Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Whither Wink Wednesdays (or, Wink Wednesdays withered)?

Conversations with Peter Wink, Part 2 1/2

So far, the reviews have been mixed regarding my little experiment in examining issues about the self-help industry from "the other side," via conversations with industry insider
Peter Wink. Formerly Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale's VP of Sales and Marketing, Peter is now working for another one of my fave snargets, Kevin Trudeau. My main intentions in presenting this series about my conversations with Peter have been to broaden the conversation and to stir the pot a bit. Peter has said his intention is to help my readers see aspects of the industry they may not have considered. As far as I'm concerned, if that ultimately results in more readers (and, in the best-case scenario, more donations to this Whirled), it's icing on the cake.

Judging from what has happened so far, we were off to a rollicking good start with a flood of comments to
Part 1, and then it slowed to a trickle in Part 2. But that’s much like life itself. The final chapter has yet to be written.

From my perspective, I'm just getting started on the series, and the real point of the conversations – the larger issues regarding the self-help industry and its place in our culture – are to come in Part 3 (and a possible Part 4), though we've gotten a bit of a head start in some of the discussions following the existing posts. But I confess, Dear Ones, that over the past week and a half or so I've been so busy again with work and family stuff that I haven't devoted as much attention as I'd wanted to getting Part 3 completed to my satisfaction. I'm hoping to get it up next Wednesday.

So I hope that those of you who haven't left in boredom or disappointment will stick around; I predict it will get more interesting around here again. To paraphrase some New-Wage gurus: What if it does?

Meanwhile, I think that the conversations that have sprung up around the posts I've published so far are worthy of an interim post.

To begin with, let's take a look at that Part 2 letdown. I believe several factors are at work in the relatively lackluster response to Part 2, apart from all the usual things that dictate the rise and fall of conversations on blogs (including, perhaps, the "lame-sequel" syndrome). I have no doubt that because of the way I wrote the first post, some people were expecting some real dirt – or perhaps some genuine insights – in Part 2, and were a little disappointed. I take responsibility for this. Some might say that the expectations of the readers (particularly the dirt-seekers) were to blame as much as anything else, but, as is the case with self-help industry leaders and their clients, it is the marketers who reinforce – and in some cases create – those expectations. In this case, I was the marketer. So...mea culpa, y'all.

Quite without intending it – and a blog, particularly a rather freewheeling one like Whirled Musings, is nothing if not an experiment in unintended consequences – I may have been doing one of the very things I've found so annoying when New-Wage marketers do it. I may have made a huge deal of the sizzle, and then followed it up with a flavorless and ultimately disappointing steak. Several people have told me privately that Part 2 just kind of seemed to fall flat. Some said it read like a fluff piece to promote Peter, and some even speculated that I am indeed being “played,” per my semi-facetious narrative of my reservations that I shared in my first post. More than one person thought I am being too deferential and complicit in the rosy picture they think that Peter is trying to paint. And, just to keep the intrigue going, there was even some speculation that I was somehow setting Peter up, in keeping with the (again, semi-facetious) notation on my Twitter page: "I won't be mean to you, but sometimes I play with my food before I eat it."

I'm sorry to disappoint, but there's no set-up intended.

While some readers acknowledged that I balanced the relatively rosy picture somewhat by referencing my past writings and explaining my temporary suspension of snark, they said that in their eyes there still seemed to be something missing. "We're used to snark and hard-hitting criticism," wrote one of my pals, "and this didn't fit into the expected genre in the expected way."

Another told me, "The one thing people have come to expect from you is that you hold the New-Wage gurus' feet to the fire – generally in a humorous or cute way. You're not the no-holds-barred muckraker or the trivial gossip-monger; you're the happy medium between the two. But in this post, it reads like you just rolled over and played nice. It kinda looks like ya sold out, CC."

Well, yes, but the purpose of these particular posts was, after all, to present "the other side." But even that mission has received mixed reviews thus far. Several people have shared their opinion that Peter has not exactly presented a credible case for that "other side," due in part to the way he reacted to criticism and challenges in some of the discussions. A few also thought that some of Peter's remarks didn't sound believable. Some thought he sounded pat or dismissive when supposedly attempting to put issues in perspective. I have no doubt that some of the exchanges even reinforced the negative images some people have about self-help industry members. If I were a markedly different sort of blogger, I would simply dismiss these opinions as the flawed perspectives of people who are just out looking for the negative or searching for a reason to argue. There are plenty of bloggers who would do this – indeed, some have been favored snargets of mine – but count me out of the critic-dissing. Truth is, I think there's validity to all of the criticism, not only about the way I wrote the posts but also about Peter's remarks.

As for Peter, despite some of his responses on the discussions, he still claims to hold to the opinion that criticism is a good thing. And I have to agree.

In any event, I ask you to keep in mind that what I've presented so far is just the tip of the iceberg. (And for those who adore dirt, I would gladly have shared more, but I am simply not at liberty to do so. I hope you understand.)

I will say this, in hopes that you will pardon what might seem like a momentary digression: the public exchanges, particularly in response to Part 1, brought up many issues relevant not only to the self-help industry but also to blogging, criticism, and online discourse. At this writing, there are 90 comments in response to Part 1, and fully one-third of those are exchanges between an anonymous commenter who is relentless in her attacks on snarky or critical bloggers (especially yours truly), and the responses to her comments. She addressed very few of the points in my blog posts, but seemed more intent on continuing a longstanding campaign of ragging on me for "character assassination," gossip, name-calling, and the like. Although I continued to publish her remarks long past the point where most of my colleagues would have banned her (and a few have banned her from their blogs), I ultimately decided to put a moratorium on her comments because she just kept making the same points over and over and over. For those of you who got bored and disgusted by that bickerfest, please accept my apologies.

I confess that because of this one commenter, I seriously considered banning all Anon comments, but that is such a radical step that I have decided against it for the time being. After all, most of my Anon comments (well, except for the death threats and the ones calling me that crude term for female genitalia) are substantial and, in my opinion, do add to the conversation.

Interestingly (well, it's interesting to me, anyway), this Anonymous seems to have backed me into one of those “damned-if-I-do-and-damned-if-I-don’t” corners I wrote about in my first post. She even wrote in one of her comments that she thinks I’m just publishing the Wink posts to make myself look like a good person who is only trying to look at things from the other side. In her eyes, this doesn’t make up for all of the “character assassination” and low-life “gossip” I’ve committed over the years on Whirled Musings. I’ve learned to live with these accusations but can only answer them so many times before I start boring myself. And since I'm not easily bored, that's really an accomplishment. Though I hate to squelch open conversation, and though it seems inconsistent with my previous declarations that I welcome all participation on this forum, I’ve become quite proficient with that “Reject comment” button.

I do think it noteworthy that some people think I'm being too soft on these posts, while others, most notably my favorite Anonymouse, seem to think I'm harsh and unfair no matter what I write. Maybe in the end it all comes back to that line from the late Ricky Nelson's hit song, "Garden Party," "But it's all right now, I learned my lesson well./ You see, ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself."

Anyway, I will be back next week with more "Conversations With Peter Wink." Meanwhile, if you have any questions you'd like to ask Peter, send them to me either by private email (cosmic.connie@juno.com) or via the "Comments" on this blog. Let's keep the conversations going.

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104 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that anyone associating with Trudeau should be despised, not encouraged.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010 8:19:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Wink said...

Hi CC,

To your point...

I'm only here to give my thoughts and answer some questions.

Life is good and I'm thankful for every day above ground! :-)

I'm really enjoying the interaction with everyone. I've had some terrific emails and talks with your readers through my Facebook page. So...the reach is beyond what shows on the blog.

I've concluded that your readers are terrific and provide great feedback to me. In the end, we are all connected.

You rock CC!

Peter

Thursday, May 06, 2010 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

I've found the exchange interesting, as well. As it turns out, it is often the case that questions can be clearly answered by what is not said.

Thursday, May 06, 2010 11:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a dreadful, condescending, holier-than-thou individual RevRon's Rants....wow!

Thursday, May 06, 2010 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

Ain't it just the truth, Anon? Some mornings, I wonder how I even get out of bed and face the horror than is me. My sole salvation is that I've managed to fool Connie, all my friends, and the dogs & cats for so many years.

Blessings :-)

Thursday, May 06, 2010 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anon 5-05 (8:19 PM) said...

"I think that anyone associating with Trudeau should be despised, not encouraged."

Truth is, I don't despise anyone, not even True-dough, though KT is admittedly an easy snarget. As for Peter, he is not here to represent KT, and he made that clear from the outset.

Thursday, May 06, 2010 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Peter Wink wrote:

"...I'm really enjoying the interaction with everyone. I've had some terrific emails and talks with your readers through my Facebook page. So...the reach is beyond what shows on the blog..."

Good. In that sense we've accomplished something here: keeping the conversation going, in one way or another.

Thursday, May 06, 2010 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anonymous said...

"What a dreadful, condescending, holier-than-thou individual RevRon's Rants....wow!"

