The 43-year-old author is the instigator behind such incendiary works as the pro-violence ANSWER Me!, pro-white trash The Redneck Manifesto and pro-Goad Shit Magnet, and he's built a well-deserved reputation as an asshole. Two years, four months and 24 days behind bars (he was released in October 2000) for hitting his girlfriend hasn't helped his image.
That said, I don't think Jim's a jerk. I think he leans more toward the savage-genius end of the scale in his latest tour de farce, Trucker Fags in Denial. The graphic comic book, which first appeared in Exotic magazine, was written by Goad and illustrated by Jim Blanchard. The book puts the "graphic" in graphic novel, telling the story of Butch and Petey, two lonely, long-distance truckers who beat the shit out of "fags" and then screw each other silly. It's all Goad humor: twisted, vile, unrepentant...and absolutely hilarious. I met with Goad to talk about Trucker Fags, and here's what he had to say.
QW: You say, "There's a little of 'Butch' and 'Petey' in all of us." What do you mean by that?
Jim Goad: I didn't mean that everyone sucks trucker cock and then goes on killing sprees, only that everyone tends to be a bit hypocritical and seeks to punish others for the identical impulses and actions of which they're also guilty. A good case in point is the phenomenon of violent anti-racist activists who are out to lynch anyone who doesn't think like they do.
Sounds like a few gay activists I know.
Well, that's always simultaneously amusing and depressing to me--when the cure becomes worse than the disease.
You have been accused of glorifying violence against women. With Trucker Fags do you think you will be accused of glorifying violence against gay men?
I'm sure I will be. The Oregonian, in a fucking HEADLINE no less (Jan. 9, 1999), called me a "Promoter of Violence." Like I'm the Don King of violence.
Have you ever had a gay experience?
Traded BJs with a kid across the street, first at age 8, then again when I was around 16. At the time, I was so horny I would've had sex with a street lamp. I even once tried to get my brother's dachshund to blow me, but the dog just sniffed it and walked away unimpressed. The BJs were fine at the time. But if my mom's enemas didn't make me gay, nothing will.
Enemas aside, do you identify with gay men in any way?
In the sense that I'm whiny, vain, smug and entirely self-absorbed, sure. I also feel like an outsider, so I'm sure there's some overlap there.
Could you tell me what Trucker Fags has to do with your time in prison?
Sitting within a cage, a compulsive thinker such as myself has a lot of time to ponder the issues of guilt and scapegoating. It's the major theme of all my post-ANSWER Me! writing--from The Redneck Manifesto, which focused on racial and class-based scapegoating, to Shit Magnet, which dealt with gender and the idea of justice. And now to these slap-happy, cocksucking Trucker Fags. I was continually amused at the frequency with which supposedly heterosexual men would call each other "fags" and accuse one another of all forms of faggotry.
Do you have a beef with gay guys? Or truckers?
No, and I'm not sure what in the comic book would lead you to ask that. It isn't their gayness or their truck-driving that I'm poking fun at. I actually like trucks--thick, long, macho trucks that never stop going and going and going.
Why do you think there are so many gay truckers?
Because it's funny. God has a sense of humor. Plus, have you seen any of these "lot lizards" [female truck-stop hookers]? It'd make anyone gay.
Your writing seems to be obsessed with homosexuality. As a writer, why does the subject appeal to you?
What, are you trying to call me some kind of FAG or something? I mean, human sexuality itself is funny to me--the way it reduces us all to animals. And there's something extra-special-funny about homosexuality--not just the mechanics of it, but the hysteria with which people react to it. Like racism, it's a largely untapped pool of comic gold.
What do you hope readers will come away with after reading Trucker Fags?
The only thing I hope they come away with is four less dollars.
Jim Goad's Trucker Fags in Denial ($3.95, Fantagraphic Books) is available at CounterMedia (927 SW Oak St., 226-8141).