Social Justice

Mike Edison Talks Sex, Politics, and the 2012 Presidential Election

The 2011 Big Jewcy takes on scandalous politicians in his latest book, ‘Bye Bye, Miss American Pie’ Read More

By / October 22, 2012

“You’ve got to be a fucking idiot to be an undecided at this point,” Mike Edison declared Thursday night while celebrating the publication of his new sex-and-politics-themed e-book, Bye Bye, Miss American Pie. Edison, formerly the publisher of High Times and editor-in-chief of Screw Magazine—and a 2011 Big Jewcy—offered the call to action in time for tonight’s final presidential debate and next month’s election.

At Jimmy’s No. 43 in the East Village, the mensch-pornographer was accompanied by a band that included Sonic Youth’s Bob Bert for a literature-meets-music-meets-revolution book party, the latest event in a tour that has included stops at the New York Public Library, where Edison is an Allen Room scholar, and 92Y Tribeca for the fifth annual Banned Books Festival, which featured an appearance by fellow Big Jewcy Rachel Shukert. “What brand was Lewinski’s blue dress?” editor Lux Alptrum asked the crowd before Edison’s reading. It was Gap, it turns out, and Judy McGuire, Edison’s co-host on the Mike and Judy Show, won a porn DVD for answering correctly.

Edison’s latest, which was what the amped up crowd was really there for, mounts an attack on political apathy. The novella channels the raunchy libertarianism of Edison’s past for a relevant conversation about sex, scandal, and politics. It reads like the 1968 cult classic flick, Wild in the Streets, in which a rock-star-turned-politician calls for the end of power in the hands of anyone over thirty years old and lowers the voting age to 14—except in Bye Bye, Miss American Pie, a female politician’s indiscretions lead to orgies across the country, and this year’s party lines, press relations, and voter opinions are on full display.

Edison doesn’t hesitate to include a Hillary Clinton-esque woman in the canon of badly behaved public figures, embroiling politician Barbra Bernstein in a sex scandal after her husband’s exploits go public. Bernstein boldly defends herself in a surprisingly powerful passage:

“The problem with self righteous people,” she began, “is that they always want to rain on someone else’s parade. Haven’t we had enough of prudes running this country?” It wasn’t Lincoln’s first inaugural, nor Kennedy’s, for that matter, but it was loaded with pith and dramatic import. It didn’t quite hit the high notes of Martin Luther King’s “I have been to the Mountaintop” speech, but for some members of the American people, it still rang with the bell tones of liberation.

She went on to talk about the Pursuit of Happiness. She talked about Liberty, and Freedom from Tyranny at home. She looked straight into the camera, straight into the hearts and loins of America, and this is what she said: “I got mine, America, now get yours. You know you want it!”

Edison acknowledges that his pornography past might turn off potential new readers. If he were a horny housewife from Toronto, perhaps, people might embrace Bye Bye, Miss American Pie as quickly as they devoured Fifty Shades of Grey. Regardless, Edison hopes the book will wake people up. “Reading Bye Bye, Miss American Pie should be like taking the red pill in the Matrix,” he told me. “It should tear the sheets off of a fabricated reality.” In this election year, we need that more than ever.