My superpower is indifference. Indifference is the soporific that lets my inner beast nap in peace. Without it I would have long since turned into a murdering psychopath, but I remain calm, rational, nearly ethereal, as I proudly ignore the unhinged idiocy of my fellow human beings. I prize my detachment, my don’t-give-a-shit-ness, my lordly disdain, and I work hard to maintain it. Today I’m sharing one of my, how to resist pummeling the morons around you, secrets. Here it is: don’t read rubbish.
Now, don’t fire up your book Barbie; that’s not what I’m suggesting. I’m asking you to upgrade your standards and scoot past toxic aisles in your favorite book store. Ignorable books are legion and they’re relatively easy to identify. The following rules have served me well.
- Do not read biographies of living people. There are few, if any, definitive biographies of the living for the simple reason that they’re almost impossible to write without triggering crippling law suits. Historical figures, and their entire sycophantic bottom-feeding cohort, must be long dead before anything approaching perspective is possible. So put down that Prince of Wales or, don’t make me puke, Ted Turner, biography. They’re trash, worse than pornography, at least porn facilitates release.
- Do not read autobiographies. Autobiographical fiction, and it always is, is akin to masturbating in public. Only one person is going to enjoy it. Everything I said about biographies goes double for autobiographies. We know you’re misleading, omitting, embellishing, polishing, fabricating, composting and just plain lying. If you’re one of the rare true worthies, say a Fields Medalist, a hard science Nobel winner, a Caesar, or a Mark Twain then go ahead and indulge yourself. Your scribbling’s will show future generations that bullshit is the only human universal.
- Do not read hyphenated anything. Only mediocre twaddle preens as black-history, feminist-politics, gay-literature, Indian-mathematics, lesbian-drama or aboriginal-stories; the good stuff is known as history, politics, literature, mathematics, drama and stories.
- Skip anything with “New Age” in its title, preamble, introduction, appendices or footnotes. Virtually everything written about new age beliefs, medicine, philosophy and so on is complete and utter garbage. This dreck is for feeble, magical-thinking, childish minds. I genuinely pity the purveyors and swallowers of new-age bilge; they’re sad silly people: come the zombie apocalypse the Deepak Copra’s of the world are starters.
- Eschew political diatribes written solely to exploit current events. The political diatribe, or insta-history, like autobiographical fiction, may let readers in the future relive our self-deceptions, but we don’t live in the future. Most of these books emit a foul, cash in on my 15 minutes of fame, stench. I weep for the trees that died to print this crap.
- Ignore books that rehash thoroughly debunked cover-ups and conspiracies. 9/11 was not an inside job, there are no miracle cancer cures, Bigfoot does not exist, the pyramids were not built by aliens, dowsing is crap, Oswald shot Kennedy, and the world did not end on December 21, 2012. Being a hard-ass skeptic clears entire drivel laden bookshelves.
- Do not read diet books. You are not going to learn anything you don’t already know. We know why we’re fat. We eat too much and move to little. It’s really that simple. Get off you’re stupid obese ass and stop wasting your money on diet books.
- Do not read computer books with high screen-shot densities. As a programmer I am constantly pawing through computer books and it pains me to report that vast swathes of this technical genre are awful. Stop printing one damn screen shot after another. It’s not helping.
- Ignore how to get rich books. Get rich whores are worse than insta-history whores and often far more damaging to the pocketbooks of gullible readers.
- Give any book sharing Steve Job’s secrets a wide berth. The necrophages writing this tripe are stunted little animals. Let’s feed on the dead, rich, white guy. Maybe if we eat his soul we’ll get rich too.
See that wasn’t so bad. With these ten rules you, shrink big-box bookstores to manageable dimensions, speed up online searching, and cut your exposure to rage fomenting mental pollution. I must warn you that there are exceptions my rules and it delights me when I find them. If you can point to books that break my rules please drop a note. I enjoy being wrong; it’s an opportunity to learn something and it’s a rare experience.