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Jim Goad's 'Answer Me!' just rereleased in deluxe box set -
October 11, 2006 6:38 PM   Subscribe

Answer Me! the first three, The Rape Issue, The Rape Board Game (includes Rape Dice), and Chocolate Impulse (Goad's hoax fanzine) Jim Goad has been called "The Most Dangerous Man in Publishing" by Penthouse magazine, as he's been writing some of America's most essential reading material in the past 10 years, including the rare white slavery document Redneck Manifesto and the powerful prison industry analysis of Shit Magnet. Answer Me! rereleased boxed set includes all the essential pieces for a collection that is worth getting for the investment value alone even if you arent a fan. Dig in !
posted by unpoppy (74 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
I only ever read The Suicide Issue, but it depressed me so much I never wanted to read another thing by Goad or his horrible (now ex-)wife.
posted by jonson at 6:43 PM on October 11, 2006


Also - to be clear, you're not in some way affiliated with scapegoatpublishing or anything, are you?
posted by jonson at 6:48 PM on October 11, 2006


Jim Goad is a difficult guy in many ways, but he will go down in history as the best satirist of the late twentieth century.

(When I emailed him some rare Slade mp3's (he's a big fan) he was very gracious and polite)

I own ANSWER ME! the first three (and the Redneck Manifesto) in the AK Press edition. I'm not shelling out more for the new one.
posted by jonmc at 6:49 PM on October 11, 2006


no I'm not associated with scapegoat. Jim is just my favorite author. My first introduction to him was The Redneck Manifesto and it completely changed my worldview.
posted by unpoppy at 6:50 PM on October 11, 2006


but he will go down in history as the best satirist of the late twentieth century

False
posted by jonson at 6:51 PM on October 11, 2006


this is the first i have heard of him or redneck manifesto, but electronically leafing through it i have to say, he seems to be making a point i have tried making to friends for years now. i should pick up this book i guess.
posted by nola at 6:52 PM on October 11, 2006


I'm at work right now so I don't think I'll be clcking those links for a while, but I'll just mention that Jim Goad published (som of?) Peter Sotos' works. Just reading the Barbelith write-up unsettled me more than I thought text could, and that was just a second-hand account of Sotos' works.
posted by lekvar at 6:53 PM on October 11, 2006


i used to say , as long as you were saying hateful things about poor white people no one on campus would bat an eye. but if you said the same things about poor black folks everyone gets real uncomfortable.
posted by nola at 6:55 PM on October 11, 2006


Horrible human being, but a great writer.

I always thought it was a real shame that he sacrificed so much page space to building up his lower-middle class white guy street cred. When he could drop the woe is me shtick to do long-term journalistic pieces (ie his Playboy story on Vietnamese gang culture in Southern California), he was damn near amazing.

In any case, quite the collection of links. Guess I'll dig out my AK Press Answer Me! anthology now...
posted by huskerdont at 6:58 PM on October 11, 2006


Well, shit, I just bought the First Three edition two months ago, and NOW they throw in the rape issue?
posted by Bookhouse at 6:59 PM on October 11, 2006


I knew jonmc would be into this. I thought there was some problem with the Rape Issue which prevented it from being sold or something.
posted by Falconetti at 6:59 PM on October 11, 2006


Goad is also an occasional contributor to Vice Magazine. One of their most controversial articles: Dumb Myths and Smart Facts about Slavery.
posted by skullbee at 7:08 PM on October 11, 2006


I thought there was some problem with the Rape Issue which prevented it from being sold or something.

They were arrested for 'obscenity,' for it.

but he will go down in history as the best satirist of the late twentieth century

False


that's tellin' me.

he's a brilliant satirist in the same sense that Richard Pryor and Mel Brooks were. Mos Def once said of Pryor's standup: "It's all about making you uncomfortable," and Goad was great at making smug, self-satisfied people uncomfortable.

I always thought it was a real shame that he sacrificed so much page space to building up his lower-middle class white guy street cred.

If 'cred' wasn't so fetishized by the very epople he was satirizing, he wouldn't have to.

