Manly Men

Apparently in patriarchy-speak, “Man” = “Total Asshole.”

George Ouzounian, aka “Maddox,” creator of “The Best Page in the Universe” and author of the forthcoming “Alphabet of Manliness,” is making more hay on testosterone than a bull breeder. His Web site, which he started in 1997 while a programmer at a telemarketing company and which trumpets his disregard for authority and political correctness, gets 1 million unique visitors a month. “The Alphabet of Manliness,” a letter-by-letter guide to all things male, macho and masculine, is pumped full of aggression toward the weak, the flabby, the girly men of the world. The book, and its author, have become this season’s publishing phenomenon: When it became available by preorder, Maddox sent a note to his mailing list and, overnight, “Alphabet” shot to the No. 1 spot on Amazon. “Alphabet” is a triumph of word-of-mouth publicity: The book’s publisher, Citadel Press, has done very little to promote it, and Maddox himself has given only a few brief interviews, but it has hovered in the top 70, often in the top 20, for the two months since its initial ascent. All this, and it doesn’t hit shelves until Tuesday, June 6.

There’s something that will not be going on my Amazon list.

Some of Maddox’s over-the-top riffs are funny, but others are tone-deaf and dumb. Warning his readers to be wary when picking up women at bars, he writes: “Listen for a faint whistling noise coming from between her legs, as if wind were passing through a large, hollow cavern. If you hear this sound, your prospective woman may have a condition commonly referred to as ‘whore.'”

Oh, so funny! Especially when you consider that the kind of guy who chuckles at this joke may have a condition commonly referred to as “pencil dick.”

Kidding, kidding. See, just like it’s dumb to make fun of women’s reproductive organs, it’s dumb to make fun of men’s.

My favorite part of the interview, though, is when George tells us his inspiration for this manly manual:

Well, I was reading this book about lesbians, and it had pictures in it. It was almost like a graphic novel. And I was thinking, “Why hasn’t someone done this kind of book, except for guys?” The way I’ve written the book is as a parody of a children’s book and a reference book. And I always wanted to write children’s books, except I hate kids.

So a book about how to be a total guy’s guy was inspired by girls and gays. Ha. But don’t worry, this book is about a new masculinity:

The new masculinity is a muted version of the old masculinity. When I talk about old masculinity I’m talking about guys like my dad. My dad is a really tough guy. He fought in Korea, and if you took a look at this guy’s hands you would see [that they] are big and callused and gnarled and there’s stuff just oozing from them, and I think he has oil stains that are there permanently. And my hands in comparison are not like that. Sometimes he grabs my hands, and he calls me a pussy, and he walks away. To give you an idea what kind of guy he is, we went fishing once and he didn’t have anything to gut and clean the fish, so he bit into its stomach and bit its guts out and spit them on the ground. True story. I was 13 or 14.

So it’s basically about not being a pussy, minus the fish guts. Or something.

I’m not sure the feminist movement accomplished all its goals. People today have a backlash to the feminist movement. The [figure] who is remembered when you think of feminism, by people who haven’t studied it, is the [un]shaved girl burning her bra, standing on campus screaming at everybody. That’s definitely not a positive image. I think the feminist movement went a little too far. But a lot of things have changed for the better from the eras of segregation and huge racism and the civil rights movement.

So the feminist movement didn’t accomplish all of its goals, but it also went too far. Hmm. But he does make the brilliant observation that lots of things have actually gotten better since we ended segregation and stuff. Perhaps he’d like a pat on the back?

But thank God for Rebecca Traister, who nails him with some questions about gender and race (her questions in bold):

I noticed on your site that you seem sensitive to issues of race, in entries like your rant about the term “African-American.” Some of the things about women in your book — for example when you write about the wind whistling through a woman’s cavernous vagina — would you be able to make those kinds of derogatory jokes about, for instance, black people?

