Thursday, January 27, 2011

Review: Is It Just Me? Or is it nuts out there?

Author: Whoopi Goldberg
Publisher/Format: Hyperion, e-book, 192 pages
Subject: Civility
Genre: essays
Source: public library download

Whoopi Goldberg needs no introduction as a TV/Movie media personality.  But who knew she could write?  This charming short collection of opinions on modern life and its plentitude of rudeness, ignorance, and just plain nastiness is sure to appeal to those of us in the Baby Boom generation, whose mommas would have whooped us upside the head if we'd ever behaved like this.  She presents a series of observations about what is wrong with society today, and offers suggestions on how we as a group of caring humans could perhaps help to affect a change.

Her topics range from those who dare to clip their toenails on the subway, or wear too much perfume in closed in situations such as offices, elevators and car-pools, or talk on cell phones in church, or who chat their way loudly through a movie,  to so-called 'soccer parents' who shout demeaning curses at coaches, to bozos who block the view at graduations so they can get a video of their child, to road rage, and the responsibility to teach children basic manners.

As one would expect from the garrulous Ms. Goldberg, her remarks are pointed, pithy, and spot-on.  She even provides us with a series of tests (ala various women's magazines of old) to allow us to score ourselves on our parking, texting, traveling, stadium, sideline, offensive language, and bullying behaviors.  Adding up the scores, the reader is then able to ascertain whether he is "CIVIL, BORDERLINE BONEHEAD, or ASSHOLIAN" (pg. 184.)

And....contrary to what many would expect, she actually manages to present all this with nary a "bad" word.  It's a thoroughly enjoyable, and for many of us, affirming read.  I just wish everybody could get on board with her/our sentiments.

If you're not sure whether you'll like reading in a e format, this is a perfect book to try.  The essays are short, there's lots of white space, and the editors have done a terrific job of typesetting and layout.


  1. Hmmm . . interesting - and yet Whoopie feels it's OK to walk out on a guest who dares to voice their opinion on a t.v. talk show.

  2. I can't comment on that one -- did not see (have never watched) the show, so I have not the wherewithal to voice an opinion.

  3. Kaye, the same thing came to my mind. I don't watch the show..because I don't want to throw something through my TV...but I have seen it a few times and I saw the video of that "event". What do they say.."those that can't do, teach."?

    On the other hand, I totally agree with the idea behind the sentiment behind the book. Oh, don't get me started on some of these things like use of cell phones, driving etc..
    And having seen Ms. Goldberg on some other venues, I know she can be very clever and very funny..when she follows her own advice.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing. I have read some of her work but this sounds like it is right up my alley as I am feeling much the same way these days. Many have lost their minds or maybe they never had them. Can't wait to get a copy of this.


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