Calculating How Big Of A Tip To Give Is The Easiest Thing Ever, Shout Out To My Family & Friends by Steve Roggenbuck (The Actual Review)
reading “Calculating How Big Of A Tip To Give Is The Easiest Thing Ever, Shout
Out To My Family & Friends” what came across was the funny thoughtful
person I knew from real life. Here Steve Roggenbuck engages in his patented
form of absurdity. Beneath that initial hilariousness (and there are really
funny lines in here) there is deeper thought, about the politics that run the
world and the disadvantages people face in their day to day lives. By
emphasizing this aspect in quite stark terms Steve Roggenbuck is able to
reflect upon what it means to be alive today, what growing up with dominant
culture means, and what can be done to think differently about life.
first, the dead clowns. There are a lot of dead clowns within this collection
flying from helicopters shoved in backpacks. Sort of a theme, perhaps Steve
Roggenbuck is reflecting upon an earlier, more slapstick kind of humor and how that
type of entertainment has died (in this case quite literally). Or just as
likely Steve Roggenbuck is simply finding the idea that clowns exist to be
relatively funny. Maybe this is because the idea of mortality can be funny,
especially for an individual who has dedicated their whole lives (and possibly
their afterlives) to being a constant source of amusement. With this focus on
dead clowns Steve Roggenbuck is encouraging everyone, every reader to get down
with the metaphorical clowns of the world.
conventions, always a thing to be subverted within the Roggenbuckian world, are
even more flagrantly disrespected. A great deal of the stories end with the
simple words “The End” which in context serve as almost a punchline. Steve
Roggenbuck plays with the idea of linear progression, by beginning stories with
completely unrelated facts before getting into the heart of the matter. Oftentimes
these twists are towards things that have deep impact upon a greater societal issues
– such as payday loans, disempowering thoughts, division of labor, and overall ideology.
The twists in Steve Roggenbuck’s stories emphasize these problems in a rather
humorous way, by talking through a speaking cat or mentioning a kid eating corn
nuts off the floor.
greatest theme among all of the stories within the collection have to do with
an impending mortality. From the first story, which reflects upon the gradual
aging process, to various stories discussing weapons being used in an early
Warner Brothers cartoonish fashions (atomic bombs, shooting Roombas, etc.)
Steve Roggenbuck is able to reflect on the fleeting quality of life. Pop
culture references of Kanye West and Daddy Day Care 2 reflect on exactly how
brief these moments of pure joy can be: how pop culture is used as a salve on
Roggenbuck is the Internet’s busiest bard, traveling across the United States
and even internationally. With this latest collection he reveals what it means
to be alive in a world designed by those long gone, with rules that may no
longer be relevant. It is a hilarious, thought-provoking collection.