So, I am a big fan of Andrew WK, but I didn’t realise how much I love him until today.
I am on the mailing list for Cargo Records. Today they sent me an email and in it was this news item:
Skyscraper Music Maker joins Cargo!
Skyscraper Music Maker is a label set up by ANDREW W.K. Most people know Andrew as the man behind party anthems such as “Party Hard”, “Long Live the Party”, “Party til you Puke” and so on, what you may not know is that since then he’s played with everyone from the Boredoms to Baby Dee to Current 93, and using his feel-good abilities, Andrew expanded his work to include self-help T.V. shows on MTV and VH1, motivational speeches at Yale, New York University, The Cooper Union School, and Carnegie Mellon, and a monthly advice column in Japan. While he continued to record and release his own music, he also began producing musical recordings for other artists, including the Grammy Award nominated album for reggae music legend, Lee “Scratch” Perry. For the first release on his own label Andrew W.K. has teamed up with DJ B-Roc to collaborate on a special mixtape of original songs from a diverse group of artists, (as well as brand new material from Andrew W.K.) all looking to embrace new sonic landscapes while adhering to the format laid out by traditional hip-hop mixtapes. This release is limited version is limited 500 copies worldwide, and we’re giving you lot a chance to guarantee yourselves getting one before its gone forever. More news TBA.
Did you see that? If not, let me repeat it:
Andrew expanded his work to include self-help T.V. shows on MTV and VH1, motivational speeches at Yale, New York University, The Cooper Union School, and Carnegie Mellon, and a monthly advice column in Japan.
I WILL NOT REST UNTIL I SEEK OUT EVERY BIT OF ADVICE HE HAS EVER GIVEN AND TESTED IT (Party til you Puke is without a doubt some serious advice from the grand man of rock himself…) I
A year of self-help...
You ever wonder who reads self-help books?
Throughout 2009 I will be reading, following, reviewing, and blogging anything to do with self-help books.
"I've learned in life that if you chase something for long enough, pretty soon it will start chasing you." (Tommy Lee - The Dirt - Page 44)
So, I am a big fan of Andrew WK, but I didn’t realise how much I love him until today.
Someone just sent me a link to this. This is a helpful website link full of stuff without you having to read all of I’m OK—You’re OK by Tom Harris. (4 stars on Amazon). Oh what the hell…I’m just gonna cut and paste it here: Overview: According to Harris, all people begin by feeling they are Not OK, just because, as children, they are overwhelmed by superbig, superpowerful adults. The four patterns of adult response to life are: 1. I’m Not OK—You Are OK. By the end of the second year of life, most people have adopted this one. 2. I’m Not OK—You Are Not OK. This is less common, and often lies behind the problems of autistic children. 3. I’m OK—You Are Not OK. Also a less common response than the first, it is often adopted by battered children. 4. I’m OK—You’re OK. This is the only response that demands a conscious decision to change. Therapy tries to bring into harmony a person’s Parent, Child, and Adult, with emphasis on the “I’m OK—You’re OK” response. Help-Yourself Advice: 1. Use restraint when Parent and Child signals threaten to overwhelm your Adult. To keep from externalizing feelings, say, for example, “That is my Not OK Child.” Count to 10. 2. According to Harris, the Adult should, when presented by the Parent with data, ask such questions as: Is it true? Does it apply? Is it appropriate? Where did I get that idea? What is the evidence? 3. When you don’t know how to respond to others, stroke them (either physically or symbolically) and address yourself to the Child (usually lovable) rather than the Parent (usually fear-instilling). 4. Work out your own system of values, using your Adult to examine the rules laid down by your Parent. 5. State a contract: I’m OK—You’re OK. 6. You can choose to be OK and think that others are OK, too. 7. When in an impasse over what to do, ask: “What is the loving thing to do?” 8. When dealing with children, talk to their Adult as much as possible. Start from where they are. 9. When dealing with adolescents, emphasize the idea that “it is you we care about.” Make definite written contracts with them, Adult to Adult, which include dos and don’ts as well as consequences. 10. Follow the Adult’s view of the worth of persons: “I am a person. You are a person… . If I devalue you, I devalue myself. This is the rationale of the position I’m OK—You’re OK… . The requirement of this position is that we are responsible to and for one another, and this responsibility is the ultimate claim imposed on all men alike… .”
For my birthday I got a book called How to be an explorer of the World. It is a guide to paying more attention to the stuff happening around you.
The instructions to use this book are as follows:
1. Read in any order. Use fieldwork section in the back of the book to record and document findings.
2. All exercises are open to interpretation.
3. Feel free to add, alter, or ignore.
4. There are NO rules, mearly suggestions.
5. Treat EVERYTHING as an expeiment.
6. Start with whatever makes you feel a twinge of excitement.
The book contains a huge number of suggestions on how to collect and document the world around you. Some are so simple, like Exploration 37 - Time Observation which suggests you come up with several ways of documenting the passage of time, based on where you are sitting.
For me, right now, in bed, I have a clock on my laptop, and I have about 20 minutes of as episode of True Blood to watch, and it is dark outside, but I bet it will get light in about 7 hours, and it will get quiet and then noisy again as people in the neighbourhood go to bed and wake up, and my nail polish will dry and my bladder will get full. Um, It is nice to take the time out to do this and think about what is happening around. This is a nice book. I like it.
I finished reading Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert last night, and though it isn’t a self-help book, it does kinda end with some advice: To better judge whether something in the future will make you happy (and how much) find someone who has experianced it and ask them. Don’t rely on your own judgement because your predictions will most likely be wrong. The question now is - does it matter? In the end, if our expectations were correct all the time and we stopped having suprises would our life be any better? I quite like suprises - though suprise butt sex memes are best left in photoblogs. (Also, apparently, according to the logic in the book - though I hate the idea of suprise cancer - I probably will be OK with it (dying, sure, but emotionally OK) and it won’t make me as unhappy as I think).
