THE NOTORIOUS LARRY FLYNT, the totally minted publisher of porn magazine Hustler, released a statement that sent much of America reeling…or laughing. Everyone nursing broken purse strings could do with some easy money and as of this week it seems the easy-sleaze giants are also in need of a fat cash injection.
Before you start thinking of large ‘taches, Stetsons and medallions, the two porn barons who asked for financial help are both shaved fellows: publisher Larry Flynt and CEO of movie corp Girls Gone Wild, Joe Francis. The timing of the request is interesting: deliberately coinciding with Obama’s calls for Congress to pass another US stimulus package for failing American businesses, which he announced to be worth $100 billion dollars more than that provided by the Bush administration in October.
Welcome to the year 2009: this is The People Vs Larry Flynt. Part 2.
Of course Flynt rarely speaks to the press himself and prefers to stay back, like a publisher usually does and spoke through his PR spokesmonkey Owen Moogan.
“People are too depressed to be sexually active.
This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such but they cannot do without sex.”
“With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind. It’s time for congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America. The only way they can do this is by supporting the adult industry and doing it quickly.“
The first reaction, presumably, would be a wry smile as they’re clearly attention seeking, making a political statement about the nature of who-gets-how-much from a bailout AND manages to point out, ironically, that having less money to buy stuff would actually mean more time for sex for a lot of people.
Joe Francis, through his respective monkey spoke to CNN in similar mood: “The US government should actively support the adult industry’s survival and growth, just as it feels the need to support any other industry cherished by the American people.”
The other reaction, predictably, was an open gob of disgust at how outrageous these exploitative ringmasters are; that the last industry that needs saving is the pornography industry (and what we really need is non-energy efficient lightbulbs). Well, that’s a fair comment to make if you’re a person of such morals that you believe too much wanking makes you blind. Back to the point, the sales of adult magazines from across the spectrum, including the upmarket Playboy, have suffered losses. But then, so has much of print media in the years leading to the recession with even superpublishers Conde Nast feeling some of the brunt. Titles have folded under the pressure of digitised formats. Yet in similar fashion, web traffic for porn sites continues to grow daily and remains one of the most searched terms on Google for years.
With the latter in mind, Flynt doesn’t need the money in the way that the taxpayer needs a break. So are government bailouts and borrowing the fetishistic words causing all those stumbling corporations to slaver and coo as a student would over ‘non-repayable loan.? ‘ Flynt argues that they are:
“The take here is that everyone and their mother want to be bailed out from the banks to the big three. The porn industry has been hurt by the downturn like everyone else and they are going to ask for the $5 billion. Is it the most serious thing in the world? Is it going to make the lives of Americans better if it happens? It is not for them to determine.”
Obviously, Larry Flynt isn’t suggesting that Americans are idiots like Green Day did, who don’t have the right to know where their tax dollars are spent and he is trying to suggest that financially sound pornography companies makes for a better quality of life…
Flynt’s sarcastic statement is even funnier, considering that Obama’s money can’t actually be spent yet, and however much is left of Bush’s cash probably ended up being spent by some exec amassing some seriously collectible works. Probably.
Nevertheless, Flynt is the man who, before asking for the $5 billion, filed a lawsuit suing his own nephews for using the Flynt name for starting an adult-entertainment film business.
Ever controversial ’till the day he dies and after, his detractors will label him a peddler of low-brow voyeurism and an abuser. His champions will venerate him a prgamatic believer in the freedom of speech.
One thing is for certain on either side: pornography will not be affected by the recession.