Ron Jeremy and the quest for something more.
posted by Filippo on 3/01/02
Ron Jeremy it seems has caught Jaggeritis. A bug that has manifested itself within the overblown go charged entertainment industry - a persistent affliction that attacks the pretentious. Writers wish to act, actors long to direct, directors dream of their own production companies. Without fail the familiar ring of "I canít get no satisfaction" continues to perpetually resonate unabated, as desires migrate to more grandiose aspirations. Itís only natural that the mantra would inevitably bleed down to the hedonistically enviable but historically tragic porn industry where the glint in one's eye yearns for legitimacy, not the usual repertoire of suck, fuck, nut, paycheck.
So begins the lonely odyssey of self-deprecation and mockery in Ron Jeremy's quest for mainstream acceptance. Apparently earning a comfortable living invading copious amounts of under-25 female flesh is now deemed an insufficient career trade.
In his recently released documentary, Porn Star, the Legend of Ron Jeremy the depressing, notorious figures and stories usually dealt with gets a necessary millennium update. Focusing on an oddly popular figure with a relatively stable existence, instead of the string of ill fated porn career exposes produces an amusingly sunny and less pessimistic glance into thirteen-year old boy DreamLand. A highly enjoyable film, (greeted with great reviews) that allows the viewer a brief glimpse into the window of porn, and the fabled inhabitant who meanders through it.
We join the hero of testosterone fueled madness through his journeys from porn shoots, late night epiphanies, a monthly trip to the A.I.D.S clinic (Ah, so they do worry about that shit!), and his odd idiosyncrasies (plastic bags as fucking luggage??). Decidedly fun movie, no matter how repressed your views.
However, all of that renders incidental to the running theme that pulsates throughout not only the documentary, but in truth, whoever is willing to listen. His frantic and some would claim pathetic chase for legitimate stardom.
We = Artists
Jeremy is not unlike other egomaniacs who grapple with contentment. In his pursuit of that lack of gratification storyline, his cumshots would be replaced with cheesy and climactically timed sensual kisses, with accompanying melodramatic music. For his costars to morph from sluts with more Silicon then San Jose to snotty "elegant" waifs like Catherine Zeta Jones. For his transparent not worth the paper they are written on plot contrivances to be replaced by... well, some things will remain with the transition.
Just skimming the surface, Jeremy's hunt for more fashionable regular gigs appears to be a brittle dream of a man facing straight down the barrel of a mid life crisis, forcing him to fiddle with the idea of turning babyface. (For the record, established porn stars, not celebrities who dabbled in elements of porn to catch a break. i.e Madonna) Ron's Jeremy's Skeelo type wishful thinking, seemingly inspired by a few too many swigs, presents itself as only worthy of a brief chuckle and a condescending shake of the head.
Well, not so fast. That once impossible trek now has a clearer path. Porn is no longer considered the micro-organism that resides under the entertainment rock. At least financially. Porn is a billion dollar industry, B as in baby batter. So for as much as the holier then thou continue to reside in their hypocritical vacuums, protesting their vocal cords out, somebody is renting and buying this shit. Probably the same who discretely watch and interact before the kids get home, discarding the Kleenex only to jump back on their soapbox when the red light is on, or the crowd has convened.
Unlike in generations past where stars were treated with milk drinking reverence, today's actors and entertainers live and breath in air where sensationalism is law, and part of that act states that their lives are to read as open books for tabloids to exploit and common folk to gorge in.
In just a miniscule example during the 60's & 70's Johnny Carson was the gentile father of late night, a star who everybody trusted with not only their funny bones, but with their daughters as well. In the 90's it was uncovered that Carson was a dirty old fool who would follow his more attractive female guests back to their hotels, dick in hand, assuaging their concerns with his claims of a past vasectomy. Think good ol' Charlie Sheen's blowout bashes and escapades wouldn't make even porn stars and their aficionadoís blush? And who really needs reminding about how our former fearless leader made oral sex practically a dinner table discussion. Nowadays, there has to be something seriously wild to make us even flinch anymore.
