I just finished reading The Joy of Hate: How to Triumph Over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage by Greg Gutfeld. Before I’d even ordered this book, I was hearing some left-leaning friends on Twitter expressing their outrage that a conservative wrote a book about taking joy in hate. I’d made the (correct) assumption that the book was sporting an intentionally misleading title in an effort to better highlight through observational humor just that kind of reaction among the left, and I just knew I needed to purchase this book for a good belly laugh or two.
Because Red Eye and The Five talk show host Greg Gutfeld is a really really really freaking funny guy. I’d never read his books before this one, but I practically pee my pants in breathless laughter every time I catch his Greg-alogues during Red Eye on Fox.
So I ordered this book and read it cover to cover while sewing Star Wars themed burp cloths in a bout of pregnancy induced insomnia. And I have to say, I loved this book. A lot. I kept laughing out loud and fighting the urge to tweet every other sentence that tickled my funny bone.
This really isn’t an educational read, it’s just sheer humor and common sense. Most political satirists are so drenched in extremism or passion that they are easy to dismiss. But Greg is just so delightfully middle of the road in his politics, that he garners fans from the far right AND the honest left in his observations.
In short, Gutfeld uses his brain. As he puts it in the book: “People ask me what I am politically and I’ve previously offered this equation: I became a conservative by being around liberals. And I became a libertarian after being around conservatives.”
I think my favorite thing about the book? It doesn’t really try to prove a point. Without delving into politics, it just points out the humor and hypocrisy of the “tolerant liberal” in regards to topics such as – Occupy Wall Street, feminism, Hollywood, the mainstream media, racism, terrorism, Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, Sandra Fluke and other hot political topics.
There’s a lot of hilarious “imagine if” moments he uses to convey the double standards most liberals expect conservatives to be held to. Imagine if conservative comic Nick DiPaolo had tweeted that President Obama’s face belonged on a pancake box as D.L. Hughley did regarding Herman Cain. What kind of outcry and Trayvon Martin-esque riot would THAT have invoked? And why is it considered acceptable for sexual predator Mike Tyson to make degrading sexual references to Sarah Palin on an ESPN outlet, but when Hank Williams Jr. speaks negatively of Obama on the exact same sports channel, he gets booted from the airwaves?
I think this book should be required reading for all college students getting suckered into the “liberals are the free thinkers” crowd. The clear and concise examples of everyday liberal hypocrisy and outcries of phony outrage over issues they don’t understand are priceless.
For an example, and on a personal note: As I was reading the book, Twitter was lighting up with my pro-choice friends screaming about womens rights, and womens health, and we must protect women and blah blah blah. They were OUTRAGED over a bill that, it turns out, none of them had actually read. Let alone understood. The bill actually required that women be seen by an abortionist doctor during late term abortion procedures, not by a nurse or untrained staff member. It also required that all abortion clinics have access to emergency medical equipment and have admitting privileges to the nearest ER. It required that clinics be held to the same standards as dental offices and health centers in regards to cleanliness and professionalism. This bill was brought up because of a recent slew of women being killed through malpractice and shoddy work conditions in abortion clinics nationwide. If my liberal friends truly cared about womens rights, and womens health… wouldn’t they be FOR this bill that raises the standards of healthcare for women? Wouldn’t they be outraged at the needless deaths of the women who died during their abortions? Of course they would be! But it wasn’t about womens health or rights. It was about making a stand. It was about being outraged, because everyone else on their political spectrum was. Who cares about annoying things like facts? When you get right down to, it’s often not about the actual issue – the left just often finds a whole lot of joy in hate. And it’s all phony.
So this book is ridiculously relevant to understanding the mindset behind the outrage of the left. Greg does a hilarious job dissecting and analyzing the average liberals desire to be politically active: “When one becomes a liberal, he or she pretends to advocate tolerance, equality and peace, but hilariously, they’re doing so for purely selfish reasons. It’s the human equivalent of a puppy dog’s face: an evolutionary tool designed to enhance survival, reproductive value and status. In short, liberalism is based on one central desire: to look cool in front of others in order to get love. Liberalism is the one-way ticket to backslapping approval among the cool kids, which makes it about as rebellious as a divorced dad getting an earring from the local mall’s Piercing Pagoda.”
Being “tolerant” and “outraged” and standing up for the ever undefined “change” is far easier than, say, thinking, keeping an open-mind, and rejecting stupid ideas, notions and people. It’s far easier to follow the shrieking crowd and use the mantle of “tolerance” as a guise for intolerance while browbeating someone you disagree with. Every kid on a college campus knows that it’s no problem if you’re a bigot, as long as you’re politically correct about it.
Again, to quote Greg: “Liberals tolerate everything! Well, almost everything. They don’t tolerate what they don’t like. Or what they don’t understand.”
Anyhoo. Would I recommend this book? Hell-freaking-yes. I’m pretty sure I’ll be rereading it when I’m a little less sleep deprived. It’s a shame that most of my liberal pals are too scared to accept my reading recommendations, because this book is gold. 😉