Wrestling the Culture Wars

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Nuff Said is the second book by Tyrus (George Murdoch), professional wrestling champion, actor, and witty regular on Gutfeld!, TV’s top-rated late night show. While his first book, 2022’s Just Tyrus: A Memoir, recounts his life story, this latest offers the 50-year-old biracial performer’s takes on many political controversies, cultural phenomena, and personal struggles.

The narrative is well organized, with a chapter on each topic. The dominant theme of libertarian conservative tough love is set with the book’s first words: “I dedicate this book to pain, loss, and failure, the three greatest teachers in life. You can’t win without them.” The author holds that many of our problems are rooted in a victim mindset that refuses to recognize life is inherently difficult. This victim identity feeds self-pity and laziness, and “When you play the victim, you no longer have to accept responsibility.”

Tyrus’s ideal America recalls the Founding Fathers. He wants a nation of strong, self-made individuals living independently of government. He calls America’s ultimate self-made man, Frederick Douglass, “my hero” and, like the great escaped slave and abolitionist leader, Tyrus wants a playing field providing opportunity where success is earned from personal merit through excellent performance.

Tyrus’s own story fulfills the American dream by showing how a victim of severe, long-term physical and emotional abuse from a low-income broken home can work hard and become super successful. Nuff Said is most intense when recounting personal experience of beatings and terror as a youth.

Like his “hero,” the great escaped slave and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass, Tyrus wants a playing field providing opportunity where success is earned from personal merit through excellent performance.


Though Tyrus writes movingly of his mother trying to protect him, he also had to endure her regularly reminding him, “If only I got an abortion. What would my life be like, what choices could I make?”

Refusing to descend to self-pity, Tyrus reveals how rough experiences taught him invaluable lessons of survival, adaptability, ambition, determination, and self-discipline. The macho performer shares episodes of facing bullies, being brutalized by a policeman for no reason, and helping a girlfriend through an abortion. Recounting these ordeals, he is remarkably magnanimous, displaying a keen understanding of how everyone is a complex package operating under duress. To maintain one’s dignity amid such struggles, learn from them, and not let bitterness poison you is mighty admirable.

His relief has been entertaining, whether as a class clown, actor, wrestler, or TV personality:

Being on stage has become an escape for me. Any hassles in life that I may be having at the time completely disappear when I take that stage. Nobody can get me after.

It’s the ultimate safety zone. . . . For me, the Art of performing is the drug itself. It’s what gets me high. It’s what gives me purpose. In a way, it’s what defines me.

The veteran wrestler is especially perceptive on the cultural context of professional wrestling, which he stoutly defends, holding that “the performers in the ring are not just athletes, they’re actors, stunt performers, and storytellers.” He further contends that “pro wrestling isn’t just about the showmanship. It’s also a reflection of our society and our culture. Pro wrestling has always been a mirror that reflects the values, fears, and aspirations of the audience.” Tyrus sees this type of “spectacle” as a healthy “form of catharsis” and a “sense of community.”

The macho performer shares episodes of facing bullies, being brutalized by a policeman for no reason, and helping a girlfriend through an abortion.


Not surprisingly, Tyrus stands tall for traditional manhood, believing far too many American men have surrendered their responsibilities to wokeism. He argues that “the beginning of participation awards in many ways represents the end of pure competition and success. . . . paving the road toward weakness and victimhood.” Similarly, “Biological male athletes invading women’s sports to compete with the obvious knowledge that they have a better chance of being successful is the most misogynistic, ‘toxic masculinity’ thing a man could do. Period.”

His critiques of welfare, slave reparations, and other forms of “equity” recall arguments made by black economists Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams. Echoing the latter’s criticism of “poverty pimps,” Tyrus argues that

the welfare state is another big hustle whereby people who need help are used as pawns by those in charge. The welfare system isn’t designed to help them succeed, it is designed to make them become reliant on the government.

Tyrus excoriates all free money “because when you take handouts, you become dependent on whoever gave you that handout. Reparations would be just more welfare,” and “free money … corrupts people and makes them lazy and unmotivated.” Ironically, any folks accepting such effort-free handouts “are basically enslaving themselves to the people giving them the money. Earning it is always better.”

A common theme of the book is Tyrus’s lament that “we let feelings instead of facts dictate the conversation.” For example, instead of lovingly encouraging obese loved ones to lose weight to avoid “an early grave,” too many people “make excuses for being overweight” or even applaud being fat. But Tyrus argues that, “By far, the worst addiction in this country is to sugar.” As he sees it, there is a “food addiction” that “shares many similarities with drug and alcohol addiction in terms of brain reward pathways and behavioral patterns” such as “cravings, loss of control, and compulsive consumption despite negative consequences.” Yet:

How many times do we hear, “It’s not going to hurt you, it’s just one slice of cake”? Imagine a guy in rehab for crack. If someone said to him, “Take one hit, man. It’s just one hit. It’s not going to kill you. Loosen up.” What would we say?

As a libertarian, Tyrus advocates free speech for all and delights in lampooning woke censors, such as appeared when the “University of Southern California School of Social Work was removing the term ‘field’ from its curriculum because it may have racist connotations related to slavery.” He asks, “Will the word ‘cotton’ soon be deemed too racist?”

Though strongly opinionated, Tyrus repeatedly seeks tolerance, compromise, and respect for all, pleading that we see the humanity in everyone, to increase understanding. He is also refreshingly humble and grateful, repeatedly acknowledging his own foibles, thanking the reader for reading his work, and urging that we “always strive to listen to each other, respect each other, and maybe even learn a thing or two from each other.”

Throughout, the author has a conversational style that bluntly states his views. While this makes for easy and usually enjoyable reading, it also leads to many of the book’s weaknesses. Perhaps I am biased, being 62 years old and reared in a strict Christian home, but Nuff Said has far too much profanity. Rather than reinforcing the author’s points, it gratuitously detracts from them. If it provided laughs as George Carlin or Richard Pryor did, OK, but it does not.

Folks accepting such effort-free handouts “are basically enslaving themselves to the people giving them the money. Earning it is always better.”


Another serious flaw is that, despite most of the book being well written, there remain way too many grammatical errors, incomplete sentences, misspellings, and blatant typographical mistakes. It is embarrassing that Tyrus — whose on-air grammar and diction are great — did not have a better editor to prevent so many gaffes from marring such an engaging book. But the author is entirely at fault for the many clichés and bland platitudes, such as when he advocates ending the Democrat-Republican duopoly but is devoid of alternatives.

Though his skillful and sometimes humorous use of logic, facts, and analogies is usually convincing, occasionally his case is weak, as when he pushes not just term limits for elected politicians but even age limits “based on objective criteria, such as cognitive abilities, physical health, and mental agility.” This ignores the objective fact that, while 81-year-old President Biden has trouble speaking consecutive coherent sentences, 81-year-old Sir Paul McCartney still performs three-hour-plus concerts.

Likewise, Tyrus comes across as breathtakingly innocent if he really believes that “behind the scenes at Fox News, we’re more than just colleagues – we’re a family.” If so, how come Fox fired — without warning — its top-rated “family” member, Tucker Carlson, whom, despite Tyrus’ praise for many other Fox colleagues, he somehow forgets to mention? Tyrus undercuts his own TV family narrative when he later admits, “There’s no tenure in any of this. You’re only as good as your last show.” So what kind of “family” is that?

But despite its disappointments, Nuff Said is enjoyable and persuasive. Tyrus is skilled at pronouncing basic truths that most people are too scared to publicly affirm.

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