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WTF!?!? The Trials of Sasha Grey
from porn to mainstream… …and the double standard
by Lucas Witherspoon
t’s likely that, like me, you’ve never heard of Sasha Grey, a “legendary” retired porn star turned mainstream actress. She’s successfully managed to transition from XXX films like Butt Sex Bonanza and Masturbation Nation to mainstream films, such as the Steven Soderbergh-directed The Girlfriend Experience and I Melt With You, starring alongside Rob Lowe and Jeremy Piven, as well as an extended stint on Entourage. She managed to make national headlines recently, though, for participating in the Read Across America initiative, where she read to first- and third-graders on November 2 at Emerson Elementary School in Compton. As expected, her appearance caused a bit of an uproar among some parents who didn’t look fondly upon her porn past. But is this really warranted criticism? Obviously those who work in the adult industry are generally subject to some pretty harsh stereotypes: they were abused as children, they’re cheap sluts, they’re taking off their clothes to get their next fix, they’re of below-average intellect, they don’t love themselves, they’re seeking out affection in “unhealthy” ways, etc. This is very clearly not always the case, and, based on personal experience, an overwhelmingly inaccurate edict of people involved in the adult entertainment industry. In this instance, I think Sasha was particularly unfairly judged. She hasn’t done porn in two years. She has a string of mainstream films under her
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belt. She’s modeled for Max Azria, Forfex, and American Apparel, all legitimate modeling jobs. She’s appeared in a number of fashion spreads, and was shot by Terry Richardson for the 25th anniversary reprint of his book, Terryworld. She’s posed for major artists like David Choe, James Jean, and Zak Smith. She’s an animal rights activist who has posed for PETA in favor of animal birth control, and, as aforementioned, works with Read Across America to promote an increase in reading and literacy, which is sorely needed in the U.S. This is a woman who has inadvertently gone above and beyond to break away from her porn past, yet it’s still a dark cloud looming over her otherwise promising mainstream career. Let’s take into consideration other, more high-profile people who have read to schoolchildren in the past: George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Why does no take issue with having a man who has admitted to ordering the torture of other human beings or a man who is a notorious serial adulterer read to children? Do our morals change when those in question have a fancy title or are men? It’s an extremely double-sided and hypocritical moral philosophy. It’s been said that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future. While I’m object to the concepts of sainthood and sin, in this case I feel that belief could teach us all a lesson. We all have histories, some more unsavory than others, but they are nonetheless exactly what the word ‘history’ would suggest: in the past.
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The Bottom Line
Being Thankful by Joseph Brownell We live in a society driven by information but I still remember card catalog classes in middle school and very early on in high school; the internet and its place in schools was just being established. Now with laptop computers, smartphones and tablets we have a wealth of information at our fingertips. There’s no need to remember how many feet are in a mile; we can Google it in a matter of moments (go ahead . . . I’ll give you a moment . . . it’s 5,280 by the way). No matter the lightning speed of your latest device, there’s no better information tool than first- hand experience. Pomegranates and their abundance are one of my favorite things in the fall. Last year I procrastinated and didn’t make a recipe I’d been dying to try. So this year when the pomegranates hit the produce floors I snatched some up to make pomegranate and pear jam. Problem was, I had never made jam or jelly before; I would just go to the store and pick some up off the shelf.
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The recipe itself was straightforward but the directions on the canning jars were like they had been written in Japanese. I had no idea what I was up against. Google delivered massive amounts of conflicting information so I called the one person I knew would have the answers- my grandmother. I remember growing up we would always be sent jams, jellies and fresh baked breads during the holidays. As a child and young adult you take these skills for granted. We don’t need to know a recipe for our own cake batter; Betty Crocker has it readily available on the shelves of our grocery stores. We don’t realize sometimes just how easy or hard doing something from scratch can truly be. As Thanksgiving approaches, I think we should all appreciate and be thankful for the wealth of advice and experience the older generations, be it family or not, have to offer us. My grandmother was able to explain the process of sealing the jars in much easier terms than the back of the box was able to and in turn helped make the recipe a success. This year Grams, it’ll be me sending you jam for Christmas so get that toast ready.
