First of all, let me just say that Denis Leary’s book Why We Suck – A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid – is laugh-out-loud funny – for the most part. If you are thick-skinned and know how to take a joke, that is. And we all know that I fit that description. So in short, I loved the book. But here’s why he sucks: Dr. Leary (no fake title here – he even offers up a copy of his doctorate degree from Emerson University within his pages — unless of course – heyyyyyy – maybe that was a sham??) is kinda hypocritical and he rants a bit on things that could have been left alone.
Here is a quick excerpt from his book’s prologue – just to give you an idea:
Put this book down. Right now.
Do not buy it.
Why are you still reading this?
I warned you.
Now I will beg you, beseech you — in short, do everything possible in the limited format of this medium to get you to buy any other book within reach right now (if this book was a gift and you are at home or on a plane or sitting in a hotel room somewhere I would suggest grabbing a newspaper or a magazine or even your laptop) because this book is going to piss you off.
If you are a woman, you will soon be livid.
If you are a man, you are going to be filled with a burning rage.
If you are a kid — meaning anyone under the age of eighteen — you will soon be filled with shock and awe.
If you are under the age of twenty-five you will soon be filled with shock and awe.
If you are a fan of Oprah — good luck.
If you hate Oprah or Oprah tends to drive you insane — you too will need some assistance.
This is not a book for the faint of heart or the politically correct or the weak or the extreme right wing or the left of center leftist Democrat or nuns or any other members of any organized religion or New York Yankees fans.
I am warning you — I am not here to make you feel all warm and fuzzy or superior to everyone else or all soft and gooey inside. I am here to debunk and declassify and otherwise hold up a brutally honest mirror to our fat, ugly, lazy American selves.
[…] Because I’m sick of it all.
If you are new here, welcome! We have fun (okay. I am the one who has fun. You guys are the smart people out there who – for some unknown reason – take the time to read what I have to say, while I have fun writing it) — dishing on life in Los Angeles, celebrities, every-day Joe’s and what happens when they cross my path, or just about anything else that crosses my path! But like Denis, I am compelled to warn you. This blog is NOT for everyone, and certainly not any mamby pamby peeps out there who can’t be honest about who you really are or what’s really going on with men and women, and kids and animals – and everything else in this world. (That’s why, in actuality, I loved Denis Leary’s book. There was some simpatico thing going on there.)
But welcome — and ENJOY!
So – I started reading Dr. Leary’s book on my trip back east over the Fourth of July. It was so stinkin’ funny, I found myself passing it over to M. C. Nugget (the alias for my HOT MAN) several times throughout the vacation to read it. I just couldn’t leave him out. Now THAT’s an exceptionally funny book, if I am so taken by it, I have to give it up for a moment to share it with someone.
Chapters like “Please Drug Your Children” and “Your Kids Are Not Cute” which debunk the myth that we adults all agree with plastered smiles on our dopey faces, that your kid is the best thing since sliced bread – even though we may be attempting to carve out some sort of leisurely existence during our time off from work (which is scant these days). Despite that – somehow, we actually agree with you that whatever little Johnny or Susie wants, they should have. That because of your kid’s incredible cuteness, brilliance at saying “Mama” or physical prowess (to walk, crawl, spit, etc) beyond his or her years – we are all willing to forget the fact that your offspring is the child from hell – on the plane, in the restaurant, or at the movies – you name it. He or she is screaming and carrying on, kicking the back of our seats, or running around the restaurant throwing toys, while crying at the movies – while we (who really need to use the time to sleep, have a nice glass of wine and a quiet dinner, read, play solitaire, or simply try to enjoy our time as – guess what? ADULTS ) squirm, and practice our deep breathing exercises so that we don’t come unglued and wring your little darling’s neck.
These chapters made me not only laugh, but I was ready to join any club Denis Leary had to offer, to put these narcissistic, thoughtless. selfish, rude, stupid parents away for good – and their little kids too.
However, (and, you knew this was coming) the book does come with its share of — how shall I put it? Missteps? Idiotic statements? Rants that should have been left in the deep recesses of Mr. Leary’s brain?
Now, I am NOT speaking of the headlines the book made back in October of 2008, because Denis so shamelessly dissed most people who claim to have Autism – or that their kids have Autism. I think that chapter was called “Autism Shmautism.” Listen. I AGREE with him on that, based on what he actually SAID. But you have to read it to know why. (You can also find an excerpt about why Your Cat Sucks on his website, here).
I’m speaking of a few other things, and I made little laundry list of items which either a) didn’t make sense, based on who Denis Leary professes to be (a man’s man who loves a free show, when it comes to naked women, or any part thereof), or b) made me sick or sounded stupid, or c) just didn’t need to be in there repeatedly, ad nauseum, infinitum, because it was like – enough already! So my list is organized like this: Topic, Dr. Leary’s quote, and why it sucks.
1. Strip Bars – “For girls without a college education – the lap dance never goes out of style. All you need – believe me – is two tits, an ass and a v—-“… “If you didn’t even have a head, some guys might get a little skeeved about it, but I’m telling you – a lot of other guys would be lined up around the block to get some lap action from a dancer who didn’t talk.” HERE’S THE PART THAT SUCKS – as if that wasn’t enough: “I’m not exactly the strip club type…” WHY IT SUCKS: Well – back to the first quote. Under the gyse of being “honest” about men, he proceeds to denigrate women without a college education. So much so, that they wouldn’t even need their head. Green, Irish, SUCKY McSUCKLESTEIN. Also – and this in reference to the second quote – He lies! Not only does he, in numerous other places in the book, go on and on about how he and all guys are always trying to get a peek at naked women, and how that’s partly why he and all his friends started acting, because the girls in the cast would do quick back-stage changes (he was a pre-pubescent kid), and they sometimes got a tittie shot or whatever (and that’s not smarmy to a girl?). AND – It is widely known that he was quite pleased a while back when he was admitted for free into a strip club in NYC because he was mistaken for Willem Dafoe. You can read that story here. But wait – there’s more.