Well, I guess he makes a good match with me, Anon. According to the latest from another favorite Anon detractor, I'm a liar who is just trying to make myself look generous, while stirring up a mob mentality here on this blog...oops, I mean this "self-promoting internet gossip machine."

Funny how we all perceive things so differently.

Thursday, May 06, 2010 12:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are really self-centered. I came here following a link and I read your first post about your "conversation" with Peter Wink (whose existence I just discovered). I read and read and read that first post...and it ended with not a single word from the guy. It was just an intro! Great.

I then read part II...read and read and read...and I have hardly seen anything from the guy...it's all "I think this..."but maybe you'll think that"..."as you know my blog is famous for"...."let me tell you what I intend to"....all fluff, no meat.

Seriously, I have a hard time thinking of another time I spent that long earnestly reading a blog thinking I was about to learn something, and got absolutely NOTHING out of it.

I think you should look up the definition of "conversation". I believe it involves more than one person talking.

And usually, the interviewer is the one talking less.

Thursday, May 06, 2010 4:04:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Well, Anon, I am an insufferable narcissist, after all. It says so right there in the "About Me" section of this blog.

Actually Parts 1 and 2 did cover some of the topics Peter and I talked about in various conversations. I shared Peter's thoughts on a few matters even though I didn't quote him directly. (I didn't record the conversations so most of what I report will be paraphrasing anyway.)

Still, your points are well taken. I'll try to let Peter get a word in edgewise in the next installment(s), LOL.

I'm truly sorry you feel that you wasted your time here, but I thank you for your feedback.

Thursday, May 06, 2010 4:21:00 PM  
Blogger Duff said...

I'm enjoying the series and the dialogue, even if I have a strong critical stance so far of Mr. Wink's position.

Looking forward to next week!

Thursday, May 06, 2010 5:43:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks, Duff, I really appreciate your support. As may be apparent, I'm kind of muddling my way through this series and perhaps haven't really given it the attention it deserves. But if some people are getting something out of these posts -- even if it's just entertainment -- I think we (and I don't mean the royal "we," but all who have participated) have provided some value.

Thursday, May 06, 2010 6:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"self-promoting internet gossip machine."

Nailed it. This is about you and the promotion of you and your fleeting every thought. Valuable to your partner and very small group of regs. But that is it.

Peter Wink has been gracious, I have no idea why he lent his name to this misanthropic hate group posing as light and good humored "critical thinkers".

Thursday, May 06, 2010 8:26:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

OK, everyone, looks like I let my fave Anon slip in, unless someone has risen to take her place.

Sorry about that.

Anon, your transparent attempt to make this a "good guys vs. bad guys" issue is amusing.

Everyone else: Were y'all aware that we are all members of a "misanthropic hate group?" Me neither. We learn something new every day from these courageous Anonymous commenters.

Seriously, though, Anon: I've never really pretended that this blog is anything else but a way to promote my thoughts. (Read the "About me" section again.)

I've never actually pretended to be much of a "critical thinker" either. I've just gotten pretty good at detecting b.s. when I see it.

Thursday, May 06, 2010 9:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I've never really pretended that this blog is anything else but a way to promote my thoughts."

I like the sound of this. I can listen to and appreciate anything you say as just your point of view and your opinion and thoughts and not necessarily connected to reality or facts whatsoever. It might be my mistake that I read what you write as trying to be more than your own opinions based on your past and your biases and personal agendas.

If you intend the contents of your blog and present the contents of your blog and declare it as all just 100% your personal opinion with no misrepresenting your opinions as facts, then there is a considerable amount of distortion that I bring to my reading of your blog which I need to be responsible for and have not been.

Friday, May 07, 2010 8:21:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Wink said...

Hi Everyone,

I really appreciate everyone's willing to be open and honest about self-help and the industry.

Comments have been terrific and I feel like a lot of great points keep coming out.

I also want to thank everyone who have been emailing me with questions and comments.

For those who do not have my addy --- contact@peterwink.com

Please feel free to write me anytime. I'll get back to you ASAP. Been traveling quite a bit.

:-)

Peace to all!

Peter

Friday, May 07, 2010 8:57:00 AM  
Anonymous mojo said...

I am disappointed and yes, maybe even a little incensed that YOU, Connie, might occasionally write or do something I might happen to disagree with, or dabble in a topic that bores me. Make it stop. RIGHT NOW. Go take down everything I might not like. And don't let it happen again.

As a gesture of continued good faith, I further demand that in the coming month, you devote no less than THREE blog posts to talking about ponies. Because I like ponies. And you can only say NICE things about ponies, and not bring up how sometimes they can be mean if they have been mistreated, and might nip the fingers off of small children if their idiot parents are too busy taking pictures to notice the animal has its ears laced back and is baring its teeth as their children approach.

As a show of good faith on MY part, I will allow you to change one of these three pony posts to instead be about kittens and how cute they are. But it has to be kittens. NO CATS. And none of those gangly long-leggedy awkward teenaged kitteny-cats, either. I want kittens. REAL kittens. Cute little wide-eyed kittens. Wearing bows and chasing balls of yarn and saying stuff like "I haz a cute" with little thought balloons. Or looking all longingly out the window at chickadees at the bird feeder. So long as you DON'T bring up the fact that they are looking that way because they'd like nothing better than to rip those cute little birdies into tiny independent republics if they're allowed outside to frolic with them. I prefer tabbies to calicoes, by the way. Not that a calico would be a total deal-breaker, but ... *sigh* ... better just make them all tabbies, okay?

Now I am off to the Droid's site to demand he do a series of posts about fluffy baby penguins. And they have to be NICE posts, too, none of that awful "fupenguin.com" stuff.

(Let's see how good your storied b.s. detector is with THIS comment, huh, Missy?)

Friday, May 07, 2010 11:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wink said he really appreciates everyone's willing to be open and honest about self-help and the industry.

His turn.

Friday, May 07, 2010 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

[Moratorium temporarily lifted ~CC]

Anon 5-07 (8:21 AM) wrote:
"...I can listen to and appreciate anything you say as just your point of view and your opinion and thoughts and not necessarily connected to reality or facts whatsoever. It might be my mistake that I read what you write as trying to be more than your own opinions based on your past and your biases and personal agendas."

Almost every blogger has an "agenda," whether (to give but one example) it's Bryon Katie or someone who occasionally writes a critical blog post about Byron Katie. Notwithstanding the wild & dramatic accusations about "character assassination" and being a "gossip machine," I do occasionally report a fact or two here. Of course it's all infused with my point of view and opinion. I thought that much was clear. It seems to be clear to most readers, anyway. Maybe I need to put a big, very clearly worded disclaimer up on my blog for those who have trouble understanding.

A couple of my snargets have said to me that I get facts wrong all the time. Pat O'Bryan was one. The other person was David Schirmer, beleaguered Aussie Secret star. I don't do it deliberately & I've invited readers to correct me when I'm wrong. In my nearly four years of blogging, the only person who ever bothered to do that was the legendary Joe Sugarman of BluBlocker fame (one of Peter Wink's clients/friends, as it happens). Joe S. wasn't really a snarget but I did a drive-by speculation that he had a mail-order bride. He politely wrote to correct me, I issued a public correction and apology, and he said, "No worries." If only every exchange could be that straightforward.

In any case, I almost invariably provide links to back up the facts I report. For that matter I provide links to back up the opinions as well. I link to the sites of the people I write about, so readers can follow those links, read the material in context, and form their own opinions.

Sometimes I speculate about things, based on information I have, but I generally make it pretty clear that I'm just speculating or, in some cases, wildly guessing.

As for my opinions, they, like those of most people, are formed by many things apart from my own personal experiences. I'm a long-time close-up observer of the "culture" I like to snark about. Yet my opinions are also formed by the firsthand experiences other people share with me in confidence. And people do share things with me all the time that I do not write about because...well...they're in confidence.

Many people have told me privately as well as publicly that I really hit the nail on the head about some of my snargets.

So in that sense, my blog is indeed connected to "reality" & "facts." It is certainly not the *only* reality, and the facts I report are not the only facts and do not present the full picture. Hence my attempt, lame as it may seem thus far, to at least take a stab at providing another side, in this case via my exchanges with Peter.

I've always been honest about my doubts and vacillations, and have written several blog posts about those. Since you are filtering my blog through your own agendas, experiences, and emotions, you may say that those more thoughtful posts don't make up for the snarking and other things you find so distasteful.

But I gotta tell you, this blog will probably always tilt in a snarkward direction. That's basically its appeal for many, though I realize it's not appealing to everyone.

And as for agendas, you haven't been forthright about what yours is, beyond ragging on critical bloggers -- at least the ones who allow your comments through.

I'm still curious about why you are so afraid to reveal your identity. My readers aren't the type to issue death threats, after all. That's more the m.o. of my critics (well, some of them, anyway, though fortunately very few).

Friday, May 07, 2010 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Peter, thanks for your efforts to keep the conversation going.

