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Don the Curmudgeon's Corner

Tilting At Windmills

Those that don't like consumer advocates can kiss my, not Sunny's, ass.

It has been (repeatedly) brought to my attention that there are people in this industry out there that don't care one bit about consumers. Essentially, that is a major reason why I review so much and spend a fair amount of time "defending the faith" as it were. Anyone that has ever relied solely on an advertising campaign or box cover to rent or purchase a porno knows exactly what I mean when I point out that the covers of old (and not so old) rarely bore any resemblance to what people were going to get. Hence the formalization of the process where the online review was born.

Suck these buddy!

Even in good times when sales were high and everyone was making money, the porn industry reacted in a number of ways to this spreading phenomenon; the better companies sending out screeners to at least the more reputable review websites; knowing full well that they spread the word about a title, even a negative review moving additional product. Other companies and their minions took another approach; kill the messenger! They would join websites under aliases and attack the reviewer, dismiss concerns about missing audio, jumpy editing, scenes on the back cover not in the movie, cast members not used in scenes, and a whole lot of other points reviewers brought up. The general knowledge was that reviewers weren't going to change anything and they were, in effect, tilting at windmills.

Open your mouth you cocksucker!

Well, needless to say, I have long thought reviews were merely an extension of the old system where friends looked out for one another, often called word of mouth. Better video store owners and managers were the first people I learned to trust for advice, quickly figuring out which ones earned my faith and which ones either had twisted tastes or were jerking me around with bad advice. To this day, such people are invaluable sources of information as they get to know what their regular customers want and don't want; the number of movies released in a year far too much for any single person to keep up with or store to keep in stock, keeping many of us owning multiple memberships to rental outlets so we don't miss out on a title we might really want.

As much ass as you'll find on a hillbilly's head!

Over time, as the internet evolved, so did the way the naysayers spread their message. You know the type, they are always right about everything, they feel free to make shit up (MSU) when cornered, and downplay any misconduct they engage in. Their goal isn't to inform consumers or provide constructive criticism so much as to generate attention as though they were still relevant. I'm familiar with one such guy that would cut & paste reviews without crediting their source, selling his unopened screeners online until he was shut down. The same character publicized the location of personal information for hundreds (actually, well over 1000) of performers, spreading the word until copies of the data freely circulated; then claiming a victory at getting the thread taken down instead of quietly handling it as normal, intelligent people would do. He did his best to make life miserable for a veteran contract performer more recently, openly suggesting she was a threat to other companies by reason of her 2257 paperwork being out of order; only backing down when the company lawyers shut him up with something called "facts". Last year, he threw a temper tantrum on a friendly industry website that didn't put a "star" icon next to his name quickly enough; his ego unable to take this massive slight against him. Some months ago, he was run off of another forum when he proved too thin-skinned to stand up to the same scrutiny he applied to others; largely because this scrutiny was all related to some of his online conduct.

The knowing glance of Alexis Texas!

The latest idea by this character is to suggest that production companies that listen to consumers and provide more of what they want, be it multi-disc sets, more scenes, longer running times, and an assortment of other elements are cutting their own throats and hurting the rental industry. Needless to say, this counter intuitive concept struck me as coming from a rather simple mind, perhaps one stricken with severe illness or medication, but one hampered by the reality of modern porn. Let's face it, the internet provides free porn, hampered by viruses, malware, and other risks but essentially free. Companies that treat consumers like crap are going to find the chickens coming home to roost if they discard what consumers want; which in my considerable experience is more sex, longer running times, more tease, and something to differentiate companies over one another. If you're buying anything, are you going to want to pay more for less product, or will you feel cheated by those suggesting it?

Let's see those paw tattoos clap!

A quick look at porn companies doing well suggests that those giving fans what reviewers and consumers alike have asked for over the years are succeeding, even in these harsh economic times. When Jules Jordan released Ass Worship X (running time of almost 275 minutes!) for about the same cost as movies lasting under 90 minutes, who do you think is going to sell more copies? When Sex Z Pictures released Upload (four discs, the movie alone lasting almost five hours and containing sex acts most companies fear adding in their own releases), how do you think it has fared against the generic crap littering the landscape? How about Operation Desert Stormy as it lasts over 3 hours and has 3 discs of material? All of these titles are selling scores of copies yet here we have industry fringe types advocating the dumbing down of titles to provide four scenes and leave the consumer wanting more. So if all I'm doing is tilting at windmills by defending what I believe in and showing a willingness to stand up to the online bullies that would lie, cheat, and fuck people over; so be it. It's a hobby I can sleep with at night. :)

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