“Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff” and Sean Penn’s Take on Democracy

“Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff” is Sean Penn’s new book that came out in March of 2018, and it looks to discuss what Sean Penn describes “the dark side of human nature” and democracy. In interviews with Trevor Noah, and Vogue Magazine, Penn describes how he has used a satirical, absurd, and hard to define topic, to discuss the current state of affairs in America. Penn begins by telling Noah that he always feels that when the U.S. tries to export democracy to other countries, the dark side of it is exposed, and these are fascist tendencies. The book is about Bob Honey, an angry and isolated America. Bob has an interesting side job, he goes on mallet wielding sprees, killing senior citizens that he thinks stand in the way of progress.


The absurd nature of Bob’s character is clear, but there are several parallel ideas in the book. Bob witnesses the presidential election in 2016, and later into the book he even writes an angry letter to the president. The letter calls the president out for being unfit for office, and the parallels are hard to miss. Penn tells Noah and Vogue, that the character of Bob is meant to resemble many American’s desire to serve their country, even if they have no direction or cause. This is likely how Bob can justify his murders in the name of progress.


Aside from describing the book, Penn tells the interviewers of the many inspirations for the book. He talks about his anger towards Trump’s comments about Haiti. He also discusses the current issues in Venezuela, talking about his friendship with the late Hugo Chavez. It seems apparent that Penn feels that U.S. policy has created many consequences overseas, and Penn feels that democracy has a dark dark side. He even mentions his opposition to the war on drugs, and the need for him to interview el Chapo.


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