Bitch on the Blog

January 24, 2010

Sinking not drowning

Filed under: Despair,Fortune,Happiness,Philosophy — bitchontheblog @ 14:25
Tags: , , ,

Some of the consortium’s members occasionally mention the odd self-help book as if that’s where gospel lies.

Naturally I have nothing but disdain for them [self-help books that is]; long been another source of irritation to me. Don’t get me wrong: Despite my better judgement I too occasionally flick through the odd one expecting some sort of  map on the road of  life. Forget it.

Who are these self appointed peddlers of the obvious? They need as much ‘help’ as the rest of us. Possibly more.

The term itself is so ludicrous: SELF help. The only people helping themselves are the authors – to your money.

Mind you, one of the publishers has got it down to a ‘t’ with their series of  “The Idiot’s Guide to …” whatever currently plagues you. Charmingly, encouragingly, their covers tend to be bright yellow. Thus hope lies.

If and when the day comes  that your sofa needs re-upholstering may I recommend: 

                                                                   To help you break through to a whole new life:

                                                                      Buy ten door stopper sized self-help books

                                                                           Do your back in heaving them home

                                           Put them in a pile on the floor (the biggest at the bottom otherwise it won’t work)

                                                                                                Sit on them

                                                                                     Read Schopenhauer et al

                                               Now you have helped yourself and all the other people in your life




  1. I always had it in the back of my mind to read self-help books because I thought I needed a lot of help.

    I actually bought one, I’M OK—YOU’RE OK by Thomas A. Harris I never got around to reading it.

    I read a book from the library by a feminist who basically said, If you have a college degree & not a job, you are unhappy. I had the degree. I had four kids. If I’d had a job I’d REALLY have been unhappy.

    Comment by bikehikebabe — January 24, 2010 @ 16:44 | Reply

    • Bike Hike Babe, you are not only more than OK you are fine. Harris’ book, if I remember correctly, wasn’t too bad. Though I could have told him that I was ok WITHOUT his endorsement.

      And, BHB, therein lies the secret – as yet unnoticed even by the sharpest of pen wielding and whiskey swilling critics: What a “self-help” book does FIRST is to put you down; making you feel that you might not be quite up to scratch. Then you question how and why you have lived perfectly happily for ages with little ‘help’ of any kind; self doubt kicking in, you are then generously lent a ‘helping hand’ with lots of boxes to tick, lists to be made, diaries to be kept, chantings to annoy the neighbours, having to look in the mirror every five minutes telling yourself what a wonderful being you are. Send me the white van anytime and have me certified instead.

      As to so called feminists: Children and jobs don’t mix. Women who believe they can “have and do it all” are deluding themselves; usually at cost to their offspring. Why have children only to hand them over to someone who can never have their interests at heart as their own mother does? So what if we are not nuclear scientists or brain surgeons? At least we will have raised children with fond memories of their mother playing with them, reading them stories, taking them for walks, cooking proper food, building unsound sandcastles and, naturally, shouting at them occasionally.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 24, 2010 @ 18:11 | Reply

  2. After reading that book, & riding my 36 mile loop, on the way home I tiptoed in on my bicycle shoes with cleats, to get a job at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    What do you do, she asked?

    I bicycle, hike, back-pack, river-run, ice skate, ski.

    No– What can you do for the Lab?

    I majored in music. Does that help? (I didn’t get a job.)

    Comment by bikehikebabe — January 24, 2010 @ 17:17 | Reply

    • Bike Hike Babe, you not being employed despite your musical talents only shows lack of imagination on the company’s part: Their work force being serenaded by you might have improved production and output dramatically.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 24, 2010 @ 18:23 | Reply

  3. Tom’s mother was the only girl, with three brothers. Her mother said that if she had only enough money to educate one, it would be the girl.

    That’s because the woman educates the children. (She did a hum-dinger of a good job on Tom & his brother.)

    Comment by bikehikebabe — January 24, 2010 @ 18:34 | Reply

    • Bike Hike Babe, what a brilliant notion! My god, why has no one else ever thought and/or voiced it? Not even Germaine Greer. I shall let her know.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 24, 2010 @ 23:58 | Reply

  4. I assume you object to the sentiments expressed in Moving Forward too? 😉

    Comment by Cheerful Monk — January 24, 2010 @ 21:28 | Reply

    • Never make assumptions, my dear Cheerful Monk. It surely flies in the face of the teachings of NLP, does it not?

      I scratched my head – as one does – and left you a reply on your blog which, in terms of comment boxes, is a fat size rather than Vogue’s Tina Brown 6/8.

      One of my points about self help books which I appear not to have made clear is that they are the popularized, dumbed down to the populace, version of what philosophers have been saying for more than two thousand years. But then classical education is, largely, not on the curriculum any longer. And if that sounds elitist so be it.

      Secondly, and I can not emphasize this enough: You go into your local book shop and find yourself, by accident and in search of the toilets, amongst vast shelves stacked with ‘self-help’ books. What sort of bloody message does send to those who already doubt themselves? If I ever write a self-help book it’ll be very short and titled “Trust yourself and your instincts”. I think it quite awful how people’s insecurities are not only played on but awakened when there is no need.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 25, 2010 @ 00:28 | Reply

  5. ‘Moving Forward’ is Jean’s latest post (click above). Having done that, here’s this: Sometimes I think I don’t like a person until I see them face to face. Then I melt & feel entirely the opposite. You don’t have that opportunity on the Internet.

    Most any subject that you write about, I probably had a take on it, which I’d love to relate.

    Comment by bikehikebabe — January 24, 2010 @ 22:29 | Reply

    • Rest assured, Bike Hike Babe, if you saw me face to face you’d like me even better. I yet have to meet the person who doesn’t. Even those who don’t, do.

      Funny subject you brought up: Some of my most enduring friendships were fraught at the beginning (and that’s putting it mildly).


      Comment by bitchontheblog — January 25, 2010 @ 00:38 | Reply

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