AARON PROBE: The banner ad for your web site, jimgoad.net, states "Yes, I beat her up. Viciously. Joyously. Remorselessly. If I hadn't done it she probably would have killed me." As you were beating Anne R. did the thought that you might be sent to jail ever cross your mind? Were you in the midst of a blind, uncontrollable rage or were you taking a calculated risk? You had to know there could be consequences. The beating lasted for 10 minutes. I'd like to hear what your state of mind was.
JIM GOAD: Death was never far from my mind throughout the year that Anne and I were together. Only two weeks after Anne and I started seeing one another, my then-wife Debbie was diagnosed with cancer, and watching Debbie slowly die had a profoundly morbid effect on me. Anne knew that I was suicidal, and she preyed upon this fact. She started threatening to kill me, and I fully believe she was capable of it, as does anyone who's ever spent more than five minutes in the girl's presence. I used to come home at night and check the bushes outside my apartment to make sure she wasn't hiding there with a gun. To this day, I still have nightmares about her stalking and attacking me. To complicate our little rondo du mort, Anne - who had been hospitalized four times as a teen for suicide attempts - was also habitually threatening to kill HERSELF. So I found myself in a hall of mirrors where every mirror reflected a skull face, and I genuinely didn't want ANY of us to die. I don't wish to rehash things I've already said in other interviews about the case. Readers can log onto www.jimgoad.net and judge for themselves. The site features documented evidence (most of it preserved on taped phone messages and conversations) regarding:
* All the death threats she left on my voice mail
* Her false rape charge against me
* Her threats to break into my house and destroy everything in it
* Her boasts of getting away with violent crimes
* Her warped gloating about Debbie's demise from cancer, going so far as to say she's jacking off about it
* Numerous instances where she dares me to call the police on her
* My restraining order against her
* Her wildly contradictory statements about our relationship
* Her admissions to physical assaults on me and others
* Her admission to physically attacking me during our final day together
* Blood evidence from the state crime lab which proves she lied when she claimed she wasn't the first to draw blood during our final fight
* Testimony from a former boyfriend of Anne's about how violent she acted when HE tried breaking up with her
* Police reports about Anne's recent criminal conviction for a vehicular assault on a bicyclist
Anne always acted as if I was paranoid for documenting all this stuff, when in hindsight, I was tres wise. In truth, SHE was the one who was paranoid that I'd captured a dirty little fly on flypaper and exposed it for what it is. Imagine how far someone has to push JIM GOAD for him to file a restraining order against them, and you'll have an inkling of just how scary and out-of-control this girl is. But even with my restraining order in place, I didn't have the sort of cold-hearted malice that would have allowed me to send her to jail - I figured, naively, that maybe the restraining order would make her think twice before threatening and attacking me.
Surrounded by all this situational psychosis, I felt it would make things WORSE by sending Anne to jail, since I felt that everyone involved had already suffered more than they needed to suffer.
But instead of being grateful for my gestures of mercy, she exploited them. Anne grew up with a long-suffering hippie mom who forgives EVERYTHING her little Nancy Spungen of a daughter does, so I'm guessing that Anne interprets any noble gestures on someone else's part as an invitation to take advantage of them. I think her mom, who in most respects seems like a decent person - certainly more decent and loving than MY parents were- unwittingly conditioned Anne into expecting forgiveness for WHATEVER she did, to the point where it seemed Anne would consciously do bad things just for the cleansing rush of being forgiven for them.
Beyond my actual fear and genuine goodwill, I think I was also displaying a touch of Ye Olde Male Warrior Spirit in that I refused to run and hide from someone who was endangering me.
On our final day together, Anne physically attacked me three times - once on a public bus, and twice in my car outside her apartment building while I was breaking up with her. The last salvo was a punch to my nose which drew blood. When I saw my own blood, I pulled away from her building and drove up into the hills above Portland, smashing her face with my fist the entire ride. She drained my forgiveness until there was none left.
My counterattack - and it was a brutal one - signaled the end of my patience and the re-emergence of my life instinct. My violence displayed the fury of someone who'd not only been surrounded by death for a year, but who found that every time he tried to bring sanity and order to the situation, his antagonist used this as an opportunity to take an open shot. I had saved her from jail and suicide, and she repays me by bloodying my nose? So my state of mind was, "You wanna play the death game, honey? Fine, well, YOU might be the first to go." The thought of jail didn't cross my mind, but at one point during the ride she pleaded with me to stop hitting her by saying she'd tell everyone a black pimp beat her up; I just laughed and punched her again. After ten minutes or so, her face was becoming so mangled that I knew if I kept going I could easily have killed her, and that's what made me stop.
It has been well documented that Anne R. is a violent and mentally damaged drama queen. (As I write this she is also serving time in an Oregon jail after intentionally ramming into a bicyclist with her car and fleeing the scene.) What was it that attracted you to Anne in the first place? Did she pursue you? How long did it take for the relationship to sour? You've stated that you had numerous chances to have Anne locked up, but you chose not to. Were you in a Love/Hate relationship or just too kind? She assaulted you several times and also threatened to kill you in the days leading up to her beating, but would you mind telling us if you were also having sex during that same period?
