Feb 21, 2020

Rage Against the Meshugenah

Photo illustration by Matt Weir / The Collegian

“Rage Against the Meshugenah: Why it Takes Balls to Go Nuts,” is a book just as zany as its title suggests. It deals with the usual ‘guy stuff’: beer, women, perverted jokes, father-son conflicts, kids, politics, careers and even toilet humor.

It also deals with male depression.

Danny Evans, a California State University, Fresno alumnus and one-time Collegian sports editor, found himself with all he’d ever wanted: a beautiful blonde wife, a steady job, a son and a nice house in Orange County, Calif. Then his world crashed. Evans was unexpectedly laid off from his job, and a week later 9/11 happened.

Oceans of free time spent watching the tragic news while he worried over his future and his responsibilities as a new parent, sent Evans on a freefall. One day he awoke without the willpower to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom. He had clinical depression, the kind men are never supposed to have and never supposed to talk about. ‘Rage’ is about his journey out.

The book, as advertised, is humorous, and Evans proves to be a master storyteller.

The distinct male-ness of ‘Rage’ comes through in his locker-room style jokes, which often rely on gross-out moments and what some would describe as gratuitous shock value to get laughs. However, if you can stomach it, he really will make you laugh out loud.

In tackling the taboo subject of male depression, the author proves why it is such a difficult thing for men to talk about. There is absolutely nothing funny about depression–Even when its side effects include porn and beer. However, for a sufferer, I imagine having someone to relate to would be helpful beyond measure.

Evans talks about fatherhood, both from his relationship with his father and with his son, almost as much as he talks about the dreaded ‘D’ word. This is where he is at his best.

Exactly one page removed from a grotesquely hilarious description of the physical birth of his second child, Evans writes about the overwhelming joy of seeing his son talking to his baby daughter for the first time that, I freely admit as a man, caused me to wipe a tear from my eye.

This book should find its way into the hands of anyone who is suffering from male depression or knows someone who is. Apart from that, it is a riotous romp through the struggles of parenthood and the traps littering the ground before anyone moving through life in the modern world, authored by one of Fresno State’s very own.

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