January 1, 2011

I'm sorry Ricky Martin...

I've always liked Ricky Martin; he makes really fun pop music, he's sexy, and he seems like a genuinely nice guy. And sure we all assumed he was gay gay gay. So I was excited when Martin came out of the closet last year. Not shocked, excited. He was the biggest male star to come out, maybe ever, and how cool he didn't wait until he was a senior citizen to do so.

Now Mr. Livin la Vida Loca has come out with his autobiography, Me, and I really wanted to love it. Sorry Ricky, the book didn't shine for me.

The early part of the book, about Martin's years in Menudo, are vague and fleeting. The years of his young adulthood, his wild single days, are skimmed over. He doesn't want to dish or reveal secrets, and that makes it seem superficial and almost glib compared to other biographies. Me acknowledges affairs with men and women, both meaningful and not, and then skirts right past them. It makes for clunky reading when he says that he is gay, and that he was in love with a woman, and does not go any deeper.

Ricky Martin is a spiritual person, and this book tells of his journey along that path. We can relate to the tales of self reflection and the general "there's got to be more to life than this" moments. But it's hard to relate to the personal anguish or midlife crisis of a guy who is wallowing on his private island in the Caribbean.

And that midlife crisis is all he wants to talk about. Martin looks back at his past experiences through his new spiritual perspective, writing of how views them now as opposed to what he felt at the time. He constantly writes my destiny or it was time or it was meant to be. Okay, but what happened? How did you feel? How did you react? He relies on this sort of generic "aligning of the cosmos" rhetoric way too much and in the end I feel very little of his own personality came through.

Martin pretty much breezes over major points in his life I'm sure his fans would like to know more about. The song writing process could have been really interesting to read about. Or some fun anecdotes from his time with Menudo. A closer look at his relationship with his family, perhaps? I'm not necessarily asking for juicy sex life gossip, well ok I am asking for some of that, but nothing here is especially revelatory or fascinating. I did appreciate and admire his thoughts on fatherhood, philanthropy, child trafficking, and all the hard work he puts into his foundations around the world, and that shone through just fine. Ricky Martin the guy is impressive. Ricky Martin the book not so much.

Me is Ricky Martin's story, and he can tell it any way he wants to. It just doesn't seem like he wants to. For an autobiography, it struck me as awfully guarded, which defeats the purpose of writing one in the first place. Me is recommended for only the most die hard fans.


sophie...^5 said...

Thanks for the heads up(!)no pun intended...Ricky still shines for me in 1999 captivating everyone at the AMA's...aaah!

Princess Pamela said...

Great write up Brahm (you should do this for a living - you have a way with books and words. Oh wait...)

I love autobiographies, but it sounds like this one is worth passing on until it's in the Library.

Mad Mind said...

I love the critique. It is hard to relate to someone with enough money to not worry about the every day crap. That person does not have to deal with the same things that those of us who live in the real world every day have to.

I'm glad you found my blog and I'm very glad I found yours. I look forward to more.

Kevin said...

Ricky has been a spiritual person for awhile. I am looking forward to reading about his journey through this life and the experiences which got him to his current destination. After the extremely private life he has lived for most of his life, this first glimpse into his personal life may be the start to learning more about him.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not necessarily asking for juicy sex life gossip, well ok I am asking for some of that..."

I would love to read about that too :)

But I don't agree with you, ME is fantastic book and I'm reading it for the second time.

Brahm (alfred lives here) said...

@ Sophie, @ Mad Mind --- thanks for commenting, and yes I think there are better reads out there.

@ Pamela --- yep, as you know first hand I love books. and writing. and shooting off my opinions every chance I get!

@ Kevin --- the book is waiting for you inthe basement!

@ Anonymous --- I am glad you enjoyed it, and got more out of it than I did.

Lauren said...

I guess that's why he's a singer... I had an aunt who was OBSESSED with Ricky Martin way back when. Naturally I had too much fun telling her that he died in a tragic plane crash. It was pretty funny watching her run for a radio. I'm a bad person.

onemixedbag.com said...

Well its saves me a trip to the bookstore. I always thought Ricky was sexy as heck. No surprise he came out as gay.
I must admit I'm a voyeur, so I wold want more gossip and dirt.

Jabacue said...

There is no way that Ricky Martin would divulge any 'dirty' secrets regarding other people or himself considering the 'path' he is following at this point in his life. It would have been very surprising if he had 'trashed' anybody in his book.......it is just not him to do so.......as I think you said Brahm.
Happy New Year to you and yours!

vickilikesfrogs said...

You know what autobiography I always have and always will love? Mommy Dearest. Swear to God. I know that has nothing whatsoever to do with your post or Ricky Martin, but my New Year's resolution is to write the first thing that comes to my mind in comment sections and not censor myself!!!

Well, I guess Mommy Dearest was actually a BI-ography, not an AUTO-biography, since she was writing about someone else and not herself, but what the hell ever.

hoodyhoo said...

Ricky Martin is not as big a woo-hoo-look-who's-gay star as dear sweet George Michael! Or maybe I'm just O-L-D... And why is it that they ALL get all spiritual when the money starts to run out? (MC Hammer, Kirk Cameron...)

Fickle Cattle said...

That's pretty disappointing. He looks hot on the cover though.


Annah said...

Love Ricky. Really really do. But this book was just a ruse to make MOOLAH! And he came out of the closet right before the book came out ont he bookstands.

Boooooo. Publicity at its best.

Elly Lou said...

Oh boo. I was really hoping little Kiki would knock it out of the park.

Jane said...

Fantastic book,

going to read it again soon :)

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