No, definitely not. Because first of all, I’m not black. I think if someone makes those types of jokes about racial or ethnic groups, they have to have viewed it themselves. Very few comics are able to do that and get away with it, and the idea is if you understand the trouble or the pain that that stereotype comes from, then it’s OK to laugh at it because you’re laughing at it yourself. As for the writing about women, one interesting statistic is that 40 to 45 percent of my readers are female. The types of women who read my material and don’t get offended and like it are really smart women who get it. They know at end of the day [what the reality is]. I wrote this piece once called “Why change your car’s oil when your girlfriend can do it?” and it was about how I was sitting inside my house on a lazy Saturday playing videogames and my girlfriend was out trying to change my car’s oil and it was this crazy misogynistic piece. [In life] I treat my girlfriend with respect; I don’t expect her to do the dishes or the laundry. The section on owning a woman was written as a parody of a dog-training manual and it originally had a lot more offensive stuff that my publisher made me take out for people who didn’t understand dog manuals. I had stuff about checking her stool for worms before you choose a girlfriend.

But I’m not a misogynist, really! In real life I dno’t even make my girlfriend do laundry!

Christ.

And the really smart women get it — unlike the dumb feminazis who think that jokes about owning women are boring, played-out, and uncreative.

OK, but back to the part about how you wouldn’t make jokes about black people because you’re not black — you’re also not a woman.

That’s a very good observation. And the women who read my writing, who read these misogynistic observations, understand that I have in fact studied, and I do in fact live the opposite way. My dad is probably [more] traditional and he thinks women have their role in society and that role is to take care of children and to cook and to clean. At the end of the day the reason I write this stuff is because guys like it, and the majority of my audience is men. It’s so out there; it’s so wrong; and I think I’m going after some easy targets here.

Didn’t he just say that almost half of his audience is female? So, sure, he’s still technically correct in saying that the majority of his audience is male — but not by much.

And what’s his point here? “I write awful, misogynist things, but I don’t actually live like that, and plus guys like it, so it’s ok”? Replace the word “misogynist” with “racist” and see if that still works.

But why are women an easier target than a racial minority?

Well, that’s a really tough question but probably the difference is in the scope of the suffering. Talking about not being able to vote versus picking cotton in the field … I don’t know, it just seems the civil rights movement for blacks in this country was against a much stronger evil. Teasing women about not being able to vote is different than teasing a black person about the history of slavery. I’d have to think about it more. [Institutionalized racism] is a much more extreme version of discrimination; there’s a lot more pain and suffering associated with the civil rights movement.

Yes, we can all agree that slavery was certainly a whole lot worse than not being able to vote. No argument there. But I think it’s a little more complicated than that, isn’t it?

But can I be a humorless feminist for a moment by suggesting that the lesson here seems to be that women are a group it’s still OK — and funny! — to say mean and derogatory things about?

Publicist K. Darryl Pierce: I was just going to say that. The bottom line is, you can say these things about women. We’re not saying you guys don’t have a point!

(In a follow-up e-mail, Maddox clarified that “my jabs at women, taken in context, are not serious, which is why it’s okay. At the end of the day, I’m writing these things in a book where I also write about lesbian robots, boners, Cyclopses, and pirates, so people know I’m not serious, which is why I can get away with it.”)

Ok. So as long as it isn’t serious, and it’s accompanying writing about lesbian robots and boners, it’s all right to say really offensive things? Would it be ok then to write a book on Whiteness that employed racism the same way that this author employs sexism — so long as it also had jokes about cyclopses and pirates?

Let me be clear here that I’m not trying to argue that racism is universally unacceptable and therefore doesn’t exist. Racism is widespread and common. However, it’s usually levelled in more insidious ways, under the guise of “welfare politics” or “immigration” or “the war on terror.” And while racist books often do quite well (think “The Bell Curve”), I suspect that if someone wrote a book about the Alphabet of Whiteness, which essentially involved stereotyping and talking about owning Blacks, it would not go over quite so well.

I shudder to think what our kids are going to be like. Is the next generation going to continue to be totally puss-onified? I think I just coined that! But are they going to continue the trend toward being pussies? I don’t know. It’s kind of unsettling. But when I talk about women within their roles, I mean it nostalgically. I don’t mean it in the way that people do when they want to plot some nefarious scheme to keep women down. I mean it in the nostalgic sense. When I came home it was a nice feeling to know that my mom was baking cookies. It was just a nice feeling. It’s not an intentional conspiracy to keep women down.

