Unavailable in the U.S.
"Howard Stern" and "Asian Financial
Crisis". Two phrases I never expected to use in the same sentence. Now
"Howard Stern" and "Asian Sex Shows", on the other hand, go together
like sex and oral sex. But a bizarre series of events has pushed the
three phrases together in a menage a trois -- unfortunately, one that
the American public may never get to watch.
About eight months ago, Howard Stern spent
some time in the red light districts of Asia filming a series of hour
long shows on the Asian sex industry. They were to be released in the
U.S. as a series of pay-per-view specials. Unfortunately, the
Indonesian company that co-produced and co-owns the shows went under
in the recent Asian financial crisis, and the rights are likely to be
tied up in arcane Indonesian bankruptcy proceedings for years. The
upshot of this is that the tapes can't be released or even discussed
in the US until ownership issues get resolved. However, bootleg copies
of them have turned up in Hong Kong, and a few have spread over here
-- including to us at SurReview.
Little does the average Stern fan know
what he's missing. The idea was to take Stern plus usual entourage,
and let them run a no-holds barred travelling show in the red-light
districts of Asia. The idea seems so natural, so promising, that I
find it hard to believe it hadn't been done sooner.
Since this isn't for broadcast, Stern can
do whatever he wants without having to watch out for the
FCC. Ironically, this is not a costless blessing; Stern is a master of
pushing boundaries -- both of people, and the FCC. In the same way
that the limitations of formal poetic structures created great poetry,
listening to Stern try to describe, say, one lesbian shaving the pubic
hair off of another lesbian within the limitations imposed on him by
the FCC is far more entertaining than if he had total freedom.
Here, he has no such boundaries, and a
little of Stern's charm is lost. On the bright side, he gets to film
Thai girls firing ping pong balls out of their vaginas and into the
mouths of American Marines. You win some, you lose some.
Enough senseless meta-analysis. Anyone
who's read this far wants to know what's in the tapes. Some samples:
In addition to using US Marine embassy
guards as targets, Stern took ten Thai girls and let them fire bananas
at a big paper mache head of Rosie O'Donnell, offering $10,000 to the
first girl to launch a banana right into the mouth.
In Tokyo, Stern held court in one of the
weirder bondage/scat parlors. Much of the proceedings are unsuitable
even for SurReview viewers [Not true; nothing is unsuitable for
SurReview readers -- ed.]. Let me just say that golden showers, sushi,
and interns desparate to impress Howard make for a potent combo.
In one scene Stern goes to town on the back of a lovely Japanese
teenager with a riding crop, getting her to (1) repeat the phrase 'me
love you long time' about thirty times until Stern says she's gotten
it exactly right, (2) apologize for Pearl Harbor, and (3) cry out,
"American penis very large! Too large for me!", leading Howard to
raise his hands and utter the most entertaining line of the show: "In
the land of the small Asian penis, Howard Stern is king!"
In Cambodia, Stern seems highly enamored
of the legions of amputee prostitutes and sex show workers (mostly
victims of landmines from Cambodia's eternal civil war) and the
various novel opportunities for penetration they provide. The less
said about this the better.
The Indonesian tape is a little different:
while he does spend a fair amount of time in Jakarta, Stern seems much
more interested in having a whole series of couples from the more
primitive corners of Indonesia (most looked straight out of a National
Geographic photo shoot) perform various energetic acts on each
other. By far the most interesting thing on the tape is a weird
sequence centering around the involvement of food and sex -- and by
food, I mean edible snails the size of human heads. While there were
undeniably amusing elements to this, some of the more culturally
patronizing overtones actually made me feel uncomfortable.
Many of Stern's critics seem to think that
he merely wallows in smut, appealing solely to the purient
interest. This is not true; Stern never lets the proceedings
degenerate into raw pornography. Rather, what Stern is all about is
pushing people's boundaries, getting them to do things they never
intended. To many, this is unpleasant. To others, it's hilarious like
a panty raid gone wrong. To me, I love watching some of the seedier
alleys of human nature get their day in the sun.
Is there anything to be learned by this,
any large lesson to be drawn? Probably not. Those who hate Stern will
hate this, and those who love Stern will know what they're missing,
and clamour post-experimental lab monkeys to get ahold of it.