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Bright Sided

October 21, 2009

bright sidedI am currently reading Barbara Ehrenreich’s Bright-Sided and it is well worth reading, not as witty as Bait & Switch, but Ehrenreich is spot on with her analysis of the dangers of the positive thinking tyranny.  Amongst many pleasures in this book is the analysis of  The SCAM Secret, which is particularly pleasant.

I hope this book catches on and The SUMO guy is driven out-of-town being battered particularly harshly by hard-back copies of Bright Sided.    I find his crap some of the worst in the business (especially the sexist packs he promotes to schools).  He also has plenty of vile videos on YouTube, but be warned – you will want to hunt him down and punch him in the head.

Ehrenreich dedicates the book:  To complainers everywhere:  Turn up the volume! 

Loving the comments!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. October 21, 2009 22:51

    Babs is ace! And rather fittingly- self improvement capitalist Guru kills followers with sweat lodge

    • October 21, 2009 23:03

      Blimey – he managed to kill three of his $9k guests. Shame Paul McGee wasn’t there.

  2. polly permalink
    October 22, 2009 20:53

    The irony did strike me. 9 grand to be boiled to death. Not funny, but some people do definitely have more money than sense.

    • October 23, 2009 20:13

      Amazing that people would rather boil to death than use their own mind. They can’t even preserve their own life but prefer to defer thinking to somebody else. Says a lot really.

  3. polly permalink
    October 22, 2009 20:56

    Yeah what is with that SUMO thing? I’ve seen it on people’s desks at work. Should I be afraid? Or even more contemptuous of my work colleagues than I already am?

    It does seem to be stating the bleeding obvious a la ‘who moved my cheese’.

    • October 23, 2009 20:15

      SUMO is so horrid. I first came across it when talking about how women and girls are raped in Congo as a direct consequence of gold & mineral mining. I found it incredibly offensive to be told to SUMO. To me, it shows a massive amount of stupidity and ignorance.

  4. polly permalink
    October 22, 2009 20:57

    Oh and another question. Is Paul related to Debbie?

    • October 23, 2009 20:16

      I really can’t answer that one 🙂

      • March 12, 2010 16:45

        Alas Debbie and I are not related! Anyway I’ve obviously said or done something to upset you. That was never my intention and I’m sorry that the work with young people and with adults has caused you such offence. Also I’d never tell people to SUMO when they’ve suffered some of the horrors that you’ve described. That’s part of the reason my organisation does free work in Africa. If you’ve not read the book then you might not be aware of my principle ‘Hippo Time is Ok and why we need to grieve. On a separate point I do fully agree with you that Barbara’s book is brilliant – I really enjoyed it and have been recommending it to others.

        All the best

        Paul McGee…but no relation to Debbie

  5. polly permalink
    October 24, 2009 03:57

    SUMO is so horrid. I first came across it when talking about how women and girls are raped in Congo as a direct consequence of gold & mineral mining. I found it incredibly offensive to be told to SUMO.

    Me too since I thought it was just a crappy management speak load of nonsense.

  6. J Dunbar permalink
    March 13, 2010 10:45

    I find the comments about Paul McGee (above) incredibly offensive – I think you needs to get your facts right before you start spreading rumours about people. You clearly do not understand the concept of SUMO at all!

  7. Megs permalink
    March 13, 2010 10:51

    Oh just Shut Up and Move On people! Honestly!

  8. March 14, 2010 04:08

    Paul McGee
    Thank you for your comment. Frankly I am surprised you are recommending Bright-Sided as Ehrenreich completely junks work such as yours. Perhaps you think your work is different to other ‘self-help’ work and if you do then I would be interested in knowing your rationale as I see nothing different to all the other rubbish available in a multi-million pound industry that leaches off people’s suffering.

    I can see how S.U.M.O. might be seductive to some – for example your video on ‘The Whinger’ shows how we should ignore somebody who is unhappy and complains. Ehrenreich says ‘ To complainers everywhere: Turn up the volume!’ and you say ignore.

    You also use cod science to try to prove that ‘whingers’ are closed-minded people and also describe yourself and your wife as only noticing the things that matter to you personally. Personally I find that people who only notice things that personally affect them are selfish. As for reticular activating system (RAS), which you distort utterly, you state that ‘whingers’ have a RAS ‘which is constantly tuned into the negative’. This isn’t how RAS works at all. In fact there are some conditions in which disruption of RAS are considered to be a factor and funnily enough ‘whinger’ isn’t on the list which includes schizophrenia,
    post-traumatic stress disorder, parkinson’s disease, REM behavior disorder, depression, autism, alzheimer’s disease and attention deficit disorder. Characterising people with these conditions as ‘whingers’ is very unpleasant.

    As for your schools materials – I have only seen the eight pages on your website and sexism is a fair charge. You use examples for role play which are all male. You use examples of ‘famous characters’ for children to research and here we find the only female mentioned in the eight pages – Florence Nightingale – who is in a group of 4 characters that also include Martin Luther King, John Lennon and David Beckham. I would be very interested to know why you found a 19th century nurse appropriate to be the sole female representative? Of course you do have a slogan on there ‘Ditch Doris Day’. How catchy. I take it you are aware that Day didn’t write Que Sera Sera, and that it is sung at football matches? You seem to be taking a rather negative view of the song. If you remember that the opposite of positive is realist and you might understand the song a little better.

    You use the story of Joseph and his Multicoloured Coat and cite it as an example of a Judeo-Christian tradition. I find it strange that you do not mention that the story of Joseph also appears in the Qu’ran. Why is this?

    Obviously the whole pack might be different and I would more than happily read it if it were available to me, but I find the sample (which should show the strengths of the pack) to be hetronormative, sexist, and religiously biased. And with no evidence to the contrary can only assume it is written for only able-bodied children.

    Please expand on the free work you do in Africa. I notice you sponsor part of a website of an organisation that supports a hospital (JCRC) for those with HIV/AIDS in Uganda. Do you have a view on the proposed law to kill homosexuals in Uganda? Just how does S.U.M.O. help a South African child who was born of corrective rape and is living in a shanty town being brought up by her grandmother because her mother dies of AIDS contracted from the rape which couldn’t be treated because she couldn’t afford ARV’s? I’d really like to know how this child can ‘succeed through change’ when she lives in poverty.

  9. March 14, 2010 05:15

    I have now enlarged the ‘Ditch Doris Day’ image on your schools pack and can see it is an image of a man kicking a woman so hard she is in the air. Very nice image to take into schools – violence against women.

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