I don’t think anyone said it was a conspiracy; we’re just saying that you’re an ass. As for this “nostalgically” shit, you’re clearly priviliging traditional female roles above modern ones, and overtly arguing that women should return to them. It may not be “an intentional conspiracy to keep women down,” but it sure is sexist crap.

Well, some people might compare you to [Ann Coulter]. You say things that are controversial and un-p.c. and I don’t think you believe a lot of what you say.

The difference is when I joke about a woman going to make me a sandwich, people will shrug it off. But there are significant numbers of people out there who take her word as gospel. I have a lot of pull with my fans; I have credibility; and I haven’t made money on ads. So my fans trust me, and I if I attack someone I have to be very careful … There was a guy in Atlanta who plagiarized me and I wrote about it and my fans went nuts. Finally he read an on-air apology. I didn’t want the guy to lose his job. So there’s a lot of responsibility you have to have when you have a voice. People listen to you. My fans, a lot of them are really smart, but some really aren’t. And they take some of the things I say at face value. It’s almost a fight-club mentality. I’ve even received e-mails from people in militias, saying “Hey Maddox, we have 20 soldiers around the country waiting for your orders.” It’s kinda scary. But better that someone like me can command these people not to do anything rather than someone who’s really nuts or more nuts than I am. So back to Ann Coulter: She’s a good example of someone who has a voice but isn’t acting responsibly with it.

Is he even following his own train of thought here? “The awful things that I say are ok because no one listens to me, but I have to be careful because I have all these fans and they’ll do whatever I tell them to, but Ann Coulter is bad because she has fans and she says bad stuff.” Gotcha.

Beyond being just bizarre, this interview really does shed some light on how narrow gender roles are harmful to both men and women. The men who fall for this kind of stuff — who believe that they have to be tougher than the next guy, that they have to control “their” women, that their hands have to be calloused and that they shouldn’t have real feelings to empathy — are inevitably hurt by it. No man will ever be the epitome of Manliness, and the more that standard is held up as the singular ideal for young men, the more men suffer. And here is where men could really benefit from a feminim that rejects traditional gender roles and emphasizes individuality and self-actualization. A man could play football, work as a receptionist, build a deck, sleep crading his baby, watch Chuck Norris movies and bake himself cupcakes with no culturally-enforced contradictions there. I could do the same.

What would be so bad about a world like that?


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46 comments for “Manly Men

  1. Molly
    June 2, 2006 at 7:19 am

    so this Maddox “shudders to think what our kids are going to be like.”

    I shudder to think there are still men that think/behave in this way.

    I stumbled on to his site a few years ago because of another post he wrote…I couldn’t even read the whole thing. It literally turned my stomach.

    Ewww.

  2. June 2, 2006 at 8:04 am

    I always thought Maddox was a parody of assholes like that, but apparently not. Also, The Alphabet of Whiteness would have a ghettopoly audience- with many customers being the type of person who is trying to ‘make fun of racism’ but really don’t know anything about racism (and they secretly like it) and of course the usual people who think being ‘un pc’ is cool.

  3. Norah
    June 2, 2006 at 9:01 am

    … I don’t know, it just seems the civil rights movement for blacks in this country was against a much stronger evil. Teasing women about not being able to vote is different than teasing a black person about the history of slavery. I’d have to think about it more.

    Of course, it’s easy to prioritize such things from your vantage point as a white male.

    Oh wait, though, aren’t they really the most oppressed of all?

  4. June 2, 2006 at 9:06 am

    He’s saying that he picks up random strange women at bars, but wants to be sure said random strange women aren’t “whores”; i.e. haven’t picked up too many random strange men at bars before him? Well, I guess, you know, guys like that deserve purity from their frequent one night stands.

  5. Sarah
    June 2, 2006 at 9:25 am

    So women who have a lot of sex are ‘whores’, but he can pick up random women at bars without considering himself to be a ‘whore’ by his own definition? It doesn’t count if you’re a man?

  6. Spotted and Herbaceous Backson
    June 2, 2006 at 9:29 am

    “Listen for a sound…as of the wind rushing..” (or whatever the precise wording was)…I thought that that condition was known as “farts”.
    Or has this fellow heard the wind rushing thru his empty skull?

  7. June 2, 2006 at 10:11 am

    Did you know that Tom Swift wanted people to eat babies? Can you believe it?

