Penn Takes on the USA in Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff
To say that Sean Penn’s new book “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff” is colorful is a fitting description. So is crazy, insane, frenetic, and absurd. But then again it is a satire, and satires are supposed to be absurd. They take place in a crazy world filled with crazy circumstances that mirror real-life events presently happening. The idea is to get readers to think. South Park does the same thing. No matter how crazy the episode there is always a nugget of truth. Penn puts so many nuggets in his book it feels like the California Gold Rush.
“Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff” follows the exploits of Bob Honey. He is a former septic tank salesmen who works an odd-job as a contracted government assassin. He has other odd-jobs but this one is the most interesting. He kills old people for the government, or at least a shady organization within it. He takes them out with a mallet so that the environment can get better, lesson our carbon footprint and all that. When an investigative reporter starts snooping around, Honey starts dodging attempts on his life, all while trying to connect to other people.
Honey is a disgruntled character, as disgruntled as Sean Penn. The major theme of the book follows a general loss of belief in a country that no longer has its luster. Bob’s unhappiness with his country, and the society within it are a big part of the book. He dislikes social media, hates marketing, and definitely does not like strangers. Penn uses his story to comment on current affairs, and give readers his two cents on each subject.
The president of this dystopian world is known as Mr. Landlord, and is obviously a stand-in for Trump. Penn uses the character to vent his frustrations for the actual sitting president, even ending the book with a savage letter penned by Honey. The letter calls Mr. Landlord a slew of names, uses many insults, and even challenges him to a duel. It ends with the character daring Landlord to tweet him.
Trump is not he only focal point as Penn takes shots at the media, #MeToo, society, and the environment. He credits the media with the causation of police officer shootings by glorifying such actions, reprimands #MeToo for playground tactics, and focuses on the sheeple aspect of society. His words are less than kind but still leave slim openings to reader interpretation.