Humor. When I think of Al Franken, I always think first of his SNL work in the 70s. That reaction is being overtaken slowly with the image of him grilling Jeff Sessions and Franken’s leadership in the Senate, but for me and probably most people my age, humor and Al Franken are inextricably mixed.
Frankin’s latest book is Ottawa Indivisible’s choice for our next few book club meetings. Join us Sept. 14 at Prairie Fox Books, 7 p.m. for what promises to be a lively discussion!
So, which is it? Is this book a serious man trying to be funny? Or is it a funny man with a serious plan? I like that Al Franken doesn’t take himself too seriously, even if he is a serious man.
The book is a completely entertaining read. I’m currently at page 142, less than halfway through. So far, it has been an auto-biography, telling us about his childhood, his career in satire, and his transition from a TV writer and personality into a politician and statesman. Certainly, the book has plenty of laughs, but behind the jokes is something else….. a keen awareness of our nation and our people…..and a strong desire for us, as Americans, to get to know the whole person of Al Franken.
The first half of this book frankly details his journey, including details such as the drug use that accompanied his TV career. Mid-way through the book, as he is describing the GOP attempt to smear him because he once wrote a piece of satire entitled, “Porn-O-Rama” (laughable now, considering our current president), it occurred to me that in this book, Al is neatly defanging several potential GOP weapons that they could use against him in future campaigns. Just sayin’
As I finish this book, I wanted to add a few thoughts to my initial impressions, because the second half of the book moves away from the autobiographical to an analysis of what has happened over the last ten years politically in the U.S. Al describes his time in the Senate, but he also gives a reasoned comeback to those people who say our political system is broken because “both sides.” He is honest, yet hope-filled. It’s still a funny book, but it also contains a great deal of detail and solid, convincing arguments why we need the Democrats steering our ship.
I’m so glad I read this book! Because I’ve been tired lately. It’s exhausting looking at chaos created by a narcissist, and I needed a reminder that we are fighting for decency and truth, and that the people of America are better than the GOP lies.
Also, did you know Al Franken doesn’t particularly like Ted Cruz?