If I were to tell you, "Tucker Max has been a great influence on me," I can already imagine many reactions.
Some wouldn't get it. They'd cite how vile his book is and ask how a person could take something positive out of a raging narcissist. "Of course, 'The Blowjob Follies' really present a lot of insight into real life," would only be expected with obvious sarcasm; or, "Yeah, you can really model your life after a failed-lawyer and drunkard who got lucky," in a similar tone. And then others would see it in a totally different light. "Yeah dude that's awesome. You'll get so much pussy now." Maybe some would think I'm going to become "way cooler like Tucker Max". And, sure, these ideas have some justification in the most basic understanding of Max's work, but it doesn't begin to reach the deeper message. And they definitely don't understand me when I say how much of an influence he has had on me.
To the bare eye, a paper edge is straight as can be, but upon further magnification the edge begins to zig-zag and loses its straightness until eventually, under high enough magnification, the edge begins to appear as a series of horizontal, snow-white, peaks and valleys. This is the way I have begun to see many aspects of the world—by acknowledging the initial response/representation, and then investigating further until I have a good understanding of whatever I'm studying. And this assessment is always up for re-evaluation through new experiences and new forms of knowledge.
Take Max's work, for example. Stories of blowjobs, drinking buddies, getting drunk, fucking girls, and explosive diarrhea form the straight-edge of his book I Hope they Serve Beer in Hell. (If you're unfamiliar with his stories they're all on his website www.tuckermax.com.) This aspect of the story ultimately attracts many, if not the majority, of Tucker Max's fandom. And to that note it is important to acknowledge his natural taste for storytelling and comedy. But more often than not it seems many people miss the point of Max's work.
Agree or disagree with his lifestyle, no one can argue that Tucker Max doesn't live the life that HE wants to live. And that's the message that inspires me most. Fired from his internship with Fenwick & West in the Summer of 2000, Tucker Max was granted a gift: he could no longer follow a path that would lead him to a miserable career as a lawyer. But I'm not here to give you a synopsis of his book, if you want more read the fucking book.
Instead, I'm here to tell you how Max's influence has sent me on a mission to become a better, more productive person.
After finishing Tucker's book I understood his message, but was attracted to his website by his stories. I liked how I tore through the book laughing to myself, making others around me wonder what was wrong, and I wanted more. After that I read through his blog which lead me to his message board. And that is where everything began to click. Most of all, it was the abundance of knowledge granted through the advice board. Reading through these threads I received a lot of advisement that I needed, but never would have asked for (or would have wanted directed towards me in a public forum).
Besides his message board, Max's website introduced me to Rudius Media and its players. First came Ryan Holiday and his take on philosophy and how that has transformed him into a better person. On top of Holiday's blogging, the information he provides flows with eloquence while not sounding like an academic prick. He inspired me to read The War of Art and The Meditations, and these have both had great influences on the many new ways I have begun to work.
Next in line I found Dr. Rob Dobrenski at his blog. And for the sake of not being redundant, with each new Rudius Media member's blog, I learned new things, developed new perspectives, and thoroughly appreciated both the artist doing the work and Tucker Max for establishing this creative firm that I believe will set a new model for quality talent companies looking to supply good art to consumers, like myself, who are fed up with a selfish business model and clichéd, shitty art.
And then Ben Corman wrote, "They want to follow Tucker not because they are looking for the party but because they understand that something is being built here." Here Ben Corman has summed up much of what I have been trying to say, only in a much more concise way. And with each new installation to Rudius the group of artists gains strength, only to be magnified with the release of Max's movie I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.
Keep your eyes open, I have not seen his movie, but I have learned enough about Max and his strategies to say that his movie will be a huge box office hit, in turn benefitting all of his players along with even more sales of his book still residing on the New York Times bestselling list.