An April Fools Day repast
It’s April Fools Day, which is the international holiday here at Whirled Musings. To us (and by "us" I mean myself and all of the Descended Masters and random instigators who are spurring me on – and y’all know who you are), April Fools Day represents the very best of what Western pop culture is all about. You could also say that it represents my own wishful thinking. See, I keep hoping that some of the stuff that emerges from the ethers and drifts into my email box is a hoax. But no, it is all real, or at least as real as things can get in this New-Wage, scientystical cosmos.
The bright side is that all of this foolishness gives me something to blog about. Accordingly, here are a few more servings of Whirled food for the soul.
Teach your children well
"This is sort of ... scary," wrote my friend Tony when he sent me this link to a thread on Marcy From Maui’s Powerful Intentions discussion board. The thread was started by a man named Darren, an alarmingly perky and idealistic SNAG (Sensitive New Age Guy),* whose Powerful Intentions as stated on his page bring to mind those Coked-up young people standing on a hill holding hands and singing about teaching the world to sing. This Darren dude is his own one-man Up With People production.
The question he posed was, "How Are You Teaching Your Kids ‘The Law of Attraction’?" The first responder, a woman named Dawn, wrote, "I gave my children (10, 8, & 4) a VERY basic overview of LOA, I'm not sure how much connected though. My 10 year old is now reminding her siblings when they are being negative...hey it's a start. I so wish there was a "Secret" for kids...something on their level that they can grasp. There also needs to be one for teens, I remember how good I felt after we had a ‘motivational media’ assembly in high school."
Apart from the fact that I don’t even want to KNOW what a "motivational media" assembly is (and my fear for the safety of Dawn's 10-year-old once the younger siblings get fed up with all of that LOA sanctimony), I have one thought in response to Dawn’s comment: Isn’t The Secret for children a redundancy? And don’t kids already know how to use LOA? For example, it’s a kiddish sort of thing to shut one's eyes, cover one’s ears, and make real loud noises to tune out something unpleasant – and isn’t that what the very epitome of "refusing to give energy to the things you don't want in your life"? And isn't it really quite childlike to have larger-than-life dreams, and to focus obsessively on those big dreams even if, or especially if, they involve the magical, the physically impossible, or the highly improbable?
In a subsequent post Darren wrote, "I play a game with my nieces and nephews. We get some magazines and catalogs and we create Vision Boards. They love it. It's fun and interactive." I can't help wondering what these kids' parents think about Uncle Darren and his Vision Boards.
Nevertheless a couple of people agreed with perky Darren that there should be a Secret DVD specifically for kids, and one asked about the possibility of showing the existing DVD to kids in elementary schools. A guy named Seamus responded, "I think the DVD isn't quite right for youngsters. One woman brought her son (9-ish, I guess) to see it at our center and he was really upset that his mother had ‘caused her own cancer.’" 'Nuff said.
Anyway, if you want a glimpse of a gaggle of idealists trying to pass the LOA mindset on to the next generation, here it is. If you really think about it, this is not just "sort of scary"…it’s very scary.
I have a chocolate headache!
After you’ve binged on Chicken Soup – and have then had a good purge – you will no doubt be ready for dessert. You’ll be glad to know that the New-Wagers and self-helpers are serving up plenty of chocolate, which is not only one of the basic food groups but is also one of the hottest commodities in the metaphorical-comfort-food segment of the New-Wage industry. A few months ago I discovered an interesting book called The Cosmic Chocolate Orgasm: Birthing The Mystic Lover In You. It seemed to have everything that today’s conspicuously enlightened narcissist could want: sex, chocolate, and mysticism. Of course it really wasn’t about chocolate or about cosmic orgasms; the authors were just trying to cram as many mystical metaphors into one title as they could. Nevertheless chocolate is a really big thing, judging from, for example, Kate Allenbaugh’s Chocolate For A Woman’s Soul series. Kate has now expanded the franchise beyond women and now helpfully offers chocolate for teenage souls and others. Frankly, I’d rather have chocolate for my body.
And recently Chris Locke of Mystic Bourgeoisie fame turned his attention to yet more yummy chocolate delights whipped up by New-Wage publicist Arielle Ford, whose clients include Deepak Chopra, Louise Hay, and Marianne Williamson. Arielle is now serving Hot Chocolate For The Mystical Soul and Hot Chocolate For The Mystical Lover, which you can read all about on Chris' blog. But publicity is still Arielle's main game. As Chris wrote:
So if you ever wondered how these hosers keep making money hand over fist, Arielle is apparently a big part of the answer. Unfortunately, Amazon has only two used copies of the book she’s flogging in that video – Everything You Should Know about Book Publishing, Publicity, Promotion and Building a Platform: A Step-by-Step Guide for Authors and Writers – and they're both going for $487. Why not buy one and stash it away to show your grandkids how intellectually bankrupt America was at the dawn of the 21st century? Except that, the way things are going, in 20 years Arielle is likely to look like f…..g Shakespeare.
And then, of course, once you’ve gorged on all of that hollow chocolate, there is Warmed-Over Tripe For The Soul.
Speaking of Deepak – and I have, at length (or at least I've written about him) – I have some links to a couple of video clips that might interest you. The first is one that a commenter, Kevin, recently sent. It’s a "tiny url" to a clip of Chopra denouncing The Secret on Bill Maher’s Real Time show (HBO) on March 9, 2007. The clip is in six parts; Kevin says he believes Chopra is in Parts 4 and 5. I’ll verify that as soon as I get time to look at the whole thing, but I wanted to put it up now so you could enjoy it. Here's the link.
More recently, Deepak faced off with the very funny Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central. While the prospect of Chopra exfoliating might not provide the most appealing visual, I do have to hand it to Chopra: he's a good straight man. Here’s the link to Part 1 of his meaningful dialog with Colbert. You should be able to get to Part 2 from Part 1, but just in case you can’t, here is that link.
This explains a lot
And finally, if you can stand another video clip, here’s one that goes a long way towards clearing up some profound mysteries. You may have already seen this one, since it's been around the Net and has been viewed on YouTube over 2.6 million times as of this writing. It just may shed some light on the question of why The Secret and other self-help/New-Wage trends have been embraced so passionately in the US. It also goes a long way towards explaining the last two presidential elections. It would seem that the American ship of state is, after all, a ship of fools.**
And that’s why this holiday means so much to me.
* Christine Lavin’s lyrics to Sensitive New Age Guy are a little eighties, but the point still shines through.
** Though I’m still holding out hope that this video is a hoax, or that at least some of these people are really just playing dumb, as some of them seem to be doing in Jay Leno's Jaywalking segments. But I fear not.