Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Voice of Reason: A V.I.P. Pass to Enlightenment.

A review.
If you don't know who Chael Sonnen is you're probably not a UFC fan. Chael was an All-American wrestler at the University of Oregon. A runner-up at the Olympic trials, and a silver medalist at the University Worlds. He was a candidate for the Oregon State Legislature (Republican), and a damn fine MMA fighter. He is a world class talker of trash, and a twitter world champion.
He is educated, biting, and brutal. With a oratory style that would make any Pro Wrestler blush. I had high expectations of this book.
This book arrived on Friday by Saturday night I had blown through the whole thing. It's a damn fast read. Overall the book is really funny and irreverent. He takes aim at (among many, many, others) Lyoto Machida, Anderson Silva (naturally), drug testing, Jon Jones, the UFC, Judo, the entire Gracie family, the California State Athletic Commission, training in a gi, wearing cowboy hats when you're not actually riding a horse, Chael Sonnen and all of his corner men. There are chapters on wrestling, fighting, being a UFC fighter, being a man, music, and movies better than the Godfather. Some of which I agreed with, some of which not so much, but all of it was funny, presented as opinion and defended pretty damn well.
There are a couple of right wing screeds that felt more tacked on, just rang false. I'm pretty far on the left, but I'm not totally sold on my own B.S. Tell me something I don't know, and I'll willingly change my mind. The couple of chapters in question were just opinion "backed" by some ad hominem attacks, non sequiturs, and appeals to ridicule. Which was kind of disappointing. I was happy and greatly amused by the rest of the book to that point.
I have no vested interest in whether Nixon was a better president than JFK. I don't really care.. both men are dead. I didn't live through either presidency.. so go for it convince me. Bring up bay of pigs, bring up the Cuban missile crisis, bring up his infidelities, and downplay Watergate and compare policy or prosperity under either man.. but instead the whole chapter was confusingly vague. It contained no quotes, statistics, or details. It was a chapter length repeated recitation of Nixon was awesome. Kind of drug the book down. Which was too bad, because the rest of the book is great.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is/was a wrestler or is a fan of MMA. I would recommend it further, but the couple of struggling chapters on right wing politics really killed the tone of what was otherwise a very amusing book on just about everything.


An aside: I always contact authors when I review their products. "Uncle Chael" does not have an official site or contact information that I could find. So Chael, if you're reading this.. I wanted to step up and stand behind my opinions of you and your book, but was unable.

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