This past weekend I finished an advance copy (it’s out now anyway) of Adam Carolla’s new book President Me (this not a brag that I somehow receive advance access to popular media – I got it from someone who had access to advance copies of books and I will leave it at that). It is no secret that I am a fan of Carolla. I thought his first book, In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks, was non-stop hilarity. His follow-up, Not Taco Bell Material, had moments of excellence but was not as much of a laugh riot as Chicks. Well, President Me gets Carolla back to the Chicks approach: less memoir, more observations of the world around him. The result is just about as excellent as Chicks.
Now when it comes to my differences with Carolla, they grow the bigger the issue – i.e. the more macro an issue – taxes, government policy, race relations I tend to deviate from him. However, when it comes to everyday things, which are the funnier of his observations and the overwhelming majority of the book, I rarely disagree with him.
The difference is in President Me is when I disagree with Carolla there was more of an attempt on his part to address the arguments against his viewpoint (before steamrolling ahead with his view anyway). The best example of this is his support of voter ID laws. He readily acknowledges the subversive motives of the Republican Party, but then says he just thinks we should have them anyway. Of course his near-endorsement of a poll tax (requiring everyone to bring a pay stub to the ballot) is a step way too far (but done half for comedic value), but I sort of appreciated that unlike folks from places like Fox News, at least he can say that he thinks something makes sense, even if he acknowledges that the people endorsing it are far from infallible heroes.
The main parts of the book are just laugh out loud funny. I think his few pages on the proliferation of exposed feet in our society are the funniest things I have read in a while. I think the main reason I like Carolla so much, despite our political differences, is that his view is “can we have an expansion of rights for everyone, but not a destruction of decorum and decency?” “Can’t things stay old school if old school had it right” sort of approach. I have said it on a recent album that I feel in many ways I have more in common with my parents’ generation than I do with people in their early 20s. Carolla may oversimplify some of the big things in our society and government, but on the specifics of every day life he is pretty spot on. And hilarious.
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