Chris Nieratko was the editor of a sports publication, helped form a ribald group of street theater fellows, then started reviewing films for a major media periodical. Notice I've left out the proper nouns. Here they are: Big Brother skateboard magazine, the Jackass crew, porn videos such as Anal Mermaids and Hey, Grandma Is a Whore 8, and Vice Magazine. Yes, Nieratko has had the kind of life that makes 14-year-olds wonder at the possibilities in the world, and he's a hero to the sort of man who, upon entering a strip club for the first time, drops to his knees, spreads his arms, and says a silent prayer of thanks before dropping hints that he'll trade blow for sex. Nieratko's book, Skinema, is a collection of those Vice porn reviews, which are really not reviews at all: Nieratko uses his word count to ramble on about his life spent on the hunt for money, strippers, young love, drugs, and most of all a good time, which almost always means that someone else, like a hotel manager or his copy editor, had a really bad time. Note to mothers: Don't read this book.
Nieratko, who last year picked up a wife (also called Chris), is currently on a tour promoting Skinema, and like any good underground cult figure, he's hitting more skate shops than bookstores. In S.F. he hits both: On July 19 he appears at 7 p.m. at the Booksmith (www.booksmith.com),and tonight he mans the projector for a slideshow and storytelling.