Friday, May 07, 2010 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Whew, Mojo, you had me wondering for a while, when you mentioned "ponies." Apparently there is a whole pervy culture around "ponyboys" and "ponygirls." Google it, if you dare. But instead of grabbing your words out of context and loudly accusing you of being a perv yourself, I carefully read the rest of your comment and saw that in fact you were talking about those stubby little equines that are notorious for being ill-tempered. Generally speaking, I'm not a fan of ponies myself, but in a pasture near our home there is a lovely Welsh Cobb (who, rumor has it, reached Level 2 in dressage). He shares his enclosure with a cute little Shetland paint, and I'm quite fond of both of them. Perhaps I can wrestle up a few blog posts about them, since, after all, I'm pandering to my small group of regs, beyond whom this blog has no value.

But kittens? Sorry, girlfriend, you're on your own. I only write about full-grown cats. My own, mostly. And I am not afraid to explore the dark side of felinity: the destructiveness, the hairball acking, the dingleberries (mostly a problem with long-haired cats). Which just goes to show that I am occasionally willing to go out on a limb and even defy the wishes of my fans.

So there.

Friday, May 07, 2010 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anonymous (11:16 AM) said...

"Wink said he really appreciates everyone's willing to be open and honest about self-help and the industry.

"His turn."

Thanks, Anon. There's more to come, and if people have issues with what Peter says they are welcome to address those issues here, and I will publish anything that's not abusive (to anyone), or irritatingly redundant.

Friday, May 07, 2010 12:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Outside of criticising others who you are obviously better than..leaving out ofhter people's names, reputations and what you deem they they have all done wrong and should be questioned and answer up to you to and a small handfull of others snarking, what do you stand for Connie?

What are you putting into the world for others besides your bleeting about the individuals you are antagonistic towards?

Anything?

Saturday, May 08, 2010 7:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CC

" – but count me out of the critic-dissing." Does it have to be so all or none? If you are willing to "diss" others when you see it is appropriate, why not "diss" "critics" equally if and when they are off in their comments? Can a "critic" not harm others with their propaganda just as much as "self-help" proponent can be viewed as harming others with theirs? Why make "critics", who pontificate and berate others with impunity behind the protection of their on line avatars, a sacred cow?

Saturday, May 08, 2010 2:05:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anonymous 7:55 AM said...

"Outside of criticising others who you are obviously better than.. what do you stand for Connie?"

"What are you putting into the world for others besides your bleeting about the individuals you are antagonistic towards?"

Anon, for a moment I'll play your little LGAT game of answering questions with questions. Outside of anonymously "bleeting" at bloggers whose opinions make you uncomfortable, what are *you* putting out in the world? Anything?

[At 2:05 PM you wrote]...

"...If you are willing to 'diss' others when you see it is appropriate, why not 'diss' 'critics' equally if and when they are off in their comments? Can a 'critic' not harm others with their propaganda just as much as 'self-help' proponent can be viewed as harming others with theirs? Why make 'critics', who pontificate and berate others with impunity behind the protection of their on line avatars, a sacred cow?"

Anon, you haven't lost your flair for drama, but once again you didn't read the context. I wrote that in context of summarizing the criticisms I had received about my work on this series *and* about Peter's contributions to the discussions. Both Peter and I were criticized for different reasons. Here in part is what I wrote:

"...Several people have shared their opinion that Peter has not exactly presented a credible case for that 'other side,' due in part to the way he reacted to criticism and challenges in some of the discussions. A few also thought that some of Peter's remarks didn't sound believable. Some thought he sounded pat or dismissive when supposedly attempting to put issues in perspective. I have no doubt that some of the exchanges even reinforced the negative images some people have about self-help industry members. If I were a markedly different sort of blogger, I would simply dismiss these opinions as the flawed perspectives of people who are just out looking for the negative or searching for a reason to argue. There are plenty of bloggers who would do this – indeed, some have been favored snargets of mine – but count me out of the critic-dissing. Truth is, I think there's validity to all of the criticism, not only about the way I wrote the posts but also about Peter's remarks. As for Peter, despite some of his responses on the discussions, he still claims to hold to the opinion that criticism is a good thing. And I have to agree."

So you see, I was acknowledging that the critics on both sides had valid points.

Saturday, May 08, 2010 5:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anon, for a moment I'll play your little LGAT game of answering questions with questions. Outside of anonymously "bleeting" at bloggers whose opinions make you uncomfortable, what are *you* putting out in the world? Anything?"

CC, I am here in a up front dialogue between you and me. I am not gossiping about specific other people's (who are not part of this exchange) endeavors, as you are. And since you are doing that and I am not, my question applies to you more than to me IMO.

You seem to be a charismatic character, I will give you that. But I resent the gossip angle. (And it is not just "Whirled Musings", it is in almost all the media these days, almost every TV channel. And you and they take the easy controversy inflammatory built-in audience cheap way out IMO.

If you talked about other subjects that were more personal to you and what you were creating in the world for yourself and others that did not include naming names of others and gossiping about others, I suspect you would be a huge star on the net. But talking for and being for something without invalidating something else is no easy thing and is rarely achieved. The buzz of mentioning others is too hard to results for most people.

It is an odd phenomena to get caught in an online exchange in a setting that is unattractive to me. I suppose grooves get formed in the brain and then the familiarity of the dialogue just keeps pulling for being right and for more of the same pattern forever, however unfruitful.

Sunday, May 09, 2010 8:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So you see, I was acknowledging that the critics on both sides had valid points."

Ah I see.

Sunday, May 09, 2010 8:38:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Wink said...

Hi Connie,

Happy Sunday my friend.

Quickly...

You mentioned that some people said I do not present a credible case for the other side.


Respectfully confused by that --- as I'm not trying to present a case or defense of anything.

There's nothing to defend.

What's kind of entertaining is how people seem more interested in ripping each other down and than spending any quality time discussing a self-help topic.

I have to ask ---- what are people on this blog hoping to accomplish? I'm just here to share some fun thoughts.

As far as self-help --- some like it and some don't. In the end, that's about as complicated as this all gets.

I always liked Jim Rohn's statement..."Go ahead and take a look at me. Just don't look too close. I'm human like anyone else."

I'm sure anyone could look at anyone close enough and find something not to like. What's the point in that?

This world needs people to come together.

Let's all promote peace and happiness.

Love to ya CC!

Peter

Sunday, May 09, 2010 9:18:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anon, you seriously overestimate me when you say I seem "charismatic." But thanks for the compliment.

As it happens, though, I do agree with you that the "gossip factor" is widespread throughout our culture. After all, TMZ is among the most successful web sites -- actually, among the most successful multimedia phenomena -- in the world today. Gossip and porn seem to attract more attention (and more bucks) than just about anything else.

But I've said before and I'll say again (and you may contend that this is just a cop-out, and you may be right, but so be it) that this is just a hobby blog for me and not the sum total of my existence. Most of what I have put out into the world has been on behalf of other people. Much of the value I have created has been a secondhand value -- that is, helping others create something of value.

That said, I've long thought that my blog helps to provide a counter-balance of sorts to the mounds of pro-self-help mush that is on the Web. And to many, that *is* value. At least they tell me so.

I am not attempting to elevate myself by snarking at others (or whatever word you want to use for what I do). Matter of fact, I realize that many will think less of me for writing this blog, and I suspect I may have even lost potential book clients because of my expression of my viewpoints. OTOH, this blog can serve as a filter for the types of clients that would not be a good match. That just makes it easier in the long run for me and for those clients.

As Peter has advised about self-help, people should take what they need (or want) from this blog, and leave the rest.

And I have in fact written about some subjects that were personal to me, though in doing so I have, in most cases, made at least a passing mention of the main subject matter of this blog, in order to maintain the focus (or at least to acknowledge that I'm veering slightly off topic).

One example: http://cosmicconnie.blogspot.com/2009/09/on-arrogance-atonement-and-ambivalence.html

And there are a couple of sappy posts about my deceased dogs, in which I make mention of one of my "pet" causes, animal rescue.

Sunday, May 09, 2010 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

"This world needs people to come together.
Let's all promote peace and happiness."

I couldn't agree more. We should strive to embrace and celebrate those aspects of our lives that bring us peace, and share our happiness with the people in our lives.

However, we need to be as diligent in our efforts to recognize and eliminate the harmful as we are in our efforts to embrace and nurture the joyful. And if we accept that we have any responsibility to our fellow humans, a significant part of that responsibility is to alert others to the potholes we have observed and/or fallen into along our way. We need - once and for all - to set aside the ludicrous axiom that ignorance is bliss, rather than attempt to perpetuate the farce of blissful ignorance.

Sunday, May 09, 2010 12:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for that. :-) Got it all.

Sunday, May 09, 2010 1:02:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Peace and happiness? Peter, are you sure you weren't a hippie in a past life? :-)

Just as some like my blog and some don't, some like self-help and some don't. So on that level I agree with you, but we both know there's more to it than simple liking or disliking. If we reduced everything to that, there wouldn't be much of a purpose of having a conversation about it.

The truth is that the self-help industry has nurtured concepts as well as people who have been harmful or at least unhelpful. It's more than a PR problem.

While I don't think anyone expects you to tackle those issues head-on, the couple of points where you may have put a dent in your own credibility were in some of your comments you made in the discussions, not your viewpoints as I summarized them in the posts.

Several people took issue with some of your statements. On the other hand, people have agreed with other points you've made. As I noted in this post, it's a mixed bag. And so it goes.

I'm not sure what any of us is trying to accomplish here, but I suspect we're all sort of making it up as we go along. Heck, I can't even stick to one policy on whether or not to publish my fave Anon detractor's comments. As it turns out, though, I have published most of them despite my "firm" resolutions otherwise. :-)

Anyway, I plan to share more of your thoughts in the next post(s) in the series and that will open the blog up to more discussion.

Regarding the controversial stuff, though, I think Ron summed it up best: "However, we need to be as diligent in our efforts to recognize and eliminate the harmful as we are in our efforts to embrace and nurture the joyful."

Sunday, May 09, 2010 1:18:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Ron (May 9, 12:49): well said.

Sunday, May 09, 2010 1:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Connie,

"However, we need to be as diligent in our efforts to recognize and eliminate the harmful as we are in our efforts to embrace and nurture the joyful."

Each person has a different view point on that topic. Al Qaeda has a particular view as to what it looks like to be diligent in their efforts to recognize and eliminate the harmful as they are in their efforts to embrace and nurture the joyful."

Given your lack of rigor and casual attitudes about talking about other people and the kinds of things you have expressed in your blog , I would no more want Al Qaeda then I would want you or your partner looking out for or influencing my (or those who are important to me's) interests in the world. Your radical on-line anti-others views just don't represent the type of discourse most people I know are intrested in.

Sunday, May 09, 2010 1:34:00 PM  
Anonymous CCGAL-Janelle said...

Mojo's remarks about ponies and kittens was such great comedic satire, I nearly snorted coffee through my nose onto my keyboard. Well Said!

This Wink Wednesday series has been interesting on many levels, and as such has been a catalyst for thought on my part. I'm not ready to share what I've been mulling over yet, but I am looking forward to the next Wink Wednesday. Perhaps by then I'll have formed something coherent that can add to the conversation. (It could happen!) Um ... disclaimer required ... don't hold your breath waiting for those coherent comments ... LOL.

Sunday, May 09, 2010 2:08:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Al-Qaeda? Well, at least you didn't compare me to Hitler, as others have. :-)

Sometimes I wonder if you are actually writing to/about me, or if you have other bloggers in mind when you share your opinions here.

Radical? Me? You have to be kidding.

Just curious: Would you want a passionately devoted Byron Katie fan, a starry-eyed Joe Vitale follower, or a loyal James Ray employee (e.g., Josh or Megan Fredrickson [read Salty Droid's or Cassandra Yorgey's blogs to get up to speed on the latter] looking out for your interests? Or Byron, Joe, or James themselves, for that matter? Do you think any of these individuals really give a rat's behind about your well-being, beyond your ability to click the "Buy now" button? Can you provide proof to me that they do?

Can you provide proof that my opinions are not valid or that the items I present as facts are not correct?

Does your suspicion of critics reach beyond those who criticize self-help? Do you think anyone who makes a negative statement about anything is not worth listening to?

I realize your big gripe centers around talking about people who aren't in on the conversation. Well, the conversation here is pretty open, for the most part, and it is public. Although so far I have not gone out of my way to do anything to raise my Google rankings or search engine visibility, this blog is pretty easy to find. Any and all of the individuals I write about are free to join in the conversation. Very few have so far. They go out of their way to ignore this and other similar blogs, though occasionally one of their defenders will join the conversation, usually quite rudely and borderline-abusively.

But back to that "radical" accusation. You and I obviously have wildly different ideas of what constitutes "radical." Obviously I have really struck a nerve with you. Maybe you'll come around to seeing things more from my point of view once the LGAT high or guru love wears off. (Others have, and they have shared their experiences and opinions without my soliciting them.) Maybe you will never agree with me about anything. NBD either way. I'm not out to convert anyone. As I said... take what you need and leave the rest.

However, if you think I'm dangerous and radical, you probably need to stay away from here and warn all your friends and loved ones about me. Send them to James Ray or Byron Katie or the Landmark Forum or Legacy International instead. Send them on a five-thousand dollar ride in Joe Vitale's Rolls Royce. Send them to Bill Harris of HoloSync fame. Refer them to Gary Douglas and Dain Heer's ACCESS Consciousness. No skin off my back!

Sunday, May 09, 2010 2:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to be clear and exprss that I don't want or need you or yur partner (or people like you) to be diligent in your efforts to recognize and eliminate the harmful as you are in your efforts to embrace and nurture the joyful, on my behalf. Not now not ever.

I have no issue with you doing that for yourself but I do question the idea that you are doing some kind of a public service to any living person by (what I call) gossiping and invalidating or casting doubt on others here on line.

Sunday, May 09, 2010 2:36:00 PM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

"I would no more want Al Qaeda then I would want you or your partner looking out for or influencing my (or those who are important to me's) interests in the world. "

And yet, you continually return to this horrid and abusive place, frequently after one of your dramatic exits. Apparently the "influence" is greater than you'd choose to admit. Either that, or your own business - or perhaps that of one of your idols - is particularly threatened by being looked at too closely. Here in Texas, it's described as the roach response: when the light gets turned on, they scramble. Perhaps if they were capable of communicating, they'd poke their heads out of the shadows just long enough to bleat. Just a thought...

Sunday, May 09, 2010 2:42:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, Janelle/CCGAL, and thanks for joining in the fray. That "Al-Quaeda" comment of mine was obviously meant for my Anon commenter and not for you; yours must have come in while I was still typing.

Okay, I won't hold my breath till I'm blue in the face (if you take a look at my profile pic you might think I'm too late on that one). But I do look forward to seeing further comments from you when and if you've a mind to share 'em.

And I agree with you: Mojo's comment added some needed levity here. (Mark Ryan did the same with a couple of his comments on one of the previous posts. Much appreciated.) I think we all have a tendency to take things too seriously -- me included. Especially me, come to think of it.

And to think that this thing started out as a HUMOR blog. :-)

Sunday, May 09, 2010 2:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"..and warn all your friends and loved ones about me."

cc, I would never talk about you or this exchange outside of this conversation, not once, not ever.

That particular kind of dialogue add no value to life. It is gossip and given my view of what you do here on your blog and the spin and distortion I would inevitably put on my comments it would likely harm your reputation and misrepresent what you do and who you really are. So no, I would not be "warning" others about your and your views and your blog.

Sunday, May 09, 2010 2:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I returned because I enjoy Connie (not her topics nor most of her content) but her herself, and I returned because I really don't know why ...... it is a foolish exerice to be complaining about this or anythng most of the time but if there was anyone to complain to about it would be directly to the author, as I am doing.

Sunday, May 09, 2010 2:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Does your suspicion of critics reach beyond those who criticize self-help?"

Yes. My complaint has very little to do with "Self Help". I would not promote gossip style "criticism" of my worst enemy, people or group I myself personally find the most abhorrent and unacceptable. I see no value in this gossip/ opinion phenomena which is blooming in 2010 thanks to the internet and our constitutional right of freedom of speech.

I don't see it is making people smarter or happier or free'er. They just have more to spout mindlessly about things and people they really know nothing about and practice their one upping skills on line more about.

Sunday, May 09, 2010 3:19:00 PM  
Anonymous maria babushka said...

Well,
I, for one, am gratefully thankful to Connie for the public service she is rendering by making us think twice about what we spend our hard-earned cash on.
I was seriously tempted by Joe's kind offer of a ma$termind ride in his Rolls and my finger was hovering over the Buy Button for the paper wish dolly--then I thought; "Wait, let's see what Connie has to say about the wisdom of Joe and his magic products"
I finished that day a little sadder and wiser about the gullibility of the human condition in general and my own in particular.
Not much peace or happiness to be had, perhaps I had inadvertantly contributed to Joe having to wait a few weeks to buy his alien guitar and I am sure that gave him some sleepless nights--- which a guru of his reknown should not have to suffer in these modern times.
Still, I could pay my heating bills through the Siberian winter and give my children some thin gruel most days with the money I saved. And who knows? maybe if I figure out this Law of Attraction thingy I might be able to afford a ma$termind Rolls ride in a few years time when my children are grown and labouring hard for themselves in the salt mines.

I can't tell you how much I yearn to be in Joe's magic orbit and hear for myself his pearls of wisdom on how to market my own 3D Siberian wish dollies. Of course, being base material, 3D, actual objects, they don't have that all-important, ephemeral, spiritual aspect that Joe's products magically attain, but hey, we've all got to start somewhere.

Monday, May 10, 2010 2:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Well, Anon, I am an insufferable narcissist, after all. It says so right there in the "About Me" section of this blog."

Maybe you should read more self-help books after all. Proudly declaring, with a daring smile, "I'm a narcissist"...or "I'm fat/lazy/illiterate/etc etc"... doesn't make it right (or sufferable).

Monday, May 10, 2010 9:33:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

"Maria":
спасибо.

Or, for those who insist on Romanization, "Spasibo."

