"A Nation Worth Ranting About" by Rick Mercer

Canadian politics may not get as much attention as American politics but we sure have our fair share of drama.  In fact in the last eight years, we had four federal elections, something that is supposed to occur every four years.  You can imagine that things haven't exactly been business as usual when it comes to our government.  And the citizens haven't exactly been thrilled with this either.

If you want to find out exactly what's going on in Canadian politics and how everyone feels about it, you have to look no further than Rick Mercer.  The easiest way to explain his television show, The Rick Mercer Report, is to say he's Canada's Jon Stewart.  A fine comparison, but Rick's show isn't just about the humorous side of politics, it's about discovering what is great about Canada and showcasing our best and brightest…while taking a glimpse at the humorous side of politics.

And a unique part of the show is Mercer's rant - a short, on the move monologue, just Rick conversing with the camera about whatever it is that has Canadians up in arms that week.  You can't watch a rant without wanting to jump up off your couch and scream "YES", even if he is poking fun at the guy you just voted for in the last election.  Mercer calls it like he sees it and he calls out the hypocrisy, idiocy, and the fallacies that are frustrating Canadians at that moment.  

And so it would only make sense that Rick would release a collection of his rants in a book for everyone to take a look at what has happened in the past four years in Canada.  His book, A Nation Worth Ranting About, showcases the uniqueness and fabulousness of our great country while inspiring readers to pay more attention to the political landscape.

I'm a fan of Rick so I knew I had to pick up this book, even though I've actually seen all of the rants on his television show.  It's one thing to listen to him rant about our society once a week, but to read four years worth in one sitting (because I read this book in one afternoon) is quite another thing.  

Rick includes in the book essays published in Maclean's magazine as well as three new essays.  He discusses the time he met Rick Hansen and took him bungee jumping (Hansen is a Paralympian, paralyzed from the waist down and an activist), the bullying death of Jamie Hubley (an openly gay high school student) and how one of his rants unknowingly inspired a youth "vote mob" and put politicians on edge.  There are also pictures and quotes from episodes of The Rick Mercer Report that have taken him across the country.

I think no matter what your political stance, no matter who you vote for, or whether you care about politics at all, you will enjoy this book.  It's not all politics either. Rick has huge issues with people who take up room on escalators and people who enter elevators before letting others off (don't we all.)  You don't even have to be Canadian to enjoy this book!  In fact, I say if you want to learn something about what's going on in this country, you should start with this book.  You may realize we're not as nice and timid as you thought we were.

My favourite quote from one of Rick's rants is, "Yes we are apathetic.  But the minute anyone tries to use our apathy against us, suddenly we start to care big time."  To me, that's us in a nutshell.  I highly recommend this book for fans of Rick Mercer's, for those who are curious about Canadian politics, and for anyone who likes to look at life and politics from the humorous side. 

I received a copy of this book from Random House of Canada.  The opinions expressed above are purely my own.


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