I need to clarify that not only was she threatening to kill me in the days prior to the beating; she was doing it for a solid NINE MONTHS before the beating, a great deal of which is immortalized on voice-mail and e-mails.
About a year before we met, she started sending me her zines, in which she always posed topless. She began writing letters to me and asking people in Portland about me. Knowing I was married, she asked me, "Do you swing?" in one letter. I had already been cheating on Debbie for a few years, but this had involved a string of depressing one-night stands as a result of long, lonely "fishing expeditions" in white-trash Portland bars. But here was someone who was offering her pussy to me as if it was a plate of shrimp.
On the night we met, Anne called herself "The best fuck in Portland," asked me if I wanted to see her tits and flashed them before I had time to respond, and unbuckled my belt and began sucking my prong in my car while I drove, even though I hadn't requested a hummer. The only bad sex we ever had was during the first date, when I popped a nut in about three seconds, and the second date, when crank ingestion left me with a limp noodle for about twenty HOURS before her tirelessly valiant effort finally hoisted my mast. After that, the quality of our sex escalated rapidly and steadily improved over the year. The more dangerous it got between us, the better the sex got. We'd be fucking with scratches and bruises all over our bodies. We thrived on danger and terrorizing people, and it's safe to say that if we hadn't been kept in check by the guilt we felt over Debbie, we could have easily turned into one of those serial-killing couples.
For Valentine's Day, she gave me a card written in her own blood. For our one-year anniversary - only two days before my heinous "crime" - she gave me a card signed, "With all my love, sex, bite marks and bruises." Both of us were aroused sexually by the danger of our relationship. She has since tried to deny this, knowing it isn't compatible with the profile of a battered woman. But she clearly saw through the bullshit and self-righteousness of feminist rhetoric until, of course, her man rejected her and she suddenly became an abuse victim and could get sympathy and attention and hide all her personal defects behind a picture of herself with a black eye. Sheesh, what a fake!
She was just as much into the danger and violence as I was, if not more. During the year we were together, SHE, not I, was the one running around Portland threatening, stalking, and attacking others. As a friend of mine observed, if I hadn't been breaking up with her on the morning of the beating which landed me in prison, she would have taken it as just one more sign that I loved her.
Our sick union was intense, passionate, and exciting, but I don't think it's accurate to say I loved her or hated her. If I hated her, I would have jumped at the numerous chances she gave me to have her locked up. If I loved her, I wouldn't have been cheating on her constantly, nor would I have filed a restraining order against her. There was something chillingly plastic about that girl, and I think her histrionic fear of abandonment was rooted in her own terrifying suspicion that she was ultimately unlovable. Anne is a freak of nature, and I think she invested a lot of hope in me because I accepted her weirdness without flinching. But when I started to pull away, she acted as if the earth was opening up beneath her. She started getting violent when she realized I didn't share her dreams of a lifetime together.
All of the violence between us - and there was a lot - occurred when I tried to leave or when I told her to leave. She apparently thought her droopy little black-haired snatch was so irresistible that I deserved to die for not being thoroughly smitten by it.
The relationship REALLY went south after I divorced Debbie and Anne became dislodged from mistressdom's familiar safety into playing the role of my main squeeze - now SHE had to worry about "the other woman," and, yipes, did she worry! It probably reminded her of what it must have felt like for the three married women whose husbands she'd stolen by age twenty-one. She attacked and/or threatened just about every girl in Portland who gave me so much as a sideways glance. I mean, I'm even talking about supermarket cashiers who smiled at me while handing me change. I was initially flattered at how insanely jealous she got at anyone who vied for my attention, but it quickly became suffocating.
The most frustrating aspect of the whole situation for me is that I WISH I was merely an evil monstrous woman-beater, for that role is a bit kinder to my ego that what was really going on, which is that I was the one trying to find a peaceful way out, while she just kept going for the throat until I finally exploded. I was the one trying to put some reins on it before it got totally out of control, while she was just freestylin'. Think of my predicament: If I had sent her to jail, it would have been, "Oh, Big Bad Jim Goad, afraid of a little girl." If she had killed me, all she would have needed to do was claim to have been battered, and she probably would have gone free. So I finally beat her up, and all of a sudden I'M the predator, because that's the only script society uses to understand these sort of scenarios.
The truth is, except for those fateful ten minutes, I was the one who was being ethical. Except for those ten minutes, I didn't TRY to destroy her, while she was trying her hardest to destroy me. My big sins, as I see it, were of being too forgiving and lacking a killer instinct at a time in my life when I needed it most. I place a great deal of importance on one's intent, and my intentions were much purer than hers. I haven't felt for a moment that it was wrong to beat her up, only that I'd cut her so much slack that I allowed it to get to that point. Beating her up was the only thing I did during that phase in my life that made any sense.
Naturally, I've been criticized for taking advantage of a differential in physical strength, but I only did so after she'd proven more than willing to do combat in that arena. But she took advantage of an even MORE lopsided differential in the way the legal system views domestic situations, when I had resisted every chance I had to harm her in THAT arena: In multiple phone calls on my website, she dares me to call the cops on her, and I just couldn't bring myself to do something that cold and deliberate. I can get hot and lose my temper, obviously, but I can't get cold like that. Anne is much closer to me in physical strength than in strength of character.