Or, for those who insist on English, "Thank you."

Since we're on the topic, I suspect that many of the people who came to see Joe in Russia last year spent a significant proportion of their salary to do so. In my view that would give them some moral right to ask critical questions. He says he got hecklers in the audience but I wonder if that was really the case. Maybe when (if) his traveling companion Mark Ryan speaks up, we can hear another perspective about *that* point. It's something I've been curious about.

There may really have been some hecklers, but even so, if they spent a lot of money to hear what seemed to them to be b.s., or at least it didn't seem to be useful, maybe Joe should have cut them a little slack.

(Heck, even I allow "hecklers" on this blog, and they can heckle me for free.)

"And that, CC," some might point out, "is one reason that Joe is rich and you are not."

Maria, I am certainly not trying to discourage you or anyone else from spending five thousand U.S. dollars to ride in Joe's car with him, but budget-minded folks need to keep in mind that they are also responsible for their own air fare and accommodations.

Anyway, I'm glad that you and others have found this blog helpful.:-)

Monday, May 10, 2010 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

"Maybe you should read more self-help books after all. Proudly declaring, with a daring smile, "I'm a narcissist"...or "I'm fat/lazy/illiterate/etc etc"... doesn't make it right (or sufferable)."

Interesting mix of "flaws" there, anon. Perhaps there are some resources that could help you deal with your judgmental approach to body image, particularly equating obesity to character disorders.

Ultimately, I find myself still asking the same question of you: If the opinions expressed here are so wrong - and even insufferable - what is it that compels you to keep coming back? Perhaps your obligation to "witness" for your chosen LGAT program? It certainly does fit the mold, as anyone who is even remotely familiar with Landmark, et al can easily see, even if you think you're being clever enough to conceal it.

Monday, May 10, 2010 11:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ maria babushka

Too often, on line critics suggest or claim to be helping or wanting to help some abstract group of vulnerable naive persons (less savvy then themselves of course) and who are being conned by the villians targetted on these blogs. Small weak dum people who for the life of me I have never met once.

The whole point of view seems condescending and trumped up to me. Please tell me where these stupid people are who are so easily duped?

Yes I have met people who make choices. yes I have also met people who are not well and not coping nor able to manage (no matter what the circumstances).

But most people I deal with are like myself and want to make our own choices no matter what anybody says and want to be reponsible for our own outcomes and feel up to it.

Also it seems to me that certain people with no qualifications want to propomote themselves into the roles of teachers and guides and advisors or experts without earning it and just because they have high speed internet connection and a blog.

Monday, May 10, 2010 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thank you, Ron. That was pretty much what I was going to say to Anon (May 10, 9:33 AM).

As you know from the research that you and I did years ago for a book on weight management, there is a whole "body-acceptance" movement whose members have no qualms about using the word "fat" as a self-descriptor. The actress Camryn Manheim even titled her autobio, "Wake Up, I'm Fat!" Kirstie Alley did her "Fat Actress" shtick. No problem.

Of course, like so many blunt terms, it's all about context. If someone wants to call himself or herself fat, I don't have a problem with it. If someone else uses the word to describe an overweight person it could be construed as unkind.

At any rate, I would never lump obesity in with personality disorders such as narcissism (and I'm talking about true narcissism, not just the mostly-shtick narcissism to which I lay claim). Nor is obesity in the same category as laziness. Not that laziness is always a bad thing either; it could be just a sign of unwillingness to expend one's time and energy in inefficient ways when there are more efficient ways to do things. In any case, laziness, as much as necessity, is the mother of invention.

I'm also a little surprised, Anon, that you would cast your disparaging glance on illiterate people. As it happens, the promotion of literacy is a cause I care about very much.

As for your suggestion that I read more self-help books... alas, it seems that so many in the genre actually promote narcissism and an inflated sense of entitlement. Thanks for the advice, but I'll pass. :-)

Monday, May 10, 2010 12:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI

I did not suggest you read or do anything, nor would I ever. There are many "anon"s in the world with thoughts and things to say about your blog.

And I do agree with that person's point.

Seems to me that you are using your "not just the mostly-shtick narcissism to which I lay claim" as an excuse for juvenile behavior and to cover up your wanting to accuse others of the things you yourself embody, just like any human from time to time. It was funny as a joke once, after that you are using it as a tool IMO.

Monday, May 10, 2010 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anon said (in response to maria babushka):

"Also it seems to me that certain people with no qualifications want to propomote themselves into the roles of teachers and guides and advisors or experts without earning it and just because they have high speed internet connection and a blog."

I assume you aren't referring to me, Anon. I have never "propomoted" myself on this blog as anything but an experienced observer and opinionated snark. I don't even have any phony Ph.D.s, though I've frequently joked that I need to buy a couple of those so I can call myself "Dr." Cosmic Connie.

One thing I have never done is attempt to practice therapy without a license, which is what some of the LGATs and self-help leaders seem to be doing. Now, that's a case of "unqualified" people doing something that could very well be truly harmful or dangerous.

I have also never promoted myself as some sort of guide out to help save people from themselves. Perhaps that is a "mission" that others have projected upon me but it is not my self-stated mission. While I always appreciate hearing how my blog has helped others, I do not promote myself as being a fount of wisdom.

It's true that people who are "not well" in one way or another will often find ways to get in trouble or be harmed with or without the influence of self-help. I agree with you there. In fact, this is something Peter and I talked about, and I will get to that if I can ever get away from this constant bickering long enough to finish my friggin' blog post. (I know, I know, it's my own fault for allowing it to continue.) No one here, including a certain blue-faced intrepid blogger with high-speed Internet, is blaming self-help for all of the evils in the world.

But it also seems to be true that certain LGATs and gurus are magnets for people who are needy or obsessive or "not well" in some way. In fact, much of the LGATs' or gurus' continuing success and repeat business seem to be dependent upon nurturing these unwholesome traits. I think that for reasons of your own you are refusing to look honestly at that aspect. In this sense you are somewhat akin to a cult member who, while sporting a shaved head and obligatory cult costume like thousands of other members of the same group, continues to protest, "It is NOT a cult!"

Monday, May 10, 2010 1:10:00 PM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

"Also it seems to me that certain people with no qualifications want to propomote themselves into the roles of teachers and guides and advisors or experts without earning it and just because they have high speed internet connection and a blog."

Bingo! You're describing Connie's snargets to a "T!"

"Please tell me where these stupid people are who are so easily duped?"

They are easy to find... frequently peddling their kool-aid - anonymously, of course - on blogs that dare to look too closely at their gurus & LGAT programs.

Monday, May 10, 2010 1:13:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anon 12:46 PM wrote:

"I did not suggest you read or do anything, nor would I ever. There are many 'anon'"s in the world with thoughts and things to say about your blog.

"And I do agree with that person's point."

==

Hmmm. I was RESPONDING to "that person's" point. And that Anon did suggest I should read more self-help books in order to learn that promoting oneself as a narcissist is not a good thing.

If you are a different Anon than "that person" (a point on which I understandably have my doubts), it is irrelevant to my response.

==
Anon 12:46 also wrote:

"Seems to me that you are using your 'not just the mostly-shtick narcissism to which I lay claim' as an excuse for juvenile behavior and to cover up your wanting to accuse others of the things you yourself embody, just like any human from time to time. It was funny as a joke once, after that you are using it as a tool IMO."

Actually in my more thoughtful and honest moments I have written more than once -- here on this very blog! -- that I abhor my own narcissistic and self-centered traits, and that this is probably one reason these traits bug me so much in the snargets I write about. At the very least it makes it easier for me to perceive these traits in others.

But my flaws, real or perceived, do not invalidate my opinions about my snargets.

However, Anon (whichever Anon you may be), if this blog is too juvenile for you, then by all means, go to some more mature blog where everyone is always smiling and patting each other on the back and trying to sell each other their overpriced "frauducts," as my pal Salty Droid would say.

Monday, May 10, 2010 1:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But it also seems to be true that certain LGATs and gurus are magnets for people who are needy or obsessive or "not well" in some way. In fact, much of the LGATs' or gurus' continuing success and repeat business seem to be dependent upon nurturing these unwholesome traits."

Well, there's that mysterious conveniently less savvy than critics, smaller in character, poorer, more naive, completely abstract group rearing it's head again!

Let me know when you meet one of those powerless and gullible yokels ok? I still haven't met any since my last comment.

Monday, May 10, 2010 2:19:00 PM  
Anonymous maria babushka said...

@ Anon 12:11:00 PM

Alas, I am one of the many who get caught in the easy-come rosy fantasy painted by these silver-tongued gurus. When life here in the frozen tundra is so hard and unrelentingly grim who wouldn't fall for a little escapism?
I had a good soviet education, many degrees but no moolah and I also like to make my own informed choices (choices! stalin rolls in his grave, thats a novelty here)--for which I need more than one perspective and some rumination time. I find that on Connie's blog and am stimulated to do some research for myself. I've learnt about the appeal to greed and ease, the scarcity tactics, all the sophisticated ploys in use to separate me from my pittance. We've always had real scarcity of food and goods, this pretend scarcity is exciting to us!
Of course we have our own home-grown bossmen but they are impatient and use other methods of persuasion to impose their will on others, not too much talky talky and absolutely no escapist fantasies.
Now that we are all capitalists I think I will find this research useful when the LGATs start looking beyond the Urals for fresh meat for the grinder.