  8. June 2, 2006 at 10:43 am

    It was Jonathan Swift.

  9. Tammy
    June 2, 2006 at 11:09 am

    I’m reminded of the slew of racist “joke” imagery after the slaves were emancipated. Seems that there’s a lot of people who don’t like having control and free labor taken from them.

  10. randomliberal/Robert
    June 2, 2006 at 11:15 am

    A man could play football, work as a receptionist, build a deck, sleep crading his baby, watch Chuck Norris movies and bake himself cupcakes with no culturally-enforced contradictions there. I could do the same.

    What would be so bad about a world like that?

    The Chuck Norris movies. Bruce Lee movies are much better, especially the one where he gets to kick Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s ass (nothing against Kareem, that was just funny to watch).

  11. June 2, 2006 at 11:33 am

    In short: I’m just *joking* about how men own women and women are whores and only useful for doing stuff for you and stuff, and because I’m joking, it’s totally fine, smart women get that. If you don’t, you’re stupid.

  12. Darryl Pierce
    June 2, 2006 at 11:35 am

    Simmer down kiddies. It’s called satire.

  13. Niles
    June 2, 2006 at 1:03 pm

    I admit, I got stuck at the part where he said his dad had nothing to gut the fish with so he bit the guts out. If this was true, dad was going for the gross out value macho display on his kid, period.

    What real man doesn’t carry a pocket knife at all times? Or use a pointed stick or a sharpened stone, or a finger for that matter. Or just toss it in the cooler until they freakin’ get home. Continuing on the theme, what 14 year old son of a real man hasn’t been given his own pocket knife by that age, to be carried at all times?

    I personally smell the ‘comedian’ equivalent of James Frey here. Not that any of his fans likely care. His humour follows the off-colour footsteps of Andrew Dice Clayand/Ford Fairlane and his ilk. There’s always a niche for the knuckle dragger misogynist humour. It fits that ‘homosociability’ need. And with everything, if it pays, it plays. It will just feed off your outrage, because infamy is better than no fame at all.

  14. suezboo
    June 2, 2006 at 1:34 pm

    Jeeze, I despise ignorance masquerading as “brave”, “cutting-edge”,un-PC humour.

    Where he said that women getting the vote was not as essential as ending slavery, that’s when my irkometer went off the scale.Mister, women’s fight for their liberation did not begin nor end with enfranchisement, AND – Guess what? A goodly number of those slaves were (gasp) women. – see Sojourner Truth for details.

    Grrrr.

  15. June 2, 2006 at 1:45 pm

    Unless he actually developed the whole Chuck NOrris myth, a lot of that shit appears to be copied. It’s the “best of both worlds” attempt: people without irony will be entertained by what they think is cutting-edge humor, people with a faux sense of irony will see it where it doesn’t exist.

    Of course, Occam’s razor could apply and you could just compare his unfunny tripe with the 3958th “you might be a redneck” joke from Jeff Foxworthy, thereby disbelieving the hype.

  16. ilyka
    June 2, 2006 at 1:51 pm

    I’m in that 40-45% of women. Shit.

    I don’t plan to buy The Alphabet of Manliness, he’s not my favorite humor writer on the web, I don’t have him linked, and sometimes his material is just tired. But I can’t say he’s never made me laugh.

    I’ve been thinking about this general subject of what’s funny vs. that’s not funny a lot recently anyway, and I don’t think there are any easy answers. For myself, it breaks down like this: I might laugh at a misogynist joke, but two conditions have to apply. First, it has to be really, really well done, and since the subject’s been mined so thoroughly, that’s increasingly difficult to do. Second, and even more importantly, my “I’m kidding, except I’m really not kidding” detector has to stay silent. If I sense that the dude making the joke really means it, on any level, that he really hates women–it’s not funny.

    I never did get the sense that Maddox means half or even most of what he says, so I can’t work up an urge to kick him. I realize someone else might view it differently, and it was certainly boneheaded of him to emphasize “smart women” like that in this interview. Hey, we all like to compliment our fans for having such excellent taste, but in context, it’s impossible not to take that as a contrast with “dumb, humorless feminists who just don’t get it.”

    Anyway, he’s right about how to spot pedophiles.

