Book Review: Hillarious: The Wacky Wit, Wisdom and Wonderment of Hillary Rodham-Clinton, George Grant (1992)

March 2nd, 2008 11:59 pm by Kelly Garbato

Retro Right Wing LOLZ: Not So LOL-y.

one out of five stars

HILLARIOUS: THE WACKY WIT, WISDOM & WONDERMENT OF HILLARY RODHAM-CLINTON sure is hilarious, though probably not in the way “author” George Grant intended. Rather than lol-ing over Ms. Clinton’s “wackiness”, I found myself laughing over the effort Grant boasts he put into this sad attempt at right wing humor.

To wit: “‘It is crucial that we be able to find humor in the doings of the modern world,’ the great wag G.K. Chesterton once remarked. ‘It is a profound testament to our confidence in providence that we be able to acknowledge the sheer absurdity in the things of fallen creation. This is not a spirit of meanness, rather it is a sober-minded recognition that if a thing is not right, it is silly as well as wicked…this is our apologia, not our apology.’ I must confess that I never fully understood what he meant by that remarkable epistemological quip until I experienced the wild ride of this project. Thankfully, I had a number of kind-hearted souls who helped me see the lighter side of these dark and dire days – and thus made this book possible.

“Several friends – old and new – scoured the countryside to help me gather the necessary research and pull together the necessary resources. Mary Jane Morris, Jerry and Linda Bowyer, Bruce Tippery, Bob Pambianco, Michael Skaggs, John Gissy, and Clark Eberly selflessly combed the files, manned the phones, loaded the faxes, scanned the microfiche, and ran the copiers – all gratis and at a furious pace. Stacy and Coby Owens dropped everything and performed yeoman’s duty for me by excavating sundry arcane and esoteric absurdia on a moment’s notice.” (And on and on and on.)

Only in the mind of a fundie Christian conservative would a hundred page book consisting mostly of quotes be considered a “wild ride.” Man the phones? Load the faxes? Scan the microfiche? Yeah, compiling quotes from Newsweek is one tough job. Lawdy knows how the fearless George Grant survived that crazy week in July 1992! I bet the man – now surely a first-class chickenhawk – still has nightmares about the ordeal.

In all seriousness, Grant wrote just 30 pages of original text (set in 12-point font, mind you) for this book, while the rest of the volume consists of supposedly silly, hypocritical, or downright stupid Hillary Clinton quotes. One per page (or maybe two, for the lengthier ones). Set in 14-point font. I put more work into my HIGH SCHOOL senior thesis.

The Hillary Clinton quotes Grant chooses to include have me wishing for the days when Clinton was a true, non-pandering, unabashed liberal. Perhaps then I’d be more excited about her 2008 presidential campaign. (I voted for Dennis Kucinch in the Democratic primary.)

At least half of the quotes concern Hillary’s support for children’s rights; given that Grant opens each chapter with a Biblical verse, this fixation probably stems from his paranoid fear that Planned Parenthood wants to force abortions on the daughters of God-fearing Republicans. I wonder whether parents such as these – i.e., Christians who think they ought to be able to force their pregnant daughters to give birth against their will – also hold the “rights” of religious minorities in such high regard. Should Christian Scientists be able to refuse medical treatment for their children, even if the consequence is death? Is it the Mormon father’s right to marry his girls off to much older polygamist men? Is it ok for Muslim fathers to kill daughters who have dishonored the family? All of this happens routinely, both in the United States and elsewhere, and is exactly why children’s rights laws, such as those envision by Ms. Clinton, are a good effin’ idea. Daddy doesn’t always know best, nor does he always act with his children’s best interests in mind.

The rest of HILLARIOUS follows this same line of logic: Feminists are out to destroy the family! ZOMG, working women are destroying the family! The liberals want to steal your kids and destroy your family! These crazy socialists want to steal your money, give it to brown people, and destroy your family! The American family is under attack! Oh noes!

HILLARIOUS is at once both hilarious and sad: hilarious in that such progressive ideas send Grant to his fainting couch in a tizzy, and sad inasmuch as, 16 years later, Hillary is more Republican lite than radical liberal progressive.

Oh, and the pictures kick it. Hill was one groovy hippie back in the day.

By way of a disclaimer, I should note that I picked this up at a library book sale ages ago, and started flipping through it the other day while loafing ’round the house with nothing better to do. It occupied me for about 20 minutes, half of which was spent writing this review. Don’t pay more than 5 cents for a copy, is what I’m saying.

(This review was originally published on Amazon and Library Thing, and is also available on Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you think it so!)

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