Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Is It Just Me? Or Is It Nuts Out There? by Whoopi Goldberg

Sometimes, a nonfiction book comes along, and no matter how much you like or dislike the author, you have to say they hit the nail on the head.  Charles Barkley is a polarizing figure, particularly here in Arizona.  He talked about racism in his book, Who's Afraid of a Big Black Man?, a very compelling book.  Whoopi Goldberg is another polarizing person; people either really like her or dislike her.  But, when Whoopi takes on our society and manners, she nails it, in Is It Just Me? Or Is It Nuts Out There?

Goldberg tackles the lack of courtesy and respect in today's society, everything from cell phones to drunk driving and calling people names such as stupid or dummy.  She says, "Somehow so many little pieces of courtesy have gone by the wayside.  People in your face, in your business not caring if they are invading your space, being disrespectful."  She's careful to separate her act as a comedian from daily life.  People who go to see her act should know what to expect.  But, people shouldn't have to expect rudeness and thoughtlessness on a daily basis.

Don't you see a lack of consideration and common courtesy every day?  The local post office has a sign saying they will not wait on people who are on their cell phones.  And, I've seen them call the next person, and tell someone they'll help them when they hang up.   I've heard children swear at their parents in public, and get away with it.  When did this happen?  And, I know other women who are sports fans, as I am, who won't go to football games anymore, because of the drunkenness and rudeness.  It really is nuts out there.  OK, off my soapbox.  That last rant was mine, not Whoopi Goldberg's.  But, I could understand why Goldberg thinks it's nuts out there, with people only caring about themselves.  A please, a thank you, a door held, a smile. Those all go a long way.  Goldberg actually does a good job with this book, not only complaining about a number of issues, such as texting while driving and drunk driving, but she offers solutions as well.  And, it's all done with a sense of humor to soften the serious subject she addresses.  Is It Just Me? Or Is It Nuts Out There?  No, Whoopi.  It's not just you. 

Is It Just Me? Or Is It Nuts Out There? by Whoopi Goldberg.  Hyperion, ©2010. ISBN 9781401323844 (hardcover), 224p.

FTC Full Disclosure - Library book


Ingrid King said...

I'm not a huge fan of Whoopi Goldberg, but I do like her, and this book certainly sounds like I'd discover a few of my own soap-box worthy rants in it! However, I really hate the cover. What market is this aimed at - college kids? Come on, Whoopi (and publisher), couldn't you have done better than this?

le0pard13 said...

I was curious about this one, Lesa. Thanks for reviewing it.

Lesa said...

Totally agree with you on the cover, Ingrid. The rants are appropriate. The cover won't make most people pick it up.

Lesa said...

Ingrid's right about the cover, Michael. But, her written material is well worth reading if you're tired of the lack of courtesy and respect nowadays.

Christine said...

Thanks for this, Lesa. I considered picking this up, because 1) I'm a fan of Whoopi's and 2) I completely agree that it's not just her. In my lower moments, I believe that common courtesy is becoming a thing of the past.

Interesting comment made when someone overheard my husband of 17+ yrs and I having a conversation that included a please and a thank you. The person said "You guys have been married how long? Aren't you past the honeymoon phase yet?" I was kind of speechless because I thought common courtesy is just a given...especially with your family.

I think the cover is just sooo Whoopi. And I wouldn't be shocked that someone actually tried to get her autograph that way as well. ;)

Lesa said...

I agree, Christine. I always say please and thank you with family. And, I did with my husband, and we had been married 26 years when he died. It is common courtesy. And, I was raised to be polite.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this interesting review, Lesa! I'll have a look!

My husband and I have encountered people who didn't think we were married since we enjoy talking to each other. We thought that a rather sad comment about what they thought married life was like.

Bev Stephans said...

I'm one of the people who really like Whoopi. I'll have to see about buying the book.

I really agree with you (and Whoopi). There is so little common courtesy these days. I was raised to say please and thank you and I raised my 2 sons the same way. Remember, manners are a way of showing respect for your fellow man.

