Yesterday Forbes published a lengthy (7 internet pages!) article about the much-celebrated, perhaps more reviled Tucker Max, the über-bro "fratire" author of such babes 'n' beer essay collections as I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (later a movie) and Assholes Finish First. And it is somewhat illuminating! It seems the internet's most hated professional perma-douche has, well, de-douchified, now that he's a more mature 35-years-old. Psychoanalysis seems to have been key to Max's progress, as evidenced by the many instances of psychobabble employed throughout the interview. Here are some choice quotes.
On his old self:
I was a ridiculous narcissist in my twenties. It’s not even that I didn’t care about other people. It’s way beyond that. I just didn’t even understand that other people even existed or mattered. I do not believe I was a true NPD [narcissistic personality disorder] in the clinical sense. But, dude, I was close.
On his secret pain:
Listen I’m 35 now, I can look back on my writing and I can say this. This is something I’ve never really said before in public or admitted on the record, and I’ll admit it now: I didn’t realize this when I was writing it, but I think if you read between the lines a little bit, in between all the bravado, you can see a lot of self-loathing.
On healing through psychoanalysis:
[My friend] Erin got me a referral to an amazing analyst in Austin. She’s a 60-year-old woman, and she’s no-bullshit and really smart. She is very much not like me as a person. She’s hoity-toity and into high culture and shit. She had no idea who I was when I walked into the office. I knew it was inevitable that I would have to look into this stuff eventually. In some vague sense, I understood the whole time that a lot of my extreme acting out came from unresolved emotional issues. And I knew deep down at some point I was going to have to face them. The point of psychoanalysis is to really understand the roots of your behavior. Understand why you are doing the things you’re doing—and connect your unconscious to your conscious.
That’s one of the good things about having had all the experiences I’ve had. Most people say stuff like, ‘I want someone who’s blonde’ or who has this education level or is this height. F*** that, that’s bullshit. I’ve come to learn that what really matters is the relationship, the quality of the relationship. There’s an emptiness and a loneliness to hooking up so much. You don’t notice it or care, when you’re below a certain age, or a narcissist. But once you develop empathy, once you develop a soul, the loneliness and the emptiness become too much. The negatives start to outweigh the positives. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time being who I was the past decade. But I just feel it’s time for me to move on.
How enlightened of him! He should guest star on Laura Dern's show. While the article eventually goes on a strange tangent about the personal life of its author, it's still a pretty interesting read. There's something almost cultish about the way Max and his friend Erin discuss their analysis — like in Scientology (perhaps psychoanalysis' arch nemesis), there is a fixed set of terms that are used over and over again; like empathy, narcissism, and dissociative. We're sure all of that is just the product of feeling enthusiastic about personal and emotional growth, but from the guy who made his millions telling anal sex and vomit stories, this stuff is almost more jarring than anything else he's ever said.