Rog Blog: September 16th
Tom Zupko is My Friend
I talked with Tom Zupko on the phone two nights ago. I was wondering why our interview wasn’t up. (Because I’m slow.) He also didn’t see the one I did with Rob Black up. That of course was added a month ago. Apparently some people think that the highlighted interviews on my main page are the only ones I have up. OK, time to update those with some that are newer. It’s funny that I spoke with Zupko this week because of a couple of forum threads that jabbed me. On both ADT and SFBayVideos I was tied to a couple of porn folks. On one it was said that I must be “good friends” with Robby D because my reviews lately have been positive for his work. Another implied that I kiss Lex Steele’s ass and that is why I don’t give Justin Slayer’s flicks good reviews.
Fair points both, at least in the internet world. On the other hand could my reviews of Robby’s movies be positive because his movies have been good lately? Ass Addiction and Control are really fucking good movies, period. Could my reviews of Slayer movies be bad because they suck? (Not all of them, but Dingo was horrid.) In both cases, the poster assumes that my personal relationships or “friendships” with people drive my reviews. Let’s get to that in a bit, but first, the actual accusations.
I do speak to Robby on the phone about once every two or three weeks. We talk about upcoming releases, hot chicks and other porn related stuff. He also pays attention to reviews, both good and bad in hopes that his porn can be better. (And by better I mean better for the people watching, not just in my eyes.) I don’t speak to Lex very often. In fact our interview back in May was the last time I had any contact with him. I do like Lex however, as a performer and a person. I would argue that he has been one of the top five performers in the business for the last eight years and that’s just my opinion. Personally Lex has always been accessible, friendly, thoughtful and willing to take the good with the bad.
That brings me back to Zupko and why these “friendship” slams are ironic this week. You see, I don’t know how any of you define the word “friend” and that would take another few pages to hash out, but I DO consider Tom Zupko to be a friend. We occasionally have conversations that are not about pornography, not about this business at all. We have sat down for a meal together that wasn’t taped and wasn’t for publication. In virtually every sense of the word, Tom Zupko is my friend.
Why is that ironic? Because I have said more negative things about Zupko’s work than Robby’s and Lex’s put together. My first review of his work was Anal Ball and I slammed it, I mean I fucking destroyed that thing. It was Neu Wave Hookers bad and no one could have blamed Zupko for hating my guts or pretending I don’t exist. Instead he keeps a copy of that review next to his desk. Why? “Because it means a lot to me.” He always says. Zupko gets it. He gets what I do. He knows that when I say something, I mean it. He gets it and he respects it. That is what sets him apart from a lot of people I’ve run into over the years. Everyone loves you when praise them and most everyone wants to fight when you don’t. A select few know better and those people always have my respect.
I didn’t start reviewing movies to make friends with people in the industry. I strive for honesty and that means pointing a finger at things that suck. It’s easier all around when I say that something is great. It feels good for people to read, it feels good to write and everyone is happy. It’s not worth though if that means that I have to be less than honest with the readers who have stood by me for ten years.
I guess that brings us to another long topic that I’ll get to another day…..truth vs honesty.
So what’s the point of all this? (It’s a rant is there supposed to be a point?) That my “friendship” with people doesn’t guarantee them good reviews. And when I don’t like someone’s movie, like say Slayer’s, it doesn’t mean that I have anything against them personally. Wow, that’s a whole different post isn’t it? Let’s just leave it at this. Tom Zupko is my friend. I like Tom, like his work, like the way he looks at the world and even more, I respect him even when I don’t agree with him.
OK that went way off track, but you get it anyway.
Rog Blog: Tom Zupko Is My Friend
Rog Blog: September 16th