What do you think it would feel like to live like a college student for the rest of your life and make a decent salary off of it? Tucker Max, a popular blog-writer, “makes six figures a year doing nothing more than drinking and fucking and writing about it,” he said, and imparted his wisdom on how to achieve life goals to an over-flowing Kaufmann Auditorium Friday.
His visit came as part of the James Norris Oliphant Fellowship series sponsored by the Sigma Phi Society.
His first official public appearance, Max began his speech by clearing up the image some people have of him.
“Judging by most of the emails I get … [people think] that I’d be out with a pitcher of Tucker Death Mix in one hand, a breathalyzer in the other, passed out on a table, vomiting on myself, screaming obscenities at fat girls. And I mean, I’ve had those nights … but that’s just not who I am.”
Max confessed that he was not sure exactly what he wanted to talk about. However, he decided to address a common question he continuously faced from his fans: “How do I become you?” To this, he replied, “You cannot ever be me.” Clarifying, he said “really what you should take from my stories is that you should be inspired by my approach to life.”
Before achieving his current fame, Max was no stranger to failure.
After finishing his undergraduate work at the University of Chicago, he continued his education in law school. After law school, he interned and was “fired three weeks into a job [one] couldn’t be fired from.” The reason, he said, was for “being Tucker Max.”
After his failure with law, he decided to try the family business, working in a restaurant. However, soon enough he was even fired from this job – by his own father.
“No one has failed more intermittently than me on the path to success,” he said.
Max’s stories with titles such as “The Blowjob Follies,” “The Absinthe Donuts Story,” and “Tucker tries buttsex; hilarity does not ensue,” are what his fame predominantly stems from. He explained, however, that these stories resembled his philosophy on life.
“They’re about being brave enough to live your life for yourself,” he said. “[They’re] about willing … to accept the risks of failure that come hand-in-hand with the struggle of success … about figuring out who you want to be and putting in the work to be that person.”
Despite his attempt to be an inspirational icon for his audience, some people were confused by his speech.
“People do not flock to hear Tucker Max give an inspirational speech about being true to yourself and not giving up,” said Alex Shapero ’06. “He’s a professional asshole, and that is what has created his following.”
However, others had a different opinion.
“I think he’s great,” said Talia Shani ’08. “I mean, it’s true. He’s living his life exactly the way he wants and does not care at all about what people think of him and look how successful he’s become. I think people need to hear that sometimes.”
His 30-minute speech was followed by a question and answer session of equal length. A variety of questions were thrown at him including, “who would play you in a movie,” “is there any line you wouldn’t cross,” “will you have sex with my friend,” and “are your stories really true?” He assured his audience that the stories were 100 percent true, but that, as a writer, he did use his creative license occasionally.
“The answer is simple,” he said. “Commit to your dream, believe you can do it, have an idea where you want to go, and put in the work. And if you follow those guidelines, you’re never going to become me, but you’ll become the best version of yourself possible…”
Archived article by Emily Gordon
Sun Staff Writer