We chat about Oriental women as he walks down Wilshire Blvd through Korea Town on a sunny Tuesday afternoon on his way to the Metro Line to visit the beautiful Valley to have dinner with a patron -- a gentle and Gentile pornographer.
Luke: "Are you coming to karaoke tonight?"
David: "God no. Why in heaven's name, considering all the ways I've humiliated myself already, would I want to add that to my resume?"
Luke: "For the fun of it?"
David: "Are you there? Typing as fast as I can speak?
"I'm getting a late start because I was stuck reading Susie Bright's angry rant about JT Leroy, the middle-aged San Francisco woman [author] fooled people into thinking she was a teenage hustler/HIV-ridden boy. She had her sister posing as that boy."
"All the chickens coming home to roost in our dishonest culture. How can people point fingers at George Bush when they are of a class that will make up any truth for their personal gain?
"I'm sure that's off the topic of what you wanted to ask."
Luke: "No. I'm just checking in. I haven't talked to you since AVN. I saw some of your posts on ADT."
David: "That's why people should keep me employed -- so I don't have as much time to post.
"Are you getting yellow fever?"
I laugh. "I like smart girls, be they Asian or White or Black."
David: "The Asian ones tend to be smarter?"
David: "It depends what generation they are. It comes out of culture. How much do they value education? The American Asian girl is no more thoughtful or educated."
Luke: "The longer they stay here, the more assimilated they get."
David: "The stupider they get."
Luke: "Asian immigrants to America tend to be special."
David: "It's a fascinating history. Nobody has done a Gangs of New York version of, say, the Chinese experience in America. If anything, it is more interesting. They've never been the bullies."
Luke: "They don't go all political like Jesse Jackson. They just do the hard work."
David: "I know that cartoons are beneath you, but the daily comic strip Boondocks was nominated for an NAACP award for an episode of what if Martin Luther King had only fallen into a coma and then awoke 30 years later."
Luke: "There's a new book out called "How Asian Parents Raise High-Achievers."
David: "You don't let your kids play videogames for ten hours a day."
Luke: "Asian girls don't bust your balls as much in public. They enjoy making you feel like a man. Caucasian girls enjoy emasculating you."
David: "That's cultural. It comes from a general culture of civility surrounding public transactions of all kinds. It makes you smarter to learn how to deal with situations without resorting to giving someone the finger or calling them names. That's why they call it civilization."
Luke: "Asian women from Asia enjoy being female and enjoy making a man feel manly."
David: "It's not about ego for them. It's about practicality. That goes to the Buddhism Vs. Christianity thing. These martyr religions are ego-centric and narcissistic. There's a martyr figure who represents us so each of us walks around feeling special and like a martyr as opposed to religions based on our outward actions rather than our relationship with [God]."
Luke: "You've mainly been with Asian women for?"
David: "About nine years."
Luke: "Why didn't you have this conversation about the death of porn creativity on XPT, where there's a much more erudite audience?"
David: "I love XPT. I like the lion cage at the zoo too but I'm not about to jump in there with hamburger smeared all over me."
Luke: "Are you alt-porn?"
David: "I was alt before there was alt, therefore I am not alt. If you look at everything I did from my first shows for John Bowen were the same stuff they're calling alt now -- tattooed people, piercings, S-M. I hate the term "alt" applied to anything. It's another example of the failure of imagination of this generation that they would name themselves after an internet discussion forum designation."
Luke: "Why do you think Eon McKai receives so much media?"
David: "Because he works so hard at it. I don't have a PR guy. I don't have an exclusive art guy. Most of us don't. People work very hard [to get that much attention]. You know, Luke, with Joanna Angel sucking up to you."
Luke: "I thought it was my genuine personality that so entranced her?"
David laughs: "Yeah."
Luke: "I thought it was my wit and wisdom and our common background in Orthodox Judaism."
David: "I'm sure she enjoys that, but do you think she'd have as much time for you if you weren't breathlessly reprinting every word she said for hundreds of thousands of people to read?"
David: "There's a great New York magazine online about JT Leroy. It's similar to alt-porn. It's a poseur, a faker, who knew what she liked and knew what other people liked. So she created this persona of a dangerous street kid. Then Winona Ryder and Courtney Love bought into it."
Luke: "Are Eon McKai and Joanna Angel poseurs?"
David: "Would I be the first person to say that? Heck no. Do I say that? Heck yes."
Luke: "Do you think their body of work justifies the amount of media exposure they've received?"
David: "You've nailed it on the head. Even though you are putting words in my mouth, I will accept those words. Their body of work in no way justifies the amount of attention they've been given."
Luke: "What is your favorite Eon McKai movie?"
David: "It would be the autobiographical one where he's found dead of erotic asphyxiation outside one of Santa Monica's gay bars."
Luke: "Oh, that one."
David: "The one that he's working on now.
"I love a paunchy guy in his 30s who looks more like me than his little cartoon representative of himself. He uses that little Emo boy who's supposed to be him."
Luke: "Do you think Eon genuinely spells that badly or is it part of his shtik?"
David: "It's shtik. He has a background with words. His misspelling and bad grammar are not consistent enough to point to actual deficiencies. It's more like he sits there and jumbles it up after he writes it.
"It's cool to be ignorant and illiterate now. MySpace has accomplished that.
"Considering that the guy is a schoolteacher when he's not doing this..."
Luke: "Would you have sex with Joanna Angel if she offered it?"
David: "Both sides of that equation do not compute."
Luke: "That's a yes."
Luke: "You would refuse a hummer?"
Luke: "On moral principle."
David: "Unless we had been properly blessed by the church of Alt, I think it would be morally wrong.
"You really need copy? 'It's a slow day. Let me call Clark. He always runs at the mouth when I call him.'
"Just try to make me look bright and not overly bitter. That's all I ask."
Luke: "Why don't you have your own website with your own Emo boys?"
David: "I do have my own website -- www.davidaaronclark.com. I stopped updating it."
Luke: "Video Team owns it."
David: "I don't update it because I don't make any money off it."