The lowest thing she did, far lower than all the death threats and violence, was to feign innocence and try to place all the blame on me. She's truly so foul, she'd suffer a total mental collapse if she ever faced her foulness head-on. But people such as her eventually unmask themselves. I'm confident she'll self-destruct. All the energy she devoted to MY destruction will one day implode within her, and hopefully before she kills anyone. One day all the guilt she tried fobbing off onto me will come crashing down onto her own fishbowl-shaped head. But to answer your question, yes, we had sex only two hours before the final beating.
Other than Anne and your wife, Debbie, have any of your close friends or supporters turned against you since you were sent to jail?
No one has told me they're taking their toys and going home and ain't going to play with me anymore, if that's what you mean. Many of my friends have given me static for the general situation, but only one of them said it was wrong to hit Anne, and even he called her "A despicable, evil, infuriating woman." The general consensus is that they understood why I beat her up; they just couldn't fathom why I was with her in the first place.
Do you have any family relations left at all? Did they hear about your incarceration?
My sister and I have had a falling out, but for reasons which have a lot more to do with finances than with chick-bashing. I talk to my brother in Florida every month or so. Both my sister and my brother agreed that Anne is a dangerous lunatic, and neither of them views her as a victim. Like my friends, they both expressed the opinion that my primary mistake didn't lie in hitting her but in being with her. And that's it for family.
Why do you think you have a stronger conscience than many critics who merely consider you a lowlife scumbag?
This idea of "scum" is an intriguing one; my two immediate exes have publicly used the word "scum" to describe me. Yet one of them wrote an article in which she describes herself as "A piece of shit," while the other gobbled a piece of dog shit in my presence. Therefore, I suspect they might be projecting a bit of their own feelings of inner scumminess onto me.
Lots of people refer to Nazis as scum. Why? Because Nazis thought Jews were scum. Or people will call Klansmen scum because Klansmen call Negroes scum. Or they'll call misogynists scum because misogynists call chicks scum. Or they'll call homophobes scum because the 'phobes call homos scum. Or they'll call right-wingers scum because right-wingers call leftists scum. Or they'll call the rich scum because the rich call the poor scum. Or they'll call the cops scum because "those filthy pigs" call THEM scum. It's like a huge game of Tag, and no one wants to be "it."
And no one seems to see any contradictions or hypocrisy in all this. Truth is, most alleged "humanists" have no qualms about dehumanizing those who stand outside of the in-crowd, it's just that they insist you pick the RIGHT groups to call scum. I say that we're ALL scum, but especially the ones who consider themselves pure. The pretense of one's own purity, or the purity of one's group, is always a precursor for perpetrating atrocities upon the "scum."
All individuals or social groups tend to ascribe filth or scumminess to their enemies. Degrading the enemy and depicting him as something less than human justifies any suffering which may thereafter befall him. I'm always amused - and depressed - at the way in which people can focus in and harp on only ONE kind of human wrongdoing, usually only that kind perpetrated by the enemy "scum" group. They're frighteningly able to justify or discount any wrongdoing committed by their own group. They really are hopeless zombies in their inability to see the bigger picture.
I think I'm generally a decent fella 'cos I have transcended the need to quarantine all potential for guilt and scumminess outside of myself. I can be scum, but I can also be quite sublime. And yet I find myself nearly incapable of the sort of dissociative cruelty all too common among the do-gooders. I'm probably more bothered and appalled by the human condition than any of my critics. I see more wrongdoing in the world than they seem capable of perceiving.
A line I wrote in The Redneck Manifesto probably sums up my philosophy better than anything else, and I'm quoting from memory since I don't have the book in front of me:
"I'm not here to deny any of the guilt you already know about, merely to infer that there's a lot more guilt than you might have previously imagined."
We live in a world where women hit men more than men hit women. Where blacks commit more hate crimes than whites. Where millions more Germans died than Jews in World War II. Where human chattel slavery still exists in Africa but not in America. These are all facts, although you'd never know it by listening to the media or your college professors. Do I state these facts to try and whitewash all the injustice and suffering you already know about? No, I do it out of what can only be described as a moral urge to cast a spotlight on injustice and suffering NOBODY knows about, or if they do, they're miraculously able to downplay it as insignificant.
I've made a career out of guilt-tripping the guilt-trippers, since they're so often the guiltiest. People feel a need to lash out at me because I remind them of their OWN guilt. Because I fuck up their whole crusade. I complicate matters, and the simpletons don't like that. I spread the scum around. All my life, whether it was my parents at home, or nuns at school, or my darling ex-lovers, or a corrupt judicial system, I've been accused by people who were frequently as guilty as I was, if not more. And I always cop to culpability for MY shit, but the finger-pointers NEVER do. It's like I'm the only person at the restaurant who reaches for the bill, and so I wind up paying for everyone's meal. I've found that the worst people in practice are the ones who in theory deny their potential for wrongdoing. One only seeks to be "moral" to the degree that one senses they're shit.
