Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Importance of Being Important

Before I get to my maiden entry on this, the sole surviving 'Tucker-hatred-blog', I think it might be worthwhile to tell everyone a little about myself. That way, I can perhaps quell the persistent notion among Tuckster's 'e-army' that all 'haterz (yo)' are basement-dwelling losers. Also, other 'haterz (wurd)' can take solace in the fact that at least some of us are normal human beings. Skip the following paragraph if you're not interested.

I'm a few years younger than Tucker, but unlike him, I actually served in the armed forces after I graduated from high school. During my time in service (half of which I spent overseas), I was able to build up a nice stash of money, which I turned into more money, thanks to the wise counsel of men much smarter than me. I am now financially independent, and am just finishing grad school. I have a beautiful, loving wife and a son whom I adore. I am knee-deep in several projects that I think are going to be very successful in the next few years. In short, I have a full, fulfilling life. I don't live in my parents' basement, and I don't obsess over all things Tucker. My interest in this ongoing e-saga has less to do with any personal derision for someone I've never met, and more to do with what his popularity and acceptance say about the state of modern society. Hopefully, this concern is what fuels most of the 'haters' (g funk)' dislike for old man Max.

Wildean references aside, I have occasionally wondered what it is about Tuckster that riles me so. True, his insistence on glorifying a shallow, vapid lifestyle (and his encouragement for others to do the same) is offensive and disturbing. What would have made him a social pariah fifty short years ago is what makes him allegedly successful in this, the era where the so-called X-generation has assumed its place as the driving force in the cultural milieu.

However, what makes Tucker unique, even in a generation that glorifies selfishness, excess, and the vandalism of traditional ideals, is his persistent certainty that what he is doing is important. Now, this entry isn't concerned with analysis of why Tuck has such a desperate need to believe that he's important, but it should be fairly obvious to anyone who's followed the silly pseudo-saga of his life and career that he has deep self-image issues, back of his conscious self-awareness. It stands to reason, then, that no matter what he does, he must do it in such a way as to be able to rationalize it as objectively significant in the world.

If we had Tuckmeister here to question (Tucker, you're welcome anytime, but be aware - you're not among friends, brah), the first thing I would ask him to do is explain why, in an objective way, his body of 'work' is possibly important. He would undoubtedly mutter something about how popular response validates his 'art' (of course, all that line of reasoning does is justify things like NKOTB or, Heaven forbid, Creed). When that level of discourse fell apart, he'd retort that he's giving a voice to a heretofore-ignored sector of people (as though nobody ever drank or screwed before this generation); he'd wrap up his apologetic with some tripe about how objective standards of greatness in art are dead anyway, and how if we can't see what makes his writing great, we're naive, or blinded by hatred/fear, or some such garbage.

Looking for the perfect late Kwanzaa gift for that 'lovable narcissist' in your life?

You see, no matter what the objection, Tucker has a ready-made response that, at least in his own mind (and the hollow minds of those who think like him), negates whatever legitimate criticism there is, and re-centers his self-perception on the foundational belief that he is truly important. He thinks money equals importance. He thinks controversy validates his actions. God help him, he even thinks that temporal, unstable measuring standards like book sales and site hits confirm what he thinks he knows about his place in the world.

I don't mean to assert that the things Tucker does - chasing girls, drinking to excess, having lots of wild and zany adventures - are not fun and exciting things. I did those things when I was younger, too, and though I don't chase girls anymore, as my wife would probably feel uncomfortable with such an activity, I still enjoy the occasional bender and the sordid adventures that it entails. It's just that I don't regard those things, or my enthusiasm for reliving them through animated storytelling, as 'great things'. They're kid-things. They're still fun to do, but how sad would it be if those things were the very foundation for my 'life's work?' Would that not make me a truly pitiful human being in the big picture? If my greatest skill was my ability to tell stories of my own debauchery, could I really be satisfied with the expanse of my influence on this world? Yet, for Tucker, those things not only define him, but he believes they validate him as a real and vital contributor to society and art. He really doesn't understand that his 'fans' will someday grow up and move on, and that subsequent generations will regard his 'art' with about the same esteem that I regard my father's drinking-and-screwing tales (which is to say, none).

This is why, for all the discussion and analysis, humorous and serious, that we do, that Gawker does, that the Script Reader does, and that anyone anywhere does, we are powerless to ever get through to him. His self-image is borne of a self-preservation mechanism that had its beginnings long before he was old enough to drink a beer. It is, at this point, automatic for him, and it’s going to take either a catastrophic, monumental event in his life, or his very death, to ever get him to see that his is truly a life wasted.

I apologize for the lack of humor (and the lack of brevity) in this entry. I just figured that it might be worthwhile to throw something thoughtful up here, both to give voice to the serious concerns that cause us to mock Tucker and wish for his downfall, and to add a little substance to this, the only remaining outpost of organized Tucker-hatred still standing on this glorious web of ours.