  17. June 2, 2006 at 2:03 pm

    Plus, I never trust the comedic skills of a person whose interview requires his publicist to operate him like a meat puppet during several tense exchanges.

  18. June 2, 2006 at 2:26 pm

    He’s definitely made me laugh before, and I link to him, but this interview is very disappointing. I don’t like to be patronized.

  19. Raging Moderate
    June 2, 2006 at 3:33 pm

    I’ve been thinking about this general subject of what’s funny vs. that’s not funny a lot recently anyway, and I don’t think there are any easy answers.

    Funny is in the eye of the beholder.

    In Montreal we have the annual Just For Laughs comedy festival. There are hundreds of shows, many with specific themes (O’Comics, The Bar Mitvah Show, Wiseguys, The Asian Invasion, etc). There are galas hosted by big name stars (this year we’ve got John Cleese, Margaret Cho, Bill Cosby, Jason Alexander and several more).

    Without fail, the shows that sell out the fastest are The Nasty Shows. They usually have to add more shows (there are 11 this year). I’ve been to at least ten of them over the years. They are undoubtedly the most racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-religion, and every-other-nasty-thing-you-can-think-of shows I have ever seen. And the funniest, by far. The crowds at these shows are incredibly diverse (men, women, black, white, asian, Christian, Jewish, anglophone, francophone, young, and old). The Nasty Show and it’s longtime host, Bobby Slayton (the self-proclaimed Pit Bull of Comedy), are legendary here. I’d bet that in many other cities, there would be howls of outrage and protestors in the streets. Here, they are one of the hottest tickets of the summer.

    So are we Montrealers horrible people who are insensitive to the suffering of others, or do we just have a better sense of humor?

    And are the people who find Maddox funny misogynists, or do they just have a different sense of humor?

  20. piny
    June 2, 2006 at 3:39 pm

    Funny is in the eye of the beholder.

    So? So is taste in every other sphere; that doesn’t mean you can’t argue differences in craft between a McRib and a platter of grandma’s brisket.

    And are the people who find Maddox funny misogynists, or do they just have a different sense of humor?

    I don’t know. Are you going to extend this logic to comparisons between, say, Michael Dibdin and Cynthia Ozick? He’s not a hack, he’s just different!

  21. June 2, 2006 at 3:40 pm

    Maybe Maddox is funny — I don’t know. But his interview makes me uninterested in finding out: he seems to think that being misogynistic is, in and of itself, funny. And it’s not.

    I do like the Nasty Show, though.

  22. June 2, 2006 at 3:41 pm

    Also, being anti-religion in Montreal is about the least controversial thing you can possibly be.

  23. piny
    June 2, 2006 at 3:42 pm

    Maybe Maddox is funny — I don’t know. But his interview makes me uninterested in finding out: he seems to think that being misogynistic is, in and of itself, funny. And it’s not.

    He’s just not that clever. The “faint whistling noise” was clumsy and elaborate, and there was no payoff. That’s what “loose” means? I had no idea!

  24. Raging Moderate
    June 2, 2006 at 3:44 pm

    Also, being anti-religion in Montreal is about the least controversial thing you can possibly be.

    Yeah, but you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a church. Go figger.

  25. Raging Moderate
    June 2, 2006 at 3:53 pm

    “So? So is taste in every other sphere; that doesn’t mean you can’t argue differences in craft between a McRib and a platter of grandma’s brisket.”

    Saying Maddux isn’t funny is one thing, saying he’s a bad person is another.

    I’ve never heard of him before, but I’ll check him out now. Anyone who pisses off enough people will always garner more attention (like John Cleese said about the protestors at the premier of Life of Brian – “I just hope one of them will take a swing at me; then the movie will make a fortune!”)

  26. piny
    June 2, 2006 at 4:08 pm

    Saying Maddux isn’t funny is one thing, saying he’s a bad person is another.

    Yes, but I think a case can be made both for “unfunny” and “asshole.”

    I’ve never heard of him before, but I’ll check him out now. Anyone who pisses off enough people will always garner more attention (like John Cleese said about the protestors at the premier of Life of Brian – “I just hope one of them will take a swing at me; then the movie will make a fortune!”)