Have you ever noticed how the most insufferably "moral" people tend to see sin all AROUND them rather than within them? It isn't proof of one's morality to talk about the wrong that someone else is doing; in fact, it's usually a sign of moral cowardice and a tendency to scapegoat. To me, the truly rotten ones are those who pretend they aren't. At least the Devil is honest. The real "lowlife scumbag" is God, who acts blameless even though he created all this shit and suffering. All of my aggression and cruelty has been retardedly direct and honest. I make no excuses for it, and most importantly, I don't try to hide it behind lofty moral platitudes. I always see my actions, whether good or bad, as generated by my own will, lusts, and instincts for preservation. I think at the very least, my sort of aggression is ethically superior, if tactically naive.
My big blunders have all been matters of conscience - not that I transgressed it, but that I HAD one. If I could have an operation to remove my conscience, I'd surely do it. The problem is that every time I kill my soul, it grows back. One-on-one, I'm such a nice goy. The nicest goy on earth.
I'm not an asshole as I define the term. I'm never rude to people unless they're first rude to me. I always let ëem make the first move. I never attack or criticize someone out of envy. I've never joined a crowd in persecuting someone. I never try to get someone else in trouble. I don't lie about other people or spread false rumors about them. I don't take advantage of another's weakness. I don't use people or rip them off. And above all, I'm not a hypocrite, because that's the unforgivable sin in my book, the lowest act of all. I NEVER condemn anyone else for something I do myself.
I think I'm much more ethical than my critics in terms of intellectual honesty and argumentative tactics too. Up to this point, to "win" an argument with me, people either have to lie or resort to character attacks. I've never seen ANYONE dismantle my basic premises in, say, the "Rape Issue" of ANSWER Me! or The Redneck Manifesto. Again and again, instead of directly refuting my arguments, they'll allege sinister hidden motivations. Or they'll set up a straw man, meaning they'll propose an argument I haven't actually made, accuse me of making it, and then attack that instead of what I've actually written. They never directly attack my logic, because, let's face it, I'm a maestro at it. I'm the first to admit I'm wrong when PROVEN wrong, but I put a lot of thought into what I do and I'm stubborn - require proof before I relent.
I've always offered anyone who's taken potshots at me to publicly debate me, and no one has ever accepted. The offer still stands. Critics will call me a liar, and I'll say "What am I lying about?" And they'll just shake their heads and say, "Oh, you know," and I'll say, "No - what?" And they'll say, "I don't want to argue about this," and I'll say, "But you STARTED the fucking argument!" And they'll just walk away. I could probably hold a five-minute conversation with any of my critics and catch them in a dozen lies, while they wouldn't be able to nail me on one. Or they'll say they don't want to give a filthy hatemonger such as me a "forum" to discuss my horrid ideas, yet they don't mind attacking my ideas in forums where I can't respond.
I think I scare people because all of the shaming devices which usually keep others in line have no effect on me. Most people are afraid to express a radical thought unless there's critical social mass already supporting it. These cowards will wait until someone ELSE knocks down the barricades, and they only rush in when there's a teeming horde of conformist flesh surrounding them. But I go against the tide because the tide only embraces ideas that long ago turned stale.
It may have been bold to speak out against racism or sexism forty years ago, but now it's the easiest way to score Brownie points. These days it's bold to allege that there may be some valid underpinnings to these dreaded "isms," that maybe the Chocolate-Dipped Sacred Cow and the Goddess Vulva aren't quite as angelic as we've been led to believe. It IS brave to state these things, because look at how much shit you take for it! Look at all the names you get called, all the threats you endure, and all the blacklisting and ostracism you suffer! If I take an unpopular stance on something, it's not for the purpose of being contrary, but because I actually believe it's closer to the truth than what the crowd thinks. I'll stand up for what I feel is the truth even if there isn't a crowd behind me...or even if there's a crowd facing me with torches and nooses. It's a matter of conscience, and fuck the risks. So, yes, I AM a more saintly personage than any of my critics. For many of you, though, I'd prefer that you think I'm a lowlife scumbag just so you stay the fuck away from me.
You've stated that you have completely sworn off women forever. Given your romantic history that may be understandable. However, for the guys out there who haven't given up, maybe you can give us a heads up list of warning signs to look for in a relationship. Some red flags that you would notice if you were to do it again.
Oh gee, now I'm giving dating advice. Great. That's like Hitler catering a Bar Mitzvah. This may sound facetious, but it's the truth - nothing about prison life is more stressful and infuriating than married life was for me. And I feel safer in here than I did with my last girlfriend. I'm NOT kidding.
OK, fellers, first you should decide whether freedom or affection is more important to you, because you can't have both. And even if you sacrifice your freedom, the affection won't last, so choose wisely. A "relationship" is designed more for a woman's needs than for a man's. For men, the thrill is in the chase; for women, it's in the catch.
The first signs of trouble:
1. She has a vagina.
2. She says she loves you. After that, you're as good as dead. Other bad signs to look for: She over-idolizes you. All this means is that one day, she'll over-demonize you.
She hates her father. She will one day see all her father's negative traits in you. She's intensely critical of her ex-lovers and blames them for everything that went wrong. Guess who's next to get blamed.
