Monday, July 12, 2010

The hardest subject

It occurred to me while watching "One Year" that this latest installment of Sparrow Songs, Alex Jablonski and Michael Totten's let's-make-one-short-film-a-month-for-a-year project, is really about love, and that love, if you think about it, is the hardest subject to write about of all the subjects in the world.

Several years ago, an MTV producer approached me through my blog about turning whatever it was I was doing back then into a TV show. He came out to Los Angeles, and we spent, I believe, 48 crazed hours making what became a TV pilot. After the pilot was edited, I flew out to New York, and we took the pilot to suits at various networks: Comedy Central, Oxygen, etc. After that, as I recall, we ate, or maybe we just had a drink, and this producer asked me something along the lines of what, in fact, I write about. I had my own answer, but I wanted to know what he thought it was, so I asked him that question. And he said one word, and, of course, that word was: "Love." And he was right.

Later, Warren Ellis wrote about how a character in the comic book Desolation Jones was influenced by me, or, at least, who I was back then. He recalled an exchange we once had in which I described being on the set of an adult movie thusly: "[T]here wasn’t a hint of anything like love in the room." That wasn't entirely, true, though. Because, in a way, love, or the quest for it, is everywhere you look in the Valley: in the exposed bodies, in the desperate looks, in the lengths people will go to just so someone -- for one minute, for one second, for one frame -- will touch them.
Over the years, I have found that all porn stars have one thing in common: an overwhelming, desperate desire to be loved. Many of the men who work in the porn business are neither fools nor thugs. They love women and crave social acceptance to such a profound degree that they are willing to go to any lengths -- even subjugating themselves to the unknowable, undeniable demands of their own penises -- to, for one fleeting moment, feel that, in some way, they mattered to someone.
In a blog post about "One Year," Jablonski writes, indirectly, at least, about failure, or when you think you're failing at something, or how sometimes failure can look a lot like success. In a way, maybe love is always failing, but carrying on in spite of that fact, or because of that fact, or on account of you don't know any other way to be.