My Guest Post for The Confusing Middle

I was honored when Aaron over at The Confusing Middle asked me to write a guest post for him while he’s on vacay. Here it is! (Censored, because apparently “fuck” isn’t everyone’s favorite word).

Hey, kids… I’m out of town this week. Finally taking that vacation I’ve been thinking about for eight years. Anyway, while I’m gone some friends have agreed to write some guest posts for my blog. Today’s post comes from Alex. I asked her the question, what is one experience that has shaped the person you […]

via Sticking to Your Convictions — The Confusing Middle

As Featured on News Cult: 8 Books You Should Read

I’m no scholar, but I’m basically a scholar, so I think it’s my place to tell you what books to read. Also just to read, period. Get the fuck off your phones and your iPads and pick up an actual book. Really, your obsessive dependence on technology bores me.

Here are the books you need to read in your lifetime if you want to consider your existence not a complete waste.

1. The Bible

Starting out strong. It’s important to read about how to sell your daughter into slavery and stuff.

2. Lord of the Flies

Especially important to read this as a child–so much to be learned from the part when all the kids gang up on the boy they call “Piggy” and steal his glasses before pushing him off a cliff. Also The Hunger Games ripped this the fuck off–this is the OG; the real deal.

3. He’s Just Not That Into You

Because he isn’t. Lean In to that, ladies.

4. Through my Eyes, Tim Tebow’s Memoir

If only it were a postmortem biography… You get to learn all about how his mom was so God-fearing that she gave birth to TT despite the fact that the pregnancy endangered her life, because she’d rather die than have an abortion, obviously, and look how it turned out–she practically birthed an angel–God must have rewarded her piety by bestowing upon her child great football-related talents along with a marvelous level of ignorance and general douchebagery. If you’re lucky like me, your grandma will be obsessed with him and she’ll get you a copy for Christmas and then you’ll have to put it on your shelf so she won’t be offended, and you’ll feel a little guilty because when she starts to get dementia, you’ll silently be thankful that you can take the book off the shelf and she won’t care because she won’t remember she got it for you.

5. Elixir by Hilary Duff

I think we can all agree we should be reading any book by Lizzie McGuire.

6. The Catcher in the Rye

But seriously though. And fuck your freshman English teacher–he’ll say that Holden Caulfield is crazy, and he’ll be wrong. NOPE, he’s the crazy one, and so are all your stupid classmates who agree with him, good-for-nothing vapid lemming motherfuckers.

7. Etiquette by Emily Post

I mean…

•”If you would be thought a person of refinement, don’t nudge or pat or finger people. Don’t hold hands or walk arm-about-waist in public. Never put your hand on a man, except in dancing and in taking his arm if he is usher at a wedding or your partner for dinner or supper. Don’t allow anyone to paw you.”

•”It is not considered a triumph to have many love affairs, but rather an evidence of stupidity and bad taste.” [Translated into modern language: “Don’t be a ho.”]

•”Every one supposes that lovers kiss each other, but people of good taste wince at being forced to play audience at love scenes which should be private. Furthermore, such cuddling gives little evidence of the deeper caring—no matter how ardent the demonstration may be.” [She makes some great points..]

8. It Hurts When I Poop!

Can we talk about how it looks like the giraffe/dinosaur is fucking him? And the boat and duck are watching, giddy with pleasure? I mean if this isn’t kiddie porn, then I’m not sure what is. I’d like to have a discussion with Howard J. Bennett to ask him just what exactly he was thinking. So, in sum, this is a great read for book clubs–it stimulates discussion.

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/?p=73364

As Featured on News Cult: Self-Help Books: Let’s Discuss

But like we can all agree lol though right

We are in need of help; that’s been established. But the question is, what kind of help? Therapy? Alcohol? (Always) A Dr. Phil intervention? Or can we help someone help ourselves by way of self-help books? Honestly I’ve never felt like there’s been a discussion here–I’ve always LOL’d at self-help books and then moved on to my next self-destructive and/or self-loathing task. But I feel like several people I respect have used them in a non-ironic way and take them seriously, so maybe I need to take a step back and reevaluate. Oh god… they’re already getting to me.

But I mean seriously, aren’t self-help books a little cult-y? Like I feel like Tom Cruise walks around with a library bag full of them on the shoulder of his 2nd assistant, 24/7. And in between jumping on couches and denying his sexuality, he just has his 3rd assistant read them out loud to him. And he’s probably written them all, too; or had his 4th assistant ghost write them all. That’s the other thing–they seem self-indulgent to me. Who thinks they’re qualified enough to write a self-help book? Clearly, a narcissist. Who isn’t capable of maintaining a real profession in psychology or a related field. Self-help authors are like motivational speakers: they’re diet therapy. They’re the University of Phoenixes, the Kirkland Signatures, the You’d Think It’s Butter!’s.

But maybe I’m being too harsh. Maybe self-help books really can be valuable and serve a purpose. I feel like the more desperate you are, the greater lengths you’ll go to. So if your life is falling apart, hell, you’ll try anything. Even if that means buying a book entitled Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson, M.D. (Aggressive move with the question mark-colon, Dr. Johnson–I daresay I commend you). And I guess I shouldn’t be judgy–like, whatever works for you. Why should I knock self-help books just because I think they’re cheesy, opportunistic, and absurd, if they improve people’s lives who don’t know any better?

