10 Questions for Tucker Max
- Stephen Alexander
- Portland Tribune - Features
Tucker Max is not a nice guy. Does he drink too much? He invented being 'Tucker Max' drunk.
To say that he objectifies women would be insulting to objects. If you're an idiot, or a poser, Max will destroy you with his brutal wit.
To put it lightly: Max's personality resembles his backside.
Guess what? The 34-year-old has become a cultural icon. Max's first book 'I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell,' a product of a successful website (tuckermax.com), is a No. 1 New York Times bestseller and has spent more than 150 weeks on the list for five years.
The book was turned into a movie which he co-wrote and produced. He was nominated to be one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2009.
The Tribune caught up with Max before his Oct. 15 book signing at Powell's for his latest book about people whose personalities resemble their backsides finishing first. Hilarity ensued:
Tribune: How hosed are readers if they get to the afterlife and see you there?
Max: I'm an atheist, so I don't actually believe in the afterlife. But, if they see me there then they're going to be really hosed because it means they did something wrong.
Tribune: What kind of debauchery are you planning for your stop in Portland?
Max: You can't plan stories. I wish I could. But, it doesn't work that way. I just go out and have fun with my friends. I never have anything planned. It just happens.
Tribune: There has been a call to protest your reading at Powell's. You've already had protests by people who find your writing objectionable. Your response?
Max: It's sort of like, 'What do you say to the schizophrenic, crazy, fat girl in the corner?' Nothing. You ignore them. They're crazy. These protesters are so wrong about everything. The only thing I always wonder is: don't you have anything actually important to do with your life? But, I don't mind. It's just more attention for me.
Tribune: Thanks for coming up with a title that the Tribune has to write around - 'A**holes Finish First.' Why do they finish first?
Max: I would love to give you some soliloquy on the deep meaning of the title. But, it's just a play on 'nice guys finish last.' If there is any meaning in it, it's just that someone who doesn't accept the BS society tries to dump on you, but lives their life their own way, those type of people tend to do better because they don't follow the crowd. Following the crowd only gets you to a crowded place. Going against the crowd and doing the things you want to do can get you to the place where you want to go.
Tribune: The Oregon State football team has made headlines by stealing a gay sheep, and a lineman (now dismissed) getting tazed after crouching in a naked three-point stance during a confrontation with police after he broke into a woman's Corvallis apartment. Would some of your antics overshadow those things?
Max:(Laughing) That sounds funny!My stories are in that league. But, those sound like awesome stories. Tell those guys if they want to party with me, I'm up for it anytime.
Tribune: Have you been surprised by the success of the genre you created, 'fratire'?
Max: Not really. There's been next to nothing written for guys like me. I was just the first guy who sat down and wrote it out. The best is yet to come. A lot of kids are going to grow up on my stuff and will take it in a different direction and make it better and funnier. And I hope they do. I can't wait to read it.
Tribune: You say that you attended Duke Law School on an academic scholarship, where you graduated with a juris doctor (JD) degree in 2001 despite neglecting to buy any textbooks for your final two years and spending part of one semester - while still enrolled in classes - living in Cancun. What does that say about the quality of America's educational system?
Max: I'll tell you what it says about law school. It says that law school is a joke. It's really hard to get into a good law school. But, once you get in, they don't teach you anything, they don't care if you learn anything. I tell people all the time, being a lawyer is an awful job and law school is a (expletive) joke. I could rave for hours about the worthlessness of a law school education.
Tribune: What's your writing process like?
Max:I wish I could tell you some fancy cool story about all this stuff that I do to bring out my delicate genius and talk to the muse. But I just go live my life, and if something happens that I think is funny, I sit down and I bang out the story. I try to write stories that are very easy to read and are very compelling.
Tribune: Is there any pressure to continue living an outrageous life so you can continue writing your books?
Max: When I go out, a lot of people are like, 'Dude, you're Tucker Max, are you drunk?' I'm like, 'No, dude, it's 11 a.m. on a Tuesday!' I've never thought I was going to write these type of stories my whole life. Not only do I not expect to do this at 40, I don't want to do this at 40. That's not fun. Certain things that are really fun at 24 aren't fun at 34. I played with G.I. Joes at 10, but, I don't do it at 30.
Tribune: What do you not put in your books that people should know about you?
Max: Almost everything. Only a very small slice of my life is entertaining. I have a dog who I love to death. But, I don't write any of that because who gives a (expletive)? If you're not me or the dog, do you really want to read about this boring (expletive) in my life? No. Who cares? The only stuff I put in is stuff other people will think is funny.