Aug 22, 09
Read in August, 2009
Jeff Ott is awesome. His life is inspirational in so many different ways. Not only does he unabashedly describe his own shortcomings, he offers constructive instructions for others to climb out of the holes he has fallen into throughout his life. He describes ways to do drugs safely, to have smarter sexual encounters, to get off drugs, and, more generally, how to live a better, more fulfilling existence. Not only does he present his personal philosophies, he also encourages acceptance of others and critical examination of different movements, such as the punk scene. As a bonus, there are various addresses of advocacy and resource groups scattered through the text so that readers in need can have some idea of where they can go for help, which was, in my opinion, a fantastically intelligent and responsible way to go.
While I understand that this book consists of one man’s ramblings, I didn’t enjoy some of Ott’s ideas and opinions. I am not big on government conspiracies. Ott blames a lot on the government and, to be frank, most of it was difficult to suffer through. He presents these ideas as if they were facts, which isn’t the best idea. I also didn’t like his views on god or religion. He suggests the abolishment of monotheism, yet talks about the Bible as if it contains valid truth. I know this isn’t a contradiction in itself, but it left me feeling funny. He talks about how Jesus got rid of the middleman in the Christian experience, which is the opposite of what churches do… I don’t know. It seems to me that he went on too much about Christian theology when he had just damned it a paragraph earlier.
If you’re the sort of guy or girl who doesnt appreciate it when the sentence your reading has it’s apostrophes all missing or used improperly or is filled with runon sentences and wrong or missing words…you might find yourself pulling your teeth out with a pair of rusty pliers. I understand that the book was very DIY, but Ott could have at least let someone edit it properly. Unfortunately, at the end, he thanks his wife for editing and proofreading the book. I feel bad for her, because, for the most part, her other contributions were pretty good.
I can see this book being very helpful to a young audience, specifically to those in the punk scene. I will continue to listen to Jeff Ott and his band Fifteen, because Ott has something very valuable to say. His words are worth their weight in gold, even if I prefer them to be blaring through my stereo rather than lying there limply on a page in front of me.