The Sporadic Beaver

Toppermost of the Poppermost

October 29, 2011

Tags: Beaver Street, History of Modern Pornography, Amazon, bestsellers, pornography biographies, Sleazoid Podcast

Last night, after six months of nonstop promotion on two continents, Beaver Street surged, albeit briefly, to the top of the heap. True, the heap in question is Amazon UK's Bestsellers in Pornography Biographies. But it is a heap that includes such classics of the genre as Jenna Jameson's How to Make Love Like a Porn Star, Ron Jeremy's The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz, and Annie Sprinkle's Post-Porn Modernist.

I’ll take my number ones where I can get them.

This sudden surge, I imagine, can be attributed to my two recent interviews on The Sleazoid Podcast, as well as word of mouth. As I’ve been saying all along, Beaver Street is a page-turner. Once you pick it up, you won’t be able to put it down, even if porn isn’t a subject that particularly interests you. Because the subject matter of Beaver Street goes far beyond porno. Don’t take my word for it. Read some of the Amazon reviews. Or just buy the damn book and see for yourself.

I’ll also go so far to say that this is going to be the first of many number ones, brief and otherwise, in numerous categories both on Amazon UK and Amazon US, when the book is published here in March 2012. How do I know this? I just do. Call me a prophet.

In the meantime, I’ll take a day to quietly celebrate Beaver Street's first visit to the “Toppermost of the Poppermost,” as a certain British rock band used to say.

Gettin' Down and Dirty with the Boys at the Sleazoid Podcast

October 28, 2011

Tags: Sleazoid Podcast, Beaver Street, History of Modern Pornography, Traci Lords



In the second and final part of my Sleazoid Podcast interview, I discuss two of the key events at the heart of Beaver Street.

The first is my experience posing for a porn shoot, which I explore in a chapter called "The Accidental Porn Star." This was both an effort to gain insight into a porn star's state of mind, and an experiment in participatory journalism. I wanted to take journalism to a place it had never been before, and no real writer had ever stepped in front of a camera and reported on what it was like to have sex. More interesting than this sordid act of exhibitionism, however, was my colleagues’ horrified and disgusted reaction to what became known as "The Five Dollar Blowjob."

Then I examine America’s sexual schizophrenia in the chapter titled “So You Want to Talk About Traci Lords.” Why, I ask, did the government treat as a victim a juvenile delinquent with a fraudulent passport and driver’s license who systematically sought work in the porn industry, and treat the photographers and filmmakers who hired her as criminals?

For links to more Beaver Street interviews, articles, and reviews, click here.

The Long March

October 25, 2011

Tags: Beaver Street, A History of Modern Pornography, Sleazoid Podcast, Bobby in Naziland



Allow me to take a morning off from exploring the meaning of the Third Reich and its impact on the good people of mid-century Flatbush, as I've been doing in the book I'm currently writing, tentatively titled Bobby in Naziland, and instead say a few more words about Beaver Street, scheduled for U.S. release in five months, on March 23, 2012.

Those of you who’ve been paying attention to this site’s home page may have noticed that my campaign to bring Beaver Street to the widest possible audience is already underway. Last week, The Sleazoid Podcast posted Part One of their interview with me, and boy, do they ever let me talk—about everything from my days as the editor of a radical student newspaper at the City College of New York, at a time when the energy of the anti-war movement was giving way to an emerging punk sensibility, to my tenure as an editor at Swank Publications during Porn’s Golden Age. They’ve also put together a very cool trailer, above, to promote the interview. Part 2 should be posted any day.

This is how it’s going to be for the next five months and beyond, a long march, blog by blog, reader by reader, as I talk to anybody who wants to talk to me about Beaver Street—an exhausting but necessary process, though one that I welcome and enjoy.

The alternative, of course, would be to stop believing in evolution and promote my book by running for president as a Republican. Seems to work for Herman Cain.

Act Naturally

September 14, 2011

Tags: Sleazoid Podcast, R.C. Baker, Village Voice, Boogie Nights, Amazon, Beaver Street, Martin Scorsese, Justin Timberlake, Henry Dorfman, Paul Slimak



The good people of The Sleazoid Podcast wouldn't be the first to suggest that Beaver Street is a movie that needs to be made. R.C. Baker, of The Village Voice, said in his Amazon review, "Vivid and funny, Beaver Street moves at a cinematic pace, a period piece that picks up the story of modern porn where Boogie Nights leaves off." And, of course, I, too, have entertained such big-screen fantasies, musing over the possibility of Martin Scorsese directing (Who does sleazy and gritty better?), Justin Timberlake portraying a younger me, and Paul Slimak, whom I call Henry Dorfman in the book, playing himself. (Check out Slimak's work in the Beaver Street promotional video, above.)

Whether or not a filmmaker comes along and snaps up the rights to Beaver Street is obviously beyond my control, and I’m not about to max out my credit cards producing the movie myself. But with Beaver Street scheduled to be published in the US sometime in 2012 and Nowhere Man about to undergo an Italian Renaissance, I’m feeling unusually optimistic.

So, I’m putting the idea out there, my daily message in a bottle: Come on, Hollywood, let’s make Beaver Street, the movie. If it ain’t a natural, I don’t know what is.

Message in a Bottle

September 13, 2011

Tags: Sleazoid Podcast, Mike Ashcraft, Beaver Street, Nowhere Man

Posting on this blog often strikes me as the cyber-equivalent of sending out messages in bottles. I cast my words upon the great ocean of the Internet, and who knows who's going to see them. And if somebody does see them, who knows how they're going to react or if they're going to react at all.

And though The Daily Beaver and Beaver Street itself have been consistently provoking positive reactions from all levels of the culture, highbrow to lowbrow, it still comes as a surprise each time it happens.

It happened again yesterday. The Sleazoid Podcast, which I was unfamiliar with, had some rather kind things to say about Beaver Street. If you click on this link, you can hear them beginning about 18 minutes into the show.

The host, Mike Ashcraft, having read a Beaver Street review, now wants to read the book because it was written by the author of the John Lennon bio Nowhere Man, and because “It’s an expose completely blowing the lid off the adult industry.” So he ordered it from Amazon—apparently from one of the marketplace sellers, as it hasn’t yet been published here.

Beaver Street?” said Ashcraft’s co-host. “It sounds like a movie we all need to make.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Ashcraft has already invited me to come on The Sleazoid Podcast and talk about Beaver Street. Dear readers, I am so ready to talk.