But also, what if they’re not really helping people who think they’re being helped by them. Like what if they’re just training a bunch of sociopaths? Because let’s be real, people who are overly “spiritual” are just fucking weird and nobody wants to get stuck sitting next to them on the plane because then they’ll ask you if they can read you one of their tantric poem trilogies and you’ll be like “ok” because you won’t want to be rude but when it’s all over you’ll end up feeling like you’ve just had sex with Sting.

All I’m saying is that maybe people shouldn’t be in control of their own help. Maybe psychologists, and social workers, and drugs mental institutions exist for a reason. I mean when I hit rock bottom, I just eat a bunch of nachos and cry on my bathroom floor, so I don’t really get the need for self-help books. Besides the fact that they create jobs. Maybe that’s the whole point. Maybe they’re a government scheme, like prisons, to employ a bunch of hacks. In which case, we better watch out or the Mexicans are going to take over and start writing ALL the self-help books. Or, sorry–all the libros de autoayudas(?).

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/?p=69611

As Featured on News Cult: Alternative Titles for Self-Help Books

I think we can all agree that self-help books are the greatest joke that’s ever been told. So I decided to write a list of alternative titles for them. (I would buy all of these, if I do say so myself.)

IMG_4886

*Please note the ratio of drink/torso–this is what we should all be aspiring to.

1. DON’T BOTHER.

2. THE GUY YOU HOOKED UP WITH ON SATURDAY ISN’T TEXTING YOU BACK BECAUSE HE DIED; AND OTHER LIES TO TELL YOURSELF

3. YOU CAN’T, EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU CAN

4. HUGS: THE THINGS THAT DEFINITELY DON’T MEASURE UP TO DRUGS

5. GOALS ARE FOR NOT BEING REACHED

6. IF YOU’RE READING THIS BOOK, IT’S ALREADY TOO LATE

7. A PARENTING GUIDE: DON’T WORRY, BY PROCREATING, YOU’RE ONLY CONTRIBUTING TO THE DESTRUCTION OF THE PLANET AND DOOMING YOUR DESCENDANTS TO THE EVENTUAL END OF THE WORLD

8. ACCEPT AND CULTIVATE YOUR LACK OF POWER

9. STOP BLOWING SMOKE (UNLESS IT’S FROM WEED)

10. HOW TO REPAIR YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE VOICES IN YOUR HEAD

11. 7 STEPS TO REALIZING YOUR DREAMS ARE UNACHIEVABLE

12. DON’T FIGHT YOUR DEMONS: MAKE LOVE TO THEM

13. RECIPES FOR SUCCESS: 50 KLONOPIN-BASED COCKTAILS TO MAKE EVERY HOUR HAPPY HOUR

14. YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY: PEOPLE DO HATE YOU MORE THAN YOU HATE YOURSELF

15. BE PERSISTENT: WHEN SOMEONE TELLS YOU NO, THEY REALLY MEAN YES (ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ASK THEM IF THEY WANT TO DATE YOU)

16. 10 STEPS TO PLANNING YOUR OWN FUNERAL

17. WITHOUT LOSERS, THERE WOULDN’T BE WINNERS: KNOW YOUR PLACE

18. HOW TO SEE AN ADDICTION INTERVENTION COMING AND INTERVENE IN IT

19. COMING TO TERMS WITH THE FACT THAT YOU CAN NEVER GET MAD AT A BLACK PERSON. EVER. (UNLESS YOU ARE ONE)

20. A POST-REHAB GUIDE TO RECLAIMING YOUR ALCOHOLISM

21. SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF: IT WILL PROBABLY KILL YOU

22. CHANGE YOUR LIFE IN NO AMOUNT OF DAYS (IN OTHER WORDS, NO AMOUNT OF DAYS IS ENOUGH FOR YOU TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE)

23. HOW TO COPE WITH YOUR CHILD’S ADHD BY USING HIS/HER ADDERALL

24. AWAKENING YOUR LIFE’S LACK OF PURPOSE

25. YOUR MARRIAGE: THERE’S A 50/50 CHANCE IT WILL END IN DIVORCE (BUT PROBABLY MORE LIKE 80/20 IF WE’RE BEING HONEST WITH OURSELVES)

26. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP? YOU MOST LIKELY WON’T BE THAT THING, IF YOU EVEN LIVE LONG ENOUGH TO GROW UP

27. HOW TO DECODE COMPLIMENTS, A.K.A. CRITICISMS IN DISGUISE

28. WHOEVER SAID DRINKING WON’T SOLVE YOUR PROBLEMS HAS NEVER HAD JELL-O SHOTS FOR BREAKFAST

29. EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR FUTILE, INCONSEQUENTIAL EXISTENCE

30. YOU ARE NOT A PARANOID SCHIZOPHRENIC; THEY JUST WANT YOU TO BELIEVE YOU ARE…

31. THERE’S PROBABLY SOMETHING SERIOUSLY WRONG WITH YOU; THIS BOOK WON’T HELP

Photo is of a greeting card by Random Thoughts, a division of Mina Lee Studio

Featured on News Cult: http://newscult.com/alternative-titles-self-help-books-life-never-serious/