If you’ve been writing as long as I have, eventually you’re going to find your stuff available on the great, grand, glorious World Wide Web.
Which means you’re going to also be available on Google.
Ever try that? Just for the ego stroke? Try it sometime. Google your name and see what you can find.
Until the day I die I my name will forever be tied to the name of Vanessa Del Rio.
In 1999, I interviewed the retired porn goddess for, Generator 21, a eclectic online publication. From what the editor Rod Amis told me once that story is the most referenced article he’s ever run.
This is by definition the classic case of “mixed emotions.”
At the time, I thought interviewing Del Rio would be just another interview. I had no idea almost a decade later it would be the most popular thing I’ve ever written.
It almost makes me wish I had been paid for it.
Vanessa must have liked it too. At one time she had copied it onto her website. I can’t say I blame her. Despite the shitty layout of the article, in terms of the actual content it isn’t a badly written interview. It is kind of dated now with its references to Bill Clinton, blow jobs and stained blue dresses, but she was a very willing and open subject. That’s kind of expected of porn stars, but Ms. Del Rio was one of the more memorable interviews I’ve ever done.
I’ve been asked what’s it like to interview a porn star. Well, we did it talked on the phone, so I have no idea if she looked hot or a train wreck, but it wasn’t terribly different from interviewing any other type of entertainer. She was just the only one who happened to get naked and have sex with strange men and women for little more than pocket change.
Over the years, I’ve been asked to serve as an media adviser to a few political campaigns including a Republican running for the governor’s office. And I’m not a Republican. But I’ve always turned down any official position to the campaigns for two reasons.
One, I don’t want to compromise my independence as a journalist.
Two, I’d never survive the background check. Any dope with dial-up could take all of ten seconds to Google my name and I’d be good to go right up to the point they find my name and Vanessa Del Rio’s connected. Trying to explain that connection isn’t something I’ve ever wanted to do.
It’s not as if I’m embarrassed for interviewing a notorious porn star. Far from it. I just don’t feel like justifying myself to someone who thinks I should be embarrassed. I’m a journalist. We don’t always interview saints. Every now and then we give some pub to the sinners as well.
A few years ago, Amis asked me if I would be interested in doing a “Where are they now?” update on Del Rio. I turned him down flat in five seconds. That would only repeating myself and I still have hopes of earning my own Wikipedia entry based upon my body of work. Not the body of a self-described “slut.”
Funny thing about sinners; people enjoy reading about them more than they do the saints.
Pretty much anybody can show up on Google. It takes a little something special to get in Wikipedia.
Look up Vanessa Del Rio’s Wiki page and right there under References there I am, The Diva of Sex: The Vanessa Del Rio Interview by Jeff Winbush.
Sigh. Immortality and immorality both at the same time.