The Secret of Self-Help

Don’t ask me why he bothered to read to the end of a longish review of The Secret, but courtesy of the Philosophe, I share with you one of the most brilliant reviews of not only this book, but the entire pathetic industry of “life-changing”, “groundbreaking”,  “New Age”, “self-help”:

[Plot summary: reader X lives a bad life and ends up in jail. On day one he is purchased by mean-ass prisoner Y who tells him to prepare for unauthorised sodomy and other prison delights. Cellmate Y gives him a copy of The Secret, which is frankly too difficult for him to understand. Yet…]

‘The next day in the exercise yard I carried “The Secret” with me and when Marcus [X] approached me I opened the book and stabbed him in the neck. The next eight weeks in solitary confinement provided ample time to practice positive visualization and the 16 hours per day of absolute darkness actually made visualization about the only thing that I actually could do. I’m not sure that everybody’s life will be changed in such a dramatic way by this book but I’m very thankful to have found it and will continue to recommend it heartily.’ (from Amazon)

This is almost as good as the story of how Rachael Ray saved a woman’s life because a suspected intruder never materialised while she was brandishing one of Rachael Ray’s knives.

Brilliant not only in its utter stupidity, but the complete absence of self-irony.

Speaking of which, I hear Immanuel Kant’s ghost rustling in the tree-tops. Sapere audere, he whispers. Dare to know, you imbeciles, that you have brains (of your own)!

Postscript: The philosophe has just brought it to my attention that he tricked me. The post was a spoof. But as he said, I cannot rewrite history (yes that’s right, WordPress), and neither do I want to. I remain convinced there are enough fools in the world to justify the spoof as potentially true. (Just an hour ago I enountered yet another of them on the road, driving a big old Chevy truck – in Cape Town – with two bumper stickers. The one said “I love country music”, which I thought was kind of apt. The other was an advertisement for Herbalife. If a cowboy hat could exhibit EDD, er, Erectile Dysfunction Disorder, it would surely be from taking Herbalife).

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