Friday, January 6, 2012
Of Thee I Zing by Laura Ingraham
My mom is a big fan of Laura Ingraham, so I thought I might check out her book, though I've seldom seen or listened to her in the media. I think it's possible that she's channeling Andy Rooney at the moment, as it mostly reminds me of his curmudgeonly rants on Sixty Minutes over the years. Some of her observations of our cultural craziness are spot on, but some of them fall a bit short of the mark, and descend into mere snark.
For example, when she criticizes church goers who spend more on a latte than they put in the collection plate, it's definitely a sign of the times, "The father pulled out his billfold and after flipping past several twenties, dropped exactly one dollar into the basket. Let me get this straight. Six dollars for a drink. One dollar for Jesus. I hope their barista will save them a place in Paradise." but when she goes on a rant about the use of modern musical instruments in worship services, she merely sounds like a cranky old woman. Every era in Christian history has made use of whatever instruments they had to sing praises, and there's no point in trying to hold on to the traditions of the 1950s forever, it's just counterproductive and drives off younger believers.
I did get a chortle out of her attack on a new vegan tradition, "The vegans among us have made a recent habit of serving a 'Tofurkey' on the big day...Anything that has the consistency of curds is not likely to reemble a turkey when it comes out of the oven. It looks more like a smoking, spongy brown helmet."
She hammers pretty heavily on the kids wearing baggy pants, "on the ground", and the increasingly slutty styles for preadolsescent girls, bad behavior on airplanes, horrible manners, and sexting, among other symptoms of the times.
I rather liked her approach to attending late evening neighborhood parties.
"Occasionally, I'll stop by the parties to check out the spread (to be polite). Then once I get home, I go up to my room, get into my PJs, and call the cops."
She's almost as bad as the warehouse club lunch crowd she criticizes.
A mixed bag, but if you enjoy a bit of sarcasm aimed at pop culture, worth a few hours investment.