Point being, when the beyond reproach tag was removed, it was revealed that the so-called disgusting and obscene world of pornography simply mirrored the late night trappings of athletes, actors, and even politicians. So in essence what we have learned in Generation X & Y is that Adult films merely reflect 95% of our huggable stars personal lives. Porn isnít a dirty seedy side of the business, it is the business unfiltered. Its behavior that top rated radio personality Howard Stern celebrates for hours daily, as waves of actors and musicians relay their encounters with groupies and strippers to the giddy delight of the host and his listeners. Getting as much puss in life is an American idealism right up there with capitalism, not just long trench coat perv territory. The line hasnít been blurred between the two realms, it has been obliterated.
Itís to the chagrin of media watchdogs everywhere that a truncation of values and moral stock are seemingly locked in a death spiral. A "sulling" that has been on full display in sexually obsessed movies like American Pie, (and its countless knockoff's) and Something about Mary, which spawned the popular running gag of Carmen Diaz having her hair styled by semen. The two genres have blended seamlessly.
What ENORMOUS body parts!
So, is Jeremy absurdly low on actual skill as his height and looks? Does his talent suck a meaner dick then any b.j. he has ever received onscreen? Sure, he is hardly an incandescent talent, probably closer to a 10 watt light bulb, but then again you the reader could probably name about 10 people right off the top of your head that have no business either selling millions of records, or starring in a hit movie. Hollywood makes business decisions, period. Really now, if Jack Black or Tom Green can become hot properties is there not hope for pretty much everyone who falls under the category of having a pulse? Does anybody go platinum anymore that doesnít make you want to give up music all together?
Not only does Jeremy have his notoriety to play with in his favor, but he also possesses an inherently affable likeability. His personality is easy going and unassuming not gregarious. That coupled with the dichotomy of his Danny Devito combined with Joey Buttafucco looks garner in effect, a non-threatening disposition from the public, especially women (important). You can almost hear the 'Aw, what a sweet story, somebody who bucks every photogenic standard becomes a stud ' sentiment. He presents little jealousy from males who do not view him as a threat or an unreachable standard, and he even makes insecure men automatically feel better about themselves, and their chances on Friday night. He is right on the money with his assertion that he is the everyman.
So, is the vacuous Jeremy on the brink of realizing a dream? Emerging from the self-contained porn realm he conquered to rule another? Probably not.
Hollywood as depraved as it is, probably has a few strands of pride remaining (why do I feel I will regret this line) to not place him in a starring movie role or the latest four weeks and your canceled sitcom.
The flashing indicator of his odds emerged when he was the contestant on a recent edition of Weakest Link. A show where producers dipped hard into the quagmire of frequently mocked pop flameouts, long discarded trashy footnotes, and lightening rods for humiliating moments and careers. Which means we could conceivably have this same convo about Darva Conger.
Even during the afterglow of his crowning achievement, watching him round local Bay Area & Sacramento Valley T.V stations conducting interviews, can at best be described as exercises in discomfort, with the morose humor was only matched by the consistently uneasy scenes. Almost without exception each interview featured a reporter stammering, and squirming awkwardly trying fruitlessly to act impressed by anything he has done professionally that has not involved his phallus, as the credibility stretching congested the already smoggy Northern California. Reporters all across the region accepted the task of taking his mainstream aspirations seriously with a straight face. The segment highlights occurring when Jeremy spouts off laughably far-reaching "success stories" including references to Traci Lord's prosperous jump from Porn to Melrose Place, which are met with scores of incredulous looks completely wired on the face of the interviewer.
But that embarrassment is overridden by his blissful demeanor, obviously unrecognizing in his "I canít believe this fool" standing. When Jeremy received a bit part in a serious toned motion picture release, his odious talent bubbled to the forefront. His scene had to be cut because review audiences laughed the appearance out of the theater. The reason is anyone's guess, but Jeremy looking as good as a used 1985 Dodge Caravan will continue to try to break loose from the pussy drenched crosshairs no matter what the cost to his personal dignity.
Hey, thatís my Ronald.
AOL IM = FGoodman85