Tuesday, December 20, 2005

And it's still a lonely hunter.

A guest item today, folks, while "your regular host" is out getting The Finger from cheerful holiday revelers who felt entitled to the mall parking space he arrived at first. This one is courtesy of "Callie" of Arlington, VA. And though, yes, she's writing yet another Amazon review with specific reference to Dr. Phil McGraw's (not so) new book, Love Smart, her perspective on SHAM's relationships wing--and, really, the self-help phenomenon as a whole--is as canny, and succinctly put, as any I've read. To wit:

"My problem with these happily-ever-after blueprints is that they seem to operate under the tacit assumption that dealing with difficult emotional issues is an intellectual process. This stuff is all common sense; everyone knows they should stay away from jerks, maintain healthy emotional boundaries, and (ugh) not expect Prince Charming. Intellectual appreciation for these very obvious facts is not the same as having emotionally internalized them. There are individuals with all kinds of problems out there--people who are so needy and desperate they'll put up with any treatment to have a mate; people who are so out of touch with who they are they need someone to provide an identity for them; and people who just generally can't find any meaning in life other than that ostensibly provided by their relationships. The issues these people face extend far beyond the realm that pat advice such as that prescribed by Dr. Phil can treat. If these books actually accomplished a fraction of what they advertise, there would be alot of sane, happy people out there just filled to the brim with love, humanity and good mental health, and frankly, I just don't see it."
Nor do I, Callie. And that's because it's not there to be seen. Let me say also that Callie's line about how "intellectual appreciation for these very obvious facts is not the same as having emotionally internalized them" deserves some sort of award in its own right. Every day, increasing evidence from such realms as medicine, psychology, and genetics points to a major disconnect between the heart and the mind--a gulf that cannot necessarily be bridged through the application of reason or will... Or as someone once put it, "The heart has to learn..." (Extra credit, by the way, if you get the allusion in the title of this post.)

** UPDATE, 11:40 a.m. ** And naturally, as per its custom, Amazon has just taken down Callie's review. I guess it was just too savvy and commonsensical.

6 comments:

Calvin Tintle said...

"The Heart is a Lonely Hunter."

Steve Salerno said...

Bravo, Cal! Good to have you back on-board. Have a great holiday, if we don't hear from you again soon...

Anonymous said...

I hope you're taking Amazon to task for its disgraceful and outrageous behavior! This is really appalling.

Anonymous said...

OK, why is it "commonsensical" and not "commonsensible"?

Steve Salerno said...

Well...why is it nonsensical and not nonsensible?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps because of insensible...