The Redneck Manifesto was widely misinterpreted, but it's worth noting that it's very existence came into being due to a conversation between Goad and (equally brilliant satirist) Negrophobia! author Darius James.
posted by jonmc at 7:08 PM on October 11, 2006


I also figure that once Jim Goad reads his referrer logs he'll shred all of us including those who like him, but he won't be boring while he does it. And say what you wnat about him, but he's as intellectual rigorous as he is entertaining.
posted by jonmc at 7:12 PM on October 11, 2006


The problem with the rape issue is that it is unforgivable. Goad wasn't just a satirist -- he onviously has some real issues with woman and violence.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:13 PM on October 11, 2006


I had the most unpleasant privilege of being present for the occasion on which a young woman whose brother had been abducted, raped and murdered and whose image had been detourned by Peter Sotos for the front cover of one of his 'zines encountered said 'zine for the first time.

I can never forgive Goad, the Amok Press folks, or anyone else responsible for giving Sotos the slightest cover of legitimacy in those years, as a First Amendment partisan or anything else. There's simply nothing redeeming about that (blessedly departed) moment in which bored suburban teenagers amused themselves with affected Mansonista posturing & serial-killer groupiedom. Boy am I glad it's over.

(That said, the *first* part of Trucker Fags In Denial is priceless.)
posted by adamgreenfield at 7:17 PM on October 11, 2006


Surely there is more to satire than it being "all about making you uncomfortable." Goad makes me uncomfortable, but so does sitting in a tub of horse piss.
posted by johngoren at 7:29 PM on October 11, 2006


How about a post that gives me a fucking clue as to what you're talking about?

I don't know Jim Goad. Perhaps I'd like to know about Jim Goad. You make this Rape thing and this Slavery thing sound like something I should know about. So I clicky-clicky to find out more.

An online order site? A jpeg? Two links to Amazon.com? Give me a fucking break.

Sure, it was nice of you to include Goad's website. But maybe a little more context would be nicer, eh?
posted by F Mackenzie at 7:29 PM on October 11, 2006


I don't see whats so controversial about Dumb Myths and Smart Facts about Slavery, other than the condescending tone.
If that is indicative of his writing in general I'll pass.
posted by edgeways at 7:30 PM on October 11, 2006


"...investment value..."? You can't be serious.

By the way, the poster has 4 comments, this one original post, and joined three weeks ago. Am I the only one for whom alarms are going off?
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 7:32 PM on October 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


Goad wasn't just a satirist -- he onviously has some real issues with woman and violence.

So did NWA. Dosen't make Straight Outta Compton any less of a great album.

How about a post that gives me a fucking clue as to what you're talking about?

The post directy lto Goad's blog and his work. You want a printout of his DNA maybe?

Again, I don't necessarily agree with all of Goad's conclusions but ANSWER ME! and Redneck Manifesto were works that had to be written, if only to counter the smug, party-line orthodoxy that passes for an alternative voice in this world.
posted by jonmc at 7:35 PM on October 11, 2006


OK, this is the first I've heard of this guy, and he poses a conflict in my mind. The Redneck Manifesto looks interesting, but the "rape game" is way outside my sense of humor. More like repellent. (And praise from Penthouse is hardly a literary recommendation in my view.) Can he have done anything worthwhile? I guess this is the kind of discomfort he aims for.

On preview, what SCDB said, too.
posted by jam_pony at 7:36 PM on October 11, 2006


I doubt there's anything I can post that will help you read something you don't already agree with. I COULD post every single link google returns regarding every article of his for some "context", but that's a bit much. Maybe a bit of interest on your part might be the key to your fussiness ?
posted by unpoppy at 7:36 PM on October 11, 2006


Mr. Den Beste, I thought the same thing, but he is just a fan (and has some pretty neat short films floating around). Didn't we just have a call out about not jumping the gun on self-links until there is some modicum of proof?

