Denis Leary. Denis, Denis, Denis. What is it that I like about you? Is it your gappy boyish smile? Is it the mouthy Irish-American bluster? Is it the combination of square jaw and crinkley half-dimples? Or is it perhaps the way that you tell it like it is? I am partial to thems that speak the truth and you do it in such a ribald, blokey, punchy fashion (by “punchy” I mean “likely to punch someone”) that I find it hard to resist you, you sly old dog.
Denis Leary, for those of you unfamiliar with his genius, started out as a comedian. He struck comedy gold in the early nineties with a novelty song lampooning the arrogant, overfed American dream (the title of which I don’t think I can get away with mentioning here, but it’s on this CD). He also had great success with his one man comedy show “No cure for cancer” which was hugely popular on tour and on video. More recently he’s featured in numerous films as well as the television series Rescue me about a trainwreck of a human being who also happens to be a New York firefighter.
So anyway, he’s written a book. A book called Why we suck: A feel good guide to staying fat, loud, lazy and stupid. You know a book is going to be good when you find yourself laughing out loud at the acknowledgments page (whaddaya mean you don’t read the acknowledgments page? Phillistines!) and the hilarity pretty much continues unabated from table of contents on through.
This is definitely not a book for people who like their life-guides to be touchy-feely, politically correct, gentle hand-holding affairs. I’m only four chapters in and he’s already recommending corporal punishment and benadryl as parenting aids. I think we’re supposed to take these recommendations with a grain of salt but the disturbing thing is that I’m really not 100 percent sure on that. I suspect he’s only sort of joking. But it’s all very entertaining and there’s no pulling any punches. Caustic and disapproving doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Personally, I think it’s great and if you are daily appalled by the extravagances of Americana (Anna Nicole, suing everyone for everything, reality television) then you might enjoy his profanity-laden ranting. Those of a more delicate persuasion had best avoid. If you see it on the shelves don’t even pick it up, you might cut yourself on its razor-sharpness.