Saturday, May 30, 2009
Certainly a polarising figure in the history of adult films if there ever was one. The crazily stereotypical midwest, apple-pie Americana girl moves to the sin-drenched California coast and indulges herself to the lethal limit. Shauna Grant (born Colleen Applegate on May 30th, 1963) is, arguably, the very heart (and much-used example) of what fuels the world of pornography and what drives crusaders to rally against it with all their might. She was a totally sweet and naive image (blonde, cheerleader) cast into the fantasies of so many fans of hardcore smut and she lost control there, whether willingly or not.
But, no matter what side of the for/vs. argument you stand on, the case of Shauna Grant is also a particularly fascinating one that continues to popularly define what many see as the 'evils' of pornography while conveniently omitting the fact that her problems began long before her 'descent' and the outcome could very easily have been fated long before she met the legendary Jim South and began her career and dependence on cocaine and fast (everything in that business seems fast!) decline that resulted in her suicide on the 21st of March, 1984, two months before her 21st birthday.
And what a perfect time to leave and give your story to the Reagan era and the P.M.R.C. types and the full-on surge to save the souls of American (and let's not forget the spillover to save us Canadians) peoples and return to a brighter and cleaner time. She was not going to be forgotten easily because she was too valuable.
If you have any interest at all in the business of pornography and the social changes or issues surrounding it (censorship being the key one) then I can very highly recommend this book. Even if you detest the very notion of pornography and the people who produce, procure and consume it, I'm sure you will have some long-held notions and ideas changed by it. There's no doubt that the world of pornography is often an unhappy one but it may not always be because of what you may think and it's worthwhile to hear from the people who were there. But sometimes it completely is exactly because of that and it's understandable too.