So, Sean Penn wrote a thing.
It’s a poem, and it’s fucking horrible. You won’t be able to stand it. I can share part of it with you as it was dredged up from the epilogue of his novel—entitled Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, out from Simon & Schuster yesterday—for a review published on Tuesday on HuffPost and written by Claire Fallon. The book’s entire epilogue is, according to the HuffPost review, a poem, and it natters on for six pages.
The book was recently described in a press release as a “darkly humorous novel” about a “middle-aged, divorced, disillusioned man living in a nondescript house on a nondescript street in Woodview, Calif.”
On Tuesday, Fallon memorably described Penn’s book as “an exercise in ass-showing, a 160-page self-own.”
To return to the poem, it’s about his quibbles with #MeToo, or at least this section of it is. Penn rhymes “sheen” with “Time Magazine”; “Louis C.K.” with, well, nothing. What upsets me about the poem the most is this sinking suspicion I have that most men could write it. It’s inside them, waiting to claw its way out. First it’s called a “novel,” then a “discarded talent” then, before you know it, is subtly reworked into a Bloomberg View column…or something. That’s just one scenario, I’ve got others. Here is the poem:
“Though warrior women
Bravely walk the walk,
Derivatives of disproportion
Draw heinous hypocrites
To their flock.
Where did all the laughs go?
Are you out there, Louis C.K.?
Once crucial conversations
Kept us on our toes;
Was it really in our interest
To trample Charlie Rose?
And what’s with this ‘Me Too’?
This infantilizing term of the day...
Is this a toddler’s crusade?
Reducing rape, slut-shaming, and suffrage to reckless child’s play?
A platform for accusation impunity?
Due process has lost its sheen?
But, fuck it, what me worry?
I’m a hero,
To Time Magazine!”
If you need to recover your halfway-decent mood after reading that atrocity, I suggest this Dean Young poem as the antidote.