I email Christian Mann at Video Team to ask why he doesn't pay David to update his website. Christian won't comment to me. He'd probably run at the mouth if asked by some emo alt-porn journalist.
David: "I don't make enough money off of porn where I can do things for free. I don't take the easy road. I don't have time for the many projects I'd love to do that [don't pay]."
Luke: "Have you morally renounced creampies?"
David: "Anal. The other are ok under limited circumstances. Certainly if it is a couple."
Luke: "Can one man make a creampie inside a woman? Doesn't it take a bunch of men to contribute lots of cream?"
David: "You're becoming too deeply affected by this business. A cream pie is just..."
Luke: "An internal cumshot."
David: "Yes. Your fantasies are much richer than the reality, unless you're Devil's Films. They do the 50-man anal creampies with Ariana Jollee and the other charming examples of womanhood."
Luke: "Did you lose respect for her when she had sex with a tranny?"
David: "No. Trannies are fine with me. It's hilarious how upset people in this business get about trannies. You can be a drug-addicted double-anal whore but that person over there likes to wear a dress. He's sick."
Luke: "Do you respect trannies enough to want to have intimate relations?"
David: "There's a difference between respect and desire. I respect you deeply but I don't desire you."
Luke: "I don't want you sexually."
David: "I don't think there's going to be a Luke, Joanna, David sandwich unless it's some horrible nightmare one night, one of those things where you wake up three times and every time it is worse."
Luke: "Are you erotically attracted to trannies?"
David: "Not for the most part. I've met a couple who moved me. The first time I met Vanity, she moved me, but I wasn't with her [sexually]."
Luke: "Are you working on any new novels?"
David: "God no. I have an unpublished one. I'm reading all this about these fake memoirists and the one I have, the last one I wrote and never tried to get published, even though I call it fiction, it is the opposite. It is a 99% accurate memoir of my degenerate life of sex and drugs up through San Francisco, ending in 1998."
Luke: "Does it have a redemptive third act?"
David: "Depends what you would call redemption. Most would say and I guess that's why I'm not where JT Leroy and James Frey are. If only I could've concocted a redemptive third act."
Luke: "It's not too late. You can still be saved. You can still have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ."
David: "I've had personal relations with Jesus Christ. It was kinda fulfilling, but like any relationship, after a while, it gets old.
"It's a good thing I don't leave my apartment much because I'm not going to be able to get out of it once you put this on your computer."
Luke: "You sound hale and hearty."
David: "I'm more pale and hearty. I'm fine. I'm adapting to middle-age. I just turned 45.
"It was disturbing at first. You're going to get there soon."
Luke: "I turn 40 in four months."
David: "When I turned 45, it dawned on me that I'm an adult now. Not a good one, but..."
Luke: "What's your age demographic for women?"
David: "I don't have one."
Luke: "You're into Asian boys."
David: "In theory I'm attracted to women. I just don't happen to be at the moment.
"[David's age demographic] is from the mid twenties to, I'd love to meet one my age."
Luke: "Are there are a lot of 45-year old Asian women in porn?"
David: "No. Do I still rob the cradle? Yes, but not actively. They have to sucker me into it. I'm keenly aware that I'm only following in a grand tradition established by Humbert H. Humbert."
Luke: "You're with a lot of twelve-year-old girls?"
David: "I was speaking in a literary sense, not a literal sense."
Luke: "So you're with girls who literarily are twelve years old but in actuality are 21."
David: "Or older. I'm not quite charmed by the 18-21-year-olds like I used to be. You've heard all their stories before and they don't have many."
Luke: "Do you like them to call you daddy?"
David: "Only on screen."
Luke: "The best English-language you've seen in a few months?"
David: "The Lady From Shanghai (1947) by Orson Welles. There aren't any Asians in it. Don't be fooled by the title. It's not because I got off on it in some fetishistic manner.
"The most magnificent movie I've seen in any language in any year, perhaps, is 2046 (2004). It's about a cynical writer who turned his back on conventional life and is now paying the price for it by living in a hotel and churning out his crap and having aimless and empty encounters with the women who pass through the room next door."
Luke: "Have you seen Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)?"
David: "Thank you for hitting the reset button in my memory. I thought it was extraordinary and I didn't even want to see it.
David and I wonder about the wherabouts of Papillon. Last I knew she lived in the Philippines.
David: "Have I destroyed whatever career I have left for the purpose of the day's update?"
Luke: "Shredding people is what gives me meaning in life."
David: "Unlike most people, I do not blame you for what I say. I blame me."
Luke: "You don't drive?"
David: "I don't want to die a violent death. I want to die in my sleep or in a movie theater."
Luke: "At what age do you think you'll kick the bucket?"
David: "If I was superstitious, I wouldn't answer that, but I'd say somewhere in the next ten years."
Luke: "What would you like said at your memorial service?"
David: "I'd only care if my small amount of good friends were there. They should remember me however they want. I'd rather be remembered by friends on a personal level than on some level of accomplishment."
Luke: "Porn Editor Cut Up By Kinky Cutie."
David: "They can wear that t-shirt [from a New York Post headline about an incident in David's tortured love life] to my wake. I miss her. She was great."
Luke: "She sounded like an edgy girl."
David: "She was alt."
Luke: "How does a man relate to a woman he's dating who cuts herself?"
David: "It's become a trend, and therefore I find it repulsive. I used to cut myself. I cut myself on stage. It was the same urge, the same trying to deal with issues by acting out.
"I guess another name for Emos is wrist-cutters."
Luke: "What is emo?"
David: "It's short for emotional. It used to be called emo-core. People point to Minor Threat as the fundament emo-core band (led by Ian MacKaye)."
Luke: "What if she cuts herself and drinks the blood? What's the proper response?"
David: "I hope you're having sex with her."
Luke: "Sex is the proper response?"
David: "When they're feeling that down and out, sex is always the proper response.
"Reassure yourself that it is just a phase. If they are getting blood on your stuff, make sure they get tested."
Luke: "This is jolly."
David: "You took it this way."
Upon reading our interview in the early hours of Wednesday morning, Clark emailed me: "Damn, all that wit & it goes down quicker than Joanna Angel backstage @ a Rancid concert?"
