The belief that humankind is in a continual state of self-improvement.
Can you believe that the first time humankind recorded the notion of continual progress was about 700BCE? How odd! I wonder what they thought before that date – that humankind was regressing? Or perhaps they didn’t think about it all.
I remember as a teenager being very confused about the subject. It seemed to me, from my narrow perspective as an English boy, that people were better off on a material level – they were living longer, travelling faster and had more technical knowledge. etc. But on a spiritual level, they seemed to be worse off – there was the fall, moral values were degrading and there were more and bloodier conflicts all over the world, which seemed itself to be perpetually on the brink of an untimely apocalypse.
It took me a good few years to figure out what was happening. That there was, over the years and centuries, a shift in focus from spiritual to material values. People are simply interested in accumulating more and more stuff rather than storing up for themselves treasures in the next world. The decline in church attendance and the rise of the shopping mall are just the latest episodes of an age old story.
So, what can we do about it? Simple – write a book about what is happening.
Here are a few ways to
exploit document the way things are around here:
- Self Help. It seems that helping yourself is the new God. These kinds of books are selling by the bucket load so why not get yourself in there and write one. It’s actually quite easy to do – all you need is a new spin on an old story. Take the ten commandments for example – put them in a modern context and they make a lot of sense. A nice little ten chapter book on how to have a happy butt would go down a real treat in suburbia.
- Get Rich. As the Earth’s resources dwindle, so grows humankind’s eagerness to cut their slice of the pie before it all gets eaten. And like kids in a sweet shop, we’re all fixing to get our fix as quick as we can. So what better than a tome on how to get rich quick. No-one has the time to do it the hard way – they just want to know the short-cuts and rat-runs. So give them what they want already. Quick, quick!
- Hook Up. In a connected world (electronically speaking) no-one has time to go out and talk to the neighbours anymore – they are all online chatting to their 1000+ BFF online. Blogs, emails, chats … well, you know how it goes – you’re here! So why not exploit that vein of gold and write a book on how to get more Follows, Likes and Comments than anyone else. Tip – it’s not rocket science – just be interesting and nice.
- Waste Time. Tips on how to waste time abound. There are endless websites that detail tips and cheats for every game around, from Infuriated Avians through Squashed Sweetie Saga to World of Wombats. And hey, all you have to do to research your book is to play a few games. What could be sweeter? Note – other wastes of time are available.
- Spend Cash. What with consumerism being the name of the game, everyone wants to know when and where the next big sale is going to happen. People actually visit stores just to find out when the sale is on – can you imagine? So what better book to write than one detailing all the sales you’ve ever attended, how much money you saved, and what wondrous bargains you bagged yourself. Man, that has got to be a rivetting read!
- Win Big. The whole gambling, sport, lottery ticket, scratchcard thang is big bucks in this brave new world. It’s just so much easier to win a million than put in the hard work and make a million by the sweat of your own brow. Well here’s the thing – writing a book about how to win big, with pictures of those who have already done it, could be worth a few bucks. All the information has been in the papers – just cut and paste it into your book, give it a thorough rewrite and you’ll be on to a winner.
- Find Fame. Celebrities just can’t get enough of being in your face and you just can’t get enough of having them in you face. Oh, what a beautiful love match! If you can’t persuade a local celeb to let you write his or her autobiography, then just stalk them for a while and write an unauthorised biography. Chances are it’ll sell even more copies than an authorise one – particularly if you can get some juicy snaps or a few gossipy quotes from the neighbours. Fame from fame – what a gay game!
- Know Stuff. The rise and rise of sites like Wikipedia and actually, the internet itself are fuelled by humankind’s insatiable appetite for knowledge. There are more books, magazines, newspapers, pamphlets and posters in circulation now than at any time in the history of forever. You might think to yourself that the world does not need one more book about whether robots dream of electric kettles, but the evidence shows you to be wrong – this is precisely what people are demanding. It would be a shame if you did not listen. Write a book about what you know, and do it now!
You’ll notice that I didn’t mention anything here about … ah, you nearly caught me there – I’m not going to mention … Sigh – okay – the most popular subject in all the world is … the weather!
Oh, wait a sec – I just read the small print:
‘… the list omits any porn related keywords’.
Sigh. Have a nice day, peeps.