MY GOODNESS by Joe Queenan


A Cynic's Short-lived Search for Sainthood
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A spotty, curmudgeonly, generally funny satire of the virtues of political correctness.

Queenan, the mean-spirited journalist, contributing editor (GQ, Movieline) and author (Confessions of a Cineplex Heckler,

p. 1940, etc.), ventures outside pop culture to apply his misanthropy to philanthropists. As a blue-collar Catholic who admired

the "in your face" martyrs laughing at pagans who flayed their mere flesh, Queenan now pretends he'd like to join contemporary

saints and Cadillac liberals like Paul Newman, Jimmy Carter, Tom of Maine, Susan Sarandon, and Robin Williams. Among the

"cultural vermin" extolled for their well-publicized efforts on behalf of noble causes, Queenan links Kim Basinger with Gandhi

and Sting with Jesus. In joining their ranks, he forswears years of the Samurai criticism that has supplied him with categories

like "Unusually Vicious Ad Hominem Attacks," featuring "Raisa Gorbachev (bad dresser), Jesse Kornbluth (idiot), assorted

Business Week writers (creeps/idiots), Pete Peterson (phony), David Crosby (idiot)." The easier part of his moral rehab involves

consuming Rainforest Crunch ice cream, shade-grown coffee, and St. John's wort tortilla chips. To perform a random act of

kindness, Queenan turns to more familiar food, mocking aid programs by supplying protesters with cannoli. Attending a "Millions

for Mumia" rally on behalf of an alleged cop-killer, he finds that socialists, Native Americans, lesbians, and "even the vegans

had pile-driven their way into this protest." The right-wing conservative in recovery admits he feels as out of place as Mumia

might at a Fraternal Order of Police convention, but recovers in time to expose the economics and egocentrics of Greenpeace,

Amnesty International, alternative medicine, Eastern spirituality, animal rightists, and "granola heads."

Howard Stern fans will enjoy Queenan's hilarious digs at the counterculture's claims of higher moral ground. You don’t have

to be a treehugger, though, to feel that acres of virgin forest could have been saved if many flat, overlong jokes here had been

axed. (Radio satellite tour; author tour)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-7868-6553-9
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2000


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