By Jonathan McIntyre & Maximillian Corwell
Thanks so much for taking some time to talk with David Magazine and myself. Let me ask you, are you ready for the holiday season to start? Any big plans?
Stephen Brent Ridge: We’re visiting about 20 different cities and locations while touring for Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook between now and the end of the year, so we’ll have the unique experience of seeing how different parts of the country celebrate the holidays (we hope that we find out that they’re not all the same).
How was your short time in Atlanta recently? Any stand out moments?
SBR: It was my first trip to Atlanta, so I loved every minute of it. We really enjoyed visiting Cook’s Warehouse. As a small business ourselves, we love to see other hometown business survive by meeting the needs of their community. Josh Kilmer-Purcell: I lived for several years in Atlanta right after college. I was amazed at the changes that had taken place to the city, but they were just physical changes. The people are as generous and friendly as I remembered.
SBR: I think most couples greatly underestimate how much they bicker and how careless they are with some of their word choices when speaking to their partners. That being said, the show caught us at a very stressful time in our lives. We were really struggling financially and were living apart for the first time in our 13-year 20 | davidatlanta
Oddly though we’ve learned that it’s much better for our relationship to get things out in the open rather than let them fester. At a recent book signing in Los Angeles, a 70-year-old gentleman who introduced himself as a psychoanalyst said that he used clips from The Fabulous Beekman Boys to show couples effective conflict resolution in a relationship. JKP: I don’t agree with a word Brent just said.
Sadly, The Fabulous Beekman Boys hasn’t been renewed for a third season. What projects do you have in the works if Discovery PlanetGreen doesn’t pick up a 3rd season? Have you even thought that far yet?
SBR: We are so lucky and honored to have had a classy network partner to help us create such a great show. Unfortunately, Planet Green channel is folding at the end of this year and we are in the midst of negotiating for the rights to the show so that it can move to another network. Stay tuned.
Which Beekman 1802 product are you most proud of? Do you have any new products in the pipeline that you want to tell us about?
SBR: Each of the products we design or create for Beekman 1802 takes a lot of careful planning and attention detail, which explains why we introduce so few new products each year. We do try to create at least one new beauty product, one new home product and one new food product each year. The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook was almost 2 years in the making and we are very proud that it’s had such good reviews.
Photos by Tate Tullier
A lot of the show consisted of you and Josh bickering and disagreeing. Is there really that much fighting in the relationship or was the show edited for entertainment purposes?
relationship. This was compounded by the fact that the show could only film on weekends when Josh traveled to the farm from his city job.
JKP: I’m particularly proud of our food products...our cheese, goat milk caramel, fruitcakes, truffles, and more. We use as many local ingredients as possible (mostly from our own farm), and no preservatives. They are the exact same things we eat. I don’t think many food manufacturers would look forward to eating their own food like we do.
How has having a reality show changed your life? What was the most invasive thing about having cameras around you all the time?
SBR: If anything, it has made our relationship stronger. How many of us couldn’t benefit from having a mirror held up to our lives? JKP: We both actually got very close to the crew. They shared several holidays and special occasions with us. By the end they weren’t nuisances… they were Beekman converts.
How long did they film you during the year?
SBR: For each season of the show, they followed us around for about 9 months. Since the show is filmed on the farm, it was important to capture every season of the year. The crew and production company, World of Wonder, are based in LA. They fly out for intervals of 2-3 weeks and then are away for 2-3 weeks editing. For each 22-minute episode, there was about 300 hours of footage.
Critics say that most of the work on the farm is actually done by Farmer John. What are your thoughts on that statement?
SBR: We could not run the farm without Farmer John. John takes care of the goats and we handle all of the gardens and grounds. JKP: Do these critics have manure under their nails? I do.
What sparked your interest in farming and ultimately green living?
SBR: Both of us grew up in rural locations and in families where growing some of your own food was necessary in order to have enough food to eat. In some sense, how we are living on the farm now is a return to those roots. 22 | davidatlanta
JKP: As I grew older, I realized the great satisfaction of providing for one’s own needs, rather than shopping for society’s latest “must-have.”
