Saturday, October 31, 2015
Toxic masculinity and bitchin tech
One of the reasons I love Cracked.Com is that it's introduced me to a bunch of my favorite authors. Another reason is because those authors are ridiculously cool, aware people. Mad still feels like a boy's club, it's full of jokes made at the expense of women, it plays into stereotypes, and is grounded in bathroom humor. Cracked is way more inclusive while still being grounded in bathroom humor.
So I was delighted, but not surprised, that David Wong's new book Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits is a violent, funny, fart-filled romp that also offers up biting commentary about the alpha-male culture and the dangers of unlimited capitalism.
Now, that might sound like the kind of thing that would make a book be heavy and serious and mournful. It's not.
In addition to the great main plot (full of over-the-top characters and a stinky cat) there are wonderful side characters who are handled with an amount of care and sensitivity that is remarkable while still allowing them to be funny. A butler is still lower class than his employers but he approaches his position with reason, patience, and overwhelmingly impressive sandwich-making skills (as well as a willingness to impart wisdom and snark to the higher-ups in his life, provided they still treat him with the respect that a person deserves). There's an aging sex-worker in the story who isn't treated as trash, who isn't mocked (by the author, at least) for her position. That's fucking remarkable. I love that the humor and sympathy in this book are not only present, but also make a point of always punching up - the kinds of people who get shit on in the real world all the time are respected as important, autonomous human beings deserving of respect and dignity.
And there's more coming! Which is excellent - I love Wong's writing. He's funny and dark and deep and kind and I want to read a lot more from him, so I'm stoked that we're going to not only be getting more from the Futuristic Violence universe but the John Dies at the End world as well.
Looking forward to it, Mr. Wong. Thanks a bunch.
Wong, David. Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits. Thomas Dunne Books.
New York: New York. 2015.