Book Review: The Joy of Hate

| December 1 2012

If you seek 226 pages of power packed truth stuffed into a hilarious keg of irony, Greg Gutfeld’s latest book The Joy of Hate delivers.  His chapters illustrate through countless examples how the Hard Left screams demanding answers for a puddle of spilled milk while ignoring the puddle of blood collecting from the corpse laying next to them that they just stabbed.  (My analogy)  He chronicles issues that range from the conduct of the Hard Left’s leaders to that of its foot soldiers.

I also have read his previous publication, The Bible of Unspeakable Truths, which he  basically created as a compilation of many of his daily monologue rants, similar to those you may have seen on either of his two television shows, The Five and Red Eye, the show that brought us the Inter-plantetary Correspondent, Ab News, freakishly lovable animal videos, Pinch, the leg chair, and the finest unicorn art ever found in the Western Hemisphere.  I enjoyed The Bible of Unspeakable Truths, but his latest book has text far more evolved, fully brandished with his signature Gutfeldian tone.

Greg invented a term for this book to capture the essence of its thesis: the tolerati.  It describes people who scream and stamp their feet about how society must exercise tolerance only to exhibit the fiercest form of intolerance at the first encounter of something with which they disagree.  The tolerati watch every move, every word, and every breath from declared adversaries just waiting for their opportunity to be offended.  Once it finally happens, they throw a temper tantrum over which the establishment media complex drools.  However, although a noteworthy observation, I think Greg mislabels it.  Those who he calls the tolerati do not call for everyone to merely tolerate the things the tolerati want.  Rather, the tolerati  seek to compel everyone’s active acceptance of those things.  E.g. Sandra Fluke is not content for people who do not believe in birth control to simply tolerate that she use it; instead, she seeks to compel those who do not believe in it to pay for hers.  E.g. Muslims wanted to build a mosque at Ground Zero in NYC, but the proposal of a gay muslim bar built next door outraged them.  Like I said, Gutfeld characterizes this very well; I just think he misnames it.  I would call this group the conformerotti.  Nonetheless, I consider both terms worthy of a place on ubrandictionary.com.

Have you ever had an experience where you lacked the self awareness to realize that you were behaving rudely, somebody stopped to say something, and you stopped dead in your tracks in embarrassment?  We’re all human, and we all probably have had moment like that.  I think if some of the conformerotti could step outside themselves and watch their conduct, some of them would have that same feeling.  I analogize reading this book to that point when another person stops you to say, “Hey man, have you thought about what you’re doing?”

Greg hits on one point upon which I want to expand because it connects with me personally.  He mentions his love of alternative/punk bands.  I grew up in the punk/hardcore scene, thus having some overlap with Greg’s musical taste.  From my late teens through early twenties I spent my weekends in hole-in-the-wall joints listening to live music of the genre.  The lyrics and attitudes of those groups have anti-establishment and non-conformist themes, which appealed to me then and still do now.  But those same lyrics and attitudes also have a very Hard Left bent.  Their songs rail against capitalist greed but too often fall short of condemning or even acknowledging the greed that runs through government or organized labor.  As I moved into my mid twenties, the artists’ belaboring the same message of, “shoot the capitalist (and then ban all guns),” just wore too thin.  They swore an undying loyalty towards non-conformity while simultaneously calling for a society in which everyone must conform to the same government-mandated conduct, denouncing anyone who dared disagree.  It changed my perspective on the music.  Don’t get me wrong.  I still listen to it, still like it, and still see some positive things in it, just with a clearer understanding of the artists and the fans.

Back to Gutfeld’s book, after reading three pages into it you won’t want to put it down.  He catalogs manufactured rage in pure hilarity.  While the the outrage he critiques is phony, the meaning behind the message is anything but.

7 comments
LtColDuBois
LtColDuBois

Oingo Boingo's "Capitalism". Now that's nonconformist.

onlinerants
onlinerants

I would kill myself right now if I could be reincarnated as either 1) Greg Gutfeld or 2) Jasper.

pithyaphorism
pithyaphorism

ubrandictionary.com I'll have to Czech that one out!

WesternFreePress
WesternFreePress moderator

 @LtColDuBois Brian is probably familiar with it; I was never an Oingo Boingo fan, so I am not. But I will say that I think Brian's point about the contradiction between the hard-left bent and the nonconformist messages in the hardcore scene is even more broadly applicable in the music industry generally. For a host of reasons, artistic types, especially young ones, lean left, but they also have a natural anti-establishment and pro-freedom sensibility. Most of them don't realize that voting for and supporting the left means supporting statism, which means supporting the kinds of things that you would think, based on a lot of their lyrics, they would oppose. This leads to a maddening schizophrenia----there are so many songs out there that sound *almost* like libertarians and conservatives should love them, but then there's one little line in the lyrics that makes it all fall apart into some typical ignorant anti-capitalist (which really means anti-freedom) rant or some pathetically ignorant endorsement of statism. Or, maybe it's not in the lyrics, but later, the artist explains what he/she meant, and you find out the same thing. I wish I had never looked up the meaning behind Soho's "Hippie Chick." And I dare not look any further into the politics of the band Muse, lest it totally ruin the song "Uprising" for me.

dcbrian
dcbrian

 @pithyaphorism As of my last visit to urbandictionary.com, neither term appears there.  Feel free to add both!