Jim Goad's Shit Magnet: Review and Analysis, Part 2

Anne beats Jim up on a bus. She leaves voice mail messages about how happy she'll be when he dies. And the email messages start, as do the postings online about Jim's nose job, among other things. And she threatens to kill him. Jim gets a restraining order against Anne, but they careen back and forth. And Jim admits he didn't want to go back, but he didn't Anne to be alone. He didn't want Debbie to be alone. And most tellingly, HE didn't want to be alone.

Anne files charges on Jim. Eventually, he goes to prison because he beat up Anne ONCE, but is unhappy that Anne has attacked him several times and ends up going free. Until she runs someone down with her car. She got five months. Jim got two years. And Jim says both of them will be worse when they get out.

Love is like heroin. Sometimes it destroys lives, but damn, it feels so, so good. And I think that is what makes it so hard to break up sometimes. I think Jim knew Anne was a nutcase when they got together, yet he got together with her. Fucking and laughing and fucking and laughing. It's obvious Jim hates a certain type of woman: fat/feminist/lesbian. And woe is you if you happen to be all three, and unattractive to boot. I actually wonder if Jim hates ALL women. According to him, we are nothing special. We THINK we are special. According to Jim, while men were out conquering lands, taking on nature, and creating civilizations, we were at home giving birth. And do you think if we could have changed that, we would have? I'm sure there were several women who would have gladly taken birth control had it been available. And as Jim probably hates to admit, you need a man and a woman to create a human. Even a male human. Especially a male human. He probably hates that.

Jim rightfully points out that domestic abuse happens male to female, and female to male. However, something I would like to ask him is why the hell he continued to return to Anne, and later to Debbie. With Anne, it had to have been the sex. With Debbie, it might have been a sense of guilt—she WAS dying, after all, and the marriage sounded like it went sour almost right from the beginning. And that makes Jim human. He felt guilt, but he also showed weakness. Don't anti-domestic violence advocates always tell women to leave abusive situations? Doesn't that also apply to men? It's terrible when domestic violence happens, but why the hell don't people leave? I think it's love. It's like heroin. And so terribly hard to kick. And the more insecure you are, the harder it is to let go.

So Jim compares himself to Christ. He's carrying the guilt of every man who was ever attacked by a woman and fought back. Jesus died for the world's sins. Jim served 24 months in prison. I'm sure Jim wanted to die several times, but it's just not the same. I have some sympathy for Jim, but not a whole lot. Maybe Jim would laugh at me because I've not taken a lot of chances in my life. But I know I've been burned by certain people. I attract strange men. I've had so-called friends screw me over. So if I meet a guy and he seems a little “off,” I'm going to think twice about getting involved with him. So maybe that makes me a boring, safe person. I still meet weirdoes, but I have to wonder about Jim's constant complaining that women get away with violence, and isn't it terrible. Men make more money than women, and they are stronger. Boo hoo. A lot of things are terrible and unfair in the world. What Jim hates is that women GET AWAY with it. Isn't everything fair in love and war? Doesn't it make sense that if you want to stay safe, you stay the hell away from people who scream out in public and expose themselves in their 'zines and who don't have any problem with hitting you, and who seem just a little obsessive when you need to go to work, or go to the bathroom and they throw themselves at your feet and beg you not to leave? Doesn't it make sense that once you get away, you STAY away?

Doesn't it? Maybe that's just me.


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