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Mike Reyes, aka Mr. Controversy, has considered himself a writer ever since he was a child. He wrote for various school publications from about 1995 until 2006, and currently runs both The Bookish Kind and Mr. Controversy, which is an offshoot of the regular column he wrote in High School. He's also a film journalist/critic for Cocktails & Movies and CinemaBlend, as well as the author of several short stories such as "The Devil v. George W. Bush". Any inquiries for reprinting, writing services, or general contact, should be forwarded to: mikereyeswrites@gmail.com

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Cannonball Read: Entry 4 - "Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Lazy, Loud, and Stupid" by Dr. Denis Leary

Happy 2009 dear readers! It's going to be an interesting year, as well as an interesting nine months leading to the conclusion of The Cannonball Read. Don't puss out just yet, there's miles to go and the prize to be had. As usual, if anyone has suggestions, requests, or dedications, feel free to post them on the Comments Board. Also, for the uninitiated, here's where to go for all the background you need on this epic quest, http://www.pajiba.com/cannonball-read.htm . Once more, special thanks to Brian Prisco for allowing me, and all the others, to participate in this clusterfuck of literary wonderment. What? You want to sign up? Start here: http://gospelaccordingtoprisco.wordpress.com/choose-your-weapon-the-combatants/ Who knows? You might just get your review published on Pajiba!

2008 claimed one of the greatest comedians in the world, George Carlin. At 71 he was one of the best observational humorists of our time, creating the philosophy that maybe life is just about "places for your stuff". For a while now, Denis Leary has seemed to be not only the best, but really the only comedian who seemed bitter enough and funny enough to ever inherit the mantle that would eventually be left by Carlin's passing. We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Lazy, Loud, and Stupid is the work that'll solidify that for quite a while, at least for however long it takes you to read it. Because you probably don't read books very often, and you suck.

We all suck. Plain and simple. We talk too loud and too fast, we're too fat and thus we're too obsessed with perfection and extreme means of attaining said perfection, and we're too focused on other people's issues that we can't focus on our own. Dr. Denis Leary has published a whole book to cram this down the throats of all the stupid, fat, lazy, and loud motherfuckers that roam this Earth, and it goddamn works. But as a bonus, it is an entertaining reminder to the rest of us who are ahead of the game and see our culture for what it is. Some call us assholes for trying to point it out, and who better to make the case for Why We Suck than the Grand High Asshole himself.

Mixing in stories of his own life and experiences with stupidity (both executed and experienced by himself), as well as holding the mirror to the world and saying, "You're a fucking mess", Why We Suck isn't meant to offend, but it succeeds admirably at doing so anyway. Case in point: the much bitched about chapter, "Autism Schmautism", where Dr. Leary (it's an honorary doctorate from Emerson, it still counts) talks about how Autism is the new ADD in the respect that parents and doctors are quick to diagnose and medicate, simply because they don't give a shit for the scientific method. It's made pretty damn clear that he's not making fun of the actual medical condition, he's just pointing out that society tends to want a pill to make everything feel better again. Besides, if you get that offended that early on in reading the book, you really shouldn't be reading this book. But, if you've ever watched any of his TV specials, or even Rescue Me, you'll understand that a lot of the stuff Leary covers in this book is pretty typical for his sense of humor, while there's also a fair portion of it that's serious and heartfelt.

You might be asking, "What does Denis Leary stand for"? Here's a handy reference guide with a few key points:

- Red Sox? God's gift to baseball.
- Firefighters and Cops? God's gift to society.
- Are you fat? Then stop fucking eating, and exercise.
- Realized you have Autism after a life of social awkwardness? Bullshit, go talk to a real autistic kid then come back.
- Jesus? Not a bad guy...just don't fucking cross him.

This is the basic gist of Why We Suck, and it doesn't get any better than that. Yes, it's 320 pages, but it's an easy 320 pages to read when you imagine Denis Leary reading it to you, ranting and raving as usual. Should you buy this book? You fucking better believe it! Buy tons of copies and hand them out like a mad street prophet. It's 2009 kids...the dawning of a new era, an era of change, and an era of hope. Let's cut the bullshit together and get to that change and hope we've so desperately wanted.

Next time on "The Cannonball Read": I set out on a quest to understand just what the hell all the fuss is over Danielle Steel with her book "The Klone and I".


Anonymous said...

Marcus. Brigstocke.

Mr. Controversy said...


Anonymous said...

He is better than Dennis Leary and has *real* points to make. Listen!


Mr. Controversy said...

Hmm...I'll have to check him out. Thanks.

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