Monday, May 10, 2010 2:51:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

I've been one of those 'yokels' myself and have met many of them, Anon 2:19. Open your eyes. Maybe even take a look in the mirror.

I've never claimed superiority to anyone and have certainly never said or implied that people who like self-help stuff are "smaller in character" than the critics. That's purely your projection.

I speak from my own experiences and observations and those of others. The people I am referring to are not abstractions. I just choose not to name most of them, out of a general respect for confidentiality and in some cases friendships.

Monday, May 10, 2010 3:33:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Here is an additional bit of perspective to bring this back to Peter Wink (since the focus of the series has supposedly been my exchanges with him): When we're talking about LGATs we are talking about a whole area in which Peter, to my knowledge, is not involved. Peter has said to me that he is primarily an advocate of what he considers to be pragmatic tools and products -- mostly books and other relatively inexpensive infoproducts. He made it clear to me that he is not a fan of expensive LGATs or "extreme" events such as James Ray's workshops and retreats.

Peter, correct me if I'm wrong, but I have a great deal of difficulty picturing you sitting through one of those interminable LGAT events, participating in the crude public group "therapy"/theater that are a feature of so many LGATs, and working out your deepest and most painful emotional issues in a hotel conference room full of strangers.

I, on the other hand, have been there and done that, though long ago and far away. And so, Anon(s), I do have a little bit of personal perspective to add to my general observations.

Monday, May 10, 2010 3:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I respect amd have high regard for your personal exprience Connie and I will even extend that to the people you know persoanlly who you have spoke to where you can assess for yourself that they are real or not (this would exclude all anonymous phantom identities agreeing with you or making claims that they were "victims" of one form or another. Those have 0 value IMO.)

What I question is you or other super hero "critics" talking about abstract groups of "victims" that you and they reference to make your accusations and vicious attacks on other sound better and more justified.

Monday, May 10, 2010 4:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ maria babushka

I get that you are in some way appreciative of Cosmic Connie but beyond that, I have no clue what you are talking about.

Monday, May 10, 2010 4:23:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Once again you're being the drama queen, Anon. "Vicious attacks?" "Superhero critics?" Those are your own assessments.

Monday, May 10, 2010 4:32:00 PM  
Anonymous CCGAL-Janelle said...

OK ... did I miss something somewhere? I would have bet real money that Maria Babushka is a pen name and the writer is quite good at gentle satire, but your responses indicate y'all are reading that post as straight-forward, not as humor. I feel as though I've stepped into the Twilight Zone.

===============
To Maria Babushka - kudos if you are indeed a writer with a pen name, for you gave me smiles and giggles as I read your post. If I am the one misunderstanding, and you are not intending to be humorous, please accept my sincere apology, for no offense was intended to you.
-------------------------

On a slightly different topic, I picked up a copy of a Trudeau book at the thrift shop today, thinking that after I read it for myself (to form my own opinion) I'd unload it on eBay or Amazon ... only to discover there are 637 used copies on Amazon today for 1 penny plus $3.99 postage. That struck me funny, because of the 9 books I bought and looked up, it was the lowest priced and most abundant, ergo the least valued. I'm not sure what that means in the greater scheme of things, other than once I've read it, I won't bother trying to sell it, but I thought it of interest nonetheless. Naturally, your milage may vary.

Looking forward to Wednesday!

Monday, May 10, 2010 4:40:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Wink said...

Hi CC,

I like big events where there are mutliple speakers on business-related topics like marketing, management, networking and so forth. Used to go to some Success seminars where they'd feature people like Zig Ziglar, Colin Powel, Christopher Reeve, Mike Ditka, Dan Kennedy and the like. All are credible and used to speak for an hour or so - which is about all a type "A" like me can handle. They were also pretty harmless entertainment to some extent.

I'm not into all the group hugging and crying together OR having some supposed-guru try to fix me in front of thousands of people. I find that puts me off. But some people do I like it - so who am I to say anything against it?

I agree that the group stuff is a little out of my league or interest. In fact, the whole time (almost two years) I consulted for Dr. Joe Vitale, I only went to one weekend event...Zero Limits and it did not resonate with me at all. I had every excuse on the planet to stay home for all the others. Mainly ---- I can't stand being locked up with the same group of people for days and days. They probably can't stand me either ---- oh well! I'm just too damn hyper to sit that long. Tis life.

Does that answer your question CC?

Do I get my "A" for honesty???

I think I need to pop in "Old School" tonight and have a laugh.

PRW

Monday, May 10, 2010 5:27:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

CCGAL/Janelle, I too suspect that "Maria Babushka" is pseudonymous but don't have any way of proving it one way or the other. In any case I am playing along, if for no other reason than that "Maria's" first comment provided an opening to expound upon another point about Mr. Fire's Russia trip. Of course, "Maria," if you are "real," accept my apologies along with Janelle's.

Interesting about the Trudeau book. The used-book market is a weird thing. At one time, copies of my old book "Cosmic Relief" were listed for $1,000.00 each. I strongly suspect there were no buyers at that price, though. :-)

Monday, May 10, 2010 6:20:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Good comment, Peter. I have no particular quarrel with those multi-speaker big events either. They can be fun, entertaining, and informative.

And hey, yeah, you get points for honesty on this one. Since I'm feeling generous tonight, I won't even take points off for that gratuitous "Dr." designation you gave your former consulting client. :-)

I think I need a laugh too, but I'll probably turn to Sheldon and Leonard and Penny and the gang on "The Big Bang Theory."

Monday, May 10, 2010 6:25:00 PM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

I can relate perfectly to your aversion to mass koom-bah-ya sessions, Peter. I can tolerate an event if there's enough "meat" to hold my interest, and I have enjoyed being a sponsor/facilitator/chaperon for rallies held by the youth groups in the church I once attended. But those were primarily sweet and (mostly) innocent parties for the kids. Sure, they got to experience new & different people, but it wasn't the "tear 'em down and build 'em up" kind of program that so many of the LGAT programs follow.

I have a tough time sitting still through even a standard work day, much less the kind of pablum that is served up at the LGAT's.

Enjoy your evening, dude!

Monday, May 10, 2010 6:25:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Wink said...

CC,

You got me on that one!

Peter

Monday, May 10, 2010 7:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Life (IMO) is one big "LGAT"

One line loners and mysanthropes will have to deal with it.

You on line critics with your codes, repetitive lingos, acronyms and initialisms are a funny "cultish" bunch pointing at all the other "cults".
!

Monday, May 10, 2010 8:30:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anon 8:30: Initialisms? WTF? ROTFLMAO. But FWIW, it's NBD IMO, LOL.

So you say life is one big LGAT? I beg to differ. Life is not nearly as structured as a typical LGAT. Life does not deliver its lessons in neatly packaged segments woven together with a specific set of buzzwords. And life cannot be bundled and copyrighted.

But if saying life is a big LGAT makes you feel more confident that your own structured path of choice is providing a helpful model for real life, go for it, Anon.

My guess is that all of the "one-line loners" (whatever that is) and "mysanthropes" [sic] are dealing with the presence of LGATs in the world far better than you are dealing with the presence of the online critics whose opinions make you so uncomfortable. I sense you have some real rage issues. At best, it seems that the lessons you've learned from your LGAT have not helped prevent you from wasting so much time and energy arguing on a blog that you find so distasteful.

Don't get me wrong, I'm apparently enjoying the conversation. But what's in it for you?

FYI, I am neither a loner nor a misanthrope, and I've rarely said *anything* in just one line.

Monday, May 10, 2010 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger Tranquil Vermin said...

meant "on-line loners"

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

TQ: Okay, that makes more sense, but still doesn't describe me.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Wink said...

Hi Everyone,

How did we all get back on the LGAT thing again?

:-)

Sounds like everyone has different views. Not sure there's much more to say. Good thoughts though.

I'm curious what the group thinks of Oprah...possibly self-help's most famous and effective contributor.

Any thoughts from the group on Oprah and her consistent promotion of self-help and self help authors?

Curious. :-)

Peter

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hey, Peter, the only reason we got on LGAT in the first place was that some of the Anon commenters seem to be defending LGATs. That part of the conversation actually extends beyond this blog. At least one of the commenters got all fired up on Steve Salerno's blog when he wrote a multi-part exposé of a major LGAT, and that person brought the "fight" over to this blog as well.

LGAT is a topic that, IMO, is definitely relevant to the larger conversation about self-help. LGATs exert their influence not only on private consumers but throughout corporate America. They affect many people. But you're right; there's only so much to say about the topic. There's much more on the Rick Ross Forums.

I take a moderate stance regarding Oprah. I have long felt that she has good taste in contemporary fiction (from her original Oprah Book Club days). I respect her views of various consumer products. I think she is a good entertainer with strong altruistic proclivities.