Skronker comments: "Oh, go shove it up your Derrida."
Gia Jordan posts on ADT: "I'd like sex scenes to be less verbal. I like dirty talk but only if it's genuine. It seems like talent, especially the guys, feel compelled to fill up any empty space with banter. Sometimes just the sounds of sex is all you need."
Walter Burns writes: "I have seen 13 John B. Root videos. While most of them were a cut above average, none of them were unique, cinematographically or pornographically enthralling and more often than not they surely did not "make sense of their subject matter" and they certainly did not "portray real people"."
Vodka Tonic writes:
David Aaron Clark writes:
Smitty writes: "What sanctimonious garbage."
David Clark responds: "What an excellent refutation! I bow to your four-post genius!"
Quasarman writes: "You guys are talking about porn, right?"
David Clark writes:
Quasarman writes: "You guys are still talking about porn, right?"
Tony Comstock writes: "I'm saddened to see this thread become acrimonious."
David Aaron Clark writes:
David Aaron Clark calls me back. "You wanted to rub my face in it, didn't you?"
No. I did not even know that Eon had signed with Vivid. I was just calling David to say hi.
David: "History has always proven it is more profitable to call yourself the leader of a movement than to just do your thing."
Luke: "Is it the triumph of style over substance?"
David: "It's a triumph of marketing because his style isn't that impressive."
Luke: "You sounded pessimistic via email this week."
David: "Is this an intervention?"
David: "I don't know where distributors get the idea that alt-porn is the new thing. It must be Suicide Girls.
"Suicide Girls is just another male chauvinist capitalist in hipster clothing. That's why it's a success. He knows he's just marketing a veneer of hipness but giving them the same old thing. Joanna Angel's site burningangel. I'm sorry but the guy from Rutgers who tapped her to be the spokesmodel. He's the reason that site has some success.
"Eon McKai and Malachi Ecks believe in what they're doing. They're just young and dumb and unaware of the past. They're honest about what they're doing. I just think it sucks. These are kids who lucked into the keys to the candy store but I don't think they know how to run the register.
"The guys who've made money with this on the Web don't really believe in it. They're just smart businessmen."
Luke: "How was your week?"
David: "Valentine's Day was horrifying. No, I guess it wasn't horrifying. Horrifying would've been if I had had a terrible date or had to hire a prostitute. It was more a deep existential hole of black resignation. But a lot of old girlfriends got in touch."
Luke: "Did you have alt-girlfriends?"
David: "The girlfriends I had were alt before they came up with that stupid term. Mistress Shane and Jade Blue-Eclipse would put any of them to shame."
Luke: "I was on set with one of your movies starring Jade. She poured blood on herself."
David decries the internet as a "digital Tower of Babel."
Luke: "But if there's one chick you want to get to know, MySpace can provide you with more info about her and a way to contact her."
David: "Are you thinking with your groin?"
Luke: "Well... Or you can keep an eye on her and see who's writing flattering comments and trying to bang your chick."
David: "And if that wasn't there, how might you be improving your mind and soul? You haven't read all the great works. Or you could be out doing yoga or riding a bike or protesting the Bush administration at the Metro stop."
Luke: "I'd rather be having sex."
David: "Look at you. It's amusing to watch you reveal your humanity. You've managed not to for so many years."
Luke: "Love is leveller."
David: "It makes brave fools of us all."
Luke: "I'm more calm and centered this time around."
David: "The sixth time around, you are going to be..."
Luke: "Zen. The embodiment of Buddhist's enlightenment."
David: "You could do it in a seriel manner and go for six more Holly-types."
Luke: "We communicate well. Words have not flowed this easily for me in as long as I can remember."
David: "Good Lord. How old are you? Obviously she has a sense of humor."
Luke: "And an amazingly thick skin."
David: "I feel a sense of nostalgia when I read your exploits."
Luke: "You went out with Holly too? She didn't tell me about this."
David: "No. See. Those antennae are always up.
"I remember San Francisco and New York when I'd provide play-by-play of my contretemps. The course of them would always be affected by their awareness that they were on stage. Some laughed more easily than others. I would commit things to the public consciousness that most people would not disturb. [Women] would not always realize what they had signed on for. They'd be alternately flattered and angry. Only flattered at first. It's a tightrope line for you too, seeking to be honest and yet you know that what you're expressing is going to be committed and you will have to look back on it in a couple of years."
Luke: "A lot of chicks I was going to date got freaked out by what I wrote about Holly and didn't feel safe dating me."
David: "That's how you weed 'em out.
"You're growing into your skin. You've overcome that emo Brad Pitt image you battled. There's a certainly ruffled manliness about you. There's no macho element. There's a whole female population that doesn't care about that. Not in porn, unless you have the spiritual equivalent of machisimo -- capital. If you ever get yourself a teaching gig, you'll be swimming in it. You'll never get tenure because you'll have too many reprimands on your file."
Luke: "I'm going to become an assistant professor for blogging at USC."
David Aaron Clark Update
I call him during the evening of May 9.
David: "I see how slow it's been on your site. XPT blames it on Holly. Do you think that's true?"
Luke: "It's hard to skate by on just cutting and pasting. I try to do something noble. I don't just interview porn stars. I interview authors who write books such as Hitler Laughing: Humor in the Third Reich."
David: "There's nothing noble about interviewing ego-maniacal authors. I'm a sucker for good Hitler humor but that's just not funny. Yeah, it is a good title."
Luke: "Are you getting laid?"
David: "On occasion. My sex drive is not what it used to be. You're still in those young lion years. Are you really on that many anti-depressants?"
Luke: "Yeah. Is that so wrong?"
David: "It all depends on what's right for you."
Luke: "Don't I seem more sane to you over the past four years?"
David: "I hate to credit pills with anything."
Luke: "You're like Holly - a pot head."
David: "I do my share of hippie valium."
Luke: "Do you wake and bake?"
David: "Some weeks. If there are some discretionary funds in the budget..."
Luke: "You write it into your production budget?"