    Which is exactly why the attention Maddox is getting impresses me as little as it does.

  27. June 2, 2006 at 5:44 pm

    Raging Moderate in 24: I assume you are making a rhetorical point which works mostly for people who don’t know the history of the province? The Quiet Revolution wasn’t that long ago — they haven’t had a chance to turn all the churches into condos yet.

    I don’t know that Maddox is a bad person. Based on the interview alone, he’s not a hugely funny person, and he seems to be under the ass-y idea that saying misogynistic things is funny, and that people who don’t agree with him are stupid and humourless. Maybe the interview came out wrong, or maybe at home he is in a totally egalitarian relationship. Whatever: his *public persona* is the persona of an asshole making money off of misogyny, and I am commenting on that, based on the interview I read and the quotes from the book in it.

  28. junk science
    June 2, 2006 at 10:28 pm

    God, how fucking lame. I have more respect for real woman-haters than for morons who make passive-aggressive jokes just to pull the humorless feminists’ pigtails. Sack up and be a real asshole.

  29. June 2, 2006 at 11:19 pm

    morons who make passive-aggressive jokes just to pull the humorless feminists’ pigtails.

    Whew. I make passive-agressive jokes, but it’s to pull the pigtails of humorful feminists. I’m off the hook.

  30. Hagbard
    June 3, 2006 at 1:40 am

    Next, shall we bash Sarah Silverman? Or does she get a pass?

  31. annie
    June 3, 2006 at 4:50 am

    I’ve always read his more offensive stuff (for example, if you don’t beat the bejeezus out of your children, you’re a failure as a parent) in a more… bitter way. As in, I joke with my siblings about “Heck, those homophobic laws don’t matter, it’s not like gays have feelings!” to express my fury at the government without screaming. I don’t think he’s necessarily saying what he says from an angry viewpoint (privileged white male, la la la), but I honestly do think it’s not a passive-aggressive “oh I hate women but haha I didn’t mean it,” rather “gee, society sure can be stupid!” At the same time though, insulting people who don’t agree with you – who have very good reason to – is offensive, yeah, and he certainly doesn’t have any significant idea of the scope of the issue. But I’ll shut up.

  32. June 3, 2006 at 8:19 am

    I’ve never even heard of this guy, but if he’s actually writing satire, it can’t be very good satire, or it wouldn’t require a legion of apologist bloggers to point out its satiricalness. Like I always say before deciding whether to throw a pointless book into the wood chipper, why read this crap when you still haven’t finished Proust?

  33. Laser Potato
    June 3, 2006 at 11:22 am

    I never did find Maddox funny. Seanbaby, on the other hand…

  34. junk science
    June 3, 2006 at 12:43 pm

    I honestly do think it’s not a passive-aggressive “oh I hate women but haha I didn’t mean it,” rather “gee, society sure can be stupid!”

    This is the way he puts it:

    It even goes back to why it’s OK to make fun of women in the way that I do: It’s because it’s not realistic anymore. I’m sure somewhere in some backwater city it’s still happening, but for the most part men realize it’s not OK to treat women as they’ve been treated in the past.

    It’s like I used to feel about “politically correct” language; I don’t like that my words have that kind of power, and I’m uncomfortable knowing how easily I could wound someone without meaning to. I sympathize with people who wish we could “get past” political correctness, not because I want to hurt people’s feelings without having to feel bad about it, but because I don’t want people to assume I want to hurt their feelings at all.

    But since I’m not living in an episode of Barney, I realize we’re not always going to get along, and I can’t just rib everyone and expect them to know I’m harmless. It doesn’t matter if that makes me uncomfortable, because it’s not my comfort that’s relevant. Once you get over the “Jesus, man, I swear I was just kidding” impulse, it’s not that hard to stop being a thoughtless asshole. I hope.

    I suspect this is why some men are uncomfortable with feminism. They honestly don’t hate women or think they’re better than them, and they’d like to live in a world where women know that by default. They probably don’t realize how self-centered they come off by not acknowledging that they don’t live in that world.

