Comedian and TV veteran Hughley drops an in-your-face mega-rant on the downward spiral of American culture.
The author’s debut is both serious and funny, without being seriously funny. But while the book may be short on belly laughs, Hughley has a strikingly original take on just about everything. Whether discussing fatherhood, the Democrats in Congress and their kid-gloved relationship with Obama, black stereotypes, growing up in South-Central Los Angeles or the negative influence of the NAACP, the author’s views are rarely predictable. Hughley’s own Horatio Alger success story is compelling enough: rising from the violent streets of LA to successful sales rep at the Los Angeles Times, all while holding together a family and making a name for himself as a standup comedian. Unlike many contemporary entertainers, Hughley prides himself on being unafraid of controversy. He recounts how his championing of free speech over political correctness led him to support Don Imus’ racial slur toward the Rutgers women’s basketball team—or at least his right to make those slurs. The author looks at the undeniable truths in racial stereotyping and the importance of acknowledging these truths. In fact, he uses this topic as a jumping-off point to lambast the NAACP for helping ruin mainstream black TV. Although he almost always finds a nuanced angle in presenting his outspoken opinions, it’s sometimes difficult to know where comedic provocation ends and deadly earnestness begins. Yet his views on marriage, women and kids seem strangely unhinged and harsh compared to the cool approach that makes the book so appealing throughout—e.g., “If they [women] want to make a man like them, then they should try shutting the fuck up once in a while.” But to his credit, Hughley’s a hard-line pragmatist whose brash opinions almost always transcend polarized black/white and liberal/conservative comfort zones.
A solid combination of a street-tough attitude and a keen grasp of social and political hot-button issues.