She describes herself as a feminist. This doesn't mean she wants equal treatment; it means she considers herself innately blameless and will label any criticisms of her behavior as "sexist." She seeks pity from you for negative experiences in her life which have long since passed. A tendency to feel victimized in life is the hugest warning sign of them all, because whatever you do, you're being primed as the next victimizer.
You have a few different books in the works. Do you think any major publishers will want to do another book with you? Are you interested? Similarly, do you think your incarceration has ruined any possibility of returning as a guest on Politically Incorrect? Do you care? Basically, did you cross over the line of mainstream acceptance/ tolerance?
Let's see here:
Charles Bukowski beat his wife.
Norman Mailer stabbed his wife.
Sid Vicious stabbed his girlfriend to death.
William S. Burroughs shot his wife to death.
And although I find it hard to believe that ANY of them were provoked to the extent that I was, it would be untrue to say that any of them suffered a fatal blow in the popularity sweepstakes. The Question: Are these travails going to make Jim Goad soften his approach and think twice before he writes something inflammatory?
The Answer: No. Whatever paltry mythical status I've achieved has been the result of speaking my mind and not tailoring my approach to mainstream tastes. This idea that I EVER tried to "go mainstream" is a joke - I never wrote a word that didn't come from the heart. Simon & Schuster signed me to do The Redneck Manifesto after reading an essay I'd written called "White Niggers Have Feelings, Too" - hardly a mainstream move. When they suggested I see an acting coach to sand down my rough edges before appearing on TV, I told them to fuck off. And I walked away from an opportunity to do a second book for them long before my incarceration, at a time when I was literally hungry for the first time in my life and could have easily accepted $37,500 to write a "White Trash Encyclopedia" I didn't want to write. The only way I got on Politically Incorrect was because one of the show's writers was a fan of mine. And the main reason I shouldn't be asked back is because I gave a stiff, lackluster performance.
If anything, this latest spate of tribulation should LEGITIMIZE me. When have I ever claimed to be nonviolent? It's not like I was a Congressman or a Baptist minister and was nabbed in the act of not practicing what I preached. One has to wonder at the reasoning faculties of those who loved me for glorifying serial murder yet are aghast that I gave a pair of foul-tempered bitches some black eyes. I've found publishers for the two books I'm working on now, so I'm not concerned. Every time I commit career suicide, I rise from the grave stronger. Like Ice Cube said, "I'm the type of Nigga that's built to last."
I have a friend with a degree in English who wrote to me, "Jim Goad's writing has always reminded me of Twain's. They're both social critics who use humor and extreme topics to comment on society. Twain brazenly used the word "nigger" in Huckleberry Finn and other books and he approached sensitive topics like slavery and class head on." Mark Twain was also considered an asshole during his time. Do you think that in 100 years one of your books will be required reading for American school children?
Mark Twain is perceived by many as a gentle old bastard who wrote children's books, but he had a dizzyingly dark view of human nature. Two quotes attributed to him have special resonance for me right now, and I'm quoting from memory again: "Reports of my death are premature" and "The next best thing to a lie is a true story no one will believe." I don't think people will be reading books in a hundred years from now, and the best homage society could pay me is to cease having children entirely.
Time, though, has a cruel way of "mainstreaming" even the most outrageous personages. Malcolm X preached that all whites are devils and that the U.S. government was satanic; the Feds recently rewarded Mr. X by putting him on a postage stamp.
You've always been productive. Do you have other activities you take part in that have nothing to do with your work? When was the last time you were on a bowling or softball team? Do you ever throw or attend BBQ or hot tub parties? Is there a professional sports team that you follow? Any TV shows that you watch semi-regularly? (I'm referring to the time before jail, obviously.) Do you think perhaps your stringent work ethic prevents you from relating with your would-be peers?
I'm not sure what you mean by "would-be peers." There's something frightening about that phrase. I've never thrown a party in my life. I probably attend a party once every five years, and I usually leave within five minutes of arriving. I don't follow any sports teams.
The only TV show I watched with any regularity on the "outs" was Seinfeld (mostly for George Costanza and his parents), and before that, Get A Life, because I think Chris Elliot is a largely unheralded comic genius. I don't currently own a TV and I don't intend on buying one when I get out. TV watching is too passive for me. And I couldn't tell you the last Hollywood movie I watched. I've probably seen fewer Hollywood movies over the last twenty years than any other living American. Seriously. Pop culture makes people stupid, and while it may have been clever to do ironic pop-cult deconstructions thirty years ago, now it's a sign of laziness and intellectual atrophy. The kids coming of age these days are pop-culture inbreds. It's all they know, their only frame of reference, and no wonder American kids score at the bottom of industrialized nations in standardized tests. No wonder their government gets away with everything it does.
I don't think it's a "stringent work ethic" that prevents me from relating to people so much as the fact that I'm odd and intense in ways which make it hard for me to find common ground with others. I may look normal, at least when I'm not shaving my head, but my ideas and sense of humor are far freakier than those of even the most severely crusted-out gutterpunk. When you talk to those types, you quickly realize how distressingly ordinary they are.