I went to see the move version of He’s Just Not That Into You, and it is everything you would expect of a self-help book actualised.
On the whole, I enjoyed the movie but I am fully aware that I shouldn’t have. A lot of women in the audience laughed out loud in kind of guilty agreement at most of a quips about ‘how men are’ and ‘how women are’. *Sigh*
The thing is that it isn’t gender that makes us stupid and mean. It is just what we are like - essentially, humans are wrong about everything because we are idiots who don’t know how to be happy, and this makes us fairly unlovable until we are actually in love with someone and then we feel a bit better about things which makes us not nearly so miserable.
Actually, all this is a lie - I am not going to come up with anything profound based on a film based on a self-help book which is based on a TV show. There is just no possible way. Not even with my many talents.
I have been reading and enjoy Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert all week and while drunk I tired to repeat some of the excellent learning to my long suffering boyfriend. This was an epic fail punctuated by falling over in the street while saying the paraplegics are happier than we think. The delivery was shameful, but the message was correct.
This isn’t a self-help book. It is a book that kinda just points out our flaws. It cites loads of research where volunteers are torment and tested in order to show that the things we think are bad aren’t as bad as we think, and the things we think will make us happy generally don’t. It is all part of the wonderful human mind that has evolved in such a way that we misjudge eveything in order to decieve ourselves into hoping. Basically, Gilbert says that we can’t tell what we will feel like in the future, because we base our expectations on what the past and the present, but we don’t remember these things or experiance these things in a consistant way - we overwrite our memories as we gain new experiances.
The author has a bit of a great backstory. This is from wikipedia:
At the age of 19, Gilbert was a high school dropout, father, and working at night to be a science fiction writer. In an attempt to improve his writing skills, he travelled to the local community college to enroll in a writing class. After the long ride to the college, he was told that the writing class was full, so he decided to enroll in the only open course: Psychology.
Anyway, I like this book. I recommend you read it. You’ll probably like it too. It won’t make you happy, but it will make you feel clever.
Cory Doctorow on BoingBoing.net has posted an entry about The Cult of Done Manifesto: Cult of Done Manifesto: a name for my disease Posted by Cory Doctorow, March 3, 2009 11:44 AM Bre Pettis and Kio Stark’s “Cult of Done” manifesto is basically how I live my life — fail fast and often, get stuff done, get more stuff done, fail some more, learn, blow something up, fail, learn, do more stuff, do more stuff, do more stuff. Seriously: reading these 13 bullet points are like discovering the name for my disease. Or my religion. 1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion. 2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done. 3. There is no editing stage. 4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it. 5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it. 6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done. 7. Once you’re done you can throw it away. 8. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done. 9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right. 10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes. 11. Destruction is a variant of done. 12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done. 13. Done is the engine of more. The Cult of Done Manifesto
This weekend I have done very little. I went to the garden centre and forgot to get the tree stump rotting stuff that I went for, then I came home and decided to not vaccume but decided to eat lunch instead. Also, I watched a million episodes of Buffy.
However, based on my current reading I should have done a lot. I am reading a book called Getting Things Done: How to Achieve Stress-free Productivity by David Allen.
Now, David Allen is the inventor of a time management method and had written three book. THREE! The reason why this is in big letters is that he is 63 years old. If he is so good at getting things done he should have written so many more books than that.
However, it is a kinda handy book with some good techniques - like basically they are project management tools for everyday.
For example, it suggests you either: “do it, delegate it, defer it or dump it” when emptying your intray. Good advice for sure. I am unsure what other options there are, but I guess the book is working if you do this consciously rather than naturally.
I started reading a new book today. One that I got for my birthday. One that I am liking very much so far. It is called Stumbling on Happiness and it is by a lad called Daniel Gilbert. I suppose I should admit that this isn’t a self-help book. When reading it, it has a humour that is kind of charming but it will not bring you to any understanding of how to be happier – all it does is point out why you are not. It all has something to do with delayed gratification and how you do things now because you imagine they will make you happier in the future but when you get there you are dissatisfied. The author tells stories like you buy a muffin now because you know you will be happier after you eat the muffin – the act of buying it is an investment in the future. It all makes sense to me. But still – there is no solution to why, having eaten the muffin, you may feel no happier than before, and infact may feel worse. Anyway, I like the book. The Amazon reviews are good (though someone said it was like ‘Like a Eunuchs Guide to a Brothel’ and someone else said ‘It made me unhappy’ mostly they are very good) and it is rated 4 stars. And what is most important - I like it. you may have noticed that I have so far FAILED to finish reading any self-help books. I start strong and with good intention but really, they are kinda dull right? This one could be the first one I actually complete.
I became a project manager a few weeks ago. Now I need some books on things like negotiation skills and goal setting and being the boss in business. In fact - I need a book called Being The Boss In Business. It could have a picture of Bruce Sprinsteen and Judith Light on the cover fighting it out. I’d read that for sure. I went on a negotiation skills training couse last year and it wasn’t that great. I suppose the key thing with these sorts of courses is that you use all the techniques right away and all the time before you forget them. For me the course is just a memory |I have whenever I hold a deck of cards (one of the exercised was about changing the level of confidence you outwardly project in order to negotiate in different situations - sometimes it pays to have a lower lever of confidence to get your way. Anyway, project management. I am scared I am underqualified and that someone it going to catch me out, but so far so good. Today I spent £90k. Yah for me!