  35. Carpenter
    June 3, 2006 at 1:17 pm

    Damn that guy is just a dumbass. That Anne Coulter paragrph is just a bucket of contradictions. I have a hard time believing that he’sall that clever or can produce anything funny or edgy if he can make sense of his own schtick. He also seems to be laboring under the dillusion that the ‘nostalgic’ female is the anglo white sububan female. My relatives didn’t have time for plates ofcookies, when they came to this country they worked in sweatshops, why doesn’t he satirize that, at least that wouldn’t be themost hackneyed thing in creation.

  36. June 3, 2006 at 1:45 pm

    I don’t really see the satire in jokes about the size of people’s genitals. Is there really a hoard of men who are seriously worried about women’s vaginas being too big, who need to be satirized? It just seems lame and weird to me.

    Now, Jesus’ General is my idea of satire.

  37. twibs
    June 3, 2006 at 10:21 pm

    I’ve read a few articles from his website, and they always struck me as more pitiful than anything else. He seems like a classic case of “that girl laughed at me. I know! I’ll go on the INTERNET and write about how she’s my property!”. It seems to me it’s the kind of mean spirited humor that comes out of being insecure.

    Honestly, legions of fans awaiting his every order? Calling his website the best page in the universe? Photoshopping himself into a picture of Che Guevara? It seem like he’s trying to convince himself that he’s actually pretty cool and all the women who don’t flock to him are wrong and all the people who don’t agree with him are idiots. I’m not buying it.

  38. John
    June 4, 2006 at 10:39 pm

    My goodness. Some of your “feminists” are ridiculous.

    My mother to me is a feminist. She understands the inequalities of man and women, sees all of the problems women face in today’s society, and usually loathes the typical boorish male figure and feels most men are “pigs”. She is extremely liberal, extremely opinionated, and very intelligent. Here’s the clincher- she thinks all of Maddox’s stuff is funny, including all of the women-bashing stuff . Why?

    Because she’s intelligent.

    Maddox is absolutely right when he says “the types of women who read my material and don’t get offended and like it are really smart women who get it”.

    Most of the opinions I’ve read today contain more emotions than rational thought process. Have you ever heard of the word “satire”? Good god. If you don’t think you’re going to like Maddox’s book, don’t buy it. If you don’t think you’re going to like his website, don’t go to it. If you turn the other cheek, it’s amazing how it works – he won’t bother you! A lot of you people need to get bent and shaddup.

  39. piny
    June 5, 2006 at 12:51 am

    Oops! I didn’t mean to approve that. Hey, can everyone just relegate John to a mental Cone of Silence? Thanks.

    (Oh, look! John’s running out of oxygen!)

    –ed.

  40. June 5, 2006 at 1:17 am

    Photoshopping himself into a picture of Che Guevara?

    That part I could almost see doing myself. Except I’d probably rather photoshop myself into a picture of Emma Goldman.

  41. KnifeGhost
    June 5, 2006 at 1:34 am

    piny: Done and done. But may I add that my generic favourite retort to people who say “haven’t you ever heard of satire?” is “yes. You’ve evidently never seen the goos stuff.”

  42. junk science
    June 5, 2006 at 3:51 am

    If you turn the other cheek, it’s amazing how it works – he won’t bother you!

    How come that trick doesn’t work with you?

  43. junk science
    June 5, 2006 at 3:52 am

    Oops, sorry. The above comment never happened.

  44. John
    June 5, 2006 at 11:20 am

    If you turn the other cheek, it’s amazing how it works – he won’t bother you!

    How come that trick doesn’t work with you?

    I have the mental capacity to never let you bother me. You aren’t bothering me like Maddox apparently bothers you. You’re mentality is just very mildly frustrating. Very mildly.

  45. Anna
    June 5, 2006 at 7:31 pm

    I have the mental capacity to never let you bother me. You aren’t bothering me like Maddox apparently bothers you. You’re mentality is just very mildly frustrating. Very mildly.

    Ummm frustrate and bother mean the same thing so apparently your (note the lack of apostrophe) mental capacity extends about as far as mine does.

    The whole point of Modest Proposal style satire is that it has to be expressed in terms that are extreme enough that most people, on stopping to think for a little while will realise that no rational human being could actually hold such views (of course with the leadership that the US has now I can see where sometimes the question becomes a little fraught).

    If most people believe baby eating is a rational response to Irish famine then the satire falls flat.

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