Do you still keep in contact with Martha Stewart? Have you been able to use some of her resources to help get your product into more markets?
SBR: Martha is a good friend and continues to be supportive of our company. She’s not directly involved in the business but has frequently featured us on her show, her blog and on her Sirius/XM channel. JKP: Martha is good at being Martha. There is and never will be another Martha Stewart
What are some of Marta’s best qualities?
SBR: People tend to forget what a business maverick Martha is. She really set an example for the personal branding which is basically how every business--large and small--operates today.
What is something invaluable that you have learned from her?
SBR: If you have complete confidence in your ideas and direction, then never be afraid to express it. JKP: She’s taught me that the only way to be a good teacher is to be a good learner. Unlike many “lifestyle personalities,” she actually knows how to do everything she teaches. That’s because she’s genuinely interested in learning new things.
If you have any regrets in life what would they be and why do you regret them?
SBR: I don’t believe in regrets. Every decision in life has led us to the point we are now, and I am content with that. JKP: I regret every time I mix liquor with wine.
Does Josh ever still dress up as his drag queen persona Aquadisiac? If so, we would be happy to fly him to Atlanta for a show! JKP: There’s not enough Spanx in the world!
Where do you see yourselves as business partners in the future? What areas of business would you like to branch into?
SBR: We are always developing new products, meeting with new craftspeople, and thinking of new ideas. We’ve recently launched the Beekman 1802 Annex on Opensky.com to help highlight other small business gain visibility and traction. JKP: The only thing I want to branch into these days is a nap.
Being a gay couple with a gay centered show, how has the gay community supported you? A lot of people in the LGBT community look up to the two of you as icons for a strong gay relationship, what is the secret to happiness at the end of the day, when the cameras are off?
SBR: The Fabulous Beekman Boys was the first show in the history of television to exclusively focus on a gay couple in a long-term relationship. We are very happy that couples — gay and straight — can see elements of themselves and their relationships when watching the show.
JKP: I don’t actually think of our show as a “gay-centered show.” Certainly the demographics of our viewers, readers, and shoppers are reflective of the entire country. If anyone is to learn anything from our relationship, it’s that sharing similar passions with your partner is the key to both great rewards and great arguments.
Last but not least, how is the true star of the show, Polka Spot?
SBR: PolkaSpot is closing in on 5000 followers on Twitter and is actively pursuing several projects off of the farm including a series of her own children’s books and her first iPhone app. JKP: I was told that there would be no questions about The Diva. Interview over. For more information about The Fabulous Beekman Boys, Beekman 1802, and more please visit them at www.beekman1802.com. Also, now in stores, The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook: Heirloom fruits and vegetables, and more than 100 heritage recipes to inspire every generation! Pick up your copy today!
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Why do I like to
stuff the turkey?
