Sunday, October 17, 2010

A protest that wasn't really a protest

In my opinion, Tucker Max lives up to his self-proclaimed reputation of 'asshole.' The front page of his website reads,

My name is Tucker Max and I am an asshole.

I get excessively drunk at inappropriate times, disregard social norms, indulge every whim, ignore the consequences of my actions, mock idiots and posers, sleep with more women than is safe or reasonable, and just generally act like a raging dickhead.

Though I wouldn't recommend reading anything of his books, I've sought out the chapters in his books that deal with little people. For him, sleeping with a little person was just another chapter in his life of being an asshole. In addition to sleeping with people in order to build a resume, it appears that he treats everyone with whom he comes into contact and about whom he writes like garbage. Little people were not spared. In his stories, little people are not people. They are objects for his ridicule, amusement, and, in one case, list of different women with whom he has had sex.

A week ago Friday, Tucker Max appeared for a book signing at a Borders Book Store along the Magnificent Mile in Chicago. The signing promoted his new book, Assholes Finish First. I read about the event the Thursday before the book signing. When I heard about it, I wanted to do something. I realize that protesting against Max in order to prove what he has already confessed to (being an asshole) is not worthwhile. Any protest would probably wind up as a chapter in his book or an entry on his blog. But his visit deserved some kind of recognition.

The only way to get rid of someone like Max is to get rid of his audience. If no one cared what he had to say, he wouldn't sell any books and he wouldn't be able to publish any more books. Unfortunately, many people do read what Max has to say. And unfortunately, Borders carries books not based upon what they contribute to humanity, but based upon how many are sold.

Though Max is a despicable person who shares despicable stories about objectification, misogyny and cruelty, I was most upset with Borders Books when I thought about the reading. They are driven by profit, but they could choose not to sell the book. And by all means, they could chose not to host a book signing.

Some people excel at protests. I don't. A few years ago, when I organized some protests outside of a Chicago bar that hosted midget wrestling, I was a wreck for days leading up to the protest. I could barely sleep and my nerves ate at me continuously. With that in mind, I didn't have it in me to organize a Borders protest, especially not with only 24 hours notice. Too bad, because logistically, a book signing at a place with narrow aisles presents a lot of opportunity to shut down an event.

But I wanted to do something, or make some kind of protest, pathetic as it might be. So on the day of the book signing, which was scheduled for 7 p.m., I walked over to the Borders in the middle of the afternoon, (it's just a few block from my office). At the register, I asked for a wristband (anyone who wanted an autograph from Max had to have a wristband). With the wristband, I could have returned at 7 p.m. and confronted Max. But, like I say above, that would have only given him more material, (I also didn't have the courage). I didn't return. I just kept the wristband, hoping that maybe I took the wristband of an unfortunate person who may actually enjoy reading what Max writes.

I still have the wristband. I plan to send it back to Borders, along with my Borders Card. Maybe, with more time, and more motivation, scores of people could have been rounded up to secure a wristband and return it to Borders.

On the website, after proclaiming himself an asshole, Max writes, "But, I do contribute to humanity in one very important way. I share my adventures with the world."

Hopefully, someday, Borders and other bookstores will make an important contribution to humanity by refusing to sell anything by Max.


  1. i haven't read much of tucker max, but reading this makes me want to check out more of his stuff. thanks for the reading suggestion.

  2. God, people can be such unevolved assholes, Tucker and the ass above. Sometimes, I think it's a shield for how boring and useless they really are. I found your blog for the first time today and just wanted to say that enjoyed reading it and hearing a new perspective. Keep posting!

  3. thanks anonymous. I kind of asked for the comment by Meth Lab though. On his blog, he wrote about 'fucking a midget!' -- wow, that's so cool. I commented on the post. Like you above, I compared him to Max.