Why We Suck
By Denis Leary
Ah, Denis Leary. A man who
has been in films with Kevin Spacey, Sigourney Weaver, and Clint
Eastwood, not to mention being the voice of Diego in the Ice Age films. Denis
Leary, the Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actor for his hit television
show on FX,
Denis Leary, who I recall
telling in graphic detail the effects of cocaine on the male genitalia.
Denis Leary, the fast talking, foul mouthed man whose stand up
show, "No Cure for Cancer," spawned a video, book and CD.
He is a comedian who shocks
his audience with fast talking, frank facts, and with what seems to be
an endless supply of air. And for those who only know him from
his hit show on FX, watch out.
Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid can only be described as a book of collected
rants, arranged in a cohesive and somewhat organized manner. And
Denis Leary tells us point blank why he believes the rest of the world
hates us. Warning the reader from the start that this is a comedy
book, Leary kicks off Chapter One by stating "It's never cool to
die in a pool of your own puke."
This reference to the death
of Anna Nicole Smith is only the starting point. He goes even
further and points out how we - as a society - fuel the idiot train
that is Hollywood, and relish in stories of rehab, redemption, and
He rips George Bush, Jr., new
holes that I didn't think were possible. He brings to our
attention that our country knowingly burned fallen war heroes in the
same crematorium used to burn animals; I did some research, and yes,
it's true. He slaps us in the face with how we are borrowing
money from a country that killed our dogs with poison dog food.
Chapters have catchy titles
that include "Please Drug Your Children," "I Had Sex
with Kathie Lee Gifford (And She Was Amazing)," and
"Self-Esteem This." Many of the chapters shouldn't be
stated here - without picking up a copy of the book and reading them in
the context that the author meant them to be.
In this ever changing
political climate, Denis even takes on gay marriage, stating"
"It says somewhere in the piece of paper that this great country
of ours was founded upon that all men are created equal.
Bullshit. All men are created equal as long as they don't
want to blow each other…and then decided to fall in
love…and suddenly express a desire…by getting
married." He goes on to say that he knows several gay men
and woman in relationships who would put a lot of hetero couples to
As an Equal Opportunity Offender,
Leary doesn't disappoint. Drawing on events from childhood,
conversations with his mother, and observations in everyday life, Leary
goes for the jugular - and doesn't let go. At times
exhausting and uncomfortable, Why We Suck is not for everyone, and quite a few people may
throw it down in disgust - only to pick it up in curiosity later.
I once heard a person
ignorantly refer to him as "Hanoi Denis," but I was too
polite to point out that this is America - not Vietnam. And that
while this person was probably getting drunk, Denis got behind the
wheel of a fire truck in New York City on September 11, 2001, to help
Nick Manix is a professional writer and journalist
who splits his time between Central Texas and New Orleans.
(Cover image courtesy Amazon.com)