Oh, it's pretty decent as a piece of work. There are many laugh-out-loud moments and Brown's sense of timing is as dry as ever. Pretty lengthy notes and appendices sections wherein Brown makes many good points, but some of his source materials feel a bit cherry-picked and thus his arguments sometimes a bit strawman-ish. He barely presses on the S.T.D. concerns, except to say that he never got one; and that even though healthcare is provided as an option for all Canadian citizens, it would be wrong to *force*
healthcare on anyone vis-à-vis forced checkups for sex workers (I wonder if his opinion would be the same if he hadn't been so lucky).
The two major impressions that I had while reading it were that 1)Brown derives a great deal of personal satisfaction from being perceived as an emotionless robot; and 2)he's very likely not as articulate in real-life discussion as he depicts himself to be. Seth contributes an afterword and confirms my suspicions.
When I say it's painful to witness what Brown has become, I'm primarily referring to his eschewing fantastical elements in his drawing, which I always thought were one of his great strengths; and also to his physical transformation from this:
I forget which of the Hammer Studios Frankenstein movies made the point that one's facial characteristics are shaped by the demeanor of one's mind (the point being that the monster should become less ugly as a result of the genius brain that was supposed to be transplanted into it, and mistakenly had not been), but barring external factors such as disease and disfigurement, I have often found this to be true. It's especially jarring in the moments of Brown's text when he makes judgments on women's attractiveness.
And apparently, Brown is also now an aspiring politician, having put his name on two ballots for Parliament, but not winning either race. He is affiliated with the Canadian Libertarian Party (which has no problem with prostitution, but opposes as part of their platform all forms of government subsidies), despite having at least partially funded the creation of this book with a $16,000 grant from the Canadian Council for the Arts. Perhaps hypocrisy contributed to his ugliness.
At least he didn't sign Dave Sim's "I Am Not A Misogynist" pledge. So that's something.