Review

Boogers Are My Beat: More Lies, But Some Actual Journalism

by Dave Barry



Dave Barry is a silly man. He's a silly man with a Pulitzer. He's a
silly man whose Miami Herald column is syndicated in 500
newspapers. His silly work has been transformed into a so-so sitcom
and a better-than-average movie. He's the author of 25 silly books,
the most recent of which is BOOGERS ARE MY BEAT, a silly title if
there ever was one.

But none of this is news to the legions of Dave Barry fans, a group
to which I will unrepentantly proclaim membership. Silliness, you
see, is gold, a rare and desirable commodity, especially now as the
world cycles through one of those historically inevitable periods
in which pretty much everything stinks. Dave Barry's inspired
silliness is a reliable antidote to the virus of bad news, news
that is often the result of a different, darker kind of silliness
on the part of people who, for reasons that often defy both logic
and credulity, occupy positions of power --- political, economic,
or otherwise.

It's a credit to Barry's skill as a writer that the silliness never
overtakes the accuracy of his observations and never obscures the
brain behind the gags. Barry twists familiar social, cultural and
political issues into funny balloon animals and then smacks them
with a length of barbed wire, giggling all the while. To Barry,
family life, fatherhood, jobs, marriage, politics, business, and
whatever else falls under his gaze is a piƱata waiting to be
punctured.

Barry's columns are consistently funny, but he is truly in the zone
when he's on assignment, as demonstrated in BOOGERS ARE MY BEAT
with his coverage of the Republican and Democratic conventions in
2000 and bizarre end to that year's presidential election. His
coverage of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City made me
laugh out loud several times while on a city bus, much to the alarm
of the other passengers.

There have been occasions in his career when Barry has revealed his
serious side, and this new collection includes two such examples: a
column written the day after the terrorist attacks in September
2001, and another written on the first anniversary of that event.
These columns demonstrate his understanding that there is no light
without shadow. It is this understanding, perhaps, that drives the
relentless silliness of his humor columns. Dave Barry is indeed a
silly man, and for that we should be grateful.

Reviewed by Bob Rhubart on January 21, 2011

Boogers Are My Beat: More Lies, But Some Actual Journalism
by Dave Barry

  • Publication Date: September 28, 2004
  • Genres: Essays, Humor
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press
  • ISBN-10: 1400080762
  • ISBN-13: 9781400080762