It seems like every time you turn on the TV, check your social media feeds or even just poke your head out into the world, someone is making an apology for something. Whether it’s something they said, something they did, or something they “liked” but are embarrassed by, so they’re blaming it on “hackers” or “rogue friends,” everywhere you turn these days, there’s some famous person issuing a mea culpa. Some are sincere, some are obligatory, some are related to things for which a simple apology isn’t going to cut it — and some seem entirely unnecessary, more a sad comment on the stat of the world than any kind of character flaw on the part of the poor soul offering the apology.
Calico recently came across an apology which fits into that last category, one expressed by an actor featured in one of the most successful movies in modern times. While it might have been unnecessary, the apology is remarkable for another reason altogether. Read all about it in Calico’s latest post, “An Unnecessary Apology — But A Poetic One”
– Calico Rudasill, Sssh.com Porn For Women
It seems like every time I turn around these days, someone is apologizing for something. Sometimes they’re apologizing for “inappropriate” messages on highway signs, other times they’re apologizing to Nicki Minaj and sometimes they’re apologizing for saying things which are so incredibly stupid and ill-considered, it’s hard to accept their apologies, once they’ve been offered.
When it comes to famous people, social media and mishaps involving porn, nudity, or some similarly salacious thing, their apologies often leave a lot to be desired – including, in many cases, any sense of accountability or responsibility on the part of the person who made the mistake and offered the subsequent apology.
In some rare cases though, when it seems to me an apology isn’t even necessary, the person offering the mea culpa manages to raise the bar, raising what could have been merely another act of contrived contrition into something of an art form.
It Must Be Said: Fuck The Haters
Right off the bat, I want to make it abundantly clear that in my mind, at least, Patrick Shumba owes nobody an apology for the fact he once appeared in a gay porn movie.
Granted, I’ve spent almost half my life working in the adult entertainment industry in one capacity or another, so I’m a bit harder to shock with this sort of thing than is the average netizen. Still, to me expecting someone to apologize for appearing in gay porn is like expecting Brad Pitt to apologize for the fact he used to be a shill for Pringles. As many actors have observed over the years, they need to eat, too, and sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to put food on your table – ideally food which is more nutritious and substantive than Pringles.
Cultural pressure is a thing, though, and it’s no secret that in many African countries, including Shumba’s native Zambia, homophobia isn’t just rampant, it’s backed up by the force of law, making those countries truly terrible places to be gay.
Which is not to say Shumba is even gay – after all, it’s no secret that “gay for pay” is a thing, too. Either way, the anger and vitriol surrounding Shumba’s gay porn past coming to light says a lot more (and a lot worse) about those who have lashed out at Shumba than they do about Shumba himself.
Still, If You’re Going To Apologize…
Regardless of whether I think it was necessary, Shumba’s apology was undeniably more compelling than most. Not just compelling, but positively (and literally) poetic.
“Emptiness. It’s what fills my lungs when I inhale,” Shumba wrote on Facebook. “My ribs constrict me, forcing my lungs to collapse. I’m still alive, but I’m dead on the inside. Pure darkness in my soul. 70 shades darker than dark black.”
Whoa. That’s some heavy shit, Pat!
“Silence,” his post continues. “It’s what’s fills the air when I call for help. Not a word of encouragement. Deafening negative vibes echoing through space, magnified by hate and conditional love. Words, sharper than a chef’s knife, piercing through my ear canal. I play deaf, but I’m listening. God hears and knows my path.”
Aw, man…. Right about now, I just want to give Shumba a big, long, Vibranium-powered hug.
“An apology,” Shumba concludes. “It’s the only thing I have left to offer. No fancy words, no excuses. Apology to the people hurt by my past mistakes. I can promise you, I am far removed from that man. New path, new choices, new directions, renewed faith.”
There you have it, Shumba-shamers – not just an apology, but a show of class and humanity which ought to make you feel truly awful, if you’re one of those whose “hate and conditional love” have inspired to Shumba to thus bare his soul.
If you have any humanity of your own, right now you ought to be considering making an apology back in his direction, as well.
Calico’s work has appeared under various pen names in adult industry trade journals and on several mainstream op-ed portals, including the Huffington Post.