'Not Cool' Review: Greg Gutfeld Hammers Faux Cool Merchants

Greg Gutfeld can see through the oh, so cool veneer of today’s celebrities, progressives and statists. And he’s had more than enough. 

Not Cool, the New York Times Bestselling writer’s latest tome, calls out the merchants of cool for being anything but hip. It's alternately blistering and riotous, a full-on assault against those who embrace values that are the antithesis of cool.

Gutfeld slashes moral relativism writ large and stands tall for virtues which should be considered Fonzie-level cool but sadly aren’t. Every page has at least one gut buster, lines so ripe you’ll want to recycle them at the next cocktail party. Just be wary who you tell. The recipient might be the sort of faux cool merchant Gutfeld has in his sights.

The Red Eye standout begins his journey, where else, in the fifth grade. It was there he got his first lesson about both cool and the purposes of summoning it in public. 

“Fifth grade had just discovered the velvet rope. And it was held by lowbrow illiterates with snot on their sleeves,” he writes. The stakes were low then. Not any more.

The proudly middle-aged author says cool now comes with a cost. Dependency is cool. So is avoiding actual work. Anti-Americanism scores you major cool points. So is victimhood and being “socially conscience,” mere buzz words for progressive thought. 

Not Cool savages the notion of making the mentally ill cute and cool, thereby hurting them as well as the loved ones forced to care for them. He saves some of his most strident prose for the awards show circuit, a loop in which celebrities pad each other on the back while the truly cool (scientists, soldiers, stay-at-home moms) are virtually ignored.

What’s cool on the celeb circuit?

“A mediocre artist who spouts political beliefs that most freshmen in high school could have come up with after huffing Glade,” he writes.

Gutfeld’s comedy may sting, but he really leaves a mark when he sets the satire aside. He excoriates those who cheer on domestic terrorists while forgetting their victims and uses a Brady Bunch episode to hammer home his argument. He’s equally tough on Michael Moore and Sean Penn for embracing anti-American despots and ignoring when they shutter free speech.

Heaven help Rolling Stone’s Jann Wenner if he reads Gutfeld’s chapter on the magazine choosing a dreamy picture of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for its coveted cover slot.

The environment may be target rich, but Not Cool doesn’t coast for even a page. Gutfeld does, however, end on a cheerier note. The Rise of the Free Radical chapter pays tribute to men, women and groups who truly embody the essence of cool. These people “achieve greatness without giving a second thought to impressing others." Think black conservatives, Penn Jillette, Truman Capote, comic book guru Frank Miller and the South Park guys--Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

Cool isn't dead. It just needs a kick in the pants, which is exactly what Gutfeld does in his best seriocomic style.


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