Sean Penn has released a book called “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff”, an absurd and satirical story about middle class boomer, Bob. The book doesn’t follow a formal plot structure, but tells the story of the antihero Bob. He is an angry man, who loathes his ex-wife, but sometimes goes on mallet wielding sprees, bashing older people. His mysterious employer who issues him to kill with the mallet, is seen as an individual who loathes globalization and stands in the way of it. “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff” can be seen as a trippy read, which Penn has compared to the likes of cult authors such as Thomas Pynchon.
Through the madness in Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, Penn seems to highlight some interesting truths on the state of affairs in the United States. Bob experiences the 2016 election, in which there are jabs at President Trump, in which Penn calls him the landlord. Bob also discusses the five police killed in Dallas, mentioning how he feels that police culture in American needs to change. Penn also adds some praise of a leader very similar to Hugo Chavez, and includes a character that is strikingly similar to El Chapo. The dystopian world that Bob lives in, can’t help but get the reader thinking, and Penn’s ambitious prose creates a whirlwind of sentiments.
Through the book, it is at times hard to distinguish between Bob, and Penn’s voice. This seems to be intentional, as Penn is also a baby boomer, and has always expressed his discontent on the political state of the U.S. Bob seems in many ways to be a strong, yet absurd, symbol of the anger and confusion of the average American. It seems that the book takes a satirical approach to Penn’s worldview. The New York Times says that Penn’s “real interest here is capturing what America has become – and taking a mallet to it.” This may be a very accurate depiction, and may explain why some people may relate to this read, while others will not. The book can be found on Amazon and Simon and Schuster.
Read Entertainment Weekly’s review:
Seven years ago, a lip balm by the name of EOS began to take over shelves at major retailers and on Amazon, causing uproar over the variety of flavors. Before EOS hit the market, lip balm was a bland purchase of necessity. With EOS came flavors of grapefruit and honeydew that were raved about by celebrities and beauty editors at Cosmo and Allure.
Evolution of Smooth, the company’s full name, sells over 1 million units a week of lip balm. EOS is second only to Burt’s Bees, outpacing Chapstick and Blistex in sells. According to Kline Research, EOS has increased market growth in the oral care category which is driven by natural and organic product demands.
EOS cofounder and managing partner explains in Fast Company’s interview about EOS’s business strategy that as a small start-up, EOS’s attention was on creating products and distributing them. Now, Mehra discusses that “…it is important for consumers to know a little bit more about the business we are and the values we stand for.”
After consumer research indicated that there was space in the market for a product tailor-made for women’s beauty, EOS lip balm set about creating a radically different take on lip balm. To Mehra, that meant that EOS needed to be effective and consistently pleasurable to use. This included a soft round packaging, a variety of colorful orbs, new smells and even flavors of lip balms with organic ingredients. To top it all off, EOS set a price point of $3 to compete in the oral care market.
Now, reaching their demographic through Facebook bloggers and celebrity endorsements, EOS has excelled by becoming a household product. This allows them to create new products and enter new markets thanks to their ‘entrepreneurial mind-set’ and ‘big-company discipline’ that is described by Mehra as part of EOS’s success.
Yeonmi Park, North Korean defector has penned her memoir “In Order to Live”. She describes herself as a 22-year-old Park escaped from North Korea through China when she was 13. The book goes into detail about life after her father got caught for trading in the black market. The family were now branded as criminals, she and her mother fled, only to find themselves caught up in the world of human trafficking and having to watch her mother sexually assaulted in front of her just to protect her was a horrifying ordeal. Later on, she herself would work in trafficking North Korean women. She is now a human rights activist. The book takes you into a North Korea, that is so oppressive and probably the darkest, most secretive nation in the world.
Yeonmi Park says on the NY Times, people in North Korea don’t know what freedom is. When she arrived in South Korea it was a culture shock to her; she had to hide her identity because South Korea considered North Korea as a foreign country.
She discredits on the Reason TV accusations against her by North Korean state media in an interview given presumably by her relatives living in North Korea, claiming that her father died in the North Korean but Park refutes that claim and said she will prove them wrong by retrieving her father’s remains in China for DNA testing, as well as meet the doctors in China where her father was receiving treatment.
Yeonimi Park was led to believe that the dictator could hear her thoughts, and she was horrified of the punishment meted out to those who broke the rules or anyone who expressed doubts about the regime. When her father later died in China and buried his ashes in secret, she said she was even afraid to cry for fear of being caught and sent back to North Korea.
Finally, Yeon-mi and her mother escaped into freedom to Mongolia, they followed the stars north by walking and crawling across the frozen Gobi desert. Yeonmi Park’s story is inspiring to so many people and her determination to take a stand against the injustice within North Korea.