The Cloying Fog

By -

I'm a realist. I try to see things as they are. Given the nature of the world we live in – – or at least the United States – – this puts my disposition at odds with a meaningful portion of the population. I'm not so much a permabear as a permarealist, but the effect is often the same.

Decades ago, when I worked at Apple, they would spend all kinds of money on "inspirational" speakers and expensive "corporate bonding" outings. As Apple fellow Alan Kay once remarked back then, "What Apple needs is fewer off-sites and more insights." How right he was.

Last night, I finished Bright-Sided, whose subtitle pretty much tells you what the book is about:


 I thought the book was terrific. I enjoyed it, and I strongly recommend it.

Given the doe-eyed, botox-based, smiley-faced culture that some Americans strive to create, this book was truly refreshing. Our nation has produced a hoard of both religious and secular charlatans whose mission is to separate you from your money, but whose ostensible purpose is to teach you The Secret, create "abudance" in your life, and giving you the power to "manifest" anyone and anything you desire. It's a giant, steaming pile of crap.

As the line from Hannah and Her Sisters goes: "If Jesus came back and saw what they were doing in His name, He'd never stop throwing up." Amen to that.

I've seen this Osteen character's books now and then, with his curly-haired mullet and pearly-white teeth, but I never wanted to pick one up. Having read Bright-Sided, which mentions Osteen's Lakewood Church prominently, I was curious, so I went to their web site. This, seriously, was the first thing I saw:



Well! No wonder it's such a popular place.

Seriously. Buy the book. Embrace reality for what it is. Make the occasionally bits of happiness that truly do appear in life genuine, deep, and memorable. Mindless positive thinking is an empty lie.