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Thursday, November 16, 2006


Batteries Not Included Vol. XIII #6-9

Batteries Not Included Vol. XIII #6-9 (June-Sept. 2006) / Richard Freeman, 513 N. Central Ave., Fairborn OH 45324 / $3@ US, $4@ outside / Whenever former "adult" actor Richard Pacheco writes for BNI -- the only zine I see built around video porn -- he brings a unique sensitivity to the product. This is certainly true when he opines about his own career, such as "The Old-Timers Game" in the September issue, but even in his interviews he evokes a depth and intensity of feeling one wouldn't expect from such a genre. Take, for instance, his transcribed talk with "starlet" Charli St. Cyr, from July. While the conversation, apparently dating from 1989, begins innocently enough, with Pacheco leering and the girl giggling, her sad familiar past is soon revealed -- the pitiable pattern of rejection and phony affirmation familiar to anyone who has dealt with abused children of any age. BNI is never afraid to treat its admittedly sleazy subject with intelligence, humor, criticality, and wit -- Jeff Jarvie's monthly hymns to Kylie Ireland, for instance, are hilarious. Definitely adult reading, BNI is never simple-minded, even when Dave Cummings is trumpeting the wonderfulness of his video sex life with teenagers. Perhaps without meaning to, the zine never loses sight of the humans struggling to get free, through sex or despite it.

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