We all have that one friend who has the rare ability to make us laugh, not just over cocktails or brunch, but even under the direst of circumstances. A friend whose dry wit, touching on everything from electoral politics to women’s equality, is more than just banter: It also punctuates intellectual points and helps frame opinions. That’s what it feels like to read Alexandra Petri’s new book ... In her signature sarcastic style, she masterfully cloaks the absurdism of modern reality in farce ... Whether or not you’re familiar with Petri, you will be pleasantly surprised by her expanding repertoire of droll mockery on our current state of affairs, bringing a much-needed perspective to the male-dominated genre of political satire. We’re living in a time when our national intellect is as suppressed as our voter turnout. Maybe, by forcing us to face everything that’s wrong, this book will encourage some of us to make it right.
Petri writes about what’s happening in the world as if it’s okay ... I have far too many favorites to include here ... I would be remiss to present this is as sheer hilarity. Underneath the jokes is a reminder of the painful period we’ve been living through. The collection also reminds us of the vast number of terrible events that have occurred in the past few years ... If I know anything about America and humanity at large, it’s that we’ll always find new ways to get things wrong, which means there will never be a shortage of new topics for Petri to mock.
The thing about satire...is that it typically works best in small doses, which is why Petri’s column is the perfect medium for her message. Creating a collection served up in book form risks reader exhaustion from an overdose of snark. I found I could only appreciate her oeuvre—and keep my blood pressure at safe levels—by taking in a few essays at a time ... Mercifully, not every essay focuses on the national nightmare of the current presidency. After all, there’s always the evergreen outrages of racism, misogyny, gun violence, and anti-vaxxers to vie for our attention. Some of Petri’s best work in this collection focuses on gender, sexism, and #MeToo, and has a subtler, sharper edge. The reader senses that this subtlety is her tell that she’s seething, as in the devastating essay 'Some Interpersonal Verbs, Conjugated by Gender,' which quietly lays bare society’s enduring concern for a boy’s future over a girl’s psyche[.]