Sean Penn: Parkland Students Make The World Seem Less Dystopian


On 'The Late Show,' 'Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff: A Novel' author Sean Penn describes how the current state of affairs are reflected in his new book. The main character is a septic tank repairman who kills the elderly with a wooden mallet and thinks a fictional president might need to be assassinated.

Stephen Colbert asked him if he has heard from the Secret Service "because that is something you can't even make jokes about."

"This is a fiction, about fictional people," Penn said. "It is, on the other hand, also, a kind of venting. As you get older, your idealism gets chipped a bit, and you're looking for hope. in my case, to get to 57 years old [hope] is harder and harder to find, this is a way to have a kind of operating room laughter, and not just spend my time angry, or part of a divisive discussion, or part of the culture of complaint."

"God knows whatever is going on right now has a lot more to do with an electorate that didn't get mobilized than it does the result of that," he added. "So I just wanted to go and exercise that, as a kind of venting."

"And then what happens, is I get done with the thing, and this horrible shooting happens in Parkland. And all of a sudden, you have these kids --who not only have gone through combat-level horror... and see your friends maimed and killed."

"Indoors, and against concrete walls and corridors, what a weapon like that sounds like."

"And within a few days of that, not only are they stating their case with incredible sobriety and articulate words, in such an inclusionary way, where you feel like there are reasonable people who have been on the other side of this conversation who are going to listen to this kids, and you say to yourself: Thank God."

"And now, if these kids, and this movement of these kids will get together with people representing other issues will make this a more ubiquitous movement... that is going to affect the ballot box, that is going to affect the culture. And then, I might write a less dystopian book," Penn said.

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