2. Strip Bars – Part 2 – “Strip clubs are basically live laboratories for low self-esteem… Everyone there would rather be somewhere else…. ” He advised other men not to go into strip bars, but instead to ” remove all the cash from your wallet and light it on fire… bang your head against the wall several times… drive home. What did you miss? Nothing. Smelly armpits, seven useless hard-ons and eighty-five horrible tattoos.” WHY IT SUCKS: So – not only does he say he isn’t the Strip Club type, but he later goes on to further denigrate anything or anyone to do with Strip Bars – the dancers, the bouncers and bartenders, and definitely – the guys that go in to watch the dancers. Smelly armpits and horrible tattoos? What strip clubs has he been going to? My god! And what about women that like to go into strip bars? There is a bikini bar by my house, which I actually like to go to. I like to watch the dancers – who are lovely (translation: hot, with smokin’ bods), and sweet, and know how to DANCE! And I am not a lesbo! I just know hotness when I see it! And so does every other woman – even if she won’t admit it. And – contrary to Dr. Leary’s summation – are NOT all lacking self esteem. I’ve met women working their way through medical school, law school – you name it. I’ve also met some with low self esteem. Duh. That happens with waitresses, plant workers, people who clean other people’s houses, even female executives – some are well adjusted, some have no self esteem… some have high aspirations, and some don’t. But even if that weren’t the case – hey this is AMERICA: the fact that someone can grow up and choose to dance and strip and whatever is legal that he or she wants to do for a living , and guys or girls can go in and have a great time – or not – it’s up to them – is what makes this a free society! But to put everyone down surrounding the whole subject matter – well, it just sucks – and I gotta believe there is something else going on. Which leads me to the next item on my list:
3. Mrs. Denis Leary – Regarding how lucky he is to always “get” to watch his wife go through multiple wardrobe changes before going out to dinner, or to some event: “When I was a teenager, a hot chick strutting her stuff in your bedroom was considered an impossible event and here it is happening multiple times a week for free? … it doesn’t get any better than this” and how though most moms don’t think any woman is good enough for her son, “Not my mom. She couldn’t believe I came home with my wife…. Of course, she’s right… About the chances that I would have won the heart of a woman as bright, funny and beautiful as my wife,” and “I love it when my wife sashays. You should the same way when your girl does it.” WHY IT SUCKS: Well, there’s more below – but I gotta think Denis used the whole thing about strip bars, as well as the MULTIPLE, sappy praises for his wife to make himself feel less like a JERK. Come on! This one is continued below:
4. & Their Kids – “My daughter is smart and funny and gorgeous – just like her mom… My son? Well – he’s funny and smart and tall and — wears the same sweatpants I do.” and “My kids each have televisions and giant computer screens and electric guitars and sofas and their own individual bathrooms and Xboxes and PlayStations and… DVDs and CDs… when the kids get into trouble my wife and I say “That’s it! WE’RE going to your room.” and under a picture of him with his wife and kids, “This is our family – My wonderful son, Jack, and my gorgeous daughter, Devin, alongside their fabulous mom. I know.. I’m speaking in cliche adjectives – but it’s true.” WHY IT SUCKS: BECAUSE! He spent the first half of the book (and most of the rest) explaining that the reason “WE” Americans suck, and why the rest of the world thinks we suck, is because we are spoiled, that we all think our offspring are perfect, and we have way too much. Then he not only proceeds to show us just how nice his kids have it – but he – ad nauseum – tells us how wonderful they are. I get it! We get it! It’s admirable, and to most women even SEXY when a man loves and is actually attracted to his wife. But the book is all about why we SUCK. No one is safe, supposedly – yet Denis Leary’s family – his wife and kids – are pure perfection? It’s all fine – it just doesn’t match every other thing the book says. Mr. Leary passes himself off as this tough, man’s man sorta guy — a no nonsense, down home guy who was raised by no nonsense, tough Irish immigrant parents. He graphically tells us what guys are “really” like – then everything he says about his wife and kids opposes it.
Okay – I’m done.
But really. I’ve told you some of the great things about Denis Leary’s book, and why some of it just didn’t quite measure up. Not bad for a first-timer — and I laughed ALOT. But hey – don’t let me be the judge. Check it out for yourself. It’s definitely worth the read.
Also – one other thing: I may like strip bars, and may believe that not everyone in them has low self esteem – I’m there aren’t I? ALSO – I love MY guy.
But at least I am brave enough to admit I don’t think strip bars are so bad – even though my own sisters and most women I know will be up in arms about it. Also, I am not foolish enough to go on and on and on in a sappy fashion about M.C. Nugget’s fabulousness (nor is M.C. foolish enough to believe it – even though, well – truth be told – he’d LOVE every minute and gobble it up).
But if you remember ONE thing from this review – remember this: I ROCK. I don’t suck. And YOU ROCK. I don’t know who the “we” is that Denis was talking about, but it certainly wasn’t US!
I’ve got a fairly mellow weekend ahead everyone! How about you? M.C. Nugget is shooting a movie – and we’ve got friends in town – so it’ll be early to bed, early to rise, for the most part.
Have a fantastic weekend – and get out there and ROCK!
Love you people! Mmmmmmphhhhuuuhhhhhh!
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