ctually, I like to also get my turkey stuffed, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m referring to why I celebrate Thanksgiving. Well, historically speaking, Thanksgiving was created when the Pilgrims and their bestfriends, the Indians, got together and expressed their appreciation for each other and I’m sure they ate till they dropped! That’s nice. But every since I was an itty bitty young lad, THAT story NEVER came up with MY family! No honey, it’s not because we’re black, but because child, when you can smell my grandma’s sweet potato pie and pecan pie, or when you notice that my mom’s secret made from scratch buttermilk biscuits are begging for you to apply some butter on them and open them up and insert some honey in the middle, or when you are laughing and joking while playing cards with your Uncles but avoid getting in the conversation about dating girls, or when you just found out that my favorite Aunt has just arrived with her famous 4 cheese macaroni dish that has everyone’s mouth watering, or when you find out that my very pregnant cousin Cocoa is bringing her questionable “finance” for everybody to finally meet him, or when you have to be the one to go pick up Cocoa from the airport at the last minute, or helping
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my brother before it’s time to go pick her up by eating a piece of his well seasoned fried turkey that he’s cooking, or when you’re having to respond to a “Happy Thanksgiving” text message from the 100th person, and your stomach is growling like loud thunder, trust me honey,
NO ONE is thinking about the history of Thanksgiving! WE ‘RET’ TO EAT!!! Now that’s why WE celebrate it, but corny or not, I actually look forward to the simple joy of sitting down with either my closest friends or family at the well prepared table, grab each other hands, and one by one, give thanks for everything we’re grateful for in that year. Like I’m thankful for you readers!! Happy Thanksgiving! UNTIL next week, DON’T read the girls, instead read The Brent Star Report! Where to catch Brent Star: Thursdays at Matador Cantina (925 Garrett St), Saturdays at Tijuana Garage, Sunday with the Armorettes at Burkharts. www. facebook.com/Mr.BrentStar
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is’ the season to wake up at 5am (or earlier in some cases) and drop lots of money on jaw dropping bargains -- even though you are still probably over stuffed from the food the night before. As the Christmas season ramps up with one of the biggest and most competitive Black Friday’s seen in years, it’s a real sign of big stores wanting to compete for your money. Most consumers see the hottest products with huge discounts, especially when it comes to electronics, but it’s very important to do research on the things that are highest priority on your list. Just because it looks too good to be true, doesn’t mean you are getting a great deal. For instance, just because that laptop at Walmart is
$259, it doesn’t mean it’s a good product. You may find that spending an extra $50 will really get you a superior product that will have much more longevity and features. This year it’s extra important to pay attention to which stores you want to hit because the big box stores are changing the game on us. Instead of opening at 5am, most stores are now opening at either 10pm on Thanksgiving or 12am the following Friday. Walmart is actually having 3 different “openings” during the night, depending on what you want to wait in line for. While some love the tradition of standing in lines for hours, dueling with suburban housewives for one of the limited TV’s in stock, and watching old grandmothers get into fist fights over a new
Apple iPod Touch 8GB Normally $199 — Target Black Friday: $195 + $40 Free Target Gift Card
PS3 Bun 160GB 2 G dle + am Play& 30-D es stat ay Mem ion P bers lus hip Nor mal Blac ly $350 k Fr —T iday : $1 arget 99. 99
LCD Dynex 24” Class TV 1080p 60Hz HD BestBuy Normally $200 — 9 $7 Black Friday: 9.9
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ire Kindle F 9— 9 y $1 9.9 Normall Staples riday: Black F 9 + $199.9 ples $20 Staard Gift C
LG 4 Cinem7LW5600 a 3D 4 LED L 7” Class CD H Norm DTV ally $ — Wa 1200 lm a rt Black Friday : $79 9 its, n’s Su All Me Shirts & s s Dre Macys Ties — ff 20% O
knitting kit, the shopping holiday is notorious for bringing out the worst in people. Who can forget the Toys for Tots volunteer who was stabbed by a shoplifter a few years ago, or the man in Buffalo, New York who was stampeded to death when Target opened their doors to the public.
or… try Buy Nothing Day!
So if you want to brave the shopping holiday, stuffed, tired, and in a group of crazed woman who will beat you down for a $4 umbrella, by all means, have a blast. We suggest you wear a bulletproof vest, hire a bodyguard, and/or find the same sales on eBay or Amazon for Cyber Monday. Again, check your local big box retailers, malls, and favorite stores for opening hours and local
For over 10 years, AdBusters (who brought you Occupy Wall Street) has promoted Black Friday for buying NOTHING! Or escape the big-box rat-race and support your neighbors with Buy Local Day instead — get your gifts at an independent store! deals. Not only are they all opening at different hours, but also with some tens of thousands of deals out this holiday, there is sure to be something for everybody, just make sure the fight is worth the savings.
