Not surprisingly, legions of parents, educators and lawmakers failed to see the humor in the ninth-grade dropout's ferocious lyrics, which are routinely sanitized for play on MTV and radio stations. (Among the album's offerings: "Pants or dress—hate fags? The answer's yes," and "Quit crying bitch, why do you always make me shout at you?") The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation decried "the most blatantly offensive, homophobic lyrics [we've] seen in many years." Lynne Cheney, the former head of the National Endowment for the Humanities, testified before Congress in September that Eminem "promotes violence of the most degrading kind against women." Detractors also point to Eminem's recent highly publicized brushes with the law. Facing felony weapons and assault charges for a pair of June confrontations near his suburban Detroit home, the man who calls his background "the epitome of white trash" is also fighting two defamation suits (totaling $11 million) filed by his mother, Debbie Mathers, 45, for portraying her as a drug-addled, negligent parent. (Eminem says he has never met his father.) The singer is also in the midst of an acrimonious divorce from his wife, Kim, 25, mother of his daughter Hailie Jade, 5 (on whom, by many accounts, he dotes). All will likely become grist for the next opus. "Whether during good times, bad times, or even the worst of times," says Eminem in his just published book, Angry Blonde, "I've used the pen to express myself. At times (especially within the last year) it's gotten me into a lot of trouble."