Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Harmon Leon
The American Dream

This semi-delightful little trawl through the backwaters of the west’s wild and woe-filled fairytales entails the author entering full-pelt into various lifestyles, as stated on the cover we get him colluding his way into cultures at arms dealers conventions, carnies, pot farmers, swingers and ultra-christians (the brain-defyingly bonkers Westboro Baptists – who proclaim everything is the fault of fags), reality tv wannabe’s, y’know yer everyday detritus. Maybe not as hilarious as Howard Stern seems to think, especially when put against previous escapades from Jon Ronson and Louis Theroux who allow the satire to speak for itself, where Leon comes across unnecessarily condescending at times, I mean, sure n’ shucks some of these fuckers need lobotomising or lugged through an assault course of incredulous drill sergeants but Ronson and Theroux at least attempt to gain some understanding rather than merely point fingers at a freak show. Nevertheless this is worth an hour or two or a meandering eye cast to alleviate the work-bound ride, the immigrant tale and cult of celebrity where Leon presents ridiculous ideas to all too believing TV execs claiming to be so-and-so, relative of such a body are well, worth commissioning themselves.
Stu Gibson

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