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    98-pound positive thinking weaklings

    I’m confused.

    If positive thinking is supposed to be so powerful that it can bend the molecules of the universe to its will, magnetize money, eradicate disease, overpower anyone else who wants the same thing you do, and otherwise exert more control over the external world than all other forces combined…

    Then why is it such a wimp in the face of “negativity?”

    Why is saying to a positive thinker, “You’re a delusional narcissist” kryptonite to positivity’s Superman?

    If being positive is so uplifting that it gets you a better job, improves all your relationships, and alters your physiology to make you impervious to anything shy of a nuclear bomb suppository, then why do you need to protect it like the Bubble Boy in a Swine Flu farm by running away from anyone who might brush up against your rosy attitude?

    Positivity, it seems, is the 98-pound weakling at the beach.

    Well, no more!

    Now you can get my new positivity training program, Positively Positive, a Charles Atlas-like course for positive thinking wimps.

    No longer will the Negativity Bully kick sand in your face and embarrass you and your scrawny, sunken-chested positivity!

    In just 2.3 seconds a day, in the comfort of your home, you’ll use Dynamic at-Tension and build negativity armor arms, positively powerful pecs, LOA legs, and back that looks like a giant V for visualization!

    You’ll go back to the beach and punch that bully in the face (metaphorically, since you’ll use Non-Violent Communication), and prove to your Indigo Child girlfriend that you really are on the Hero’s Journey!

    It’s guaranteed!

    If, in just 30 days, you’re not radiating so many positive vibes that the Dalai Lama calls and asks you to tone it down, you’ll get all your money back, plus all the money AIG got in the government bailout.

    Order today by calling the phone number on the next line (which can only be seen if you’re not too full of negativity to render useless even this Quantum Physics proven program):

    11 Responses to “98-pound positive thinking weaklings”

    1. Barbara altman Says:

      I believe poistive thinking is the beginning of great change in one’s life. Before I fall off the other side of the horse, let me say that there is a place in the world for pessimists. A pessimist may have taken Bernie Maddoff down before he had a chance to wreck the lives of thousands of people, may have discouraged Adolf Hitler in his pursuit for world power, and may have warned George Bush about 9/11. So there is a place for caution. However, too much gloom can backfire as well. We melancholics have to stand guard so we don’t fall into worry and anxiety. So a large dollop of learned optismism becomes our friend. I guess it’s all about balance.
      In addition, positive thinking without action is empty and fruitless. If I want to lose weight, I have to diet; if I desire money, I have to work; if I long for a relationship, I have to look for one.
      Barbara altman, author of soon to be released “Beyond Depression, Celebrate Recovery.” My story of recovery from depression, psychosis, and anxiety.

    2. sashen Says:

      Many people believe that if you’re not positive, you’re negative.

      But that’s not the case.

      First, the absence of something (in this case, positivity) does not necessitate the appearance of it’s opposite (what is called “negativity”). I can be “not positive” and be many other things besides negative.

      More than that, the idea that positive is better is not only arbitrary (in the same way that being somewhat overweight used to be seen as more attractive than being thin, imagine another time where not looking for a bright side would be seen as a sign of intelligence), but it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Sure it *may* “feel better” for some people to wear pinkish shades, but that doesn’t mean it’s more useful or provides any advantage other than a temporary current subjective experience.

      But, for the fun of it, back to the point in this post: If positivity is so powerful, why does it have to be treated like a baby bird that fell out of it’s nest? If it’s so great, why didn’t evolution select for it? If it confers such enormous power, why can’t that power be demonstrated in any reliable and consistent way?

    3. William Says:

      Charles Atlas and the classic ads are trademarks owned by Charles Atlas, Ltd. If you are using their names to promote your products and materials I would contact them to get permission to use them. Just a suggestion.

    4. William Says:

      PS Dynamic-Tension is also their registered trademark. So be positive and contact them.

    5. sashen Says:

      Thanks for your concern, William.

      But since:

      a) I’m not “using their names to promote” anything, and since;
      b) Satire/parody is considered fair use…

      I’m all set.

    6. Ron Grubaugh Says:

      So what is this? The old bait and switch? I thought you were “moving” to that other site. Never mind, just kidding.

      Seriously though, I don’t think you should mix up “positive thimking” with your target here. I’m not defending positive thinking. I don’t like it either. You and I and most of the people in the world believe that we should try to think acurately, correctly, truthfully. That makes trying to think positively a bad idea.

      And I’m not denying that they are related. But equating them is like saying that everyone who smokes marijuana is going to progress to heroin. That does happen, sometimes, but that doesn’t make it a rule. There are numerous names for the “hard stuff.” I like to call it “new thought.” It has a technical name in the academic society; “constructive relativism.” The “secret,” “metaphysics,” there are lots of names available. As far as I’m concerned it’s all Christian Science.

      So why do I care? New Thought Kills! We have just recently seen a very widely publicised disaster in which two more people “succame” to new thought (maybe three, I never heard the final tally). I must admit I have not read “The Power of Positive Thinking,” so I could easily be completely wrong. But I would bet a large sum of money that Norman Vincent Peale never suggested that the universe conforms to your beliefs. My evidence suggests that positive thinking is misguided but relatively innocuous.

    7. sashen Says:


      Are you suggesting I’m confusing “positive thinking” (a.k.a. New Thought) with optimism?

      If so, we can start a whole other thread about whether optimism has any real value (spoiler alert: studies say it doesn’t).

      If not, can you give me another pitch to swing at, cause I missed that one.

      Oh, have you read Barbara Ehrenreich’s book, Bright-Sided, or or Empire of Illusion? Both very interesting and provocative looks at both New Thought and the notion that positive is valuable/useful/necessary/etc. In fact, they basically posit that the ills of our time are caused or supported by the preference for positivity.

      NVP, btw, did think that the universe rearranges it’s molecules based on your mental whims.

    8. Ron Grubaugh Says:

      Oh Well. There goes my large sum of money. I stand corrected on NVP. (Actually, I’m sitting so I’ll have to sit corrected.) Good job.

      In any case, no, I am not suggesting you are confusing “it” with optimism. Rather that you might be confounded two related schools of thought. But if you feel you know what you are doing, carry on.

      [I should be happy you didn’t call it “New Age” on this occasion. Interesting, I googled “new thought >< new age.” Found no new agers wishing to distinguish themselves from new thought but a number of (Christian) new thinkers who did not wish to be associated with the new age.]

    9. Ron Grubaugh Says:

      Anyway you’re now primed for absolute proof of the validity of new thought. Follow my logic here:

      It is not just you but everyone, I believe, concludes originally, probably before learning enough language to be told otherwise, that the outcomes of the universe are determined by forces and the laws that govern them, regardless of what we think… or want for that matter (rats!)

      If new thought is valid, that means that at the point of the above mentioned conclusion, the thought governed universe in which we lived was magically transformed into a law governed universe. And there would be no going back, for we would no longer live in a thought governed universe.

      Therefore, if new thought really works it would mean that new thought would never work. Since it is fairly obvious that new thought doesn’t work it must mean that new thought works because that is what we would expect to see if new thought actually worked.

    10. sashen Says:


      Methinks you’ve thought this thinking thing through.

      (what you’re presenting is leaning in the direction of a variation of determinism, the antithesis of New Thought)

    11. Ron Grubaugh Says:

      Me thinks my humour must be a little too dry!





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