8 "Self-Help" Books That Will Do Nothing of the Sort
We're always looking to improve our lives, particularly if it doesn't require all sorts of, you know, effort.
Luckily there are a whole bunch of books that promise they can turn our whole operation around, for the 15 bucks or so it takes to buy a copy. We're not sure which one of those actually has all the answers, but we're pretty sure which ones don't:
Shut Up, Stop Whining, and Get a Life: A Kick-Butt Approach to a Better Life
Larry seems to have studied psychology, as well as fashion, under The Shield's Vic Mackey. Every problem can be solved by sunglasses, a sneer and being manly.
It's probably awesome for beating confessions out of suspects, but not so helpful for working through a life crisis. If installing a killer 'tude were as easy as the book's suggestion of "Fuck this, I'm going to Burger King," then we would all have real jobs instead of writing on the internet.
We have a feeling this guy comes from the Republican school of thought, where all these lazy minorities and hippies just need to pull themselves up from their bootstraps, stop whining and get a life! Man, how easy was that!If You Take Their Advice ...
Some kid's whining because he has leukemia? Fuck you Billy, get a job!
Wife complaining of her boss groping her ass at work? Stop dressing like such a whore, Alice!
Cops upset about you shooting up a class of 5th graders? Eat lead, coppers ... I do things my own way, thanks to the "direct, caustic, and sometimes controversial" advice given in Shut Up, Stop Whining, and Get a Life!
The Lightworker's Way: Awakening Your Spiritual Power to Know and Heal
At the extreme opposite end of the spectrum from Shut Up, Stop Whining ... we get The Lightworker's Way, by the obviously fake-named Doreen Virtue.
So how do you become a "lightworker?" The website says:
"This is a chosen title, and is bestowed to all those requesting to carry it. It reflects a willingness to consciously carry light to planet Earth and this attitude is the only prerequisite. As you know we are reluctant to use titles of any kind. We find humor in the fact that humans place so much importance in titles. We see that oftentimes humans accept messages of questionable integrity because of an elaborate title attached to it."
"Humans?" We have serious doubts about getting behind anybody who refers to their own species in the 3rd person.
These are people who believe that "we are spirits playing a game in a human body and as such we have difficulty re-membering who we are and why we are here." Wait a second! These are hippies!If You Take Their Advice ...
If you decide that life is in fact just an elaborate game, you'd probably forget the self-help books altogether and spend more time on "re-membering" how to score with hippie chicks who smell like Nag Champa.
You will also transcend the earthly fettered boundaries of style and good taste, finding your inner spiritual guru, who makes websites that look like this:
And furthermore, you will learn to overcome and transcend every strangulation of your personal chakra; such as suffering, pain, employment and responsibility.
How to Manage Your Dick: Redirect Sexual Energy and Discover Your More Spiritually Enlightened, Evolved Self
There is something to be said about a title that just comes right out and punches you in the genitals. Any man that could see this book on the shelf and not pick it up, is not a man. But there's a tease here, in that DICK is apparently some kind of weird-ass acronym meaning Destructive Impulses with Cyber Kinetics. So now we're getting into shit that makes it sound like we're talking about Robocop's dick.
The key phrases in this book, according to Amazon, are Dick Management, Dick Manager, Dimensionally Interactive Cyber-Kinetics, Mother Nature, Lao Tzu, New Age, Butt Naked, Dalai Lama, Howard Bloom, Sigmund Freud, United States, Way of Heaven, Zero Point Energy, All Rights Reserved, Dragon Lines, Energy Permission, Law of Entropy, Manage Your, The New Yorker Collection.
Yeah, that combination of terms piled together makes for a veritable smorgasbord of mental illness, all on public display. We're not sure we want this guy telling us about the Laws of Entropy and Thermodynamics, much less our dick.If You Take Their Advice ...
This. This will happen to you. Meet the author:
LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT YOUR DICK.
Chicken Soup for the Cat & Dog Lover's Soul: Celebrating Pets as Family with Stories About Cats, Dogs and Other Critters
The tagline reads "Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul spoke directly to the hearts of all readers whose lives have ever been changed by the love of a pet." That's a nice thought, but that's a cat on the cover. The only reason your cat doesn't kill you in your sleep is because then there'd be nobody to feed it. But it wants to.
Your animals don't give a damn about your self-esteem, and since these books are supposed to written in that vein, at this point it's just cat-lady fanservice. Maybe that's what this book is, a guide to living the unhinged Cat Lady lifestyle. The only 'emotional healing' it might bring you is the comfort of knowing that there are in fact other people who place high value on animals that in fact probably care nothing about you, and they actually scored a book deal.If You Take Their Advice ...
You will truly transform yourself, Scientology-style, from a rational human being who has a job and wears actual clothing, to a shell of a person, looking for their next antihistamine fix. So maybe the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" aspect of it makes sense, in that chicken soup is just hot, salty water with basically no nutritional value.
