“There once was a dog named Hally, who lived with the Tosis family. Hally Tosis was very good dog, but she had a big problem. Hally Tosis had horrible breath. Whenever Hally Tosis opened her mouth, horrible things happened.” This excerpt from Dog Breath by Dav Pilkey doesn’t just tell the story of a stinky-mouthed pup, it also tells the story of pornstar Sasha Grey. No stranger to controversy – this is, after all, the woman who, in her first hardcore scene, requested a mid-coital punch to the stomach – Ms. Grey last week landed herself in rather hot water by giving a performance of a notably different kind: reading to the students at Emerson Elementary in Compton. Parents who learned of Ms. Grey’s porn past complained to the Emerson PTA, who subsequently contacted the principal. After a school spokesperson flatly denied that Ms. Grey was even present at the reading, photos surfaced online at TMZ showing the tastefully dressed multiple AVN Award winner reading Dog Breath to a floor full of students. Sprung!
Amidst the chaos that followed these revelations, both in the Emerson and greater Los Angeles school communities, on tabloid media sites, and across the pornosphere, were indignant calls for Grey to withdraw from the reading program. Apparently unwilling to do so, Grey insists that porn is her past and that she is now focusing her attention not on double-penetrations and blowbangs, but on solidifying her career as an author (Neu Sex), musician (aTelecine), and mainstream actress (Entourage). She seems intent on fashioning herself as a provocative, intellectual, pseudo-feminist artiste. Who but a serious intellectual could fashion a modest and humble response to the Read Across America debacle containing such ready-made pull quotes as “I am an actor. I am an artist. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a partner,” and “I have a past that some people may not agree with, but it does not define who I am. I will not live in fear of it. To challenge non-profit education programs is an exercise in futility, counter-productive and anti-educational.”
You go, grrrl.