America, You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter to Freedom by Meghan McCain and Michael Ian Black (Book)

The concept behind America, You Sexy Bitch is a pretty interesting experiment and comes at just the right time with the country more polarized politically than at any time in recent decades.

The concept: liberal comedian Michael Ian Black and conservative(ish) Meghan McCain, daughter of long-term senator and one-time presidential candidate John McCain, tour the country in a beat up RV and… those ellipses pretty much show where the concept falls apart. There really is no roadmap once they hit the various cities (from Vegas to Branson, MO) on their itinerary. In some cases they interview the locals they run in to and other times they simply tour the sites (like strip clubs and 80’s hack Yakov Smirnoff’s theater). The result is still highly entertaining, but at the same time you can’t help but think they could have done so much more with this book. Yes Black and McCain end up developing an odd couple, big bro/little sis friendship, but that’s about it. No big epiphanies; no real insights into political divide; just an enjoyable, often funny little travelogue.

Surprisingly Black comes across as even funnier here than in any of his other books, so much so that I found myself wanting to skim through McCain’s sections to get to Black’s observations. He also comes across as a little pissy, sulking at times – though not nearly as often as McCain, who is either manically cheerful of silently depressed depending on her intake of booze or any perceived slight. Though she has been unfairly marginalized be the most conservative in her own party, she also comes across as remarkably naïve in this book (she can be insightful and intelligent in a lot of her online writings and appearances on MSNBC, but not here). Her philosophy can pretty much be summed up as American flags, Kid Rock, guns, beer and gay marriage = good; the opposites of all those things = bad.

If you’re looking for deep political insight, you’re best served looking elsewhere. But for an entertaining bipartisan road trip diary, you could do a whole lot worse.           

America, You Sexy Bitch: A love Letter to Freedom by Meghan McCain and Michael Ian Black/Hardcover, 352 pages/ Da Capo Press/2012 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *