It's about Time
Has The Secret backlash I blogged about the other day begun?
If the recent Time magazine write-up by Jeffrey Ressner is any indication, it has, though as of now it's more of a gentle slap than a lash. Still, after Larry King's two-part infomercial on November 2 and November 16, and ABCNews.com's uncritical article later that month, Time's write-up is a good beginning.
Not surprisingly, the Secretrons are not pleased. Some are blaming the mainstream-media mentality for the negative coverage, apparently overlooking the fact that Larry King and ABCNews.com are also part of the mainstream media. Even so, they are already putting a positive spin on Time's coverage. After all, there's no such thing as bad publicity.
They may have a point at that. As even Time acknowledges, The Secret is a huge success, and its big mean marketing machine is in full force, poised to spew sequels and additional Secret products (or Secretions, as The Rev puts it) all over the world.
And even the decidedly non-Secretrons have their doubts about the significance of the Time article. Mystic Bourgeoisie's Chris Locke wrote to me (and gave me permission to quote him): "The Time slam isn't halfway hard enough. It will simply serve to promote the damn thing further. I can't help thinking of how the rest of the world sees America – we're trashing the Middle East, and meanwhile, a big chunk of the population is living in a fantasy world, dreaming about how to get more stuff. Pathetic."
By the way, Chris is the one who sent me the link to a recent interview with Rhonda Byrne, the creator of The Secret. The interviewer is Anna Darrah, Director of Acquisitions for Stephen Simon's Spiritual Cinema Circle, which is a movie-of-the-month club for the conspicuously enlightened crowd. To hear Rhonda gushing sweetly on the interview about "breathing air" and being enormously grateful to be alive, you'd never think she was the let-them-eat-cake ice queen whose comments ruined The Secret book for a few folks. (Don't overlook Steve Salerno's comments on the Amazon page.)
Anyway, here's the link to the Rhonda Byrne interview. But don't say I didn't warn you about the saccharine content. Imagine a New-Wage version of Molly Shannon and Ana Gasteyer on the old "Delicious Dish on NPR" skit on Saturday Night Live ("Good times....mmmm. Good times."). Well, turn it up a few notches, sweetness-and-light-wise, change the content from the mundane to the magical (no wooden bowls, funnels, or "Schweaty Balls" here, kiddos), and...hmm...that still doesn't adequately describe this exchange.
But I'll let you judge for yourself.
Prepare to hurl.
And after you've recovered, shoot off a thank you email to Time, for at least using the term "empowerment hustlers" when describing the stars of The Secret.