David: "No, my personal budget. I'm more likely to seek out some weed as opposed to having a drink."
Luke: "Have you found the right woman?"
David: "God no."
Luke: "Are you ready to settle down and commit yourself to an exclusive monogamous relationship sanctified by God and state?"
David: "Am I ready to? Yes. If she would just show up. With all the damn tightening at the boarders, who knows if she'll show up."
Luke: "Are you putting yourself in the right spiritual place so such a woman can enter your life?"
David: "Of course not. I dream about that every morning. I'm not kidding. Every morning I say, 'Why am I so lonely? Why can't I find the right woman?' Then I'm like, 'That's right. I'm in porn.' Then I have my coffee and I go on my way.
"It doesn't occur to me again until I'm back home late at night and I wonder, 'Why don't I have a worthwhile woman in my life?'"
Luke: "Are you on MySpace?"
David: "No. I don't think creepy middle-aged guys have a place on MySpace."
Luke: "You're worried about the youth of America."
David: "I'm constantly worried about everything.
"I'm probably babbling a lot of things that Christian's going to email me about at 9:06 a.m. tomorrow.
"I forget who I am talking to."
David has a memoir (the story of his life told through the prism of women he shacked up with) he hasn't bothered to try to publish. It's working title used to be "S--- Magnet" but then Jim Goad used that for his memoir.
David: "I have Asian Noir 5 coming up. It's the highest budget I've ever had."
Luke: "Don't spend it all on pot."
David: "I'm not. We're shooting it on three different locations all in the city, not the valley.
"Christian has come through for me."
Luke: "Should I email Christian and plead for a set invite?"
David: "You should."
Luke: "How was your lunch with Drew Rosenfeld [LFP's head of production]?"
David laughs. "I do not exist to Drew Rosenfeld. As soon as whatever decision was made to cut me loose from LFP, I could never even get him on the phone to tell me I was fired. I could not even get him to return a call or an email. Very unprofessional and cowardly. But best of luck to him. I see they continue to lose all their best directors."
Luke: "Like Eon McKai."
David: "Zupko is gone. I hear Mr. Pete is gone. I don't know who the problem is with -- the directors or the company? Who am I to say?"
Luke: "Throwing it open for the universe to respond.
"Porn can break your heart. You give and you give and what do you get? You don't even get your phone calls returned."
At one point, porn journalist and critic David Aaron Clark was the most feared man in this industry.
David: "You get gonorrhea.
"I nearly had an issue with my big production when one of my actresses was put to work with somebody famous for handing out cases of the clap. I was holding my breath and sure enough, he gave it to her. She tested early so she was able to go on medication."
Though David won't name this gentleman, I will -- T.T. Boy.
What Has David Aaron Clark Been Reading?
I call him during the evening of May 9.
David: "Comic books."
I make a disgusted sound.
David: "I've been on this nostalgia binge. I can't help it. I've been reading collections of old Marvel comics and remembering what it was like to be seven and think I was happy.
"I'm like one of the old Twilight Zone characters, middle-aged guys who realize that their life has led to nothing. They wish for the old days. I'm not yet Art Carney playing the drunken Santa Claus [1984's The Night They Saved Christmas]."
David later emails me:
David muses about the Twilight Zone episode "A Stop at Willoughby."
David: "That was good right there. I hope you recorded that. Every time I pass Willoughby, I think of that episode."
Luke: "David Stanley [Wicked director] just blogged, 'I'm a horrible person. Tell me I'm wrong.'"
David: "I was enjoying David Stanley's blog. I thought, 'Wow, this guy is far worse off emotionally than I am. This is great.'
"I wasn't surprised. I remember when I edited my shows at Vivid in 2000 and they were referring to him as the most artistic of their directors.
"We said, 'OK, he's probably very depressed.'
"Him and Ashley Blue seemed like an odd couple. I've seen her out a couple of times. She never says anything. She just stares over. I don't know if she realizes who I am. She's probably thinking the same thing I am: 'Should I go say hello to that person? Nah.'"
Luke: "I'm gonna run."
David: "OK. Don't misquote me on that marijuana thing. You can say I'm a stoner. That's fine. But please, no, you know how they get. 'Oh yeah, did you see how he said on Lukeisback that he spends all his budget money on drugs.' So please, please, I beg of you."
David Clark, Frederick Cartmon Asia's thrilled to star in this movie Asia barely controls her excitement Asia Asia David, Asia David, Asia Frederick, David, Asia David, Asia Asia David, Asia David, Asia David, Asia David, Asia Black talent Nathan Threat (left), John E. Depth (right) Salidine, Asia Salidine, Asia Asia I try to recreate one of Holly's artsy shots but somehow fail? Holly's Zdenka shot Asia, Frederick Asia, Frederick David, Asia Asia Asia Asia Asia Asia Asia Asia Asia Asia Tia Tanaka Tia Tanaka Tia Tia Tia Tia
David Clark, please feel to use any of my photos on your boxcover. Holly's taught me her tricks.
10:20 a.m. Friday. I arrive.
David Clark says, "Go inside. I'll talk to you later. I've got to capture a shot."
I walk through the lobby into the theater.
Asia, the star of the day, is bored and contemptuous.
Orthodox Jews walk past. Many look in the window of the Beverly Blvd theater. Nothing nasty's going on in public view.
The first shot I see is Asia walking into the theater and this old black man (Frederick Cartmon) serving her popcorn.
Frederick: "I'm going to put down on my business card - pianist, singer, composer, actor."
"Can I say, 'Popcorn, dear'?" asks the old black man.
"Yes," says David. "Make it yours."
Clark wants more from Asia. "Every time you come do this, be more smiley and friendly. I don't care if you call him 'old man.' What would you do in real life if this was a guy you were seeing three times a week? You'd call him 'sweetie' or something.
"Live the role. I'm looking for method."
David improvises his movies, rejecting the restrictions of conventional filmmaking that so shackled Mission: Impossible 3.
Asia grew up in Philadelphia and she speaks with that North Philly accent.
There's a police siren.
Asia: "They're coming to get me. I'm not a citizen. I'm shooting a porno."