Also, I want to hear someone defend Goad's actual abuse of women, including his ex-wife, or at least provide some context. I like Goad and have owned Answer Me! for years, but I haven't relly kept up with his life or any of that and only have faint memories of him supposedly kicking this shit out of Debbie. jonmc's fellating of Goad cannot go unanswered.
posted by Falconetti at 7:37 PM on October 11, 2006


There's no need for alarm Mr. Beste, unless you're threatened of course.
posted by unpoppy at 7:37 PM on October 11, 2006


I'm so fucking bored with being shocked.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:38 PM on October 11, 2006 [1 favorite]


jonmc's fellating of Goad cannot go unanswered.

Yeah, saying that I admire his writing = fellating. Nice. Any other cheap shots you'd like to take?

Also, I want to hear someone defend Goad's actual abuse of women, including his ex-wife, or at least provide some context.

How about the fact that the woman he went to jail for hitting had a police record for assault as long as his and that he had a restraining order against her at the time?
posted by jonmc at 7:40 PM on October 11, 2006


but the "rape game" is way outside my sense of humor

read the actual writing in the rape issue. it's not an apologia for rape by any stretch, more a dissection of some of the hyperbole surrounding 'rape culture' theory.
posted by jonmc at 7:41 PM on October 11, 2006


oh jonmc, I was only teasing.
posted by Falconetti at 7:42 PM on October 11, 2006


I'm so fucking bored with being shocked.

"You don't shock me. I shudder with boredom at everything you do, from tattooing your dick to chewing on your own poop. Not only have I seen all of your weak gestures before, I've seen them done better. " - Jim Goad, The Underground is a Lie
posted by unpoppy at 7:42 PM on October 11, 2006


oh jonmc, I was only teasing.

Don't tease unless you're prepared to put out, big boy. ;>

FWIW, most people I loaned the Redneck manifesto to found it interesting and entertaining. An a\African-American buddy of mine who worked with me as a bookstore clerk used to love reading it behing the information desk just to watch peoples face when they saw him. Shit Magnet I wasn't as jazzed by. The writing was a little overwrought for my taste.
posted by jonmc at 7:50 PM on October 11, 2006


I doubt there's anything I can post that will help you read something you don't already agree with. I COULD post every single link google returns regarding every article of his for some "context", but that's a bit much. Maybe a bit of interest on your part might be the key to your fussiness ? (unpoppy)

This seems to have been aimed at me, so I'll reply.

1. The comments on Goad were not a criticism of the post. He's obviously an interesting character, whether in a positive or negative or ambiguous way.

2. The revulsion expressed was at the idea of playing a game with rape as a feature (albeit fictional) - not about reading anything.

3. I "read [things I] don't already agree with" all the time, and probably would see what's in that "rape issue" if it were conveniently available for free. I'm just getting to the online text material now, but didn't think it was necessary to read thru first in order to comment on the game.
posted by jam_pony at 7:51 PM on October 11, 2006


This guy looks and reminds me of Spider Jerusalem.
posted by liquorice at 7:51 PM on October 11, 2006


The post directy lto Goad's blog and his work. You want a printout of his DNA maybe?

Oh, yes, let's look at the one link of five that isn't an advertisement. You may be able to BUY it elsewhere...but you won't get it SIGNED elsewhere, now will you? Oh, wait, it's an advertisement! It has BUY NOW buttons! Jpeg samples of what you receive in a plain-brown wrapper!

I'm not looking for DNA. I'm looking for a few contextual references to help me figure out who this guy is, and why I care. The great thing about FPP and hyperlinks is the poster gets to show me his point. And this one fails.
posted by F Mackenzie at 7:53 PM on October 11, 2006


and putting aside the man's views, at his best, he can outwrite 99% of his zine competition and most other writers working today.
posted by jonmc at 7:54 PM on October 11, 2006


as someone who has read redneck manifesto , jonmc, would you care to share an anecdote about it , or why you thought it was a relevant read. i just ordered it , but i would love to hear more about it.
posted by nola at 8:00 PM on October 11, 2006


nola, it just speaks a lot of what I saw as rather obvious truths about race and class and punctures a lot of hubris that floats around a lot of the American cultural left. It was just very gratifying to hear him say some of the things he says in his book. And he does it without offeering apologias for racism and he will make you laugh out loud while doing it, and (he dosen't get enough credit for this) he does it with an uncharacteristic measure of compassion.
posted by jonmc at 8:06 PM on October 11, 2006


After some reading:

* On women he's rude, crude and uninteresting. Maybe he's aiming for shock value or maybe it's some psychological relative of Tourette's syndrome causing random spatters of bile from the id.

