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Flatbush Flashback

The Business of Smut: Critique #4

Zak Smith is a serious writer and artist; one of his books is titled Pictures Showing What Happens on Each Page of Thomas Pynchon’s Novel Gravity’s Rainbow. He’s also “alternative” porn star Zak Sabbath, and he has a great haircut, the importance of which should not be underestimated, especially in the writing biz.

“Barely Legal Whores Get Gang F***ed,” a 3,600-word excerpt from Smith’s book We Did Porn (2009), is an archly knowing, anti-erotic critique of Tyra Banks and an episode of her TV show, featuring porn star Sasha Grey (whom Smith calls Tasha Rey), a teenage prostitute, and a “fat whore.” Why Slate chose this as a great piece of writing about the smut biz isn’t clear. It’s only tangentially about the smut biz.

Thumbnail Critique
Thesis: Tyra Banks is a hypocrite.
Format: Highly opinionated shot-by-shot description of one episode of The Tyra Banks Show.
Mood: Ironic
Sample Quote: “Tasha talks about the ways she likes to have sex. She is still in the horrible driving shot, where she is looking not at the cameraman, who must be sitting in the well of the passenger seat, but straight out the windshield. It makes her look creepily detached from the very many deviant sex acts and perversions she’s describing.”
Also See: The Tyra Banks Show
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