Asia keeps walking into the wrong seat in the theater, wrecking the continuity of David Clark's movie-within-a-movie.
Time is money. David's on a clock that ticks at about $10 a minute. He's employing about 30 people on this shoot. It's his highest budget ever.
Asia's easily distracted. She misses her marks. She doesn't move on "Action!" She doesn't pay attention. She tries to get away with putting in as little effort as possible.
David pleads with her: "Give me some personality to go with that ass.
"Really feel it."
The actors muff their lines.
David: "It does not matter. Tape is cheap. One more time."
He looks at Asia. "Give me more life. In your real life, you'd say, 'Thank you sexy.'"
Asia stumbles around on her high heels.
"This'll be the shot that makes the movie," says David.
He turns to me, "God, people hate you."
He turns to the old black man. "I want to get a close-up of you blowing her a kiss."
In porn for almost three years, Asia was featured on VH1's Video Vixens documentary. She's a major groupie of various rappers and some of them might pay her. She proclaims that she won't name names.
Black male talent Nathan Threat says to her: "You know enough names to write a book."
Asia giggles. "Yeah."
Luke: "Is it true that every girl wants to f--- a star?"
My question is prompted by a line in Tom Wolfe's superb book, "I Am Charlotte Simmons."
Asia: "No. I don't know. Is it? I'm a star myself so I don't know. Every guy wants to f--- a star. I'm a star myself."
There's not a trace of irony in her expression.
At 18, she got a tattoo of a babe on her leg that reads "Asia."
She pulls out a small version of a cigar (what do you call them?), unrolls it, dumps the tobacco in the trash, and then fills it with marijuana.
Brian, a still photographer, introduces himself to Asia and asks her if she's having a good day so far.
"No," she replies.
Inside the theater, David address the actors Asia, Nathan Threat and John E. Jump:
"The framing is going to be her coming into this theater looking for tricks of which you are one. While she's watching the movie, she's going to do you two guys. Not at once.
"This is probably past your era (David is 45), but back when porn theaters were popular, girls would come in and sit down. Guys who knew what was up would amble up and sit next to her and see if they were good to go. I've got to get a lot of soft footage too, her feeling you up through your pants. How would you get away with in a real theater, even in a porno theater where they kinda keep a blind eye... Instead of going into full porno mode, go into real life mode. You don't have to swing from the rafter to make it intense. You don't have to pull aside her underwear for a good ten minutes. Keep the best parts hidden for quite a while."
Male talent: "Should we keep a conversation going?"
David: "I like to improvise, so if you guys could get into the moment for me. Just imagine that you smoked a joint on the way over here."
David: "It's Friday afternoon. I think I'll go to a porno theater. I wonder if one of those nasty girls will come. I'll smoke a joint first to get loose.
"I shoot hard and soft at the same time. I move the camera around to make the soft. I'm more interested in the soft but I definitely need some sex and a couple of pop shots.
"Then she walks up to her and kisses her and tells her, 'Movies are your best entertainment.' That's a stupid advertising tagline from the 1950s.
"I shoot in a freeform way. I have a story in my mind. I have some shots I want but I'm not one of those Nazis with a check-list.
"What works for you guys. You guys aren't robots and I'm not going to treat you like that.
"I can't believe I have a monitor, a video tech, a gaffer. I feel like I've died and gone to movie heaven."
David tells the tech: "I'm here to learn from you guys as well."
Luke: "Is this movie recreating many of your experiences in this theater [at 7165 Beverly Blvd]?"
David takes many of his dates here (such lucky girls they are). "As a compleat pornographer, there has to be an innate urge to take whatever is precious and pure and meaningful in your life and find some way to defile it in front of the camera."
Clark proclaims Brokeback Mountain a great film to take chicks to but he has yet to see the film. "I wish Ang Lee would make more films with Chinese people in them. I don't like gay cowboys. They don't resonate for me."
Luke: "If they were female lesbian Oriental cowgirls?"
David chuckles. "Who told you about my next movie?"
Luke: "You've employed many people today who would otherwise be out on the street committing crimes."
David: "Are you making a racist statement? Can't your people and my people live together in peace?"
12:10 p.m. I hit the snack bar and get latched on to by Frederick who tells me how great he is and how many wonderful talents he has. He unloads joke after joke on me while I hurriedly swallow a granola bar and brownie.
After each joke, he says, "Isn't that a good one?"
I say yes.
To get away, I throw open the door of the theater and blunder into a shot. David yells at me and then announces to the room, "This is why I don't let the press on my set."
I yell at David during a break: "You're like Stanley Kubrick. You wield your own camera. The parallels are frightening."
People stare at me and then look at David. He warns everyone: "This is Luke from Lukeisback. Be careful what you say. He's a living tape recorder. Anything you say may end up on his blog."
Later, he adds: "Journalists are an important part of the democratic process."
"Did you say demonic process?" he's asked.
I introduce myself to a tall black guy, Brian, who's a still photographer. "How long have you been in porn?" I ask.
"I'm not in porn," he replies. "I'm just shooting behind the scenes. I'm a mainstream photographer."
"How long have you been shooting behind the scenes on porn sets?"
"I've been a photographer most of my life."
"Is this your first porn set?"
"No. I saw my first porn movie when I was 15."
I give up.
After a take, David tells the theater: "Outstanding acting, all of you. Give yourselves a hand."
Asia munches through her popcorn and it has to be continually refreshed or it will wreck the continuity. I hate to think what's going to happen when she does her gagging scenes.
She chokes and sputters. A man jumps up and brings her her soda.
"It's just like Hollywood," someone says.
"I normally do have an assistant," says Asia. "I am a star."
Several times during the day she says with complete sincerity, "I am a star."
Her belief in her star factor shines through all her yawns, whims, chokes, coughs, sputters and lack of enthusiasm for her work.
David instructs Asia to take off her jacket "in a slow, natural and casual way."
He has to shoot about ten takes because Asia has a hard time removing her jacket without getting tied up.
She protests the many takes.
"Art is pain," says David.
When you see the final product, you will understand that it was worth it. Great art does not always come on the first nine takes.
