Beer in Hell College Tour Runs Aground in North Carolina
Since its publication in 2006, Tucker Max's testosterrific book I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell has made its reputation as a polarizing bestseller about the truth and consequences of its author's beyond-assholish behavior. Particularly toward women, some of whom actually dropped the R-word last night as the memoir's movie adaptation rolled into North Carolina State University.
A cluster of protesters flanked the auditorium entrance last night in Raleigh, upset over the N.C. State's tacit endorsement of what one administrator had earlier suggested was "the definition of rape." Specifically, said the head of the school's Women Center, "He views women as objects. He's only out to get as much sex as he can at any cost."
That latter part is fairly accurate; it's among the central tenets guiding Max through the film -- which I've actually seen and didn't loathe (despite an infamous trailer that didn't do the volatile material any favors). But rape? Not so much; in fact (spoiler alert!), the first scene sets the douchey ground rules right away, featuring two cops busting up an aggressive but consensual sex act between Max (played by Matt Czuchry) and a deaf woman. It's a fetish for him, and it's not like she cares; she actually gripes to the officers about how close she was to an orgasm when they ruined it.
So tacky? Yes. The whole enterprise is tacky -- purposefully so, setting Max up for a series of life lessons (believable or not) that the trailer defies in favor of a Hangover-y assault on P.C. values. But that's somewhat old news that Max has been deflecting for years, most recently this week when the college paper's coverage of the protests made national headlines. Chalk it up to a slow news week, I guess, not that it makes Max himself feel any better:
Here, protesters, let me help you people out: Wake up and look around. The world has passed you by. I am more mainstream than you. Your definition of rape - that having a drink precludes anyone from giving consent to sex - is bullshit. Your ideas about culture and drinking and life are bankrupt. No one agrees with you. There is a reason I have sold a million books and can sell out a movie premiere tour, and you can't even fill a classroom: Because more people agree with me than you.
Actually, I think anti-rape is pretty mainstream, but point taken. Can we please just protest the film's mediocrity from here on out?
· Premiere brings protest, praise [The Technician]
· 30 days out: Here come the protesters [Tucker Max]