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Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football, and Assorted Absurdities Hardcover – June 25, 2013
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"The most interesting man in the N.F.L." -- The New York Times
"The quirky and sometimes pugnacious ex-punter for the Vikings reveals a little more about his views on social issues, and a lot more about himself, his career and how his frenetic and far-ranging mind works....Kluwe proves himself to be, indeed, a man for all season--not just football season." -- The Minneapolis Star Tribune
"In a league (and sports climate) which has become one, long, repetitive sound bite, a guy who will actually say something meaningful." -- BleacherReport.com
"Chris Kluwe is a glimmering sparklepony of candor (and not afraid to dive fearlessly into the marriage equality debate)." -- Mother Jones
"It's a strongly worded, profanity laced political and philosophical manifesto from an unlikely new pundit: pro football player Chris Kluwe ... Mr. Kluwe's particular talent as a prose stylist lies in his creative use of inventive swear words." -- The Wall Street Journal's "Speakeasy"
"Kluwe is a genuine iconoclast.... Kluwe's writing makes for an entertaining read. He's as adept at the art of the take-down... but he is capable of toning it down when he has to.... His words present compelling arguments on myriad deep and unsolvable, yet relentlessly fascinating problems." -- The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Intelligent and thought-provoking, Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies is relentlessly honest; Kluwe pulls no punches, spares no language and writes a rip-roaring debut." -- Shelf Awareness
"A lively collection. In mixing the profane with the prophetic while using a variety of literary devices, the author succeeds at being both entertaining and enlightening. An intriguing assortment of work from an athlete with a lot on his mind." -- Kirkus
"Kluwe is a brainy loudmouth dyspeptic idealistic pessimistic utopian punter/gay rights activist/champion of free speech/family guy who plays guitar. He's sort of Charles Barkley meets Bill "Spaceman" Lee--but with more gravitas." -- ESPN.com
"Kluwe's combination of passion and intelligent self-deprecation has resulted in some must-read stuff....Kluwe is a talented writer with plenty to say. He just happens to kick footballs for a living." -- The Maine Edge
About the Author
Chris Kluwe grew up in Southern California among a colony of wild chinchillas and didn't learn how to communicate outside of barking and howling until he was fourteen years old. He has played football in the NFL, once wrestled a bear for a pot of gold, and lies occasionally. He is also the eternal disappointment of his mother, who just can't understand why he hasn't cured cancer yet. Do you know why these bio things are in third person? I have no idea. Please tell me if you figure it out.
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He brought it. Spectacularly. His book, Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football, and Assorted Absurdities (of which he covers ALL of that and more) is a joy to read. Amazon delivered this book today and I chewed thru it like a lineman at a bar-b-que. So eager was I to finish the book that, to its credit, I did not give it the amount of thought and attention it deserves. That will come upon my second reading.
Kluwe is both vicious in his take down of a multitude of issues and, surprisingly, sympathetic. Who else could both EVISCERATE a fellow player's "SEE SPOT RUN" mentality and compliment him on the observation that he can 'write pretty well'?
The shame (if there is any to be had) is that the very people who SHOULD read this book probably won't go near it. Those are the same "morons" that Kluwe alludes to in the title and then summarily chews up and spits out thru-out the book in unabashed logic. The same ones (are you reading this Archbishop Nienstedt?) that feel that their unabiding and limitless faith can not seem to encompass the very tenants upon which they are based (compassion and love), let alone a universe in which science, biology, and human instinct hold true.
If SparklePonies in anyway sends a message, its that Chris Kluwe and his opinions are not going away anytime soon, nor are mine, nor are yours and that the best love letter you can send to humanity is one that is true, compassionate, and cuts thru the B.S. like a laser.
There are a number of essays about the need for marriage equality. Court victories have brought this to pass, but with the rumblings of Republican candidates talking about instituting new bans, and overturning recent court decisions, it's still important to focus on the underpinnings and moral conflicts inherent in disenfranchising a significant portion of our population based on their sexuality. I echo his sentiments here, and hope that we can work toward gender/sex equality forthwith. No reason men should get paid more than me for doing the same work after all. I have a family to support, too, folks.
Further, there's lots of discourse on privacy, chiefly the illusion of it, our collective laziness as a society, and building ourselves echo chambers that amplify and reinforce our beliefs. I've certainly seen this in several venues this election cycle, with people clamoring over (non-existent) election fraud--evidenced because everyone they know and speak with is voting for a particular candidate, ergo that person must win. If not, it's rigged I tellz ya!! Being a scientist, and having friends and family in both camps, I see more than one side, even if I don't agree with both sides equally. And, I think that's a big part of Kluwe's book: being open to many facets of experience in life. Being empathetic, and just. Making learned, informed decisions. Being active in life, not simply reactive.
There's also some 'assorted absurdities' which are entertaining and fun. He's a quick wit, and doesn't hesitate to self-deprecate. Kluwe's candid about his nerd life, his obsessive reading, and his cluelessness regarding girls as a younger man. He also readily questions his role in society, how he--as a pro football player--lived in a rarefied space, and why? There's a lot about religion, and the guiding principles that don't apply to people who do not ascribe. I felt a lot of resonance there.
While non-fiction isn't my bag, per se, I'm super glad I finally picked this one up. It gave my brain some excellent gymnastics, and ironic 'entertainment' to ponder. Kluwe's brand of creative swearing is a hoot, but even when he's not profane he makes a sh*t-ton of sense. Fans of George Carlin, Louis Black, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Samantha Bee will certainly find this book to be worth their time. If nothing else, I'll always remember Kluwe when I consider reclining my airplane seat.