Tucker Max is a douchebag. Just ask him. The infamous blogger, “author,” and self-proclaimed “raging dickhead” — the latter most often in the form of objectifying and degrading any woman he comes in contact with — is also the recent subject of the autobiographical film I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, adapted from Max’s book of the same name. Fittingly, the movie’s street promotion included all-black posters slapped around the city, brandishing appropriately offensive Max mantras like BLIND GIRLS NEVER SEE YOU COMING and STRIPPERS WILL NOT TOLERATE DISRESPECT (JUST KIDDING). And wouldn’t you know it, feminists don’t appreciate stripper jokes.
Sixteen such feminists gathered in the lobby of the Baruch College Library on East 25th last night to make counter-attack ads — we’re talking construction paper and magic markers — to wheatpaste over the originals. One hot pink poster read, RAPE JOKES: AS FUNNY AS TUCKER MAX (NOT FUNNY). Some others were REAL MEN RESPECT WOMEN, YOUR DAUGHTERS WILL READ THIS SHIT!, I HOPE THEY SERVE SUBPOENAS IN HELL, and RAPISTS=PSYCHOS. (Wait, what?) Katrin Redfern, tonight’s organizer, explained that I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell ads have already been banned by the Chicago Transit Authority, but because there was no particular CTA-like organization to target in New York City, those offended “had to go a little more grassroots.”
Posters completed, a girl in all black, who’d been making out with her girlfriend for the last 20 minutes, stood up to ask in all seriousness, “We ready to rock out?” They were. So the band of ladies, and two uncomfortable-looking gentlemen, marched down 25th Street toward a previously determined construction site. Tucker Max is “so ‘stupid frat boy,’ except he’s like 35,” a woman pushing a big orange bicycle told her companion. “It’s not shocking, it’s just offensive,” the other replied. There’s also talk of the movie being a “cop out” — as in not crude enough. Another voice elaborated: “He didn’t even just go for it. It wasn’t edgy.” A collective, “Yeah!” raised up from the group as they approached the offending wall.
But there was a problem. The first ad they’d planned to target was already gone. Someone had spotted it last Friday — they’d all planned to go out last Sunday, but you can’t wheatpaste in the rain — and now the ad wasn’t there. It took 20 minutes in a Bank of America ATM vestibule to regroup. The once-merry band half-heartedly agreed to split up, but not before a brief photo shoot and a cheer of, “Get down with all your fierceness, all your strength and your beauty!” from the photographer.
The first group set out in search of another Beer in Hell ad in SoHo; the other headed to Times Square to hand out strips of paper bashing Max and his misogynistic ways. The latter ended up at the AMC on 42nd Street, where two of the women sneaked into the theater showing the movie — one got in by slipping past a ticket-taker in a wheelchair. The audience, a mixture of frat boys and high schoolers that clearly wanted to live out the Tucker Max dream, was not amused. One of a very few young ladies present, explained her interest in the film: “I thought the book looked funny.” A guy offered, “It’s just like the same thing as The Hangover.”
No matter, Meredith, this pack’s leader, explained that it was only important that the message “gets out.” In the end, there were no arrests, no counter protest, and barely a second glance from the AMC employees. Tucker Max likely still woke up a huge douchebag this morning, but at least his morning paper will tell him just how bad his movie is bombing.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 1, 2009