Her popcorn's refilled.
An assistant says she needs a spit bag. She looks blank. "You probably don't know what that is," says the former child actor in TV commercials.
"She never spits it out," says David.
David tells a muscular bald black guy: "Your head gleams nicely."
The man smiles.
David, in case the guy doesn't know what "gleams" means, says: "Your head captures the light very nicely."
David interviews Asia and Frederick for the BTS (Behind the Scenes footage).
Frederick grins. Asia looks bored and contemptuous.
David: "I seem to have made a love connection here."
Frederick grins more broadly. Asia laughs.
David: "I had you guys doing a little dialogue earlier. He has stars in his eyes."
David: "Could each of you give me just a little bit of your background. Ladies first."
Asia has nothing to say.
David, speaking from his journalistic roots, says: "You can make it all up."
Asia: "What do you mean by 'background'?"
David: "Where you're from. How long have you been acting? How old you are. Your ethnic background. We want to know almost everything the FBI would want to know.
"Give us the official version."
Asia acts like she's too much of a star to talk about herself. We should already know her story of relentless triumph. "I've been in the movie business for almost three years."
Her ancestry is Laotian and Thai. "I'm a mutt.
"I'm hip to the world."
David: "What's better? East Coast or West Coast?"
Asia: "East Coast. West Coast is better for the money. East Coast is better to live."
Fred: "I'm proud of myself."
He goes on and on about his accomplishments and talents. "I've been doing film and TV work since 1971. I've got a fantastic theatrical agent. I'm going to Los Angeles City College and studying music."
He says he has lots of women. "I'm the happiest guy in the world. No drugs or alcohol."
David: "We're going to sending you two on a vacation toBermuda together courtesy of the show."
David turns off the camera.
Fred: "Did I do a good job?"
David: "You did great."
Fred collars me. "I do it all. I'm going to make it big. I'm going to Europe too."
David interviews Nathan Threat, who's been in porn for a year.
Nathan: "I've always been a horny and combustible individual."
David: "What would you do if sex got old?"
Nathan: "I'd blow my brains out.
"Life after porn? I'm a screenwriter. I've written a couple of scripts. I'm working on a book or two. I'm going to write a book about my experiences in this business too. I've got stories.
"I've worked with Asia many times. She was my first scene -- a gangbang. The first six or eight months in the business, every time I worked with an Asian girl, it was always Asia. I've worked with her probably ten times."
David: "It must be fate.
"Any words of worldly wisdom for the audience?"
Nathan: "Just find something that you love and do it. If you can get paid for doing it, that's better."
Nathan says he's from Victorville.
Luke: "Are there a lot of black people in Victorville?"
Nathan: "Growing numbers. People come from the 'hood to get away from gangs."
Luke: "Are you starting your own gangs?"
Nathan: "They try. Nobody is ripping up Victorville. VV (Victorville Valley) doesn't hold the same weight as Long Beach Crips."
I try to throw down rap signals or gang symbols with my right hand.
David: "He's so embarrassing."
David looks at me. "Go ahead. Ask him a question."
Luke: "How do your parents feel about your career in porn?"
David: "Oh God."
David: "He asks everybody this."
Nathan: "At first, my mother's exact words were, 'Shocked, appalled, and disgusted.' Then I dropped five grand on her lap and she shut the hell up and opened up a bank account for me. She's managing my money. She keeps telling me, 'Keep sending the checks home. Do I need to do this for you?'"
Luke: "And your dad?"
Nathan: "He's begging me for a lick-on role. A guest role where he comes in and licks the girl and leaves.
"I was eight when they divorced.
"It didn't affect me that much. He doesn't like the term 'alcoholic.' He prefers the term 'drunk.' He's a funny drunk."
Luke: "How does he financially survive?"
Nathan: "I take after him in that light. He somehow manages find how to get a lot of money for little work. Now he's on disability. He's a master at that."
Luke: "Does he live off women too?"
Nathan: "Yes. I think I get my lustful ways from him.
"I do gravitate to older women. They have more sense. I can actually talk to them. I'm a very intelligent individual and most people don't understand what I'm talking about. Older women, they know who they are and what they want and there's no bulls---.
"I'm seeing this girl [for the past week], she's 20 years older than me [and behind the scenes in porn]. I'm 25. She has a 26yo daughter.
"People in this industry will understand what I do and won't have a problem with what I do and they'll have the sex drive and depravity that I'm used to in my life.
"Most women in this business, it's sad to say, are emotionally unstable and mentally unbalanced and their intelligence is on the low side.
"Women outside the business are more stable but they wouldn't understand what I'm doing. It's a Catch 22."
Nathan's appeared in about 100 scenes. He says he works five times a week.
Luke: "Do you prefer to get with a white girl, a black girl, a latino girl, an oriental girl?"
Nathan: "All of them have their advantages. I love latin women. In their scenes, latin women have this vibrant lust. They have a spice. They go for it.
"White women are uninhibited. They don't complain. They can get hammered and slapped around and tossed around and they just need to take a minute and they're fine. They're honest. Black women are beautiful but they tend to be more temperamental. You can't do as much to them and they complain a lot and then they wonder why they're not making as much money."
Luke: "What about relationships?"
Nathan: "It's the same. What a woman does sexually, that says a lot about who she is."
Luke: "If she's a slut, what does that say?"
Nathan: "It means she's adventurous. She'd be more willing to follow me on some of the more crazy ideas I have."
Luke: "What about a woman wh's very restrictive? Won't have oral or anal sex?"
Nathan: "I wouldn't mess with her. I don't like restrictions. I don't like borders or boundaries. That's imprisonment.
"For black folks, there's a long list of things we just don't do. We won't go bungee jumping. White people don't have that core cultural..."
Luke: "List of things they won't do."
Nathan: "They don't have that."
Luke: "They don't have a culture."
Nathan: "Pretty much. They're more free to do what they want. White women do more. They're more likely to have more fun."
Luke: "What would happen if you started listening to Barry Manilow, Air Supply, the Bee Gees, mellow white groups. How would your black friends react?"
