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Saturday, September 12, 2009  

Beer in Hell

One more post, since I'm apparently unable to sleep tonight.

Via Whet, a City Paper blogger takes on Tucker Max and his movie-length celebration of near-rape. I know very little about Tucker Max's work, if that's the word for it, and I plan to keep it that way. The quotes Amanda Hess pulls out are horrifying and profoundly misogynist, and insofar as I know what I'm talking about I agree with the protesters and the general spasm of disgust at this nasty little individual.

The protest Hess describes centers on problems of consent, and that's certainly a problem. But if Tucker Max serves a useful purpose--a big if, I grant--it's in holding up a mirror to our very culture of consent. Making consent the coin of the realm in all matters, especially sexual ones, will it seems inevitably tend towards pushing radically and unpleasantly on the definition of consent. What we've done as a culture, with our compulsive inability to draw lines, is make someone like Tucker Max and the uncounted unheralded swine like him more or less inevitable. Whet wrote about a sex tape scandal a couple months ago, saying "I'm a flawed human being, born in sin and slouching towards Bethlehem like everyone else. So I take particular note when offenses like these align, to remind myself how a slouch leans so heavily towards a fall." If I'm reading him right, I think he's saying that there is not so much a line between right and wrong in matters of sex as a continuum between the two.

Take this week's Savage Love. I'm always interested in Dan's attempts to disapprove of things, in this case a correspondent who wants to know whether it would constitute bestiality to keep a human as a dog. Dan strikes me as pretty creeped out by the guy, but he doesn't come right out and say "It's just a bad idea to try to turn a human being into a full-time dog, whether they consent to it or not." Try to imagine working your way out of such a fixation, especially were it to be fulfilled. It's perhaps akin to imagining Tucker Max trying to be a decent guy and treat women like humans. If you want to come back--and you should want to come back--you should probably not go there in the first place. Maybe spend some time trying to straighten up that slouch rather than pushing it towards a fall.

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posted by Benjamin Dueholm | 2:33 AM
While it is sometimes fun to take things out of context, it is unfair to do so. I have read Tucker Max, as well as Maddox, and can tell you that although this stuff seems exploitative of women, it is not intended to be taken too seriously. There is a reason the genre is called "fratire." Perhaps if we all write vanilla inoffensive books, the world will be a better place. But then again, I don't think so.
And I don't understand why the Amanda tees off on Tucker's book/movie, but doesn't even mention the decades of Playboy magazines, the FHM and Maxim magazines that deal with the same issues, or the cadre of television shows that show not a single ugly woman. Let's all pick on Tucker Max, he's the reason women are objectified, not any of the above.
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