Friday, September 19, 2008

a review of "Oh, The Humanity"

Oh, The Humanity!: A Gentle Guide to Social Interaction for the Feeble Young Introvert by Jason Roeder

“This may sound silly, but I want you to shake hands with yourself. Yes, I'm serious. Introductions are in order: Meet the new you!”
Yes, it does sound silly, but not really much sillier than the vast majority of self help books out there, does it? And that is what “Oh, the Humanity” is, a humorous send up of all the quick fix books that seem to flood the market these days. If you could just pick the right one for your particular issues, read it very quickly (because you really can't be expected to devote to much effort to this self improvement thing, can you), your life would be a bed of roses.
Mr. Roeder has latched on to just enough truth to make his spin amusing. Speaking of spin, Dale Carnegie must be spinning in his grave.

Part one, “Essential Qualities You Lack” discusses the four traits that you are deficient in that makes you the loser that you are- confidence, humor, curiosity and empathy. Should be easy to fix, right? Roeder informs us that “as you read, you might come up with some other qualities that you think could be helpful in your particular situation. Put these out of you mind. All character traits beyond those discussed in part one are not to be trusted.”
Now, he is a trained professional, with an actual, rare BA in psychology, so he can be trusted.

Part two was my personal favorite. “Conservation for People Who'd Rather be Home Fondling Their Record Collections, Knitting Berets for Pets They May or May Not Actually have, or Just Sit in a Dark Room, Dreaming of an Even Darker Room.”
He discusses things such as small talk, how to handle difficult people and topics, nonverbal communication ...”what exactly is body language? My arrest record suggests I need some clarification” and cross cultural communication or “how to deal with the world's five billion hundred million outsiders”.
Personally, I think maybe they should just all stay outside. That's a lot of people.
That section was also the favorite of my afore mentioned imaginary kitty, Kitty. I told you about Kitty. I told someone. I think.
Enough said. Let's move on. Good Kitty.

It's all topped off with part three- “Making Friends That Last a Lifetime...or Until Things Just Kind of Drift”. Ok, I was just sort of skimming by then, but I am sure it explained a lot of useful stuff....and whatever.
Friends are overrated anyhoo....just love yourself, and then you will always have a friend! Right inside your head...talking to you all the time.

Some amusing stuff and I loved the illustrations by Eric West. You can look at the drawing on page 104 and pretty much sum up all the types of people in the world. Guess which on I am. Go ahead. If you're curious, you can just go to a bookstore and look at it for free, but if you want to spend a little time, having a little giggle, you could buy it I guess.

To quote Mr. Roeder “'Oh, the Humanity' is available pretty much everywhere slender novelty books are sold...” yes, of course, including Amazon.


  1. Pennsylvania is mentioned in the Lydia Cassatt book. By the way, I have run up the "Rocky" steps!

  2. lots of women and children in her paintings...althought I don't believe she every married or had children.

    I have NOT run up the stairs. Just because everyone else


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