It's always amusing when one of these "rebel" types accuses me of being a shill for the establishment, because I'm about the most alienated, disconnected, antisocial person I know. All these "alternative" spuds, almost without exception, get more conservative when they get older, while every year sees me getting more extreme. I think a line from Shit Magnet summarizes it perfectly: "I don't have body piercings, I have an FBI file."
But I'm guessing that the gist of your question is "Hey now, Jim Goad, is there anything normal about you?" Well, I drink a lot of coffee. I'm an animal-lover - both dogs and cats. I love to travel. It doesn't matter where, as long as it's new. So far I've been to forty-seven states and eleven foreign countries. I'm a big fan of old country music. I'm somewhat of a fitness and nutrition fag. I like hot baths and hot mineral springs, but hot tub parties aren't my style. But even with all of these "normal" interests, I approach them in an obsessional manner which borders on the insane.
Can you give us a rundown of your educational background? I have a good friend who was recently accepted to both Harvard and Yale, but the student loans don't cover the bill. He's the only member of his extended family to ever attend a class at the college level. When he asked his aunt for a small loan she told him to "grow up" and stop wasting his time with school. Do you think college is a tool for the rich to maintain the status quo or are the lower classes just too ignorant to take advantage of the opportunity?
I have a B.A. (summa cum laude) in Journalism from Temple University, 1986. Most of what they taught me, at least regarding the technical side of publishing, was obsolete by the time I graduated. College is a way for the rich to make more money by fostering the illusion that a college degree is worth something, thereby enticing some sap to sink years of his life and thousands of his (or his parents') money into obtaining one. A college degree imparts the illusion that you're worth something, and in a world that operates more on illusion than on what can be proven, that's often a useful thing. One of the most disgusting things I ever read was a report issued by the Trilateral Commission - a private organization composed of some of the world's wealthiest and most powerful individuals - about how it was paramount to lower the career expectations of college students once they graduate. Nice. They take your money and then they tell you you're fucked. What pricks! It's axiomatic that colleges teach you very little that's of use once you leave the ivory tower. Everything I ever learned and retained was something about which I was passionate. These days, you can learn everything you want to know with an internet account and a healthy curiosity.
Now that you've been lifting weights in prison, how much can you bench press?
I'm completely namby-pamby regarding bench press - let's just say I have trouble with one wheel and let it rest, OK? I'm pitifully bat at anything requiring chest and shoulder muscles; marginally better with lats; approaching normal or beyond with biceps, forearms and "backarms," as triceps are called in prison; a mite above the mass regarding abdominals; and a total hog-slayer in the realm of legs. I can squat three wheels with the best of them. This is probably due to the misshapen Charlie Brown body I had as a child - huge head propped up by midget legs. My legs grew strong to keep my head from falling over.
I heard from a friend of a friend that you had a personal appearance somewhere and what you did was show the audience gross videos. I was told a good bit of the crowd walked out after some sort of shit eating video. I think I saw that video at Lisa Carver's apartment about five years ago. She wanted to politely get me out of her hair because she had some work to do. She said, "Hey Jim Goad sent me this video." I sat down to watch it, but it was these guys in leather, shitting into each other's mouth. I'm not easily grossed out or squeamish, but that sort of thing doesn't really appeal to me, I also felt awkward in Lisa's apartment so I left with out watching the whole thing. Did I miss something? Do gross videos like that appeal to you or are you just looking for a reaction from others?
The theme that evening wasn't grossness, it was psychological control, and the scat-munchin' homos fit into that theme. I don't remember anyone leaving - the house looked packed throughout the entire program. Not that I would have minded if they left, but I think your friend of a friend was wrong. I doubt that I ever used the word "gross" in my life, and as far as showing repellent material in the manner of a schoolboy throwing a frog down a schoolgirl's dress, I like to pretend that my aesthetic is a bit more finely sculpted than that. Nothing that humans do to one another makes me cringe, because I expect it of humans. To me, what is "gross" is usually only the window-dressing that people try to drape around raw human behavior. The way people try to clean up their actions is what disgust me. Metamorphically speaking, I don't find shit as repellent as I do toilet paper.
Speaking of, are you still in contact with Lisa Carver or did she and Boyd Rice have one of those split ups where their friends get divided? Didn't he hit her as well? I'm no longer on good terms with Lisa myself. She took offense to a gibing letter I sent to her that, unfortunately, arrived on the day her mother died.
Lisa seems to take offense at a LOT of things these days. Wasn't it only a few years ago that she was naked onstage, throwing bodily fluids around and screaming like a banshee? When you squeeze a baby out of your legs, does it squeeze all the adventurousness out of, too? To my mind, Lisa's just another one of these gals who courts danger but doesn't want to get her hands dirty. She seems like just another in a long, tiresome assembly line of "outrageous" girls like Courtney Love (and, come to think of it, Anne R.) who act wild for a while but whose real dreams are mundane gossamer fantasies of babies, mainstream fame, and a stable home life. You know, she isn't joking about all that Dr. Laura stuff, and Dr. Laura's about the most uptight, judgmental, humorless twat-owner in the universe. Lisa C. seems to have become as self-righteously intolerant as any other mother, stamping out everyone else's fun in the name of protecting her "cub."
