Sean Penn Addresses Contreversy Over Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff
Sean Penn’s debut novel “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff” is already lining bookstore shelves. The oddball satire revolves around the exploits of septic tank salesmen Bob Honey, whose primary customers are Jehovah’s Witnesses. It gets crazier from there. Bob Honey is also an assassin, sanctioned by the government to kill the elderly. He does so with a mallet, his weapon of choice. The book contains poetry, plain storytelling, and a good bit of ranting. On the whole it is a little confusing, but according to Penn it is designed to reflect the times we live in.
Penn’s book carries a lot of controversy around with it, as it makes bold statements about #MeToo and the Trump Administration. His jabs at Trump are expected, as Penn’s political activism is well known, but the shots at #MeToo are a little surprising. No more than the response people are having to such statements. Penn says his book is simply taken out of context, remarking how sad it is for present society to hold fiction as opinion.
Satires are usually funny little works of insanity with strings of reality interwoven within them. The reality comes from the author’s voice and carries their particular view of the world around them. They are not meant to incite but rather get people thinking. Each reader is supposed to take away their own meaning from the words, not hold onto such words as fact.
In an interview with Rolling Stone Penn described his book as a focus on culture, not necessarily leadership. Although the question was asked because of the obvious Trump reference in the character Mr. Landlord, the answer applies to #MeToo as well.
The section containing the critique of #MeToo, is a four-page epilogue. According to Penn the epilogue focuses on legacy, supporting movements that promote inclusion instead of exclusion. It really does not put #MeToo down. According to Penn the controversy comes from social extremism, and the fact that many people will jump on a bandwagon in response to things like this. In his interview he called such a response, “a reckless exercise of shouting Freud.”