Dumbocracy: Adventures with the Loony Left, the Rabid Right, and Other American Idiots
I would have killed to have had this book for my college English 101 course. Assigned to write "controversial" term papers with subjects ranging from capital punishment to gun control and with a whole bunch of icky stuff in between; we were forced to embrace these heated topics that either got classmates really worked up and angry or wanting to crawl into a fetal position and cry.
In Dumbocracy: Adventures with the Loony Left, the Rabid Right, and Other American Idiots Marty Beckerman takes on both sides of the volatile debates of today and exposes the hypocrisy in each with wit and wisecracks, foul language, and a lot of references to his penis.
Having spent four years attending rallies, conventions, and any other congregation of loud and unreasonable people, Beckerman exposed himself (not literally) to some of the most passionate, venomous, and comical people around. Interviewing, observing, and often times pissing off the people on both sides of the arguments of politics, religion, abortion, homosexuality, drugs and alcohol, pornography, and terrorism; Beckerman lays out a slew of statistics and references that are a fact-checker's masturbation fodder. The tone of his writing manages to remain light despite how the subject matter is anything but, and his sharp, often crude, humor rings throughout.
Beckerman's exhibit of idiocy in all forms, however, is hardly as close-minded as a great number of those he's interviewed; towards the end of Dumbocracy he reminds readers that the viewpoints of society aren't just all ignorant swill:
"There are intelligent and decent Americans on both sides of the spectrum: not all Democrats are loony bohemians; not all Republicans are mutant troglodytes."
Beckermen's writing is the punk rock of journalism, and Dumbocracy is a refreshing and amusing insight to a world that's often neither.