Nathan: "They'd be like, 'What the hell are you listening to? Turn that s--- off.' I get a lot of flack for listening to [heavy metal] and banging my head like a mad men."
John E. Depth has been in the industry since 2000. He started on the East Coast.
Hardcore hearkens. I flee the set at 12:45 p.m. I was only here to see the acting.
Though Asia's a porn star she's adopted a mannerism from much of the young female population -- she wears a skirt that barely covers her crotch and then she spends all day pulling it down.
Video Team's Christian Mann writes: "Your photo skills are… improving. I do see why hate-gossip does better than fluff pieces. I almost fell asleep reading the minutes of the shoot, and it’s my movie."
James DiGiorgio writes: "Sewage flows downhill in the XXXbiz. DAC can't get Drew Rosenfeld to return his phone calls and I can't get DAC to call me. I find myself almost wishing Lance (the Hungarian/Amish Guy) would call me so I can have the pleasure of NOT returning his call."
David Aaron Clark Interview
I call him Monday afternoon.
David: "Your little spider web. 'I'm so poor. I dedicate my soul to this great effort. It is so lonely.'"
Luke: "That's it! I just want to be understood."
David: "You're as shameless as Khan Tusion and as great a predator. He likes 'em post-adolescent and broken and you like 'em..."
Luke: "I just need a little affection."
David: "We all need it, my friend. I see myself getting joked on your page. Everyone gets it from somewhere."
Luke: "Do you think you get more privates than any other director?"
David: "No. Jeff [Steward] and Tony [Malice] are just pissed at me. Considering that I will only [have relations with] an Asian girl...
"I don't know how I can be one of the poorest directors in porn and one of the biggest whoremongers."
Luke: "I live a life humbly devoted to the truth and I can't help but attract fellow truth-seekers along the way."
David: "You're the center of the universe. What do you give back? What did you give back to that lady aside from a few moments of fleeting pleasure?"
Luke: "I gave to her from my soul."
David: "That's what Jenna Haze says on her MySpace page.
"How does it feel to be one with LA now? You are no longer the outsider who cares not for the game."
Luke: "Are you casting for your next big feature?"
David: "I never do that. I'm not saying I've never hired a hooker.
"You were the only press that came to my shoot."
David: "What a good sport I am that I don't even want to find you and beat you to a pulp for that. Here, let me take a picture of the fat man slouching as he sits down so he'll look his best from the side. I knew when you were taking the pictures that day that it was going to be horrifying.
"It just ran right off my shoulders. I was prepared. I'll have to send you the link to the pictures the other photographer took that day. I look good in those pictures."
Luke: "How do you feel about Jeff Steward and JM Productions getting popped for obscenity?"
David: "It couldn't happen to a nicer guy. It's like Rob Black all over again -- a guy who said 'F--- you' to the industry. We'll make our money how we want. We're not responsible to anybody.' Now they're going to be looking to the industry to back them up.
"I wonder if Jeff Steward will get [Free Speech Coalition's] 'Freedom Isn't Free' Award.
"Being a big pornographer, I hate the heat. I can see already that it is going to be a hot summer. I'm going to try to lay back and make my porn."
Luke: "How do you feel about your body?"
David: "It's a wreck. I guess if I was one of those rich successful directors that people talk about, I'd be spending on hookers and stomach-stapling."
Luke: "Do you want to follow in Nic Andrews footsteps?"
David: "No. Those are big footsteps to follow in."
Clark says he got over his vampire fetish once he drank blood.
David used to cut himself on stage and had an affair with a crazy young woman who sliced him up and landed both of them in the New York Post.
David: "Not for ten years. That was a lifetime ago. I swear."
David: "You can be silent but I'm not going to say anything more incriminating."
Luke: "You were dealing with pain in your own way."
David: "I guess it's all internalized now.
"Do you know why I am bored with life? Because it just repeats itself."
Luke: "Circular is secular. You're stuck in a [pagan] circle. Judaism says life is linear, that history must go forward to the ultimate redemption. There's a reason for living. There is a Judge and there is Judgment. Therefore, there is meaning to our lives."
David: "Now we go to the part where all religions go whacko -- that there is a reward beyond existing. Now you sound like you're standing in one of your ill-fitting suits at my door clutching a Bible and asking me if I've heard the good news.
"What's wrong with having three wives?"
Luke: "It doesn't work."
David: "Have you ever tried?"
Luke: "I don't have to fall into a ditch to see that there's a ditch. Wisdom is learning from others so you don't repeat their mistakes."
David: "Nothing beats experience."
Luke: "The wise man doesn't have to experience things."
David: "How then does he become wise? What is the path to wisdom?"
Luke: "Learning from others without needing to repeat their mistakes."
David: "How do you know which actions are mistakes?"
Luke: "That's why you need to refer to a transcendent moral code aka the Bible."
David: "We need a moral code, but who writes that moral code?"
Luke: "Unless God does, it doesn't matter. It's just an opinion."
David: "I have yet to run into anybody who God spoke to more clearly than anybody else. How do we get the pure word of God?"
Luke: "You can judge by its results. Three thousand years ago, a tiny people entered history claiming that God had spoken to them and ever since then, they've influenced the world for good more than any other people. Jews gave to the world a transcendent moral code, the idea that history has meaning, that our lives have purpose, and that we should move forward to a better world. The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels."
David: "The Chinese gave us fireworks."
What's really sad, David, is not just how far you are from God, but that you don't even feel any pain over it.
Luke: "You laugh. You mock. But there is a Judge and there will be Judgment. Confronting the futility of your existence must make you uncomfortable."
David: "It makes me nostalgic for when I was a kid and the Jesus freaks would try to get me to come to their creepy Saturday meetings."
Luke: "It doesn't bother you that there is no objective meaning to your life unless you subscribe to a transcendent source?"
David: "No. I've come to terms with the existential black hole of my existence. Does that trouble you?"
Luke: "Yes. I think you could do so much more with your life than making pornography. It makes me sad that you waste your talents."
David: "Does it keep you up at night?"
Luke: "No. I can't do anything about your choices."
