October 19, 2005
Have Chosen to Stay and Fight (Hardcover)
Okay, BuzzFlash and Margaret Cho have a mutual admiration kind of thing going. We respect her because she is a comedian fiercely committed to personal freedom, liberty, creative expression, the Constitution, democracy and equal rights. And she's damn funny in the tradition of Lenny Bruce, but the new and improved version -- along with a gender change.
The cover of Cho's unabashedly political broadside is plastered with a photo of Margaret parodying the famous picture of Patty Hearst (then "Tanya") brandishing an assault rifle, but Cho is holding a microphone instead. So you know what you're getting into.
Consider her take on Viagra: "If the problem is promiscuity, then why does the immense popularity of Viagra go unchecked? Doesn't it make more sense to leave the bullets out of the gun than to try to avoid being shot? Especially when the gun is an old musket, and you have to clean it out and tamp down gunpowder, melt down scraps of lead and pour it into a mold, wait for it to cool, etc...only to have it take forever to finally go off."
You can't take the comic out of the outrage that Cho expresses in "I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight." But much of the book expresses her sincere anger at the political predicament that we have come to find ourselves in -- interspersed with personal anecdotes and passions. "This is who I am; this is what I think; and, in America, no one has a right to keep me from expressing myself anyway I want to." That's not in the book, but that's the essence of Cho's outlook.
Cho's no casual celebrity progressive. She's a deeply committed person who happens to be one of America's hippest, most talented and over-the-top raunchy comedians. We saw her once debate some right wing nutcake on television and Cho was so incensed that she almost melted the TV screen. She's out to kick butt; that's for sure.
At the end of "I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight," Cho writes a tribute to the political stalwarts of the Internet, including BuzzFlash. She concludes, "Watching this new America unfold has made me truly welcome the emergence of the underground. I trust the bloggers more than the nightly news because even though everyone has an agenda, theirs are closer to mine....Identifying ourselves in the unrelenting storm of false information is one way bloggers can help. Protecting the truth by becoming bloggers ourselves, instead of retreating into lies and twisted political posturing, needs to become our way of life. Choosing to stay and fight for ourselves is the only way we can survive."
Cho isn't content to be a topical, provocative comedian.
There's a battle going on to preserve our personal freedoms -- and, in this book, she declares herself a foot soldier for democracy. She's not ready to give an inch -- and neither is BuzzFlash.