Lesa said...

That is a sad commentary, when they don't think married couples would enjoy talking to each other. Whoopi addresses the lack of communication skills in the book.

Lesa said...


I'm with you, and I've heard my nieces and nephews say please and thank you, and, once in a while, I even get a thank you note! It's always a pleasure to deal with someone with manners.

Kris said...

The book sounds really interesting. I can't say I'm a huge fan of Whoopi's but I do think it's nuts out there.
Husband doesn't say please or thank you and a lot of times he'll want me to do something and I refuse to do it till he 1)asks me instead of tells or expects me and 2)says please. I know this is a sign of how differently we were raised and unfortunately it seems that a lot of people don't practice this in the house or raise their kids to say please, thanks, etc. Whenever I ask Husband to do something that I think he should do anyway (such as take the trash to the curb since I collect it from the bins inside), I always say please and when he grumbles and says he will I say thanks.

On another funny note...around the holidays I was at a local store and had a coupon for 40% off a normal priced item, but wasn't going to use it because everything I was buying was on sale. I noticed the lady in front of me could use it so I offered it to her. The cashier had already rung up her sale so she had to refund the amount, but she did it. The lady thanked me several times and even tried to give me some of the cash she got back. haha! I refused but found it funny that she was so taken back by somebody helping her out that she would offer some of the money she saved.

Lesa said...

I've had clerks tell me my smile made their day. That's really sad, Kris, when they don't see someone smile at them. Or, when people are that taken aback when you offer to help them. I'm extremely short, and I have to ask people sometimes to get something from the top shelf at the store for me, and they often seem surprised when I say please and thank you. And, one of the cashiers where I do my grocery shopping always complains to me about rudeness of other customers. She "knows" me because I've always been polite and cheerful. My husband used to say he never saw anyone come out of stores smiling the way I do because of my conversation with a clerk. I usually just sympathize with them, or thank them, and it goes from there. As we both said, a little courtesy goes a long way.

kathy d. said...

I love Whoopi Goldberg, and will try to get this book from the library, fount of all knowledge.

I agree on the rudeness situation. I can't believe it with cell phones, especially in a doctor's waiting room, when I can hear someone's personal conversation, and so can everyone. I say something politely.

My nephew has been polite since he was 2 1/2 because my sister taught him to be.

Many people just are not considerate, and need to be reminded to be.

Yes, I agree about being kind and considerate to workers in stores, thanking them and smiling. I have thanked sanitation workers--and do they ever appreciate it. People appreciate being recognized, acknowledged and thanked for their work.

And not only is it the right thing to do, but it can make one's day. And it can change around a bad day, just a few kind words to someone; to see their response back is worth all of the consideration.

And it's so important in relationships. It's wonderful that you and your husband were so polite and thoughtful with each other.

That behavior should be taught to everyone so that in personal relationships and friendships, it's basic. It makes a big difference.

Lesa said...

It makes such a big difference in your own life, doesn't it, Kathy? I enjoy being thanked, and, as you said, it can turn your own day around to thank someone, and see their pleased response. A little, what is now "uncommon" courtesy, goes a long way.

Linda Leszczuk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda Leszczuk said...

I read somewhere that the first sign of decay in a society or civilization is the loss of common courtesy (AKA good manners). Frightening, isn't it?

I'm going to look for this book. Whoopi has always had a way of cutting to the heart of the matter.

(The previous deleted comment was mine. I hate it when I post too quickly and realize my fingers outran my brain.)

Lesa said...

That's very frightening, Linda, because I see so much decline of courtesty in the library. In fact, my original post included some of those examples, and I decided to back off. The post was really supposed to be about the book, not issues at the library. But, we certainly could use some manners in this country.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy watching Whoopi on The View. Even when I don't agree with her I respect that she has well though out reasons for feeling the way she does (unlike someone else on that show!). Many of these things drive me crazy so I really should pick this one up.

Lesa said...


You'll be able to tell Whoopi put a lot of thought behind the comments in this book, too. You should pick it up.