RETURN to BOOK REVIEWS

Things Are Gettin' Outta Hand!

Written by Larry Buford

Book Review by Dennis Moore

Larry Buford, a Los Angeles-based freelance writer, a former songwriter for Motown Records, growingup in the factory town of Detroit, has written a book that attempts to get us all to pause and seriously consider today's hottest and compelling issues, Things Are Gettin' Outta Hand! It is his further attempt to promote meaningful dialogue. From reading his book, the author comes across as a social activist, weighing in on politics, a nation at war, and Bill Cosby's celebrated stance on parental responsibility. The author has a lot to say!

Buford states in his book: "The children of today are constantly being subjected to the threat of violence; wounded military soldiers who fight for our country can't get top-prioritized medical care and benefits; profanity and lewdness are all over the airwaves; hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, and wildfires are becoming commonplace; domestic violence and abductions are at record highs; illegal immigration is out of control; our legal and judicial systems are untrustworthy; drugs are everywhere; all this, and some people still want to silence prayer!" Yes, "Things Are Gettin' Outta Hand!"

The author questions in his book: "Whatever happened to decency; attributes like personal responsibility, character-building, common courtesy and respect?"

Buford amplifies the theme of his book, by including a CD with original neo-soul songs with a message, which is rather good. Clearly, his songwriting experience with Motown Records, pays off. This is actually an added bonus for readers of this enlightening book.

A particular chapter in the book resonates with me, "The Cause For 'The Cos,'" in reference to noted comedian Bill Cosby. In it, Buford states: "Some critics have been pointing out that 'The Cosby Show' failed to depict the true black experience outside of the Huxtable (TV family name) household. So much for imagination! Remember, it was still entertainment - nothing more, nothing less. We were supposed to use our imaginations to bring us to where we first were introduced to the Huxtables. Anyone with insight could imagine the challenges and discouragement the characters of Cliff and Claire undoubtedly endured to become a doctor and lawyer respectively. It was a given for the black experience in America! We could've even used our imaginations to ponder how much hell Mr. Cosby must have caught just to bring such a show to major television. But noooo... we chose to point out the negative." This is certainly food for thought!

The author further points out in his book: "At the time 'The Cosby Show' was at the top of the Nielson ratings, Bill Cosby used his clout and his money to tackle many other fronts to help enrich black culture. He literally put his money where his mouth was. People are now offended that his mouth is not as 'whitewashed' (some say) as 'The Cosby Show.' His recent remarks about personal responsibility within the black community, has sparked a long overdue debate, and I'm glad about it!"

On a personal note, and also as a former songwriter for Motown Records, the author has championed the cause of former lead singer of "The Temptations," David Ruffin, by recognizing the 20th anniversary of the death of this icon, in writing an article that appears on the internet, "Will Radio Honor Singer David Ruffin on June 1st?"

"Things Are Gettin Outta Hand!" is a timely and insightful book, that I highly recommend, particularly to hear the author sing on the enclosed CD.