Stephen Jones compares two best-selling self-help books

From Tue Oct 24 11:54:15 GMT 1995

Who doesn't need a good self-help book? Unfortunately, with so many self-help books on the market it is difficult to choose the one that may be right for you. Which book will solve my problems? Which will unleash my human potential? Which will make people love me? Which will transform me into the uber-master of Matter, Energy, Space and Time? Which book will rejuvenate my soul and get me a gaggle of go-go booted slaves? Which book will justify my selfish and meanspirited nature? Which book should I buy?

Tough question, but help has arrived. I'm taking the guesswork out of your life because you obviously find such tasks scary. I've waded into the vast ocean of self-help books, cast my nets and hauled in the finest catch of self-improvement literature ever thrown into the sea. Sure, there were some losers in the bunch but I tossed those ugly flounders back into the briny deep leaving me with only the freshest, tastiest, asisingest, plumpest (plump because they are nearly bursting with the righteous flavor of common sense and old-fashioned smarts. Save the head for me.) self-help books on the market, "Boy Dates Girl" and "Dianetics". Which book is right for you? C'mon, let's get busy!

The best measure of any self-help book is the help it provides. Who needs a book that doesn't answer the questions YOU have?!?! If it were up to me, I'd load *those* kinds of books onto a barge and sail up and down the Mississippi for eternity. On occasion, I would throw one of the books at the head of someone who was sitting on a bridge or just walking near the river. Why are they near my river? Shoo, fly! I'm on the barge of total freedom. Like I said, the best measure of any self-improvement book is in the help it provides. How do "Boy Dates Girl" and "Dianetics" compare? C'mon, let's get busy!

Q: How can you, as host or hostess, keep a party "pepped up" all evening?

    Boy Dates Girl 
As a host or hostess, the party's on you-from beginning to end.  You're
the pace-setter, so stay on your toes!  Make plans in advance to have 
not one, but several things to do (dancing, singing, ping-pong, cards, 
or other games)  and see that all of your guests participate, even if 
you have to drag them out of the corner.
A sure way of having your party "good to the last minute" is to make 
something special of the refreshments. Turn your kitchen into a Lunch 
Stand.   Arrange a counter (tables) in front of the stove with chairs 
or stools on the service side. Get a couple of the guests to don aprons
and be countermen and serve hot grilled "franks" on rolls with onions, 
slaw, and sliced dills on the side.  (Boy Dates Girl pg29-30)


"The parable of the black panther is appropriate here.  Let us suppose 
that a particularly black-tempered black panther is sitting on the 
stairs and that a man name Gus wants to go to bed.  But there is the 
black panther.  The problem is to get upstairs.  There are five things 
that Gus can do about this panther: (1) he can go attack the panther; 
(2) he can run out of the house and flee the black panther; (3) he can 
use the back stairs and avoid the black panther; (4) he can neglect the
black panther and (5) he can succumb to the black panther.
These are the five mechanisms: attack, flee, avoid, neglect or 
succumb." (Dianetics pg 213)

I don't know about you but I'd rather make friends with that black panther. Why attack when you could serve up some delicious grilled franks? That black panther could be the hit of the party! While Dianetics does provide an exhaustive list of "things you could do", Boy Dates Girl gets right to the meat of the matter. Make friends with the black panther, get to know your black panther. You don't have to trot him out at every party but wouldn't you want that option? I would.

Q: Parents seem to live in "another world." Isn't a girl of sixteen old enough to make her own decisions about dates and curfew hours?

        Boy Dates Girl

Not if her parents turn thumbs down!  And if they turn thumbs down, it 
may be partly the girl's fault.  Sixteen birthdays do not automatically
make you a grown- up.  You can be a grown-up at fourteen. You can be 
childish at twenty.  It's up to you to prove yourself an adult.  Don't 
complain when you are treated "like a child," if you really act like 
one at home. Don't complain that your parents are old-fashioned if 
you've failed to do your part in keeping them up-to- date.  The cause 
of most family fueds is lack of give-and-take, which means lack of 
understanding. There are  always two sides to every question and, 
unless you understand both sides, your opinion isn't worth much. (Boy 
Dates Girl pg 47-48)


"Clearing one member of a family of aberrees is seldom enough to 
resolve the problems of that family.  If  the husband has been 
aberrated, he will have aberrated or restimulated his wife and children
in one way or another, even when he used no physical violence upon 
them.  The parents implant their mutual aberrations in the children and
the children, being potentially self-determined units, revolt back to 
stir up the aberrations of the parents.  In that so many ot these 
aberrations, by contagion, have become mutual and held in common with 
the whole family, the happiness of the family is severely undermined." 
(Dianetics pg. 200-201)

LRH was one gloomy fellow. I suppose the family will need never ending Dianetic auditing? Boy Dates Girl once again does the breakdance of victory on the foam-peanut filled exercise mat that is Dianetics. It is practical, it is cost-effective, it is now!

Boy Dates Girl clearly outperforms Dianetics when it comes to smart and sassy sound advice. The "how helpful" test is only one in many of my self-improvement arsenal. How does Dianetics compare with Boy Dates Girl in the equally important "Random Out of Context Quotes" test? Let's face it, no one wants to read a self-help book that doesn't provide some thoughtful advice packed into memorable, easy to repeat "thought packets" ie. quotes. C'mon, let's get busy!

        Boy Dates Girl                           Dianetics

First of all, don't let one or        If the husband uses language 
two "off-nights" give you a case      during coitus, every word of it
of the glooms. p.62                   is going to be engramatic. p.226

The simplest way to inroduce one      Without knowing the cause and the
person to a roomful of people is      mechanism, the chances of drawing
to get the group's attention with     a correct conclusion by comparing
a "Hi, everybody!" and then say:      all conducts available are as 
"I'd like you to meet Chip Carter."   remote as winning at fan-tan from
 p.30                                 a Chinese. p.212

Take a deep breath, break through     If the husband uses language
that shell of self-consciousness      during coitus, every word of it
you've built around you, and step     is going to be engramatic. p.226
smack into the middle of thing!

Don't let "circumstances beyond       If the husband uses language 
control" give you the glooms,         during coitus, every word of it
gripes, or grudges. p62               is going to be engramatic. p.226

There is something everybody can      The field of bacteriology has
do- keep clean by washing under       been without dynamic principles
arms frequently and by wearing        until now: the dynamic, survival,
clean clothes consistantly! p.69      is applicable to all life forms,
                                      and "life-forms" includes germs.

If you do kiss the boys good-         If the husband uses language
night, you're running the risk        during coitus, every word of it
of having yourself foot-noted         is going to be engramatic. p.226
as an "easy number." p.26

While this test isn't as conclusive as the previous test, I do note a disturbing trend occuring in the Dianetics colummn. Needless to say, I feel Boy Dates Girl provides the most thoughtful, helpful suggestions found in self-improvement literature. Sorry, Dianetics. If LRH were alive today I might leave him with this piece of advice: "Reputations are something you can't rub off easily. They stick-and you're stuck with them. Make them good-and honest, not cheap and tricky." Boy Dates Girl pg.106

I give my XuXa kiss to all the beautiful peoples of the world and Davel,

Stephen Jones