November 1, 2013
Review: Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football, and Assorted Absurdities
Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football, and Assorted Absurdities by Chris Kluwe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Chris Kluwe is a punter with the NFL. Formerly with the Minnesota Vikings, he now kicks for the Oakland Raiders. He is also a staunch supporter of marriage equality, has a penchant for writing letters to and about people who piss him off, and swears a lot. (Indeed--I've never seen such creative, laugh-out-loud profanities as he puts together.)
The genesis of this book is a letter Kluwe wrote to a Maryland state delegate who wanted to restrict another NFL player's right to free speech (said player is also a supporter of marriage equality). The letter, one of the first pieces in the book, is hilarious. (Quote: "I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won't come into your house and steal your children. They won't magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster.") Even funnier is the follow-up essay, exactly the same except for the naughty words turned into phrases such as BEAUTIFULLY UNIQUE SPARKLEPONY (hence the book's title) and UNFORTUNATELY PHALLIC HEDGE SCULPTURE. Which beautifully illustrates the ridiculousness of the brouhaha over the original letter's swearing.
The rest of the pieces--some are too short to really call them essays--are rather uneven in quality. Especially towards the end, where it is clear that Kluwe is running out of gas. Still, there are some gems here. My favorites are "The Darkness and the Light," "Bang Bang," "Who is John Galt?", and "Some Other People Have Even More Trouble With Logic."
I got this book from the library, which would probably be the best way to go with it. It's a quick, light read, and I enjoyed it, but I don't think it'd be worth buying in hardback. I would, however, love for Chris Kluwe to write a memoir about Real Life in the NFL.
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