Book Reviews



Anyone who has survived a live Cro-Mags show can presume that a health and nutrition book penned by front man John Joseph “Bloodclot” McGowan is not going to be a touchy-feely affair. For the uninitiated, let’s just say Joseph’s motor has but a single setting: Pulverize. And it’s safe to assume that after having this man pound sand up their collective asses for sixty minutes, the corpulent contests on The Biggest Loser would be pleading for comparative nurturing ladled out weekly by Jillian Michaels.

Whoever coined the adage that you can’t judge a book by its cover likely never saw Meat Is For Pussies:A How-To Guide For Dudes Who Want To Get Fit, Kick Ass and Take Names staring out from a shelve at their local Borders. As the title oh-so-delicately suggests, Joseph’s second foray into publishing (his first being 2007’s autobiographical The Evolution of a Cro-Magnon) finds the singer sharing his opinions and insights on a variety of health-related topics, ranging from the health and ethical advantages of a no-meat diet, to the use of unsound food additives, to his favorite legume recipes, to the shadowy role of government, corporations and special-interest groups like the American Medical Association in the existing American food complex.

Your initial reaction, and rightfully so, is likely something along the lines of, “Yeah, The Age Of Quarrel still kicks ass, but who in the hell is Bloodclot to be telling me what to, and not to, put in my body?” Point well taken. Sure, Joseph is a physical specimen as he approaches fifty, and has been living meat free for 3+ decades, but he’s lacking the string of acronyms after his name that typically signify expertise. Here, the author plays it smart, electing to simply share his observations and experiences (including those regarding his family’s bouts with cancer and his own addictions), offer resources and in the end, leaving reader to decide for themselves. I was actually surprised at how much learned reading the book, and for the average American, who thinks Codex Alimentarius is a PS3 game, Meat Is For Pussies will be a eye-opening read.

I’m not quite ready to drink the Kool-Aid on all of Joseph’s subjects. My own research has not revealed meat irradiation to be the scourge he suggests, and as far as fluoridated drinking water being used to pacify the population, I’d be a lot more concerned about social media. And Joseph’s assertion that vegetarians are less violent than carnivores? Good luck proving that empirically. Sure ,Gandhi was a cool cat, but that argument is wrought with statistical bias and confounding factors.

That being said, it’s difficult to resist Joseph’s sense of humor knack for below-the-belt logic, as when discussing the healthful benefits of cutting meat out of your diet:

Yeah, beef’s for dinner, but colon cancer, arterial sclerosis, high blood pressure and dozens of other related diseases are you karmic dessert.

So, yeah. If you or someone you don’t particularly hate is looking to undo years (perhaps decades) of lifestyle-related infirmity, I’d sure as hell opt for Meat Is For Pussies and The Age Of Quarrel on CD before Mario Lopez’s Knockout Fitness.

(3 1/2 out of 5 horns)


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