THE RANTS by Dennis Miller

THE RANTS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Talk show host Miller (as in HBO's Dennis Miller Live) reconnoiters the sorry state of the nation with a gathering of raving, raging monologues. ""Now,"" he usually starts, ""I don't want to get off on a rant here,"" whereupon the sage of cable TV walks the walk and talks the talk. Commenting on current events, Miller is a latter-day Will Rogers on speed. He's hot. He's cool. He's truly hip as he steers a course between laughs and logic. The editorial fustian covers everything from infomercials to schadenfreude, activism to parenthood, with a nod, inevitably, to the O.J. trial. He knows about men and women. ""Women don't like guys who are dangerous,"" he instructs. ""Women want us to think that because women are trying to kill us."" There are references to multitudes who have achieved a few moments of fame and are scratching for the rest of their allotted 15 minutes. (Who will be able to identify Gary Busey, Dave Del Dotto, or Rico Suave a year from now? Who can identify them now?) The rap doesn't eschew all of the Seven Dirty Words, either, but, hey, ""it's a madhouse out there,"" says Miller. He feels ""like Heston waking up in the field and seeing the chimp on top of the pony."" So don't expect Leno or Letterman (though there is an occasional decalogue not unlike a Letterman list). In Miller's Manichaean view everything is either Good or, more likely, Bad, and all is painted either black or blue. But as he admits in his standard tag line, ""that's just my opinion. I could be wrong."" Much of the mockery is ephemeral hipster babble at a fever pitch, but there's also common sense and, okay, even a nugget of wisdom in what could be, if one stretches the point, a kind of self-helper for those simpletons whom Miller calls ""mooks.

Pub Date: April 2nd, 1996
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Doubleday