* When he gets around to class/political economy issues, he's more focused. This is what interested me in the description of Redneck Manifesto on Amazon.

* The rest, well, there's some style, and I'll spend a few more minutes at least looking for substance.
posted by jam_pony at 8:08 PM on October 11, 2006


johnmc: You seem to have posted an ad. All this stuff you are spewing in defence of Goad should have been included as a hyperlink to someone reviewing the material, or even better, to an extract.

I can't get excited about this apparent master of satire because all I can see is a stack of "BUY ME" jpegs and you whining about how good he is. I'd love to know why the Rape issue is a big enough deal to warrant a board game, especially in light of some of the ensuing comments.

Quit whining about how no-one gets the post and put some real links here for us to have a look at.
posted by Jilder at 8:11 PM on October 11, 2006


ack, I meant "unpoppy: You seem to have..."

My apologies.
posted by Jilder at 8:12 PM on October 11, 2006


why should jonmc have to post links for you? this is not his post. i agree this ffp could needs work, but again why is that jon's responsibility?
posted by nola at 8:14 PM on October 11, 2006


Jilder, I didn't post this. I joined in the thread because I'm a fan, but address the ad concerns to unpoppy.
posted by jonmc at 8:16 PM on October 11, 2006


(and if anybody likes my posts and comments in general, you'd probably love Goad's work. He's a big influence on my writing)
posted by jonmc at 8:17 PM on October 11, 2006


I still have a copy of the serial killer issue of Answer Me! floating around here somewhere. I don't think it's hyperbolic to say that Goad is one seriously fucked up dude. 1st amendment appeals aside, can't we even agree on that?
posted by Gilbert at 8:17 PM on October 11, 2006


Redneck Manifesto sounds like Jim Webb's Born Fighting.

Also, Zinn makes a similar point in a people's history of the united states.
posted by empath at 8:19 PM on October 11, 2006


for those wanting an example of his writing, this comparison of biograpies of Elijah Muhammad & George Wallace is excellent.

I don't think it's hyperbolic to say that Goad is one seriously fucked up dude. 1st amendment appeals aside, can't we even agree on that?

Sure, but even he wouldn't disagree with you on that, and since when have fuckedupness and brilliance been mutually exclusive?
posted by jonmc at 8:21 PM on October 11, 2006


I liked Answer Me! a lot, and thought it served a pretty valuable purpose at the (unbelievably PC) time. BTW I got #4 under the counter.

Since then, Goad just seems to me like he's way too busy fighting off any and all criticisms to be interesting. "Redneck Mainfesto" I enjoyed parts of, though I'd have to say I disagree with the thing overall. Plus the whole "I screw sluts" or whatever sex-vibe on his blog is reeeeallly gross, backwards and sad IMHO. I'd stick him with Boyd Rice in the self-parody/'not worth listening to anymore' file.

That said, he has published the works of other writers who do continue to merit attention, to wit the aforementioned Peter Sotos. I've thought about doing a post here on Sotos for awhile, but I figured everybody would just dump on it.

adamgreenfield: There's simply nothing redeeming about that (blessedly departed) moment in which bored suburban teenagers amused themselves with affected Mansonista posturing & serial-killer groupiedom. Boy am I glad it's over.