Each day David has the chance to choose God and each day he chooses instead foolishness.
David: "What could I be doing that would really make any difference? I'm not going to join the Peace Corps."
Luke: "You could plumb the depths of Torah and how I influenced you to turn your life around, from dwelling in the gutter to leading an honorable existence."
David: "Then I'd have to keep up my blog every day too. That is part of the religious responsibility?"
Luke: "Yes. To be a blog unto the nations, a light on the hill that will not be quenched."
David: "Blogging is the actualization of mankind into a wonderful new mentality where everybody's bowel movements and fights with neighbors are shared with us all. I can see the oneness in that. If you are going to go for oneness, you are going to go for the lowest common denominator.
"I'm too old and smart for satanism and I don't think anyone is dragging me into a regular church.
"Satanists really bug me because they're dumb. They tend to have high IQs but they feel that the organized religion they've known is a ripoff. They're ready to buy into another system that is just as idiotic but doesn't have any redeeming codes to live by. Satanism should be the state religion of LA."
Luke: "Why are so many porn chicks into satanism?"
David: "It speaks to inveterate rebels at a certain point of development. When they are black sheep, they look for something that says it is OK to be black sheep when you are better than everyone else."
Luke: "Doesn't it bother you that there's no ultimate meaning to your life?"
David: "Do you want me to break down and start crying? How would you transcribe that? 'David broke into animal sobs of existential despair.' Go ahead and say that."
Luke: "That's when I pick you up and show you a better path."
David: "You don't want to save me just like that. Where's the Alexa points in that?"
Luke: "I'm not in this for Alexa points. The only reason I write on the porn industry is that God told me to do so. I'm here to save souls."
David: "Do you know how much that would terrify me if you meant that? From then on, I'd alway want to make sure I knew where you hands were if ever I were in your presence."
Luke: "Do you have love in your life? If you're happy and you know it, then your life will surely show it."
David: "I have love for you of a higher sort. It's something we don't need to touch to consummate.
"Would you have a threesome with two chicks?"
Luke: "It would depend on the who the chicks were."
David: "How does that work with an infallible transcendent moral code?"
Luke: "It would be a violation of it."
David: "But you admit that given the correct circumstances, you would violate your moral code."
Luke: "I wouldn't sacrifice a good relationship to have that fling..."
David: "What kind of moral code is that when you can violate it?"
Luke: "The code does not change. It's my personal weakness."
David's burned that I didn't invite him to my 40th birthday party at Holly's.
David: "We could've said, 'Excuse me! We have a special event right now.' And we could've stepped behind a podium and discussed these things. They would've loved it.
"But no. Shallow L.A. Luke didn't want big fat smelly intellectual porn directors at his birthday parties. He wanted hot Penthouse chicks and photographers. I see how you are."
Luke: "Other people were hosting. It wasn't up to me."
David: "My life is filled with disappointment. This is just another one. This almost ranks up there with finding out that John T. Bone is not Santa Claus."
Luke: "It's a good sign when you throw a party and people get mad at you for not being invited.
David: "Good ol' Christian [Mann]. I wanted to kill him for complaining that you weren't nasty enough to his movie."
Luke: "He accused me of selling out."
David: "Rather than enjoying his favored status... That's why we like him. He's like us. He's not satisfied with things going his way. It all has to be morally correct too. Rather than just accept a freebie, he had to say something like that.
"Do you know what troubles me about my life? That I can't write anymore."
Luke: "Because you realize your life is ultimately meaningless and there's no point to your writing?"
David: "Being championed after my passing doesn't appeal to me."
Luke: "You want the championing now?"
David: "Yeah. Don't give me some reply couched in Judaism."
Luke: "It's natural to want a good name. It's what God promised to Abraham. I will make you reknowned. In you will all the families of the earth be blessed. I will make your descendents as numerous as the stars."
David: "Ahh, you get to want to be famous if you're a Jew?"
Luke: "It's a natural human instinct to want everyone to know the good things you do and not want people to know the bad things you do."
David: "It's acceptable."
Luke: "It's OK, David."
David: "In Christianity..."
Luke: "Christianity is more self-abnegating."
David: "We are talking about a basic need of human nature. Christianity takes human impulses that we're all prey to and it holds them up as huge sins. Therefore you are going to need them your entire life to keep on the straight and narrow.
"I can't write anymore. I can't write a short story."
Luke: "According to an article in the New Yorker three years ago, writers block is an American affliction. It's like being 'stressed.' Only Americans say that."
David: "The internet is responsible for my writers block because writing seems pointless now."
Luke: "Because anyone can do it?"
David: "Anyone can shove it in everyone's face. It used to be that you had to have skill or something of interest... No offence, but all these online publishers. Anyone can have a book on Amazon.com.
"My life is meaningless because of self-publishers and bloggers. Blogging is the path to despair."
Luke: "Everything is a path of despair for you."
David: "No. Sweet joys of life - foreign movies, a walk in the park on Sunday morning, dimpsung with a 19yo virgin."
Luke: "When did you last have a virgin?"
David: "I don't think I've ever had a virgin. Have you?"
Luke: "I believe so. It wasn't very good."
David: "Do you still do Holly?"
Luke: "No. Not for three months."
David: "Do you try?"
Luke: "No. Not really. About two months ago in her bathroom, I put my arms around her and she told me to step back because she has to put hairspray on. She's promised her therapist she'll be celibate for six months."
David: "Doesn't that imply something?"
Luke: "That it's hard for her to be celibate. She's a ho."
Luke: "It's a vernacular term the young people use for a hooker."
David: "She's not a ho."
Luke: "She's a slut."
David: "That's more accurate. You'd think a slut is better than ho but they don't want to be called sluts. That sounds nasty to them. Now you have chicks, who, five years ago if you'd called them a whore they would've been offended, now go to clubs and say, 'I'm a ho.'"
Luke: "Holly does not look at it as if she's been sexually exploited [or demeaned]. She looks at it as empowering that she can seduce so many men."
David: "I've been hearing that one for 25 years."
Luke: "How many women have you empowered?"
David: "Or been empowered by?"