The truth, and golly how I'll offend the left wing with this, is that women have always been much more conservative than men and much easier to offend. I admired her workaholism, but I admire that of any workaholic. I thought her talents were mostly as an interviewer; she was unusually sharp and intuitive at that art. But although her writing yielded the occasional yuk here and there, I found most of it to be flaky and insubstantial, almost thoroughly lacking in anything you might properly call ideas. It's girlie stuff, and one of these days I'd like to see a female writer write about something other than being female and a black writer write about something other than being black. And don't even get me STARTED about black female writers - it makes one long for the simpler days of Aunt Jemima.
I haven't spoken with Boyd in years, but I think he's much more talented than Lisa and a lot less wishy-washy ideologically. Boyd is a philosopher, while Lisa is just a gossip columnist. I've heard that Lisa tries to distance herself from all that "hate" stuff now because she was scared that her career was being damaged due to her association with disreputable characters such as Herr Rice. She may be savvy career-wise, but she's a plucked chicken as an artist. It may work in the short run, but compromisers are never remembered.
Lisa made allegations against Boyd which a judge laughed out of a courtroom. From my understanding - and I could be misinformed, as I've learned the hard way that one should never jump to conclusions regarding domestic situations - she used some "abuse" story as an excuse to scoop up the baby and skedaddle out of Denver. She won't talk about it, although she never hesitates to talk about everything ELSE in her life. But the fact that this unsubstantiated rumor of her tragic abuse at the hands of Evil Nazi Guy Boyd is evidence of why women make these allegations - because they know they'll be believed and get sympathy for it. If the laws against perjury were enforced, a lot of that sort of nonsense would be stopped dead in its tracks.
Debbie was with you during most of your publishing ventures. Is not having her around going to effect your production? You've stated that you had exaggerated her input into ANSWER Me! and even rewrote her articles to make her seem more intelligent. However, was she supportive of your work and valuable as a working partner?
Debbie did none of the work on ANSWER Me! besides writing her rants, which I rewrote. And even then, her contributions comprised less than ten percent of ANSWER Me!'s total page count. All of the production work was mine, as was all of the day-to-day drudgery such as dealing with mail, printers, and distributors. In short, she was next to worthless as a working partner. Not worthless, but next to it. She only supported my work to the degree that it garnered HER some attention. When it was solely my bag, as with The Redneck Manifesto, She acted jealous and grumbly. She'd whine that she should have a book deal, too, and I'd say, "What's stopping you? I think the first step is to start writing a book, sweet cheeks..."
Imagine Debbie's involvement in ANSWER Me! as an I Love Lucy episode: Lucy wants to join Ricky's band; Ricky grudgingly lets her, but he dubs in her voice on the record so it sounds better; Lucy then finds Ricky with a showgirl, files for divorce, and writes a tell-all claiming he used to beat her.
I consider you to be a fairly level-headed and fair minded individual. I've read The Redneck Manifesto and I wouldn't accuse you of racism. I read the rape issue of ANSWER Me! and didn't think of you as sexist. However, in the interviews you've done since your incarceration I've noticed an outright distrust and strong dislike towards women. I take this quote from an interview you did in Nov. '99. "I believe that women are born with three holes- one between their legs, one between their buttocks, and one between their ears. Women are irrational and unfit to rule, and that's why men rule everywhere. Feminism is unnatural and will last only as long as men are foolishly willing to relinquish their natural-born power. To give a woman power is like handing a gun to an infant. Men will eventually wise up, and things will return to the unsullied natural state which God-who has a dick-intended." Is this something you said (jokingly) in anger because of your experience with Anne and Debbie or do you believe women are mentally inferior to men?
Obviously, at least part of my statement is in jest - if there IS a God, I would trust such a superior being to be wise enough not to burden itself with genitals.
In terms of intellectual aptitude, I don't think women are "mentally inferior," as most standardized test show them at a parity with males or in some ways slightly ahead. I DO think they are ruled more by emotions than logic, and this creates innumerable problems, particularly in the way they tend to project their subjective emotions as objective reality. Still, I wouldn't say they're "mentally inferior."
But what's worse, I think they're MORALLY inferior. I should be made clear that I'm speaking from my own personal experiences and don't claim that my statements are universal truths. I also state that I WISH things were some other way than how they seem to be. It's never pleasant to realize that your worst suspicions are correct. I don't think that the negative opinions I harbor toward womenfolk are the result of any sexist indoctrination, because I was subjected to cruel, violent, power-crazed women in the person of mom at home and nuns at school long before I received whatever sexist "training" society is supposed to impart, either overtly or subliminally.
Remember - almost all sexist pig males were raised by women. Mom 'n' the nuns were my primary authority figures growing up, and it's this specter of matriarchs who were not only willfully inflicting harm on me, but were incapable of admitting even their CAPACITY to inflict harm, against which I continue to shadow-box as I stretch toward my twilight years.
In my life, I've witnessed females dictate male behavior and attempt to control the males in their lives to a degree far, far beyond anything I've ever observed in male "oppressors." I've never seen men purposely try to destroy women's lives the way women gleefully do to men as a matter of course. Although the gals are demonstrably violent (and society's still asleep regarding this fact), I can't single them out for criticism about that, because guys are violent, too.
