Kay Prime's Reviews > We Did Porn

We Did Porn by Zak Smith
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Jun 24, 2010

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bookshelves: non-fiction, nonfic-autobio-bio-memoir, nonfic-art-photog-drawings
Recommended for: those interested in reading a young author whose style mirrors HST or Tom Wolfe- oh and porn!
Read from January 27 to February 13, 2011

I'm not sure what I was expecting from a book by an artist/alt- porn star. I am pleased to say that it is at least three times better than Jenna Jameson's memoir How To Make Love Like A Porn Star. (A porn star who, when referring to genitals in her book, insists on regularly using the word 'ding dings'. Nauseating.)

His artwork shows that he is talented but I imagine no more so than any other punk rock kid who makes elaborate doodles during class instead of taking notes. (To be fair, I'm not artistically inclined and have never understood the guidelines for distinguishing good art from bad art. For example, Minimalism. Acclaimed artist Frank Stella painted a square on a canvas and said it was a portrait of a man. An innovative piece of work in the art world; a square painted on a canvas to me.)

His ramblings are a distinct cross between Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe, as advertised on the back cover. Like these cult greats, many of Smith's observations are a delicate balance of intelligent and trivial social commentary- but in relation to porn. For example, when he is recalling a Q & A session that included anti- porn activists:

'The cum-face-question woman seems to be indulging in the popular myth that male sexual requirements are relative. This is likewise transparently not so. If you're pretty, there will always be men who want to ejaculate on your face. It's not porn's fault any more than it's KISS's fault some people want to rock and roll all night and party every day.

The popularity of porn is not the cause of sexual dissatisfaction in men, it is an effect. Which is a much more frightening fact, if you think about it.'

I really had low expectations for this book but was delightfully surprised to discover more depth than I believed Smith to be capable.
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Reading Progress

01/29/2011 page 99
20.0% "I'm not really sure what I was expecting from a book by an artist/porn guy. His art is nice but nothing special. I'm sure any talented punk rock student has similar doodles. The delivery of his insights are reminiscent of Hunter S. Thompson but with a focus on porn, while his rambling reminds me of Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool Aid"
01/31/2011 page 165
34.0% "This book is heavy (weight-wise, not cereberally) because the quality of every single page is picture quality- but there aren't a lot of pictures. For some reason this bothers me. Smith is a funny little devil. His thoughts on a break-up: 'Betrayed or otherwise bruised, the boy often cried and/or kicked the girl out of the apartment. Personally, I feel it should be one or the other- both is appallingly bad form'"
02/01/2011 page 264
54.0% "The cum-face-question woman seems to be indulging in the popular myth that male sexual requirements are relative... If you're pretty, there will always be men who want to ejaculate on your face. It's not porn's fault any more than it's KISS's fault people want to rock and roll all night... porn is not the cause of sexual dissatisfaction in men, it is an effect. Which is a much more frightening fact..."
02/04/2011 page 331
68.0% "Smith, after relaxing in a hotel tub with a hotel pillow: 'Try getting a fluffy hotel pillow soaking wet. It's not easy to haul around something as heavy as a body.' And later on stress, depression, anger, etc: 'Your body has it's own revulsions and repulsions that it knows and you don't know- and it's own morality. It is not easy to haul around something as heavy as a body.' I'm a sucker for contemplations like this"
02/11/2011 page 429
88.0% "This book is at least 3 times better than Jenna Jameson's How to Make Love Like A Porn Star (a porn star that regularly refers to genitals as 'ding dings' throughout her book. Nauseating.) Smith's narration can be shallow and rambling at times, but he can be intriguing and insightful as well. His last line speaks to the unconventionalist in me: 'The morning air is good, and belongs to us as much as them.' 3 stars."

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Melissa (new)

Melissa You should have taken the self-awareness that you are not artistically inclined and don't understand art as a cue to *not* include your opinion on art in this review. You were correct---your opinion is unformed and did not belong in this review. I have not read the book but I can assure Smith's talent as an artist go beyond talented doodles.


message 2: by Kay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kay Prime Melissa wrote: "You should have taken the self-awareness that you are not artistically inclined and don't understand art as a cue to *not* include your opinion on art in this review. You were correct---your opinio..."

I understand your position.

Like you do with your opinion, I can include mine anywhere I so please. How much weight others care to give my opinion - with full disclaimer and acknowledgment of my weakness on the subject - is up to them.


Scott Yeah his art is very juvenile, not good and the sad part is his writing is worse.


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