooking K on the new Doctor Who. Yes, I enjoy the original, but I understand it’s incredibly cheesy, low-rent failings and choose to forgive them. I would never expect her to make those same allowances. The new show, however, is terrific, and we tore through the first two seasons in no time flat. Can’t wait to watch the rips of its spinoof series,Torchwood.

 Girls Girls Girls
This year has been a bit thin on the extra-curricular encounters, but the few I’ve managed to arrange have been great. A few weeks ago, K & I got together with one of my/our semi-regulars, tied her up, abused her, and had a great time. Hopefully there’ll be more of this in ’07, but quality counts more than quantity, right? Also, I still have a birthday present from Nicki Hunter to collect…

 Bad, Bad Seed
Oh, the aggravation of shooting for Adam & Eve. More red tape than the government, and more confusion than a quarterback taking an LSAT. These aren’t even my shows; just the contact frustration from inhaling the smoke that pours from K’s ears is enough to make my head asplode.

Well, I used to tell people that we had six cats because we didn’t want seven. Then one of our minions decided to tuck tail and run back to Seattle, and we decided to confiscate the sweet little stray we had given him at the beginning of the year. Months later and she still hadn’t been spayed. Besides, she’s smarter than he is and we didn’t want her escaping from his house of ‘tards in Seattle to get flattened by a bus, and he has a sick cat of his own to deal with. So now we have seven. But at least this one is affectionate and loving, unlike Willow who continues to be Satan in a kitten skin. As my friend Todd would say, Katzenflocken.


There’s more I could go into… the minions we’ve shed, both of whom still owe us money… Kylie quitting PXP… The incredibly irritating electrician who works for my gaffer Nic Danger, a guy so annoying I had a literal nightmare about him yesterday… but this is enough. We’re well into 2007 now, and most of you are probably just shuffling out of bed. I turn 40 this year, so that means if there’s going to be any balance at all, a lot of good shit has to happen before November. I’m looking forward to it.

Happy New Year

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I’ve decided to live my life as if I were alive. — WIll McAvoy (Jeff Daniels), The Newsroom