Hey, nobody ever said every “art” was a delicate flower in some serene meadow. In “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: the Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life,” ace blogger Mark Manson dispenses with blowing smoke about always remaining “positive” up anyone’s ass and gets real about what letting go life’s weightiest bullshit really means.
To put it succinctly, life is and always will be an ugly septic eruption in the lawn covering every step between you and an ice cream truck.
“F**k positivity,” he says, with a poetic license that would reduce Pablo Neruda to tears. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.”
Manson arms himself with a balanced assault of fecal humor and academic validation that rains hellfire down upon modern society’s prevalent feel-good coddling and minces no words accusing it of poisoning an entire generation with token awards and congratulations. Lemons will piss you off, but not nearly as much as realizing you can’t always make lemonade. You can’t always burn life’s house down with them, either. Once more, Cave Johnson lied to you.
Occasionally, we all have to eat the lemons and keep them down. Once you accept your limitations and come to terms with your uncertainties and shortcomings, you can stop evading the truths that dog you and get better acquainted with the perseverance, honesty, responsibility, forgiveness, curiosity, and courage to overcome them outright.
First things first, though. Everything starts with deciding what is worth the precious few f*cks we tend our fields to grow and give. Feeling a personal investment in what you do with your life should outweigh fixations on material consumption. Choose experience, Manson pleads. Choose to quit living for things that neither last as long nor matter as much as we convince ourselves. Take this slap upside the head and let it rattle loose the realization that you haven’t been so much aiming for the moon and hoping to land among the stars as sticking your finger in a light socket repeatedly and wondering what that burnt smell could mean.
Now, who wants some lemonade? We’re buying.