Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Why We Suck" by Denis Leary

The subtitle of this book is about as politically incorrect as you can get: "A feel good guide to staying fat, loud, lazy and stupid." That about sums it up for Leary's work - take potshots at just about everyone and anyone and give no apologies for anything. It's pretty true to his comedic form, which has been rather dark while still being funny. I like Leary a lot, and I'm not afraid of someone speaking his mind, and I'm still trying to read lighter fare to keep my mind off the world heading into the global crapper.

Is this book funny? Hell, yes - if you have a sense of humor and if you don't mind the aforementioned political incorrectness. If you're one of those people who think every kid should get some kind of reward after their Little League game? Probably not so funny to you. If you're one of the "disenfranchised" who believe you should have a shot at something even though you don't have the knowledge/physical strength to do it? Definitely not going to find this book funny, so my advice is to skip it.

If you can laugh at yourself, if you know that life is usually completely unfair, and especially if you had parents who told you the unvarnished truth, you'll love this book. Leary is a big proponent of actually parenting your kids, and makes a lot of very valid points about people who have kids, then sort of seem to want to pawn them off to babysitters, nannies, etc, when the going gets tough. Mind you, he does recognize that some people are still good parents but financially have to work two jobs, thus entailing childcare - he is NOT talking about those people. Gotta love a guy that makes darn sure you know what he's talking about. Anyway, Leary grew up with fairly strict parents who also didn't sugarcoat anything; I about fell off the chair reading about little Denis asking his dad if he could be President someday. It's obvious that Leary had a pretty good childhood, and that his parents knew what their job was - to be his parents, not his best friends.

Leary takes shots at lots of things, including other people's kids and how parents often think those same children are just adorable and let us show you all our digital pics of little Johnny and how most of us just want to run from the room before the torture starts. He explains the differences between men and women (men are very, very simple and women can remember anything during any argument and throw it back in their guys' faces); I think every man should read his take on a woman getting dressed to go out. He, too, was one of the frustrated watch-watchers - until he decided to retrain his brain and look at the whole ordeal from a different angle. Suddenly it's not so bad that his wife takes a half hour or more to pick out an outfit. Way to go, Denis!

You may agree with some of his views, you may disagree on others. Personally, I've got a problem with illegal aliens from any country and agree with Charlie Daniels; trying to sneak into our country automatically makes you a criminal, so why should I trust you after you get here? I understand the very valid points about cheap labor and people wanting to better their lives, etc, but I think it really detracts from the people who do it by the book - they have to work to become citizens, thus giving them something to be proud of. Anyway, just my humble opinion and Leary and I will have to disagree on that point. Other than that, I found myself nodding my head a lot, which means I may have a lot more in common with Leary than I thought. Scary!

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