Years ago I worked at AVN, a trade publication for the adult industry. Today, while visiting the neighborhood after Sindee Jennings squirted on my glasses (more later), I decided to stop by my old employer.
But it wasn’t there.
Determining that Cal/OSHA, dwindling DVD sales, and the round-the-clock gratuitous nudity of my cleaning staff had combined to erase the mission statement (“Distribute awards”) of AVN, I whistled a bittersweet air at the lonely intersection of Eton and Deering Avenues in Chatsworth-by-the-Sea, a Metrolink train slowing respectfully past the parking lot as its engineer texted condolences.
As I turned to go, first a tumbleweed, then a copy of AVN Magazine blew by. I picked up the lightweight, free publication to see that I was wrong! AVN hadn’t closed – it had moved! And by the looks of the picture in its business section had purchased a fancy new building from either the porn-friendly governments of Greece or Israel.
“I must go there to see the old gang!” I said.
When I arrived at 9400 Penfield Ave at 4:45 I was struck by how perception and reality are often different. How long have we heard that the adult industry was dying? At least weeks, right? And that it was again on the run from government oppressors? At least the last few days, right?
Well AVN has moved right across the street from the Chatsworth Municipal Court, as if to say “We’re right here, State Regulators; you know where to find us, and we’re not going away.” More than that, even though I arrived during business hours on a Wednesday, there were no cars in the parking lot.
“They’re living high on the hog, those old rascals!” I said. “Or maybe the three remaining writers are out on assignment!”
But I knew that the adult business wasn’t home free yet; it would be bad form to keep the AVN logo in five-foot-high letters on a building across the cul de sac from its oppressor, so my ex employer took down the sign that had graced the photograph in the magazine and restored the original sign, that of Olympia Financial, which was classy, the same way Larry Flynt maintained the statue of Great Western Bank spokesman John Wayne when he bought his Beverly Hills building rather than, I don’t know, installing a sculpture of a woman being fed through a meat grinder.
With the layoffs of editorial staffers across the adult trade publication spectrum recently, I lamented that AVN had to fashion and then take down its signage on a building newly famous as “the hub for AVN Media Network’s digital media, publication, licensing, international and event production divisions.”
“It would have been better if they’d Photoshopped the sign for the photograph,” I thought.
Previously on Porn Valley Observed: AVN ’09 – it has begun; AVN is like a Rolling Stone
See also: AVN Media Network, Inc. Prepares for Aggressive Growth Phase