My understanding is that Sotos himself is somewhat embarassed by the whole "Pure" phase now. FWIW I understand and sympathize 100% with anyone not interested in the guy, or those who would consider him a scumbag, but if you do dig a little deeper, Sotos may surprise you.
posted by stinkycheese at 8:46 PM on October 11, 2006


Thank god somebody finally spoke up for the redneck minority in this country!
posted by destro at 9:23 PM on October 11, 2006


Thank god you showed up to fellate the weak-aass, witless and frightened liberal party line.
posted by Snyder at 9:41 PM on October 11, 2006


"The attack on the Twin Towers was intrinsically phallic in its symbolism. Woe unto the emasculated Western Man, mocked by his women as he drools and begs for sex. Woe unto the West, where women dominate and the culture falls apart. The West will fall because it is pussy-whipped. We may have the money and the technology, but we just don't have the starch in our shorts anymore."

*brow*
posted by liquorice at 10:08 PM on October 11, 2006


stinkycheese: I'm familiar with the Barbelith write-up, thanks. I'm (all too) familiar with the whole milieu, having accumulated stacks and stacks of Swans and DIJ records back in my rockcrit years, being walked through the "Cult Rapture" show by Adam Parfrey himself, etc.

[Quote from my contemporary review: "You reach the nadir of "Cult Rapture" when you stand before an airbrushed nude of a nine- or ten-year-old Shirley Temple, standing before a swastika flag with SS Einsatzgruppen hat perched jauntily on her curls, inserting the tip of a riding crop in her vagina. Parfrey, on squiring me through the show, lingered over this last: "Catch the gorgeous pinks here," he noted, caressing Temple’s labia with extended pinkie."]

What Goad's fans, what Sotos' fans miss, is something fairly close to what destro implies above: there's nothing "shocking" or "extreme" or "transgressive" about this stuff at all. It's nothing other the daily stock in trade of our culture.

In other words, I fail to perceive a meaningful distinction between CNN jockeying for family reactions in the aftermath of the Amish school shooting, and Sotos' fantasies (?) of confronting bereaved family members with extensive depictions of their loved ones' sexual torture and murder. A difference of degree, at best.

Goad, while indubitably more talented than Sotos, is peddling a similarly uninteresting line: "angry white men, the last and purest oppressed minority." In short? Bullshit and again bullshit. The morning I wake up in a world that has not been overwhelmingly and negatively inflected by the choices of angry white men and their impotent rage - that has not in fact largely been tuned precisely to their tastes, preferences and requirements - well then that's the day I'll take Jim Goad seriously.

And as for the extreme stuff, my only regret is that I spent way too much of my life probing that milieu for some redeeming insight - even if only in the Celinean or Sadean vein - only to emerge with sorrow and nausea. All I ever found there was excuses for the abuse of the very weakest by those relatively and situationally more powerful.
posted by adamgreenfield at 3:49 AM on October 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


By request, here are some selected writings to read over if you'd like :

The Underground is a Lie, Spastic Invasion, Nunfucked - The Hidden Story of Sexual Abuse by Nuns, Silver Spoons and Rotten Teeth, The Goddess Speaks

...and go ahead and tell us what you think !
posted by unpoppy at 5:24 AM on October 12, 2006


I wake up in a world that has not been overwhelmingly and negatively inflected by the choices of angry white men and their impotent rage - that has not in fact largely been tuned precisely to their tastes, preferences and requirements - well then that's the day I'll take Jim Goad seriously.

Actually, the worlds been tune by and for wealthy self-satisfied white men, not the ones Goad speaks of (and if you think that's all there is to Goad's, you haven't read much of it). And I was never that interested in Sotos, who you seem to have more of an issue with than Goad. But it was Goad who was arrested and dragged into court simply for writing a 'zine. A 'zine that's probably offensive to many, but still no crime.
posted by jonmc at 6:08 AM on October 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


there's nothing "shocking" or "extreme" or "transgressive" about this stuff at all. It's nothing other the daily stock in trade of our culture.

That's kind of the point.
posted by jonmc at 6:09 AM on October 12, 2006


Is it only me who thinks his name is pretty funny?
posted by imperium at 6:26 AM on October 12, 2006


...and here's The Rape Issue if you'd like to.
posted by unpoppy at 6:37 AM on October 12, 2006


jonmc, is there any other method of reading the conversation between Darius James and Goad ? The article you posted above is difficult to access.
posted by unpoppy at 6:56 AM on October 12, 2006


That's kind of the point.