OTOH, she is more than an entertainer. And, like many others, I abhor the fact that she was such an advocate of The Secret and its various "stars," as well as other self-help/McSpirituality luminaries such as Eckhart Tolle. She definitely has exerted a deep influence on our culture, for good or for bad -- she's a "kingmaker," as more than one commentator has said, though her star may be finally fading.

That said, I can't bring myself to declare her to be the evil demon some say she is. I don't even think she could reasonably be held morally culpable for the James Ray tragedies, though some want to string her up for that.

I think she has made a few mistakes along the way. But I think that her endorsements, even of the most nefarious selfish-help gurus, can only go so far. It is the gurus themselves who should be held responsible for any damage that is done. (And I'm not saying all of them are harmful; I'm just saying that those who have done damage should be held responsible, rather than turning the wrath on Oprah.)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 1:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How are contibuters defining "self-help" and self help authors"?

Are cook books or small 'do-it yourself' engine manuals "self-help" books written by "self help authors?

The catch all term "self help" seems to be used allot in Whirled Musings. What I think of when I hear "Self Help authors" in Whirled Musings is "How To be Your Own Best Friend" by Mildred Newman & Bernard Berkowitz and "I'm OK, You're OK" by Thomas A Harris MD.
Is this what people here mean?

Is "The Bible", "The Bhagavad Gita" included in the "self help" category? Or just books written after the media started using the term "self help"? Do we include Richard Bach's "Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah"? and "Jonathan Livingston Seagull"? "One"?

What authors are included and what is excluded in the term "self-help"? Is Cosmic Connie a "self-help" blogger?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 1:38:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Sounds like more arguments just for the sake of arguing, Anon.

I think that most people in this conversation are on the same "page" about the definition of the self-help genre even if we don't all agree on its usefulness.

Anyone else who wants to argue with Anon, be my guest. I have deadlines to deal with today.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 1:54:00 PM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

Peter, I don't see Oprah as the great evil as some have portrayed her, but neither do I see her as the harbinger of some grand breakthrough in awareness. She's an entertainer, and to some, a role model or even an idol.

With that status comes a deep responsibility; one which I think she might have shirked a time or two by swallowing and promoting some illogical ideas that were peddled to her (and lots of other people). To her credit, however, she did at least choose not to promote some of the individuals whose credibility she doubted, and whose credentials would not have stood up to scrutiny. She also seems to have backed away from some of the woo. Perhaps she's just searching, like the rest of us. With the cameras always on, I suspect she's learned to be a bit more discriminating in her support.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 2:01:00 PM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

"Anyone else who wants to argue with Anon, be my guest. I have deadlines to deal with today."

To quote the late, great Bette Davis, "I would, but I need to wash my hair." :-)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 2:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Connie you seem to have a pattern of making excuses when asked to define your own terms or are asked to back up your claims with any specifics.

You prefer to operate in the world of the vague and hearsay and innuendo?

You could have just as easily defined what you mean by "self help books" if you wanted to in the time if took you to write your now becoming a standard excuse/copout:

" Anyone else who wants to argue with Anon, be my guest. I have deadlines to deal with today."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 2:09:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Sorry, Anon. I just assumed you were trying to take up my time and I didn't consider that you might actually be totally ignorant of what "self-help" means in the context in which it is discussed on this blog.

Or perhaps you are asking Peter what self-help means to him (since he is an industry insider).

At any rate, anyone here is free to explain to Anon what self-help means to her or him. My opinion is that most of us are on the same page about the definition, and we are, in a general sense, employing the same definition used by publishers and booksellers. Self-help in the contemporary usage generally encompasses pop psychology, pop spirituality, and the like.

Your definitions may vary.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 2:26:00 PM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

Anon: Please provide us with your definition of vague, hearsay, innuendo, copout, and excuses, and list a few examples of each. Specific examples, if you don't mind. You can limit the data to the last month's worth of blog posts (no need to get too distracted from the pertinent topics of the blog).

While you're at it, could you instruct us in the methodology you used to perform your comparative time analysis of Connie's responses versus the responses you would have preferred? A graph would be nice, but simple figures will suffice. We'll wait...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 2:26:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thank you for your response, Ron. I'm always of two minds about continuing to publish comments from the same Anon detractors over and over. While I agree that "hearsay" and "innuendo" from either side do no one any good, Anon's continued insistence on getting me to define every word and ever term seems a clear attempt to detract from the real issues. My failure to provide a definition of "self-help" that will satisfy Anon has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not charismatic gurus and their teachings are helping or harming people.

Jeez, I hate to bring up the old LGAT monster again, but I strongly suspect that some of these Anons are LGAT grads who are playing the games they were taught. There comes a point at which this back-and-forth stuff really is a time-waster, and that point is different for each of us.

Call that a cop-out if you wish, Anon, but I really do have a life apart from this blog.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 2:36:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

On second thought, perhaps I've been unfair to those who might also be wondering about a good working definition of self-help.

Why re-invent the wheel? Steve Salerno expressed it quite well in Chapter 1 of his book, SHAM:

http://www.randomhouse.com/crown/Sham/

It's not a neat one-sentence definition by any means, but it provides a framework that is, I think, congruent with the framework on this blog.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 2:53:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Wink said...

Hi Connie,

I think self-help is anything that you embrace to help you learn something about yourself, another person or a specific subject.

In some ways, life is a big lesson in self-help. Tough one to define as it is very subjective.

Whoever asked about cookbooks as part of self-help was also spot on.

Websters online defines "self help" as ---

1. The act of providing for or helping or the ability to provide for or help oneself without assistance from others.

2.Law. the act or right of remedying a wrong, without resorting to legal proceedings.

3.the acquiring of information or the solving of one's problems, esp. those of a psychological nature, without the direct supervision of professionals or experts, as by independent reading or by joining or forming lay groups that are devoted to one's interests or goals.

All of these can be contradicted depending on how they are positioned.

So funny --- we are all involved in self-help to varying degrees, yet can't come to a one-size-fits-all definition of what self-help is. Maybe that's why there is so much excellent debate going on!

Just a thought.

Ciao!
Peter

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 9:06:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

I appreciate your perspective as always, Peter. Even Steve Salerno, who wrote a thoughtful criticism of the self-help industry in his book SHAM, acknowledges that there are different definitions for self-help.

For that matter, the infamous bomb-building instructional manual, "The Anarchist's Cookbook" could be considered "self-help," as could a book on do-it-yourself taxidermy or a volume on how to build a doghouse. I get that. But I also think that most of the people who come to this blog and, I daresay, most who are interested in what you have to say, Peter, share a general concept of what "self-help" and "the self-help industry" are. Even your friend and mine, Pat O'Bryan, was working from that general concept when he wrote his (in)famous blog post last December, "The Self-Help Kool-Aid Acid Test." (And I know you say you didn't read that one either so that's why I'm telling you.)

It should be pretty obvious to anyone who's poked around this blog for any length of time that any quarrel I have is not with cookbooks or cookbook authors. :-) I feel fairly sure my Anon contributor who mentioned cookbooks was well aware of this but just wanted to argue. No harm, no foul, Anon.

Besides, at least some of her points are valid, if for no other reason than that they give all of us an opportunity to strengthen our own arguments or throw out the ones that no longer serve us.

In that sense, this is indeed an "excellent debate." At least I hope it is!

Well, back to my writing... I have a new blog post to finish. ;-)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 10:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Certain on-line proponents attempt to distort and sell "self'help" as a dirty word in their writings.

If we define "self help" as people who want to contribute to themselves and contribute to each other, then that would include billions of persons of many shapes and sizes ( and that might have to include Cosmic Connie as part of that industry - she recently asked for donations to fund this blog).

Now how effective humans presently are at being useful to themselves and with each other is questionable. So far, if one believes the news and the newspapers, it does not look so good for us all. But what else are we going to do while we are here?

Like any phenomena (that involves so many persons), there may be pit-falls, errors and an occasional absence of integrity. This would include the worlds of fast-food, the boy and girl scouts of America, all clubs , all families, all technology and every product and service known to man. Humans make mistakes and go off course, sh*t happens. We don't throw the baby out with the bathwater (UNLESS we have an agenda to discriminate and build a case against a particular group or person to serve promote our own personal reasons and agendas.

And that is what I see here. I find the spin in Whirled Musings puts of "self-help" to be too often distorted/warped (lacking facts and specifics), discriminatory, dishonest, mobb'ish, and have the quality of a personal vendetta against a select group.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Another day, another argument, Anon.

Requesting donations does not make me a member of the self-help industry. People are free to donate or not donate. NBD either way. I've never advocated throwing the baby out with the bathwater. But sometimes there *is* no baby, and the bathwater is filthy. Nor am I trying to build a case against anyone. Your defensiveness is showing once again, Anon.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The targets you select to "snark" (= bashing, smearing and mocking") in Whirled Musings, combined with other bloggers and certain websites you choose to promote and advocate for in Whirled Musings, speak for themselves.

You can talk balance and fairness and even see yourself that way but that is not the point I walk away from the "self-help" blog called Whirled Musings.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 11:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Requesting donations does not make me a member of the self-help industry. People are free to donate or not donate".

