Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dale Carnegie and me

I've always kind of ignored Dale Carnegie. I never really wanted to win friends, or, you know, influence people, so I kind of figured I didn't need him. Then I stumbled across a book at a relative's house called "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living" and the title amused me so I picked it up -- I admit it -- ironically. Me, the big city big shot, flipping through ole Dale Carnegie's moth-riddled homilies and laughing at chapter titles like, "When life gives you lemons, make a lemonade"! Oh, those old-timey 1940s people, they were soooo funneeee! And then, as poetic justice would have it, I got my comeuppance. I couldn't stop reading the goddamn thing. I even took it on the subway. People saw me reading it. Yeah, they saw it. They saw the title and everything. And I didn't care!

See, the thing is, Dale Carnegie is completely and utterly badass! They ought to call this book, "Shut the fuck up and stop whining, you pussy!" It would sell a lot more copies. Seriously. There are case studies where people are like, "When I was stranded on a raft in the South Pacific for 22 days, I realized something..." and "On the beaches of Normandy I finally managed to cure my insomnia" or "After an operation that restored my sight, I wept when I saw the tiny rainbows in a soap bubble as I was doing the dishes, and I never complained about boredom again." These are just paraphrases of course. The real quotes are much more devastating and awesome (lots of wars and excellent Great Depression stuff). You see, essentially, the book tells you to stop worrying because, probably, you have nothing to worry about. I mean, if you're an American (or North American, or Westerner in general) and you're not impoverished (like, food stamps and foreclosures poor, not I-can't-afford-a-daily-latte poor) and have all your limbs and your sight, and you don't have cancer, then you have absolutely nothing in the world to complain about. It's all trivia. And de minimis non curat lex, dude. The law does not concern itself with trifles.

What, you may be asking yourself, oh gentle reader, is the point of this post? Generally the Spinster does not dispense advice. (Though now that I am venturing into this territory, if only for one single outing, I'm glad it could be of the decidedly old-fashioned and non namby-pamby variety.) I guess I just wanted to do something nice for once. This book, despite some of it's more bizarre advice (e.g. you don't need sleep; you must believe in god or you're screwed, etc.) is kind of amazing. So if you've gotten to the point where you're tired of the sound of your own voice complaining about shit, go get a copy of this book. It's verrry soothing.

Oh, and for all the writers out there -- everything in HTSWASL goes double for you.

All right, that's enough of my soft side. Let us never speak of this again.

1 comment:

RW Bennett said...

Okay Spinster,

Maybe you should retitle it, "Shut the fuck up and stop whining, you pussy!" and upload it on Kindle. You'll make a fortune! Fun post, BTW.