The sorts of female aggression I'm criticizing are of the underhanded type. I'm talking about the Carrie-like way in which they gossip, ostracize, and set others up for trouble, and the way they seem congenitally unable to ever accept the blame for anything. I don't like self-righteous people and I don't like hypocrites or liars, and the ladies seem to embody these character traits with alarming frequency. Women have a seemingly endless capacity to ridicule and degrade the men in their lives - or men collectively - but when you turn the tables and make sport of THEIR vanities and imbecilities, they shriek with outrage about how sexist you are.
Of course, I speak as a convicted bitch-beater. But even when I've hit women, the thought NEVER crossed my mind that I was keeping them "down" or "in their place"; To the contrary, I did it with the feeling that women are no more precious than men and should enjoy no HIGHER status or sacred force field around them than men do. The behavior in women, whether verbal or physical, which led me to strike them would also have been greeted with violence by me if a man had done it. But men, protected by no such sacred force field, are generally more wary and respectful. They tend to feel less culturally entitled to get away with acting like assholes.
Ironically, I've never seen people act more respectful toward one another than they do in prison, because they know that disrespect might get them killed. One has to question the testicular fortitude of these fellas who say it's cowardly to hit women but somehow brave to let their wives or girlfriends trample on their will at every turn. To me, it's actually BRAVE to hit women these days, because almost no one approves of it, and it's cowardly to fall into lockstep with what the rest of the world considers to be taboo.
Pushing it even further, hell, I think I'm almost HEROIC to proclaim that women's "powerlessness" and "innocence" are grand hoaxes. Physical weakness is not tantamount to moral sanctity. Having a hole doesn't make you holy. But feminism, at least in its latest incarnations, is not a movement for fairness and equality so much as it's a folk religion based on the myth of the favored group's innate innocence and superiority, and in this sense, feminism is no less dangerous than Christianity or nazism, and no less capable of inflicting widespread damage in the name of goodness. The current situation favors a dangerous double standard in which women want to be strong, which is fine, but they also want to hide behind antiquated notions of female weakness when it allows them to shirk responsibility for their actions. In a thoroughly schizoid manner, a woman will feel simultaneously justified for hitting a man and victimized when he hits her back.
I need to point out that I like the fact that women are violent and malicious - TA DA, it proves that they're human! - But I also feel obligated to point out the deceitful ways in which they seek to throw a veil over their foulness. They can't just say they're mammals acting in self-interest; They always have to shellac their predations with a nauseating moralistic sheen.
One of the most commonly employed pathways of denial is to say they've been oppressed so long, anything wicked that they do is just a bold retaliatory strike against the Great Satanic Patriarchy. But that's hypocritical - you can't "fight fire with fire" and then blame your opponents for using fire. You can't excuse malice and violence in women while condemning it in men. One might sensibly argue that, facing superior male physical strength, women cultivated skills of deceit and manipulation as survival strategies. But the perpetuation of these tactics hinges on the necessity that they never be REVEALED, and that's why there's such howling demonization of anyone who alleges that women are anything but nurturant, milk-providing angels.
All I've ever asserted is that, on an ethical level, women are no better than men, and in the ways that count most to me, such as hypocrisy and sanctimony, they're a damned sight worse. And the intensity at which they freak out over such a simple assertion is evidence that I've hit a nerve. If they didn't have such guilty consciences, they'd be able to shrug and get over it.
Not many pro-girl theorists seem to have pondered the ghastly possibility that women's historical "oppression" was not strictly a matter of male "evil" and may have been related to the idea that, left unchecked, women can be far more power-hungry, devious, and remorseless than men. I know very little about ancient matriarchal cultures, but I hear they were acutely bloodthirsty, with high rates of infanticide toward male infants. A recent feminist book state, "We must not keep to ourselves the shameful secrets of men." HA! Everyone KNOWS that guys are pigs. Maybe, though, it's high time to talk about the LADIES' shameful secrets. All the high-pitched finger-pointing the girls have been doing lately has begged the question of their OWN innocence. Me thinks the ladies doth protest too much.
If you were to write a satirical essay in the style of Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal," which modern-day problem would you approach and what would be your solution?
In terms of essays, I think I already did that with The Redneck Manifesto's last chapter, "Several Compelling Arguments for the Enslavement of all White Liberals," whose title was deliberately Swiftian. The only difference in spirit from "A Modest Proposal" is that while Swift probably wasn't serious about cannibalizing Irish children to end the famine, I genuinely thought it would be a good idea to shackle all white liberals and send them to work on African plantations so they could get in touch with how truly uplifting the black experience is.
But I'm currently working on a website called "upwithnegroes.com." The advertising text I've written to promote the site says, "Finally, a website devoted exclusively to the cause of promoting goodwill toward those of Negroid ancestry... Although Jim Goad is not himself a Negro, he sees absolutely nothing wrong with being one. And THAT'S why he's doing the 'Up With Negroes' website... It's a joyous ëthumbs-up' to our bronze-skinned brethren... You've come a long way, you Negroes. RIGHT ON!... DOWN with hate! UP with Negroes!!!" It should be obvious to discerning minds that I'm not making fun of black people, but if you can't figure out what I'm satirizing there, you're probably part of the problem.