Yes, when choosing to deal with any other self help" group, service, entity, business, people or "self-help" bloggers like yourself, people are free to purchase or not purchase products or services. People are free to offer or not offer dakshina to their ashram or temple.

You are correct.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 11:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are you lebelling my posts "arguements"? How are they distinct from your blog posts and other comments other than they do not promote your point of view?

I don't get it CC? If I was undermining (arguing?) with Peter Wink (as your partner has done many times) or making pro-criticism comments, would you say "Another day, another argument, Anon" over and over?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anon May 12 11:17:

"Yes, when choosing to deal with any other self help" group, service, entity, business, people or 'self-help' bloggers like yourself, people are free to purchase or not purchase products or services. People are free to offer or not offer dakshina to their ashram or temple."

That's certainly true of some groups, of course, and perhaps it is theoretically true of nearly all. But I wonder about just how "free" free will is with many of the LGATs (hate to bring it up again, Peter, but SHE started it, LOL). Or, for that matter, with charismatic leaders such as James Ray before he got his wings clipped.

You won't see me holding people captive in a hotel conference room for 20-hour days, practicing all kinds of manipulative and coercive-persuasion techniques on them, and bullying them until they sign up for my next and ever-more-expensive event.

I have a donation tab on one spot on my blog. It's visible but, I think, unobtrusive. I don't even put it at the end of every blog post, the way some bloggers do (including those who, though already quite wealthy, continue to beg for Amazon gift certificates). Apart from the Lewis Carroll parody poem I wrote when I first added the donation button in March -- nearly four years after starting my blog -- I don't devote a great deal of time or energy to begging.

Moreover, donations don't fund this blog. The blog is free, courtesy Blogger. The donations help *me*. And I am not wealthy.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anon 11:21: I see most of your comments as arguments because you continue to harp on the same things and rag about me and about this blog. So in that sense, you are arguing with me. Pointlessly, really. And it's the same argument over and over. We get your point.

My partner did not do or say anything to "undermine" Peter. Ron merely challenged some of his statements, as did a few others folk, both publicly and privately.

Peter seems none the worse for wear at this point.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Ha, ha, I just noticed that I told Anon she was arguing pointlessly, and then I said that we get her point.

Just wanted to point that out.

Maybe I use the word "point" too much. :-)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 11:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You won't see me holding people captive in a hotel"

I would not because it is illegal and S.W.A.T teams and Bruce Willis (John McClane) would get involved....in your fictional trumped up whirled anyway!

What are you talking about? Who, where and when were people "held captive in a hotel" and the police not called in?

Why do you have to lean on dishonest rhetoric to make a point?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 11:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"My partner did not do or say anything to "undermine" Peter. Ron merely challenged some of his statements, ..."

As did I. I merely challenged Whirled Musing's words and terms, some of it's claims and themes. What is the difference?

And who here has not repeated themselves? How many times do you repeat yourself about the people you "snark" (= mock, attack, smear, character assassinate, gossip) about? Since when is repetition frowned upon here besides when it does not promote Whirled musings point of view?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

Anon, though I've long since grown bored with your redundant "critiques," I'll humor you with a clear and specific response, despite being painfully aware of the futility of doing so.

"I merely challenged Whirled Musing's words and terms, some of it's claims and themes. What is the difference?

You describe Connie's prose thusly: "you "snark" (= mock, attack, smear, character assassinate, gossip)...," stating that your descriptions are no different than my own comments toward Peter. The difference is that I said that his claims of disinterest and ignorance as to topics pertinent to the self-help industry were, to me, illogical. Where your criticisms constituted a blatant attack on Connie's integrity and character, I simply said that Peter's claims didn't sound logical or credible to me. My comments were intended to invite Peter to explain his logic, whereas your comments were intended to denigrate Connie. If you can't see the difference, you really need some remedial training to improve your cognitive abilities. Or perhaps a good regimen of deprogramming.

Furthermore, although Peter's responses didn't completely answer my questions, I saw no particular benefit in continuing to nag incessantly. You, on the other hand, seem unable or unwilling to let go until Connie changes the entire style of her blog.

To put it bluntly, her blog is HER blog, to be run as she sees fit. If you find it as distasteful as you claim, the logical thing to do - and which you have been repeatedly advised to do - is to focus your attentions on forums that are consistent with your agenda. I'm certain that the Landmark Forum has plenty of outlets that would welcome you back with open arms.

"Since when is repetition frowned upon here besides when it does not promote Whirled musings point of view?"

Your "point of view" isn't the problem. Your obnoxious demand that another person's blog adhere to your agenda is.

I think Connie is to be commended for her patience where you are concerned. As you well know, few other bloggers are willing to put up with the kind of crap you've been pulling. That's why your comments get deleted so frequently.

If this doesn't get through, let me know, and I'll use smaller words. (Condescension intentional and frankly, warranted - "nice" obviously doesn't make a dent)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 5:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Like Connie...it seems to me that most people do ("how can people not like her"? (to paraphrase Sienfeld's mother!)

I don't think I have made any comments in Whirled Musings that Whirled Musings has not made about many other people. The only difference in this case is that my comments are made directly to the author where the author gets to choose to post them or not and gets to respond if she so wishes to. If there was not a "pending approval" feature I would not post what I post. I respect Whirled Musings is Connie's bog and she will manage it accordingly. I hope my past comments added a valid missing piece to this discourse which is criticism of on-line critics.

Thursday, May 13, 2010 6:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But sometimes there *is* no baby, and the bathwater is filthy."

In my way of seeing things there is always a "baby" and the baby is people. The world is trying to find it's way and people may be off or making mistakes and driven by who knows what but they are and we are people. "Self-help" people are just us. If they are making a mistake so be it and what are the snarkers doing towards people who have gone off course? Villifying them? Mocking them? Smearing and belittling them? This is good?

Connie is the baby on Whirled Musings and I also need to remember that, it is obvious I forget that as well.

Thursday, May 13, 2010 6:39:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Wink said...

Hi Everyone,

All the comments are great.

I'm just not sure what's getting accomplished at this point.

There's no question that CC and Anon have differing view. Both have underlying good intentions I'm sure.

Maybe it's best to take the debates offline like me, Connie and Ron have done. That was very powerful.

I think these ongoing debates ultimately drive people away who are looking for something new.

Maybe I'm off on this - who knows.

Peter

Thursday, May 13, 2010 8:41:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

No, Peter, you're not off; you're spot-on. I've invited Anon to take the correspondence offline but apparently Anon does not have an email address.

I agree it's time to move on. I actually have another "Wink Wednesday" post in the hopper (even though it's Thursday already :-)); I just need to get it up there.

Thursday, May 13, 2010 9:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think these ongoing debates ultimately drive people away who are looking for something new."

Seems to me that any extreme anti-"self-help" comments are lauded and called a good healthy debate....but talk about the critic or the criticism itself and it is way off and labeled a whole list of unsavory things, anything but useful and part of the discussion and it is time to move on. Reminds me of....

The Rules of Fight Club:

1st RULE: You do not talk about FIGHT CLUB.

2nd RULE: You DO NOT talk about FIGHT CLUB.

Thursday, May 13, 2010 9:44:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

This really is getting tiring, Anon, especially in light of the fact that Peter was referring to all of the comments here -- INCLUDING YOURS -- as being part of that healthy debate. But you keep nagging on the same points, over and over. You may say I keep snarking over and over. But at least I put a little bit of variety and creativity into it.

My apologies to anyone who is bored or annoyed by the fact that I have let this go on so long.

Let me rephrase the question Peter raised: Just what are you trying to accomplish here? Maybe it really is time for you to start your own blog.

Thursday, May 13, 2010 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

I know I've said this before and haven't stuck to it, but I do think it's time to stop this silly online back-and-forth that goes nowhere. Anon, if you want to continue this debate we'll do it by email, if you have an email address. You obviously have Internet access. If you've said everything you need to say publicly, we don't even need to have the private conversation. It's up to you.

Thursday, May 13, 2010 10:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point taken. I have to admit I am being repetitive and super BORING!.

Re: e-mail I was only interested in the public aspect of this exchange. I have no doubt that on the side we would both be more balanced and the dialogue would actually be a dialogue.

If I ever have anything new to say, I will return. See you in two thousand years.

Thursday, May 13, 2010 10:25:00 AM  
Anonymous disillusioned said...

The biblical allusions call for a musical interlude perhaps:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zg1QMQKuDaE&feature=fvw

Thursday, May 13, 2010 4:19:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Lovely, Dis! Music hath charms that soothe the savage snark.

Now I want to hear "Abide With Me."

And then "Flower of Scotland."

I love bagpipes.

Thursday, May 13, 2010 7:33:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Speak of the devil. I looked up to the right-hand side of the screen and there it was...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DN87mVzL28s&a=WGTyofQxF_M&playnext_from=ML

Lovely rendition.

I suppose the next step is to pop "Braveheart" into the player.

Thursday, May 13, 2010 7:41:00 PM  

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