As with all acclaimed actors, the public remains fascinated by their lifestyles. We wonder what they do from day to day and hour to hour besides prepping for and delivering their stellar performances. We take a nibble on a video clip of their off screen indulgences magnifying them to fill in the gaps. We imagine their access to people beyond our reach. For some of them, Sean Justin Penn included in this grouping, we cannot fill in the gaps even after the sound bytes and clandestine photos surface. For instance, how does one suppose he could have met Hugo Chávez, or Cristina Fernández de Kirchner or Sr. Guzmán? Or even the family of Christopher McCandless, for that matter? Does he just read a news clipping or come across an article and decide to insinuate himself into their lives come hell or high water? Or is he just that personable? Does he make the connections himself or employ his agent(s) to do so? What’s that first meeting in person like? Is there food? Drinks? Music? Who designs the menu? Cigars? Small talk? A movie..? Did such access to untouchables and their secret information lead to Sean’s novel, “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff?” Or does his book play the role of a diarrhetic pleading of the fifth or otherwise shroud of reasonable doubt?
His utterances throughout the work not only makes you think, they make you shiver. If this is Sean Justin Penn’s way of inviting desperate immigrants into the Nation, he may want to reconsider his methodology. Or, perhaps he plans to limit translations. In explaining his quasi mystical character Mr. Landlord, he does note that USA citizens’ direct exposure to other cultures has become dangerously limited and that with just twenty eight percent of Americans holding passports, it doesn’t appear that change is imminent. Consequently, Americans regard the USA as a most desirous nation in which to reside and expect that the democratic way of social management is the best and only way. Sean further explains that if properly implemented on the home front, democracy does pose a viable following that other nations may rightfully plan to emulate. But when a government cannot understand the political history of another nation and aims to ‘help’ apply democracy, a lot can get lost in translation and arrive as fascism instead.
These notions of Penn’s play out in “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff” through piles of arcane or otherwise abstruse verbiage, albeit clever in its prose. The protagonist is presented as a figure who can shovel excrement, develop land and whack~a~mole with the best of them. His neighbor’s pleas with authority for a welfare check on his behalf goes, effectively, unanswered. Bob Honey is left to his own devices which appear to be many.
The title of Sean’s work seems to suggest that Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff contains more than one person whether within himself or as a name symbolic of some imaginary group of people. (Per verb agreement, or, in this case, the lack thereof.) Perhaps the name represents a collection of comrades Penn met on an, as one commentator observed, ayahuasca tea trip. In his debut novel, “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff,” we have to assume that a good deal of his ideas are solely deliverable because of his available options for encountering one of a kind personalities. Nevertheless, the liquid induced reverie may sound more accurate.