Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sasha Grey & the Kids in the Hall

As my regular readers may know I tend to go off on a rant now and then - it's one of my more endearing character traits I think. A news story caught my eye this week that really brought it home to me just how scared Americans are of sex. Sasha Grey, a former porn star with some hundred or more porn films under her 'garter' belt, but who is now retired from the adult film industry and pursuing a legitimate acting career, volunteered to participate in the "Read Across America" program at an elementary school in California. She was even using her real name, Marina Hantzis, which probably wouldn't have meant much of anything to anyone. She was not dressed like the picture I've included but in pants and a shirt (there are pictures online) and she was not reading passages from the Kama Sutra but "Dog Breath," which I must confess has not been on my reading list but appears to be a - wait for it - children's book. From the pictures it looks like both Sasha/Marina and the 1st and 3rd grade children were having a wonderful time. Well, the parents were outraged and the media jumped in smelling blood in the water. Sasha was invited to appear on "The View," where she admitted the situation could have been handled better, but then that probably wasn't her responsibility in the first place. Personally I think it was great that this young woman was interested enough in getting children involved in reading to volunteer her time to take part in the program. I remember that President Bush was participating in a similar program when he was told about planes crashing into the World Trade Center and he had just come off of stealing the 2000 election. At least Sasha isn't a convicted thief. Actually she hasn't been convicted of anything, other than pursuing a career in a field a lot of people are uncomfortable about. I wonder how many of the parents who were complaining may have seen some of her films. Maybe they were afraid they might have to explain to their 1st and 3rd graders what porn was and something about sex. No one ever explained anything to me about sex. Former porn star is a label that will probably follow Sasha around until the end of her days, no matter how many years are between her participation and the date it's uttered. I remember Traci Lords, whom I've met, who still gets described as a former 'underage' porn star and she's been out of the business for more than 20 years and made any number of legitimate films. I think Sasha shows a lot of character and gumption to be volunteering in such a worthwhile cause and I hope her former occupation doesn't stand in the way of her being able to perform those kind of charitable services - no pun intended - in the future. And I very much hope I'll have an opportunity to meet her one day and tell her so.

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