Coping With Premature Ejaculation: How to Overcome PE, Please Your Partner & Have Great Sex
The first sentence of this book asks us "What is premature ejaculation?" Well fuck, you tell us. We didn't mail order this book with discrete packaging only to get dicked around.
The authors (yes, there are two of them--we are left to wonder how they compared notes for this project) have been described as the "leading experts in premature ejaculation." Not quite the headline we would shoot for on the old resume, and if you were going to be an expert on something, would you really want it to be this?If You Take Their Advice ...
One of the sections discusses the need for Ejaculatory Regulation, which couldn't sound any more like a state department if it tried. What does an Ejaculatory Regulation Violation look like? Who issues the citations? Does the fine force you to use the 'squeeze the head' method? The book does at least debunk that idea, apparently.
Besides, everyone knows the secret to ending premature ejaculation is to just tell the woman that it's her fault! This solves your ejaculation problem by enabling you to avoid actual ejaculation-criticizing women in the first place.
How to Good-bye Depression: If You Constrict Anus 100 Times Everday. Malarkey? or Effective Way?
We will provide you with the first few sentences from the books own introduction: "I think constricting anus 100 times and denting navel 100 times in succession everyday is effective to good-bye depression and take back youth. You can do so at a boring meeting or in a subway."
We guess we know now what the author was doing during the entire writing process of this book. Just when middle-aged white women had begun to monopolize the 'Jesus Christ, what are they fucking talking about' market, along comes Hiroyuki Nishigaki to set our anuses straight. He implores us; "Besides shooting out a big blank from your buttock, you can feel as if your root chakra leaked sweet hot mucus."
Rand, Kant and Kierkegaard couldn't figure it out even after a lifetime of research, but with one fell clenching swoop, the answers to our life problems have now not been answered on a whole new level. Never before has an attempt to help raised so many unique questions. How does one, as the book suggests, " ... Shoot out his immaterial fiber or third attention to an object, concentrate on it and attain happy lucky feeling through the success of concentration?"
Half of the book consists of the author's Usenet postings, and people's subsequent reactions and confusion. So in a roundabout way it becomes a book about why no one uses Usenet any longer.If You Take Their Advice ...
We're not doctors, but we're thinking that after so many clenches, it will become impossible to unclench, and your cup will runneth over. With shit.
Christian Domestic Discipline 101
If you're not exactly sure when beating the shit out of your wife/girlfriend became such a big deal, thankfully, Christian Domestic Discipline is here to justify bitch-slapping your wayward lady once again.
If you find yourself lost in the wild world of wife whacking, there is, fortunately, a great introduction from the book here. It explains that Christian Domestic Discipline "explores using discipline spanking in a loving, consenting, heterosexual relationship, to help the woman overcome negative behaviors that harm herself, her relationship or others. It is about creating loving limits to her behavior and firm consequences".
Note that homosexuals are excluded from this kind of holy union where you get to beat the spiritual piss out of your spouse.
Regardless of what kind of negative behavior makes these women deserve such a smack down (Voting? Getting a career? Not being pregnant?) at least it's pointed out that this is loving wife spanking. Is it possible to be more turned on by all of this? We don't think so, but ask again and we'll have you over our knee, woman. Lovingly of course.
If You Take Their Advice ...
You just might learn some god damn manners, woman. Shh baby, put the phone down, stop crying. You know we love you. Shhh.
Put simply, if the ideas espoused in The Secret were remotely helpful or useful, we could have simply willed a way to begin describing the horrors contained within.
As it stands, all that we managed to will ourselves into was an aneurysm, trying to determine just how something this vapid and useless has ever managed to grab the attention of the likes of Oprah, and the New Thought movement. On second thought ... question asked, question answered.
To put it simply, The Secret encourages you to view the universe as a sort of "catalog that we can flip through and shop." You may recall the universe as this magnificent thing which doesn't like having it's catalog fucking flipped through.
The man-boobs of fate.
We hate to be the one to break it to overweight housewives everywhere, but they can get their George Foreman Grills and invisible-dog leashes from Amazon just like the rest of us. These people also insist that they have seen kidneys replaced and cancers dissolved. Yeah, so have we! It's called modern goddamn medicine.
You can join the ranks of disillusioned losers worldwide, who honestly believe that anything you could possibly want is simply a positive thought away. You can cast away the traditional methods of getting what you want such as intelligence, effort, breasts and coming from a rich family.
Of course the people pushing this claim to be masters, which means they can will the universe to get whatever they want, and we're presuming they want us to buy and read their book. So ... you can prove that the book is worthless by just not buying it.
That's that, then.
If you liked that, you'll probably enjoy our look at 5 Books That Can Actually Make You Dumber. Then, head over to the blog and find out how the Nintendo DS has found yet another creative way to make you look like a douchebag.