Can’t We All Just Get Along with Tommy Chong?

Tommy Chong signs his new book, The I Chong: Meditations from the Joint tonight at Vroman’s in Pasadena. The Times had Jonathan Shapiro, lawyer turned TV writer review it. An impassioned defender took took issue and wrote this letter:

COME on, guys, since when does mean-spirited nastiness need to be part of a book review? Jonathan Shapiro goes beyond the call of an unbiased reviewer in his review of Tommy Chong’s new memoir of his prison time as a result of selling a bong [“Chong in the Joint, Out of Joint,” Aug. 12].
(snip obligatory political rant)
The fact that he didn’t like Chong’s prose style is fair game, but his repeated references to Chong being a dazed and confused druggie burnout are outside of his purview as a critic. His final line, “Cheech was the talented one,” is just more unnecessary character assassination.
Beverly Hills

FBLA would love to think that letter-writer Jeff Stein is the director of The Kids Are Alright. But the Jeff Stein of Elxir would be cool, too.

Letters to the editor are all too easy to pick apart, so we’ll just content ourselves to point out that mean-spirited nastiness is a time-honored part of any review, and that Chong has been trading on his dazed and confused druggie burnout persona since 1972.

Shapiro, on the other hand, is a humorless prig as a reviwer. FBLA thinks he never enjoyed Cheech or Chong back in the day, no matter what he says.

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