I’m sure if you have scanned the news, or read through the “headlines” online you may have seen a picture of the porn star Jenna Jameson, with smeared lilac lipstick and an oompa loompa tan. No, it isn’t a still from one of her movies, so don’t get too excited, instead she made the headlines for her appearance on a morning talk show and having her segment cut because she appeared to be strung out on drugs or the happy O2 that comes from the bubble she lives in.
Yes…I’ll let that sink in for a minute.
Ok, are you as mortified as I am? This, THIS made the news? Ok, I admit it, like a train wreck that gets you rubber necking, I clicked play because I had to see just how bad this really was. Sure, she was slurring her words, making no sense and talking in that baby talk/cupie doll voice that is so annoying but what really caught my attention was WHY she was on this talk show in the first place.
Jenna Jameson has written a book… her second actually.
Yes….I’ll let that sink in for a minute too.
Oh, did I mention it’s the first of a trilogy? It’s entitled “Sugar”, so I am sure that number 2 will be “Truvia” and number 3 will be “Aspartame”…either way it means that someone actually optioned a trifecta of treacle.
It is apparently a story loosely based on her life, which quite frankly I think we could all do without –I mean seriously it’s not like she has kept anything on the down low so what’ s the point of having what is already public knowledge strung together by some overworked editor trying to outdo 50 Shades of Grey?
As I pondered this and watched as JJ struggled to form her words and answer the host’s questions with some kind of linear thought pattern, I heard a plug and I didn’t know whether to faint, stage a protest or just crawl back in bed because one of the signs of the apocalypse must be…wait for it… that a former porn star has a book signing at Barnes and Noble. Or shall we say Barnes and Ignoble?
I get it I really do—it’s about money, it’s about getting bodies into your store, it’s about free publicity but what I don’t get is why we, as a nation, glorify the lowest common denominator? We even pay them to be well….nothing more than average…I’m fine with Ms. Jameson’s choice to be a porn star, and based on her net worth so are a lot of other people…but when the drivel that she and her “co-writers” produce makes it on the bookshelf near me I have to admit I worry.
Jenna Jameson isn’t special, she isn’t solving the world’s answer to cancer or contributing anything more to the world around us than cyber orgasms at 9.99 a minute. What bothers me is somebody at Barnes and Noble made the choice to stock her book instead of someone else’s and not because she is Tolstoy in Tights but because she is..well..she’s Jenna Jameson. Her publisher is not one of the big houses, so it can’t even be because some suit at corporate said, “Stock it and make sure the cardboard cut out is facing the café”. This was a choice…and it’s not like there are endless aisles to fill so I for one apologize to the author, whomever you are that just got your book published and can’t understand why you are having trouble with distribution. Club Jenna opened early and beat you to the punch.
Maybe I am just jealous and bitter.. I’ve been writing for most of my adult life, I take it seriously and while I am no Bronte sister, I like to think I am an ok writer ..and I don’t have a “with_____” after my name, which is code for I don’t have the chops to do this, but I have the fame to make it worth your trouble. I’ve written two books and I admit I haven’t put forth any real effort in getting them published…but then I have been really busy, not 164 films busy like Jameson so I guess I can’t even use that excuse.
Perhaps my disdain for the business that made Jameson a very rich woman is too obvious? I’m not a fan of porn, I’ve never thought it had any redeeming value and in fact I think it sets back feminism a hundred years every time the “director” yells cut. In some weird paradigm shift I’ m concerned that this whole debacle will add credibility to something that hasn’t earned it…kind of like how autotune makes people think Kanye West can sing. What if horror of horrors, people, women especially- start looking at her as something to aspire to? The candy flavored lip gloss masks a seedy business seem glamorous when instead it spits out far more horror stories than it does rags to riches. Bottom line, it just perpetuates a myth, a very big myth…that if you don’t work very hard, pander to that which is base and common, and throw some sticky glitter on it—the masses will buy it – and in stores that once stood for something.
Barnes and Noble? No..it has become Barnes and Ignoble.. the biggest book retailer in the United States just sold their soul to Ron Jeremy and they are laughing all the way to the bank while asking you if you want whipped cream on that latte.
Maybe I missed the memo, but when did non writers start writing books? Probably about the same time that somebody said “she is so hot right now- get my best editor and we’ll slam a book together, that’s a demographic we haven’t reached yet.. READERS!”. For all of you bibliophiles out there, just keep in mind that Poe shares space with Polizzi, Morrisey with Marx and Jameson with Joyce. I may be wrong but I’m pretty sure “Sugar” won’t measure up to “Finnegin’s Wake”…the sad part is I bet it sells more this year than any of Joyce’s other works combined.
At the end of the day, this sticker of legitimacy comes with a much bigger price tag than you may realize..it clouds our vision and we see the world with Astroglide on the lens…and there’s no pleasure in that.
Bottom line, I am all about freedom of expression, but can’t we start being a bit more honest with ourselves? Novel? No. Book? No… it’s a periodical with 100lb weight paper and a high gloss sleeve. That gloss reflects something rather unattractive…an American public that embraces mediocrity and gives it prime time real estate.
So much so that based on her last “novel”, Jameson made the NY Times Best Selling Author list. That sound you just heard?
It was Charlotte Bronte rolling over in her grave.