Cable TV satirist Miller (The Rants, 1996) is throwing his barbed tantrums again, dispensing some seriously smart-alecky stuff between his patented opener, "I don't want to get off on a rant here," and his closing tag, "that's just my opinion, I could be wrong." Generally, of course, he is not wrong. He's not supposed to be. The outrage is often common sense, but with an attitude. With the ephemeral topicality of a Will Rogers and the no longer arresting vocabulary of a Lenny Bruce, Miller (with his writers) expresses unique scorn for typical targets like lawyers, kitsch, and O.J. Simpson, as well as bad habits ("You've got bad eating habits if you use a grocery cart in 7 Eleven, okay?") and Senator D'Amato ("waste of an apostrophe"). He's against bad guys. He is, it seems, on the side of Mother's Day, feminism, and the pleasures of parenthood. Often, he verges on the politically correct. Hey, so he's not the counterculture iconoclast his way out hip scat riffs would indicate, okay? His preaching is founded on pop culture, so forget about the deep semiotics; he's just got the rants (or, as he calls it, "pay cable rant syndrome"). Style is all, and it's quite sufficient. Figures of speech, from irony and hyperbole to metonymy and synecdoche, abound. Once and future nonentities who may or may not have once appeared in the ‘zines seem to be cited simply for the musicality of their names. Trent Reznor, Lance Henricksen, Elsa Klensch—these are household names? It's all very trendy and, as we know, trendy is hip. And Miller, the old philosopher, is nothing if not hip. As luck would have it, he's also pretty funny in these in-your-face monologues. His patented sarcasm machine produces another caustic and clever, albeit impermanent, little volume.
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