Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 26/10/98

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

How bad could it be?

I've been waiting for a mighty long time for this book. As anyone who's ever surfed past Gusworld will know, Joe Queenan is one of my favourite writers of all time, and he's been talking about his plans for his latest tome for more than a year.

It's been out in the US for some time, under the title Red Lobster, White Trash and the Blue Lagoon: Joe Queenan's America. For its international release, that title has been mildly altered to America: A Descent into the Land of Red Lobster, White Trash, The Blue Lagoon and Other Cultural Atrocities. Whatever the title, though, it's a damn funny read, albeit much thinner than his previous tomes.

The fundamental idea is very simply: Queenan decided that for a year he would do nothing but listen to bad music, read bad books, watch bad movies, and generally bathe himself in cultural vomit. This gives him the opportunity to do what he does best: insult people.

There are a couple of problems: Queenan hates ABBA, and a promised chapter on the Internet has been cut from the finished version. But hey, who am I to get picky about someone who compares Michael Bolton to the Ebola virus?

I could quote endlessly from the book, but I want people to go out and get their own copy, so I'll settle for a couple of excerpts from the index. Yes, Joe Queenan's America is the kind of book where even the index is funny. Check it out.

Akroyd, Dan
when coupled with "Starring", two scariest words in English language, 42
Bernadette, Saint
and Kenny G, 137
Collins, Joan
and stone steps that crumble like Camembert, 32
South, the
entire chapter cut out of book by domineering editor

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