Vice Owes Me An Apology…

by Calico Rudasill,

If you’ve read even a few of my previous posts, there are several things you know about me by now: I’m nigh-obsessed with science fiction, I love making fun of politics and politicians and I’m always on the lookout for interesting tidbits in the news about porn.

So, when I spotted a Vice headline announcing the outlet had talked to Neil Gaiman about “politics, porn, and Nazis,” I tapped the link so hard my finger threatened to crack my smartphone’s screen right down the middle.

When I read the interview, however, my dreams of reading it quickly became clear my hopes of being on the receiving end of sheer Gaiman-brilliance combining several of my favorite subjects were mercilessly and immediately dashed.

Read on…

Merely Saying The Word ‘Porn’ Isn’t Talking About Porn

The only good thing about Vice’s ‘discussion’ of porn with Gaiman is that it was so brief, I can reprint the entire exchange here without filling much of the page.

In discussing the upcoming TV-adaptation of his novel American Gods, Gaiman was asked “Were there scenes you thought wouldn’t make it into the show?” In response, he expressed amazement at the experience of watching the depiction of a love scene between two of the novel’s male characters.

“I never imagined, when I was writing it, I would see it on a screen of any kind,” Gaiman said. “And when I read the script for that episode, I said, ‘They say they’re going to do this, but obviously that’s not what they’re going to do.’ But then I’m watching it, and I appear to be watching the best gay porn I’ve ever watched. My sampling of gay porn is basically just this, but I’m watching it and I can’t believe they’re doing it. You feel like boundaries are being pushed, and that makes me very proud.”

And there you have it folks; the above is the totality of Vice and Gaiman’s discussion of porn.

I feel compelled to ask whether Vice really had no follow-up questions about gay porn for Gaimain, of if they did, but the responses just weren’t interesting enough to print.

Either way, it’s a disappointment, especially considering they had an opportunity to draw more porn-related feedback from a man who once observed our imagination is like a muscle, in that “if it is not exercised, it atrophies.”

Well, Vice, why not use your imagination and ask Neil if he’d ever considered writing gay porn, or if he knows of any deceased porn stars currently haunting the living, and if so, whether they might like to make a cameo appearance on “Ghost Hunters”?

No matter how you slice it, this isn’t a ‘talk’ about porn with Neil Gaiman; it’s just part of interview with Gaiman in which he happens to say the word porn.

I’d say I want my money back, except obviously it didn’t cost my anything to read the article, so I guess I’m stuck with my disappointment with no refund forthcoming.

On the other hand, they say “time is money,” so if Vice wants to cut me a check for mine, I’m open to negotiating a sum.

Seriously Though, You Should Still Read The Interview

Setting my immense disappointment aside (grudgingly), I must admit the interview is otherwise just as interesting as you’d expect from a thinker like Gaiman. Among other things, few people I’ve read or heard can take a complicated subject and hit the nail on the head quite as succinctly as Gaiman.

Take his observations about online culture and social media, for example, which sums up the good and bad of social networking with a single quick-but-brilliant comparison.

“One of the things that was great about the internet and social media, when it started, was that it allowed the dispossessed to find each other,” Gaiman observes, adding that when he was younger, it took him years to find like-minded sci-fi nerds to whom he could relate – a search which has been greatly eased by the development of social media.

As Gaiman notes, though, there’s also a down side to people being able to easily find like-minded souls on the internet.

“So it was this idea where there were people like me in every town and every school that had no voice or power and were suddenly becoming a mass power and could talk to each other and go, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re not alone,’ and that was wonderful,” Gaiman says. “What never occurred to me is that in every town you also have a Nazi who had been sitting there going, ‘I can’t talk to anyone about being a Nazi. I can’t talk to anyone about my belief that people should be killed and the races should be cleansed.’ They went online too, and they found each other, ‘Oh wow, actually, there are hundreds of thousands of us! And now we’re all together now too!’”

Ultimately, the headline for the interview was probably chosen for its clickbait qualities – and given my response to seeing it, I can’t very well argue it didn’t work.

Well played, Vice, well played.

Now, let’s talk about that time refund, shall we? (I’ll even prorate to account for the lack of disappointment on the politics part, just because I’m generous like that.)

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