Friday, April 25, 2008

And I thought McCain's "I'm like Teddy" comments were bad...

h/t Latoya at Racialicious

So, let's play a game...

One of these things is not like the others.

Joe Francis is making my blood boil again, this time from the pages of a GQ feature. How is it that, even from fucking prison, this jackass just can't shut up? The good news is that this article makes it even clearer, if that's possible, just how completely relentless his assholery is.

There's a particularly amusing bit where he's talking about his time in jail, and how it's not what he expected. He talks about how he's "a god" on the inside- that he's revered like a rock star because of his association with Girls Gone Wild. But, he continues: "The one thing I fear is one of these fucking people showing up at my house. I’m a different class. They’re dumb. They’re the people you see on Cops. Those are the people you see in jail."

Hey, Francis, speaking of "dumb"?

You're in jail, too.


Still, that passage is really significant, in my mind. Not just because it's quickly followed by his making an incredibly inappropriate remark towards a female guard (who, according to the author, "gives him that disapproving-but-flattered half frown."), but because I think it's a strong message about how we treat and view people like Francis. Here's a man who has made a name for himself by being a violent, abusive maniac. Oh, yes, Girls Gone Wild is what started it all, but it's not GGW that made him a public figure- there are thousands of pornographers who never gain a fraction of the notoriety that Francis has.


Because Francis goes out of his way to abuse, humiliate, and intimidate everyone he comes in contact with. The Times article was the first time I really started to learn about who this guy was, and every interview he gives, every appearence he makes just further cements the perosna he's cultivated. Even the GQ article mentions it a few times- he's portrayed and plays up this image of being "a 15-year-old boy who just can't help himself". He's the very image of "boys will be boys", grown up.

If ever there was somebody who more purely embodied that ideal, and just how dangerous it is, it's Francis. Even the GQ article, which seems at times weirdly sympathetic towards Francis, makes note of how manic the guy is, and how it'd probably be good for society if jail broke him a little bit. We ought not tolerate a 15-year-old acting like Francis does. The lack of self control would be enough to get most of us in trouble at that age. And Francis isn't 15. He's over twice that.

But Francis's personal douchebaggery is only part of the problem... and not even the biggest part. That Francis is an asshole is a personal failing, and it should be enough to get him ostracized, and has clearly been enough to get him in trouble with the law. But the sad fact is that it's also made him a celeb. As he points out, he's "a god" in prison. These are people he despises- he calls them idiots, and does everything he can to avoid them, but they still treat him like a rock star?

Latoya quotes the most impressive display of clueless assholery from Francis over at Racialicious, and I think it's worth repeating. It comes on page four, when Francis begins talking about the people he considers enemies:

His enemies list has grown as he sits in jail, and it was recently expanded to include Access Hollywood reporter Maria Menounos, who did an interview Francis didn’t like. “She called me the ‘ever defiant Joe Francis,’ ” he howls. “Fuck yeah, I’m defiant! It’s like that defiant Rosa Parks won’t give up her seat. Fuck you, Maria. The ever defiant Nelson Mandela just can’t stand apartheid. The ever defiant Martin Luther King. The ever defiant Jesus Christ. You fucking stupid whore. If I saw Maria Menounos, I’d punch her in the face.”

As the tirade ends, he quietly starts repairing the phone he busted by banging it against the glass. “I’m not comparing myself to Rosa Parks or Jesus Christ. I’m comparing myself to someone standing up for their rights,” he says. “I’m just saying you can have an unpopular person who is criminalized and demonized. Jesus Christ was crucified by Pontius Pilate at my age. He was not a popular guy.”

1. When you attempt to point out a similarity between yourself or your situation, and someone like Rosa Parks or Jesus Christ and their situations, you are, in fact, comparing yourself to them. When you suggest that your legal troubles and the fight you've picked are somehow similar to Martin Luther King Jr.'s fight, you are, in fact, comparing yourself to him.
And you, sir, are no Martin Luther King Jr.
2. You're an unpopular person because you're an asshole, a liar, a rapist, and a violent maniac. There's a very significant difference between being an unpopular person because you're challenging the status quo in the pursuit of equal rights, and being an unpopular person because you're a violent rapist asshole who cheated on his taxes. Oddly enough, I find myself seriously lacking in sympathy for the second.

The article is disturbing, and I think that the author misses the mark when he tries to claim that Francis's "real passion is dominating other men." It may be true that he has a passion for that, as well, but his disregard and hatred of women is so thick, you'd need a machete to get through it.

And, seriously? He spent a year in a detention center that let him order pizza?!

Yeah, that's justice.


Passing Through said...

Just found your site through Feministing, linked in response to trolls.

It seems to me that, in addition to being a hideous rapist and horrible person, he's got some sociopathic tendencies too. No self control, exaggerated sense of selfhood and diminishing of everyone else, concern mostly for how he looks to other people rather than be better, women are sex dispensers and nothing else, lack of affect etc. The problem seems to be he's dumber than the average hidden sociopath and can't get away with social niceties, leaving "ugh I don't want my hero-worshippers ever TOUCHING me" and "woohooo rape!"

Not that this excuses him of anything. In fact it's a rather glaring gender disparity. If a sociopath man can reach these levels of success and fame without changing his sociopathic tendencies one iota, what does that say about our culture? We tend men to be this way and glamorize them for their inability to feel and demonize all others; the sociopath is the logical culmination.

Anonymous said...

Well said.