Aurora, Nebraska, UNITED STATES — Author Marty Beckerman, 22, has two published books and a third in the works.
Death to All Cheerleaders: One Adolescent Journalist’s Cheerful Diatribe Against Teenage Plasticity, came out in 2000. Generation S.L.U.T. (sexually liberated urban teens): A Brutal Feel-Up Session with Today’s Sex-Crazed Adolescent Populace, came out in 2004.
His third book, Nation of Retards: America’s Sexxxiest Young Journalist Exposes the Bastardly Forces Keeping You Stupid, is due out next year.
Beckerman recently spoke with The Tattoo.
What initially inspired Generation S.L.U.T.?
Well, I wanted to write a really personal book and I kind of wanted to expand on the last chapter of the early book (Death to All Cheerleaders).
Towards the end of high school, I had all these friends who had problems and it just seemed like I couldn’t find happy people, you know, it seems like everyone I knew at the time wasn’t happy and that the whole idea of your high school years being the best time of your life wasn’t true for somany people. Then I went to college and I met all these new people who were unhappy, too, and then I made the connection between the fact that nobody really believed in love anymore.
They told me all these stories about their little 14- and 15-year-old siblings having sex and everything and that love didn’t exist anymore. People would use the classic excuse of “I don’t get emotionally attached because I don’t want to be emotionally hurt.”
So that’s what why I wrote it, and plus I wanted to write about some blowjobs.
Do you think the quotes and statistics in your book represent the state of American teen culture as a whole?
Well, Mark Twain once said that there are three kinds of lies, “Lies, damn lies, and statistics.”
You see, I could’ve written a book with less sex, but that’s not reality. There are two ways to write a book about a generation – journalistic or fiction – in Generation S.L.U.T. I used both, which isn’t very common. But yeah, I mean, some of the statistics in the book were wrong, but in latereditions they’ll be taken out, but when numbers overlap in research it’s a pretty sure thing.
See, the thing about statistics is you have to use them, but you can’t always believe them.
What really bugs me though is when 40-year-olds tell me the book is inaccurate. I mean, I wrote this book when I was 18, 19, 20 and I experienced it. I know what is going on.
Has your book been banned in any schools?
I’ve heard it was confiscated in a few schools, but the book has a pretty conservative message and I think most people don’t realize that. They think it’s about kids having sex, which it kinda is, but it’s really about love and not just kids having anonymous sex every day of the week.
It’s about stepping back and criticizing sexual liberation. Parents really should like that message despite the graphic sex scenes.
Do adults respond well to Generation S.L.U.T.?
Adults really don’t like the book but the people that give me the best feedback are teenagers, but that’s who I wrote it for. I don’t really care as long as teenagers are reading it. I think real teens get what I’m saying, which is that teen sex is inevitable. It happened less in the past but it still happened.
You published your first book, Death to All Cheerleaders, at a pretty young age.Has that impacted your life greatly?
I think publishing it then was one of the best career moves I ever made. I wouldn’t self-publish again, but I was a 16-year-old kid in Alaska – I didn’t know anything about publishing. I wouldn’t be where I am without doing it. It got me noticed in New York, and now I’ve got a book deal.
So what’s next for Marty Beckerman?
Nation of Retards, it should come out in February of 2006. It’s about the culture war between Jesus freaks and stupid hippies and how they’re both targeting young minds more then ever.
One last question, are you optimistic or pessimistic about the next generation of teenagers?
I’m optimistic about the fact that I can make money about being pessimistic. I think Generation S.L.U.T. is a pretty pessimistic book; I have a character raped, and a character dead, so I’d say it’s pretty pessimistic.
I think a lot of kids are out there looking for a deeper meaning in their life. They’re looking for something real, people that are real, anything that is real. And I think people are gonna find it.
When I wrote the book, I don’t think I realized how many people are looking for the real thing, so I’m definitely more optimistic now.
Zach Brokenrope is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.