Punch Your Inner Hippie

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A Christmas gift from my generous family. Even though they probably are not in 100% agreement with Frank J. Fleming's thesis here. I read it slowly, and I suggest you do the same, because the mind can only take so much awesomeness in a short period.

I had read Frank's previous books: Obama: The Greatest President in the History of Everything and How to Fix Everything in America Forever. "Punch your inner hippie" was a cast-off bit of advice in the latter, but it was a grain of sand that grew into the pearl of wisdom discussed at length in this oyster, by which I mean book.

Your "inner hippie" is that little whiny voice in the back of your mind that keeps holding you back from your full potential. Like any hippie, it is stupid, probably with leftover damage from overconsumption of mind-altering substances, but nevertheless mistakes the random neuron firings from years ago in a 2am crowded, smelly dorm room for insightful wisdom. It is a lazy, shiftless leech that hangs out on your sofa while you're at work, watching MTV or MSNBC. It is easily gulled by nonsense, especially when accompanied by bad music and bright flashing lights.

So: Frank's good advice is to (metaphorically, of course) punch your inner hippie in its stupid face until it shuts up. And then you can set your course for your awesome goals.

Frank's path to self-help and punching is clearly described, and probably won't get you arrested, if you listen to advice of competent legal counsel at appropriate points. Also, adequate insurance is a must.

Each chapter contains a summary/FAQ at the end and study questions to test your mastery of the material. Example:

Think of times in your life when you've been a lazy, useless failure. Can you identify your inner hippie's influence in each of those times?

How does having a hippie inside you make you feel?

Did you answer that last question with an actual list of feelings? If you did, could you feel the influence of your inner hippie making you do something so asinine?

I note that Frank's publisher is Broadside Books, billed on the back cover as "An Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers". Yes, they really, inexplicably, jam those three words together and italicize the last bit. Perhaps they think that's what the cool with-it kids do? That's kind of a hippie move right there.

But HarperCollinsPublishers is also the bunch that "erased" Israel from maps in its "Middle East Atlas" it sold in the area. That's a super-hippie move. I believe I saw a quote from a HarperCollins editor when that decision was made: "Whatever, man. It's your arbitrary reality, and who are we to harsh your mellow?" Or maybe I made that up.

But in any case, Frank should punch his publisher (once his royalties are safely collected) and get a new one.

Last Modified 2015-01-09 8:04 AM EDT