That’s right! You heard me!
I said F*ck the Middle Class!
Now that I got your attention…
Besides what the current President, big corporations like Facebook, Apple and Google (or FAG if you prefer) are doing with your personal information day after day, the health care industry, Wall Street, nearly every politician and the top twenty percenters (a group that I aspire to) are doing to the Middle Class, I say f*ck it.
They’re killing the Middle Class while feasting on our hard-earned and heavily taxed income.
The idea came to me a few months ago while reading about several profanity-laced self-help books including F*ck Feelings by father and daughter Michael and Sarah Bennett. The elder Bennett is a psychiatrist and American Psychiatric Association distinguished fellow and his daughter is a comedy writer.
According to a fall 2015 review in The Atlantic, the Bennetts provide a tough-love, irreverent take on “life’s impossible problems.” The crux of their approach is that life is hard and negative emotions are part of it. The key is to see your “bullshit wishes” for just what they are (bullshit), and instead to pursue real, achievable goals.
Stop trying to forgive your bad parents, they advise. Jerks are capable of having as many kids as anyone else—at least until men’s rights conventions come equipped with free vasectomy booths. If you happen to be the child of a jerk, that’s just another obstacle to overcome.
In fact, stop trying to free yourself of all anger and hate. In all likelihood you’re doing a really awesome job, the Bennetts argue, despite all the shitty things that happen to you.
Oh, and a word on shit: “Profanity is a source of comfort, clarity, and strength,” they write. “It helps to express anger without blame, to be tough in the face of pain.”
Another such book is The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. At its core, Manson’s book is about finding what’s truly important to you and letting go of everything else. In the same way that he encourages limiting exposure to mindless distractions such as social media, television and technology, he encourages limiting concern over things that have little to no meaning or value in your life.
In a December 2016 review on the Psychology Today website, Jennifer Haupt writes that according to Manson, caring less can actually lead to more happiness. It’s all about the choices we make about what to care about. He uses his own life as an example. “I was a big party guy in my twenties, and kind of a playboy as well,” he explains. “I adopted a lot of values and goals that were fairly superficial and, in many cases, self-destructive. They looked cool and sounded sexy on the surface, but underneath there was no real meaning going on, just a lot of escapism. My life was about racking up these checklists of ‘cool’ stuff I had done.”
According to Manson, some of the most common things people care way too much about include:
- Impressing other people
- Being right all the time
- Being “successful”
- Being pleasant and polite
- Being happy
- Feeling good all the time
- Being “perfect”
- Feeling secure and certain
I am certainly Guilty as Charged on the above, with a possible exception of #7. I am not anywhere near perfect, I know it, and I do not pretend to be or aspire to be.
The only perfect person that I have ever known is Mary Poppins, and she was Practically Perfect in Every Way.
Do I strive to be pleasant and polite? Check.
Try to be happy? Check. Who doesn’t try to be happy?
Trying to impress other people? Trying to be right all the time? Trying to become “successful”? Check, check and check.
I also strive to feel good, maybe not all the time, but as much of the time as I can. I have also spent many years pursuing security and certainty for myself and on behalf of my family. Any Middle Class Guy would.
Here’s the good news/bad news: You are always choosing what to value more, moment by moment. And, according to Manson, that’s how change happens — slowly, moment by moment, with every choice you make.
Like many other books that I have read in what I call the “Change Your Way of Thinking/Become Wealthy/Improve Your Life” genre, Manson calls for action, not just writing like I am doing now or thinking about or saying that you are going to do something.
The final step in choosing to give up caring about the things that don’t really matter and changing your values is to take action. “You will fail a number of times—and that’s fine,” Manson says. “The point is to keep doing it until your behaviors line up with your new values.”
The third such book that I refer to is Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop. By the way, Gary John sounds cool and when paired with the last name Bishop either sounds like a serial killer, a country music star or an author of a profanity-laced self-help book.
Bishop keeps his Facebook page up to date with occasional helpful thoughts on how to unfu*k yourself but mostly urging readers to purchase this book in its various formats.
I read some excerpts from it, and much like the other two, it contains much of the standard self-help fare, with the notable difference of numerous expletives. Truths like whining because you were born trying to get to first base while others were born already on third base does not get you anywhere and only by taking action can you make things happen is hardly ground-breaking advice.
Bishop writes that the world does not owe you anything, a simple and common sense notion, yet one that took me over forty years to actually learn. I did think that I was owed not only a good living but an opportunity to become wealthy just by being a hard worker, honest, smart and nice. In reality, you do not need any of those four attributes to become wealthy, and some may even hinder it. I know many wealthy individuals who are not and do not strive to be “nice.” Most work smarter rather than harder.
I would not go so far as to say that Nice Guys Finish Last, but sometimes that old adage does prove true.
Bishop wants the reader to adopt the attitude that “You can do this” and “I am what I do.” Again, it is not talk or planning that makes one successful, it is actually doing. Life can deal some hard blows, and I have certainly had my share, but it is ultimately up to me and you to bring ourselves up to a better place. Nobody is going to do it for us.
One of the chapters, “I Am Not My Thoughts, I Am What I Do” embodies this idea, and hits me where it hurts. I am always thinking about what I want to do, like creating several high-quality, good-selling eBooks based upon my blog posts and other unique ideas. I think about it all the time, yet I have not taken any concrete steps toward attaining that goal.
It will be an important Resolution for 2018, along with several others that are equally important.
After all, I am a Middle Class Guy and have been on the straight middle class path since my birth around Thanksgiving back in 1970. I would like to take the next step into becoming a digital entrepreneur like the Samurais, Ninjas and Zenmasters that I follow and launch myself into the upper middle class or top twenty percent realm.
All told, when I do plan the publishing of eBooks and the greater amount of marketing and promoting this blog, along with re-upping with Google AdSense to generate some advertising income, perhaps I will published some profanity-laced titles in the desperate attempt to attract interest to the books.
After all, to stand out among the hundreds of thousands of self-published eBooks for sale on Amazon is not easy. In my last post, I pontificated on adopting some Eastern warrior and philosophical names.
Possibilities titles in that vein may include Middle Class Zen, Middle Class Ninja and Middle Class Samurai.
Now I am thinking of something even more attention grabbing than that, although I would have to go through and update one of my upcoming eBooks by sprinkling in a smattering of curse words.
The title is simple…