I highly recommend Artie Lange's latest book Wanna Bet? The book regales the reader in tales of gambling and other debauchery that rotates around Lange's thirst for living on the edge.
I never read Lange's first book Too Fat to Fish, but I did read his second effort Crash and Burn. The reason I sought out Crash and Burn was that I wanted to hear about Lange's suicide attempt from Lange himself. As suicide attempts go, Lange's was definitely ill-conceived, but I found the explanation surprisingly blunt and insightful. As good of a read as Crash and Burn was, I would have never thought that Lange had things left unsaid.
He sure did....
I don't want to ruin any surprises of the main section of the book, so let's just say that Wanna Bet is a fast and enjoyable read. Well, until the last 8 pages or so where it kind of grinds to a halt. And that's the part I'd like to focus on in this article. By Book #3, I don't think I'm revealing any secrets, but Artie Lange is a degenerate of the highest order.
Did he skirt the edges of organized crime? Clearly.
Does he swear too much and use language we wouldn't dare use on Beacon of Speech? Oh yeah.
Has he frequented prostitutes? Absolutely.
Is he a world class gambler? Yes.
Does he eat/drink/and do too many drugs? Again, not a secret.
In case the end of Wanna Bet serves as his eulogy, (have you seen collapsed-nose Artie?) Artie Lange wants you to know that he regrets none of it. Well, none of it, except for the Heroin. And as I read that passage, I realized that Artie Lange is the ultimate Libertarian.
The edges of organized crime? Artie was trying to make a living. He actually paid taxes on his underworld earnings.
Dicey Language? Despite language I wouldn't use, I don't think he abused the privileges granted by the First Amendment. I would even take it a step further, I think he's a Free Speech Champion. Sometimes he makes the audience uncomfortable with his Anti-PC rants, that's the very definition of Free Speech.
Prostitution? I would speculate his stance would be to make it safe and legal.
Gambling? I think Artie would quip "we're all adults here."
Eating? Artie is obviously not eating Tofu, he is eating meat.
Drinking? Nor is he drinking water with a spritz of lime.
Drugs? For the hard-core Libertarians out there, Artie draws a red line. Lange cautions of the evils of Opioids. And I agree. Opioids are the scourge of America and part of the blame for their use lies with the drug companies. Opioids are bad, bad news and should be illegal and strictly controlled by medical professionals.
Now if you LOOK at Artie, he looks like a 70 year old man, he's hardly the Poster Boy of anything. And instead of imbibing in every vice, maybe Lange should have chosen just one or two. But the point is, for better or for worse, Artie Lange is an American success story. He worked hard and became one of the best stand-up comedians in America. Yes, I know he's not Dave Chappelle or Norm McDonald, but if I made a list, I think I'd be hard pressed to come up with 25 better ones.
Maybe MORE people should be more like Artie....
....except for the Heroin part.