The point is ... that there isn't any point?
posted by octobersurprise at 7:13 AM on October 12, 2006


unpoppy writes "I doubt there's anything I can post that will help you read something you don't already agree with. "

Reports to the contrary this isn't an echo chamber, most of us are open minded and enjoy seeing stuff from all sides. We just need some encouragement that this author rises above the noise. You don't have a posting history here so your words have to provide that encouragement. If your FPP had included this information originally it would have been a better post. And it would have deflected a little of the "Self post?" noise.
posted by Mitheral at 9:56 AM on October 12, 2006


...and here's The Rape Issue if you'd like to.posted by unpoppy

Thanks v. much for the link, unpoppy.

Like others here, I've been simmering about the lack of reading material for the (slightly lazily) uninitiated.

Looking forward to my mind being blown!
posted by Jody Tresidder at 11:45 AM on October 12, 2006


adamgreenfield: In all sincerity, I thank you for your insightful comments.

You said: I fail to perceive a meaningful distinction between CNN jockeying for family reactions in the aftermath of the Amish school shooting, and Sotos' fantasies (?) of confronting bereaved family members with extensive depictions of their loved ones' sexual torture and murder. A difference of degree, at best.

I found this particularly interesting. To me, it's less a matter of degree, than of making the implicit explicit. Yes, CNN are being ghouls just as Sotos is. The difference is that Sotos is conscious (and incredibly in-your-face) about what he is doing, while CNN is cloying, sanctimonious and hypocritical - and I would argue that this is an important distinction. Sotos' more recent work tackles this very theme in fact - that news media, and those who follow it, are guilty of the same sort of aberrant tastes as he himself is.

I agree with a lot of what you’re saying, and there’s no doubt whatsoever that people can carry anything too far, including extremity (ha). I wonder though if you’re not throwing the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. Remember that none other than Simone DeBeauvoir and Thomas Moore have written of the positive value of DeSade; these are hardly voices which provide, as you say, excuses for the abuse of the very weakest by those relatively and situationally more powerful. Maybe you just need to broaden your reading list?

To quote from my first Beauvoir link at some length: In order for these transgressive acts to give one the pleasure of transgression, one has to have some degree of attachment to or belief in the norm being transgressed. Sade clearly was not a total philosophical skeptic nor a total aetheist, since if he was I can’t imagine how he would have gotten so much pleasure from violating the taboos associated with these institutions.

Just so. Part of the reason I keep coming back to Sotos - and believe me, the first few times I read anything by the guy, I was just disgusted, pure and simple - is that he does bother me so much. When people suggest that “nothing’s shocking”, my response would be: OK then, clearly this isn’t for you.

Taboos and transgressions, like so much else in the world, may be stituational and vary depending on your language, background, class, etc. Just as I, not being a French Canadian Catholic, feel no bite or sting at curse words involving the Church, so people elsewhere may consider ‘my shocks’ laughable, nonsensical, or much ado about nothing.

That does not mean there is nothing shocking, extreme or transgressive. There’s a whole lot of stuff out there. It would be easy to run through a quick list of major taboos in our society. As wikipedia notes, these can include: the dietary, the sexual, bodily functions, genitalia, language, and alteration of consciousness, just to name a few.

Playing with or exploring these taboos can be liberating and very helpful in aiding personal growth. It can also aid creativity, as I myself can attest. It’s unfortunate that this comes up in a thread about Goad, who is in many ways a collection of the worst instincts or habits of the USian WASP, only with feelings of entitlement and a huge chip on his shoulder to boot. Compare Goad with the work of, say, Samuel Delany or Annie Sprinkle. It’s not all about brooding white guys who fetishize Nazi imagery and little girls.
posted by stinkycheese at 11:59 AM on October 12, 2006 [1 favorite]


IMO, Goad's strength as a writer is in description more than in satire. Redneck Manifesto's strongest bits were his descriptions of his St. Johns neighborhood and its denizens in Portland--that and the scattered hints of autobiography that propped up some of his points in that book. I'm not 100% trusting of his historical research skills, though I was pleasantly surprised to see all those preemptive-strike footnotes in the manifesto.

