Questions... with Aaron Mucciolo
By Aaron Mucciolo
issue is dedicated to my other editor, Tom Shortliffe, who wanted
to know if I had any sports related questions for this week —
presumably to vaguely justify my placement in the Sports section.
So, Tom, this first one is for you.
Is the football
team going to beat Denison tomorrow?
We rolled over the Big Red last year, their O-line still can’t
stop our D-line’s penetration, and their porous defense remains
vulnerable to the run. For those of you who don’t speak sport,
or care, or ask “Do we have a football team?” (as a
prospie did to me yesterday. I kid you not, I sat down for an interview
with her and at some point between the introductions and a debate
on Greenpeace, that question came up) come to the game anyway. I’ll
answer any and all pointless football questions while loafing in
the stands. You’ll know me because I’m ‘That Guy
Who Wears the Red Plaid Coat Everywhere’ as a friend of mine
overheard someone call me.
Okay, enough stalling. On to this week’s questions…
go to Oberlin? –Greg “I’m only reading your column
if you answer this question” Walters
Hemingway you mean. Clarence Hemingway was a pre-med student at
Oberlin, and he was the team trainer on the football team (there
ya go Tom, two tenuous connections) during Heisman’s first
season here. Marcelline Hemingway Sanford enrolled around 1916.
But their son and brother, respectively — a certain Ernest
Hemingway — did not come here, despite his father’s
wishes that he continue the Hemingway legacy at Oberlin (a legacy
that included Clarence’s brother, Tyler). According to the
biographies I could find online, Ernest was less interested in college
and more interested in some real world experience, starting as a
cub reporter for the Kansas City Star. But even this job seemed
to mask his real interest: going off to war, which he did as an
ambulance driver in 1918.
Is the porn
industry bigger than Hollywood?
came up at one of numerous random parties hosted by my apartment-mates
last year. If anyone wishes to take credit for it, feel free.
The idea that purely pornographic material generates more money
than all the blockbusters and busts produced as “entertainment”
(pardon the sarcasm, but did anyone else sit through Catherine Zeta-Jones’s
The Haunting?) under the auspices of the Motion Picture Association
of America is one of those has-to-be-true statements that takes
our beliefs (secretly, many, many people rent, buy or otherwise
view porn much more than we care to admit) and gives them some quantifiable
level of feasibility.
Sadly, on the question of who’s bigger it is not Ron Jeremy
and company. In the May 25, 2001 issue of Forbes magazine, author
Dan Ackman and a crack team of researchers and number crunchers
worked long…and hard…and… sorry, got away from
me there. Using data from the industry itself, related retailers’
and rental figures and independent audits, the magazine put the
annual gross of the porn industry (i.e. total amount of money taken
in) at around $4 billion.
By comparison, the total box-office gross for movies released in
1996 alone, the year of Independence Day…my how time flies,
was around $5.7 billion. Since then the numbers have been rising
(powered in part by rising ticket prices). Moreover, these figures
only count ticket sales, not rentals or other revenue.
At the same time, porn industry observers (as in magazines about
the industry, not your creepy neighbor) consistently estimate the
industry’s total gross to be around $40 billion. Despite the
fact that this has no apparent support, the number — or the
idea of a significantly large number — keeps making the rounds
and has probably contributed to the urban myth implied in this question.
Some people just don’t seem to learn. If the fans really love
what you do, it doesn’t matter to them how big your gross
celery, Brown and Williamson and more backhanded slaps at my editors.
Ah, journalism. E-mail your pointless questions to email@example.com
or mail ’em to Pointless Questions c/o The Oberlin Review,
Wilder Box 90, Oberlin, OH 44074. Your name will only be used with