$100 iTunes Gift Card — BestBuy Black Friday Price $80
Tosh C675-S73iba Satellite 18 17.3” Laptop Normally $549 — R adio Shack Black Frid ay: $399
TomTom XXL5 50 Navigation Sy GPS stem Normally $150 — Office Depot Black Friday: $89.99
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e have all seen the Atlanta Sisters around the city doing charitable acts, raising funds for various organizations, community outreach, social activism, all while paving their way to gay sainthood. However, the Sisters truly now have become saints as they launch their newest endeavor, Saint Lost and Found. The Sisters banded together to create a hotline for homeless LGBTQQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning) youth who are in dire need of somebody to help them. The sisters are willing to help the youth find anything they need to get stable, including rehab, housing, support, and much more. While we can explain what the Saints are doing, it’s better to hear it in their own words. Attached is a blog post from Rapture Divine, which gives you a clear idea of what they are trying to do:
“We welcome our first TRANS person into the “Saint Lost And Found”!!! She is MTF, 23, beautiful, and very smart. I went to check her into the hotel and the staff said that they didn’t have any rooms clean. I responded that we’d take a dirty one but that’s not allowed. I told her not to worry, we’d figure this out. I took her to RUBY REDD’s BINGO at Mellow Mushroom and left her in the capable hands of a couple of SISTER’s and trusted Drags. Told her to order up, eat and enjoy the show. I then went to work and had the other volunteers contact
hotel management and a room was found. I got the youths ID and went and checked her in. Yes I left at BINGO because she was smiling and laughing and having a great time. I had NEVER seen this kid cut loose and let her guard down. Being on the streets tends to harden their souls. I arrived back to the event with room key in hand and she was having a GRAND OLE TIME still, so we stayed till the end of the show and she didn’t stop laughing and smiling the whole time. She took lots of pics of her new friends and was ecstatic with the whole night. I meet her in the parking lot and she asked if we could stand there and say goodbye to everyone, to which I say ‘Yes, Of Course!!!’ On the way back to the car, she thanked me and said that she had an incredible time, and that she hadn’t felt that NORMAL in a LONG time that even if they were faking it, everyone there seemed to care and was SO nice. Choking back the tears, I explained that they were not faking it; they were good people who do care. That they didn’t know her situation and they were there to just help, that if she felt she had made a connection it was because she had. I told her that she should ALWAYS remember that she has value and that she has people that care for her and her well-being. So Much Emotion and Pride churned inside – I was beside myself.” To get involved, or donate please visit: www. saintlostandfound.org
If you are a homeless queer youth in need, please call the Saint Lost & Found Hotline at 678-856-7825 davidatlanta | 39
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Alex Morse: The 22 Year-Old, Openly Gay
By Lucas Witherspoon
he residents of Holyoke, Massachusetts recently elected a new mayor, 22-yearold Alex Morse, making him the youngest mayor in the U.S. He ran on a platform primarily focused on education, economic development and jobs, public safety, and promoting city pride. CBS News ran a 150-second story highlighting his win, but left out one detail: he’s also openly gay. Many media outlets, including Gawker, Queerty, and Towleroad, questioned the intent behind CBS’ choice to exclude this fact. Was it purposely omitted or just deemed insignificant to the story? On one hand, if the LGBT community is seeking “normalization” in media and politics, sexuality shouldn’t matter. If emphasis is placed on a person’s sexual orientation, the concept will continue to be a point of interest in people who really just want to be seen and treated as equals. There is obviously never a perceived need to stress that a person is straight, so why should it be any different with a gay person?
On the other hand, deflated self-esteem is obviously a rampant problem among gay youth. When they’re being met with hatred and anguish stemming from not only those around them, but also from people put in positions of power intended to protect American citizens (politicians), it can make personal acceptance of your sexual orientation difficult. These young people need to see positive, gay role models and know that they’re not alone, nor is what they are amiss or a defect. It’s not enough to tell them “it gets better”; they also need to see this sentiment being enacted. CBS has made no statement regarding their interview with Alex Morse, so at present we can only assume their disregard for his sexuality was an unintentional oversight. While it’s true that the LGBT community desires equipoise in relation to our straight counterparts, the fact is we’re often still not viewed or treated as equals, which is why it is important to give prominence to people like Alex Morse.
These young people need to see positive, gay role models and know that they’re not alone, nor is what they are amiss or a defect. It’s not enough to tell them “it gets better”; they also need to see this sentiment being enacted.
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David Atlanta Magazine | Atlanta 671