Unsparing, hate-fueled diatribes serving as an implicit rebuttal of the “kill ’em with kindness” approach.

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GRABBING PUSSY

The controversial performance artist and social commentator indulges in a Trump-bashing frenzy.

Finley (The Reality Shows, 2011, etc.) finds her ultimate target in the current president. This amalgam of creative prose and freestyle poetry floods vitriol on the words and actions of Trump. Like in some of her previous works—e.g. George and Martha, her burlesque of a love affair between George Bush and Martha Stewart—the author attempts to transmogrify a bottomless liberal rage into moving, provocative, and occasionally hilarious art. Most pieces approximate Finley’s real-time experience of watching the debates, the 2016 election, Trump's inauguration and Cabinet appointments, and the seemingly endless scandals besetting American politics, and most chapters feature the author’s stream-of-consciousness conversation with herself. Other sections explore alternative narrative forms and inhabit the voices of key players, including Trump himself, pointedly sinking to his level in a satiric travesty of his political debate foibles that derails into ad hominem attacks and inverted objectifications of the male body, eventually erupting in a lively six-page roster of demeaning euphemisms for the penis (highlights include “Mighty Mouse” and “Dr. Peeper”). Recurring sections inhabit Hillary Clinton’s inner monologue and imaginatively re-create private content like the string of in-house emails (or “emales”) devoted to policing Clinton’s supposed lack of femininity and fashion sense. Finley’s signature shock value registers as rather less extreme in the present media climate, and her comedy elicits little engagement beyond a mirthless laugh at the edge of bitter despair. The poems distinguish themselves from the freestyle prose (just barely) due to their greater reliance on sound and rhythmic intonations of vengeful vituperation. One imagines these pieces playing better at a spoken word slam or a Moth performance than in print, but as with the recent retrospective of her collected works, Finley seems determined to transmit and to get on the record just how much she truly abhors this president and everything he supports.

Unsparing, hate-fueled diatribes serving as an implicit rebuttal of the “kill ’em with kindness” approach.

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-944869-95-3

Page Count: 176

Publisher: OR Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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