It seems that, these days, being a self-righteous boor is the new "in" thing. Kanye West and Serena Williams's very public outbursts and subsequent apologies have made them Zeitgeist villains of the moment. Then there's Tucker Max, the unapologetic frat boy who's made a career out of blogging about his tales of debauchery and defilement (for a taste, if you must, go to tuckermax.com).
Max, who is in his mid thirties and attended Duke Law School, spun his bombastic tell-all antics — most every one of which features booze, vomit, and sex — into a New York Times bestseller, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. That title has now been turned into a feature film, which is giving Max more opportunities to accrue stories of booze, vomit, and sex.
To promote the movie — and himself (in the film, it should be noted, the role of Max is played by actor and New Hampshire native Matt Czuchry) — Max has launched a tour bus to hit college towns across the country. Stop number 14 was Harvard Square in Cambridge (which Max incorrectly lists and repeatedly refers to as Boston on his Web site). Outside the theater, the Max faithful lined one side of Church Street while the other was buzzing with protesters, accusing Max of employing date-rape tactics.
The anti-Max camp brandished such signs as GETTING HER DRUNK FIRST = RAPE and TUCKER DOESN'T REPRESENT MEN. (More curiously, one person held a sign that read LOVE WOMEN, RAPE CHRISTIANS.) Max and his camera crew, drinking beer, ju-jitsued the opposition, asking such insidious questions as, "Who has killed more people in America — nuclear power or Ted Kennedy?" (Kennedy had not passed away at the time of the screening.)
Inside, before the movie began, Max asked the friendly audience members — who had paid to see the premiere — to entertain him with their own tales of silliness. One young man recounted yelling "Shazam!" while getting a blowjob, while a video-game geek proclaimed that he earned oral honors when he got a high score.
Then came the big non-event of the evening: the movie (check the Phoenix next week for the review), followed by a post-screening Q&A (more like a love-in, with this group). In that session, Max, who routinely referred to women as "sluts," admitted to being a narcissist and attention seeker, but rejected accusations of being sexist or a misogynist, pointing to the number of female audience members in attendance. One asked where Tucker would be later on. Max eyed the young lady and told her to hang around, she might make due — if he couldn't "trade up."
Max has created a perfect cycle: drink, screw, tell about carousing, garner audience, and repeat, cannibalizing those that wish to be anointed. We built this "asshole" (his word). Hopefully, Hell will be a lot less fun than he imagines.