As far as Shit Magnet, it's an unedited diary, which is too bad. If an editor had duked it out with Goad enough to get him to cut most of the repetition and thereby produce a memoir of, say, half the length and twice the content, it would have been a much better portrait of an interesting, maddening, antisocial and clearly very troubled and intelligent man.
posted by scratch at 12:07 PM on October 12, 2006


Some random thoughts about Jim Goad^:

1) A former girlfriend really really almost left me when she discovered Answer Me #2 on my bookshelf. I'm not kidding, she was that freaked out by the serial killer stuff (and the David Duke interview, which to this day I find hilarious). To this day I'm amazed that I was able to use a "free exchange of information builds a healthy society" argument on her to get her to stay.

We broke up eventually, and while I can't blame Goad for that, the above incident was definitely a data point for figuring out the incompatibility.

2) It seems likely to me that Goad was not entirely to blame for the incident that led to his incarceration; that said -- he (has had/has) serious problems with racism, misogyny, anger management and violence (especially against women) -- which I believe he freely admits, to varying degrees depending on the context. I don't think that this undermines his value as a writer, but it would make me feel ambivalent about hanging out with him.

3) He's really smart, but he's also undereducated for some of his authorial ambitions. Redneck Manifesto is a great book, very interesting and totally worth reading -- but it's also embarrassing at some points and infuriating in others. A big flaw in the book is his inferred assertion that he's basically figured out race and racial problems in America, and there are some others.

Also, while basically I agree with his crypto-Marxist analysis of race relations, it doesn't tell the whole story or give you all the tools you need to talk about race in the US. In my opinion, you need to balance out your reading of Redneck with some critical theory on the social construction of whiteness and white privilege to balance out his particular views on race and whiteness. Noel Ignatiev might be interesting as a sort of parallel yet opposing voice on this topic (In short, goad tends to embrace the racialist classification of white trash as a badge of honor and identity, whereas Ignatiev would say that poor whites need to start their liberation by rejecting whiteness as an identity... they're sort of on the same side, but I can imagine them having knock-down-drag-out screaming matches with each other).

4) My wife loves to read his Netjerk Lounge forums, and often cackles with glee. I must admit, while netjerkery generally leaves me cold, there is often some surprisingly interesting and honest discussion there that is fascinating to read (and some fairly hilarious members, including Patton Oswalt, if I remember correctly). If you're interested (gird your loins), check out "Were your parents racist?" to get started.
posted by illovich at 12:49 PM on October 12, 2006


thanks for those thoughts illovich.
posted by nola at 1:43 PM on October 12, 2006


By request, here are some selected writings to read over if you'd like :

The Underground is a Lie,


Gosh. Going after trust-fund hipsters and idealistic youth. What an insightful satirical shot at such a powerful, under-mocked group. That'll show 'em.

I can read the same in Gawker, often written backhandedly by the same trust-fund hipsters.

I hate disagreeing with you Jon, because of having respect for you and and all that, but Goad just seems like an asshole.
posted by jokeefe at 3:42 PM on October 12, 2006


Gosh. Going after trust-fund hipsters and idealistic youth. What an insightful satirical shot at such a powerful, under-mocked group. That'll show 'em.

I dunno, I don't think you can mock the ruling class enough sometimes, especially when they have pretensions of the "authenticity" of the poor combined with the eliteism of the blue-bloods.
posted by Snyder at 4:22 PM on October 12, 2006


Huh. From an Amazon review of the Redneck Manifesto:

Goad reduces the ills of poor white trash to one simple formula: economic exploitation by the wealthy. Goad believes that the rich, throughout history, have consistently played off classes against each other in order to maintain their privileged status. The recent black vs. white warfare is just the latest incarnation of this exploitation.

