Sean Penn Uses “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff” to Speak His Mind

Sean Penn’s new book “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff” has made a stir since its release. Critics have panned the novel, labeling it hard to read, a whirlwind of unanchored ideas, or even as just a rant disguised as a book. Although Penn’s prose is hard to follow, relegating many to rereading passages to gain understanding, his frenetic style is different enough to be interesting.

 

The book is described as a satire, and certainly has the soul of one. Penn’s focused is unbiased as he attacks subjects on both sides of the spectrum. His focus on #MeToo has drawn some particular ire from critics and stars alike, but Penn has waved it off. According to him the book is open to reader interpretation and they will take from it what they will.

 

The book centers around Bob Honey, a septic tank salesmen who also wears the hat of government assassin. We either follow Honey on a whirlwind of adventure, taking out old people with a mallet for the sake of the environment, or stay at home and watch the frustrated Honey try to socialize. Penn’s story paints a dystopian version of America, one filled with his fears and frustrations. It is an America where society is just a marketing ploy. A country that has lost its luster do to the decaying political process.

Penn uses Honey to vent about many current events, most pointedly President Trump, #MeToo, and the media. Trump is represented by the character of Mr. Landlord, the Trump-like president of Penn’s altered United States. Mr. Landlord is the realization of Penn’s worst fears about Trump, and the sad state of Honey’s America is where Penn sees things going. Metaphorically of course.

 

Although Landlord is obviously Trump, readers could draw correlations to many presidents past and present. Maybe. The tweet me dare in Honey’s closing letter is pretty hard to ignore. The #MeToo reference comes in Penn’s epilogue, which is written in the style of a poem. The poem mentions #MeToo by name and has some pretty scathing things to say. Many have taken exception at this but Penn has said it is aimed to support movements in general.

 

The poem blames #MeToo for being exclusive, and compares their tactics to those found on a playground. It also blames the media for causing police officer shootings by glorifying them with the news. The wide view certainly give Penn a lot to say, and he does not back down.


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