CYBERSPACE—How prescient of NewsBiscuit—which does, after all, cover “the news before it happens”—to notice the passing of the last man to pay for porn. With no date to indicate when the sad event is going to take place, the industry itself is left to imagine when it will see its very last centime, but maybe that’s for the best. It’s bad enough knowing you’re headed for annihilation without having to know the exact moment of your demise. Kinda like life.
That said, there are a few clues in the NewsBiscuit piece that indicate the passing of one Eric Swell, apparently a London-dweller, is not quite imminent. This sentence in particular suggests as much: “Veteran blue movie director Dick Stroker, delivering the funeral address by Skype from California, spoke of the crisis in an industry that, for some years, has existed solely on Mr. Swell’s frequent and substantial contributions.”
But there are other time clues scattered like breadcrumbs in the NewsBiscuit story. We are told, for instance, that Swell will be "an avid collector and connoisseur of adult film and literature for more than 50 years," and that he will be 76 years old when he dies, which means he will start collecting when he is 26 years old. A late bloomer to be.
Now, first, we have state we have no knowledge of a director by the name of Dick Stroker, but maybe it is yet another pseudonym among many, or perhaps he is only 3 years old right now and his glorious career choice is ahead of him. Oh, the delights of time travel. Of more immediate interest, however, is that mention of a crisis in the industry “that, for some years, has existed solely on Mr. Swell’s frequent and substantial contributions.”
That right there tells us our Swell friend is indeed a man of the future, for we know for a FACT that the number of people who use actual money (or bitcoins) to pay for pornography currently runs into the several thousand worldwide, and not one.
And yet, despite knowing we have that sweet buffer of time, the realization that one day such a Swell will walk the earth, and then die, leaves a bittersweet sensation in our prostate. It is perhaps fitting then to quote some moving, if awful, double entendres uttered by future director Stroker as part of his funeral address in celebration of the life and generosity of Eric Swell.
“Eric’s support was unwavering,” he will say. “His commitment never flagged, so to speak, which was remarkable for a man of his age. I’m not sure what will become of us now he’s watching our two-backs from heaven, as no-one’s paying for that view on earth. It’s incredibly hard to take. So to speak.”