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Bel Ami, porn & the pope

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Bel Ami, porn & the pope

Bel Ami's Scandal in the Vatican is both bizarre and boner-inducing. IMAGE 1 OF 2
It's really easy to tell an offensive joke; it's harder to tell a good one
Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of comedians stumble gloriously over themselves trying to shock and awe their audiences. Remember when Daniel Tosh tried to convince a crowd there are no bad rape jokes by telling a bad rape joke? Exactly.

Being offensive for the sake of being offensive rarely, if ever, works. Being offensive as a means of subverting a corrupt authority and giving power back to the disenfranchised tends to work out a lot better.

When I first heard about Bel Ami’s Scandal in the Vatican, I was cautiously optimistic. Bel Ami, as some of you might know, is the premier twink porn studio. Their models are pretty, blond European boys with vocabularies that seem to consist entirely of deep intakes of breath. Their models are hot, hung and charmingly adorable. That is to say, when you think of political subversion, you’d probably think of Jon Stewart before Dolph Lambert.

And yet, Scandal in the Vatican hits that sweet spot of being ballsy as fuck while maintaining a weirdly subtle undercurrent of rebellion. The Vatican has always been plagued by accusations of hypocrisy and disconnect from the common man, but its distinction as high, holy ground makes it ripe for satire. Seeing a group of Ken Doll–perfect boys in holy attire fucking in what is meant to be that most sacred of Catholic symbols is mind-meltingly bizarre and yet weirdly boner-inducing.

And did I mention the actual pope makes a cameo appearance? Yes, in what is possibly the most brain-fuckingly insane moment ever in gay porn, Pope Benedict XVI is allegedly seen on camera blessing two of the series’ stars. I repeat: pope. In gay porn. Either god has a really good sense of humour or we can accept his lack of smiting as tacit admission that our existence is a matter of cosmic coincidence.

If it seems like I’m freaking out a touch over this, it’s because I am. There’s a perverse genius in all of this that I can’t quite put my finger on, a sort of Dadaist blaze of glory cleverly disguised as jerk-off material. The part of all of this that feels weird — even weirder than the pope giving his blessing to a pair of gay pornstars — is the fact that in any other medium, this would probably be hailed as one of the most ingenious displays of performance art ever. Hell, Sacha Baron Cohen got a Golden Globe for Borat and all he did was trick racist white trash into being racist white trash.

As for the porn itself: it’s good. It’s quintessentially Bel Ami, and you can’t really go wrong with that. That being said, I feel they should be given more credit for defying one of the most revered figures alive today. It’s something wholly original, and unholy funny.

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Comments

Changing his mind on bareback porn?
On September 20, Xtra.ca posted a column by Jeremy Feist against bareback porn (which was similar to his previous columns against bareback porn) - see http://www.xtra.ca/public/Toronto/This_is_not_a_test-12556.aspx Yet, on October 4, Xtra.ca posted column by Jeremy Feist praising the latest gay bareback porn film from Bel Ami. The film, Scandal in the Vatican, depicts a priest with a very large penis having bareback sex with young male students in his charge. The film must have been pretty hot for Feist to change his mind so quickly.
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