Whoah! Stop the presses!

This is news? Hasn't he ever read any political philosophy? Is he entirely ignorant of history?

This reinvention of the wheel in the guise of radical truth-telling gets to be a bit much... if this something I have to be an American to understand?

*wanders off, grumbling*
posted by jokeefe at 4:22 PM on October 12, 2006


Gosh. Going after trust-fund hipsters and idealistic youth. What an insightful satirical shot at such a powerful, under-mocked group. That'll show 'em.

I dunno, I don't think you can mock the ruling class enough sometimes, especially when they have pretensions of the "authenticity" of the poor combined with the eliteism of the blue-bloods.


But the trust-fund types aren't the real ruling class: they sit in their offices in Washington keeping well in the shadows. Making fun of the kid with the black leather jacket and anarchist pretensions who goes home every Christmas to the Hamptons is just a diversion.
posted by jokeefe at 4:24 PM on October 12, 2006


The ruling class isn't a shadowy cabal pulling the strings of the nations, it's the people who have the money and the control of capital, the ones who will be the factory bosses and signing the paychecks. You don't need to run IBM or Standard Oil to be part of the ruling class, just have enought money to cushion yourself from life blows that would cripple others, and especially to have inherited the power control others economically, even if it's not on a robber baron scale.
posted by Snyder at 4:37 PM on October 12, 2006


Forgot to add:
And these kids are the ones who are going to inherit that role when they're done playing cooler then thou. Even if they eschew getting their hands dirty by actually getting involved, they still benefit economically and socially from it, while slumming and "ironically" associating themselves with the poor and working class they would never in a million years willingly join in totality.
posted by Snyder at 4:41 PM on October 12, 2006


And these kids are the ones who are going to inherit that role when they're done playing cooler then thou.
On that topic, has anyone noticed that an inordinate amount of "cool" people who are "noticed" by the mainstream often turn out to have a familial connection to a perhaps not-so-cool (although occasionally cool) establishment figure?

Celebrity gossip isn't my thing, but I feel sometimes that even the "alternative" channels are overfilled with the offspring of the already fabulously connected... and the counter-culture is a horrible place to find a glass ceiling.
Gosh. Going after trust-fund hipsters and idealistic youth. What an insightful satirical shot at such a powerful, under-mocked group. That'll show 'em.
In Goad's defense, he wrote the Underground is a Lie like 15 years ago, pre-gawker (pre-interweb even) as a much younger man, for the second issue of the 'zine he was putting out with his wife.

It might not have been the most original insight in the world, but it was the first time I was exposed to that particular criticism of the entitled left, and it was really good food for thought -- or more the slaughtering of every sacred cow that I had placed on my personal altar:
All your cohorts are hypocrites, too. Feminists don't degrade, objectify, and stereotype men? Socialists aren't elitists? Environmentalists don't drive cars? A pox upon all your houses. I'd wish for a rat to bite your ass and give you the Black Plague, but you'd probably consider it a fashion statement.
C'mon, that's some classy-ass polemic for a 'zine.
posted by illovich at 5:25 PM on October 12, 2006


On that topic, has anyone noticed that an inordinate amount of "cool" people who are "noticed" by the mainstream often turn out to have a familial connection to a perhaps not-so-cool (although occasionally cool) establishment figure?

Oh, yeah!

The scowling, malodrous East Village artiste with parents in the posh parts of Westchester.

It's familiar to me.
posted by jason's_planet at 7:19 PM on October 12, 2006


Gosh. Going after trust-fund hipsters and idealistic youth. What an insightful satirical shot at such a powerful, under-mocked group. That'll show 'em.

That piece is over tyen years old, written before hipster-skewing had become a national sport, or before my generation began to grasp some obvious contradictions. And Goad is kind of an asshole, but a great writer just the same.
posted by jonmc at 8:23 PM on October 12, 2006


He writes like a chid with self esteem issues. Yawn.
posted by cytherea at 9:14 PM on October 12, 2006


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