F*CK FEELINGS, by Michael Bennet & Sarah Bennet, might’ve been the best purchase I’ve made all year. The book’s premise falls somewhere between Nihilism and Buddhism, which is exactly where I fall, so it speaks to me. It’s about “managing expectations, accepting limitations, and wrangling Assholes,” and it’s done in a very frank and often hilarious way (314).
It does use fuck a lot, but that word doesn’t bother me at all. Sometimes FUCK is the best, most expressive, appropriate word one can use. In this book, it is used well. It’s a book about “letting go” without using that tired, old, annoying, oh-so-spiritual phrase. Better than “letting go” is learning not to give a flying fuck. It’s freedom. As someone who frequently utters the word fuck, I reject the notion that only unintelligent or inarticulate people use profanity. I adhere to the concept that people who use profanity are more honest.
As you can tell, I think fuck and shit are useful words for responding to life’s problems. They’re part of a male work language that can help fight superficial empathy, false hope, sentimentality, and the over-valuation of feelings compared to actions. On the other hand, I think the words “feel” and “fair” are dangerous 4-letter f-words, and urge you to avoid them, together with “should” and “why.”
After the events of the past few years, I have zero fucks left to give, really. The few fucks I had left were given about a month ago, now I’m back to zero fucks. Zero fucks is a good place to be. Life is much more enjoyable when one has zero fucks to give. Then it’s about enjoying the beauty, basking in the joy, and surviving the pain, sorrow, loss, and inevitable betrayals with as little permanent damage as possible.
While this entire book is excellent and cathartic on many levels, I especially like the chapter called “Fuck Assholes.”
It’s hard to believe that you can’t spot a greedy, lying, unprincipled Asshole…But sometimes you don’t get to see a person’s dark side until stress reveals it…
We tend to like people who make us feel good and we take pride in our ability to make quick decisions and trust out guts…
So it’s not hard for smart, experienced people to be fooled by a good listener who makes an emotional connection. (289)
Wow. Like the author is observing the last three months of my life!
Bennett and Bennet say that although you could call Assholes psychopaths or narcissists, but “those words imply more, take longer to spit out, and say less” (285).
They go on to say “an Asshole is someone who behaves like a jerk and doesn’t see it” whose “selfishness is stealthy and covered by deceiving warmth” (285, 287).
Especially given my past, I am extremely sensitive to injustice, so I speak loudly about it, for my voice is the something that I still have. However, the chapter called “Fuck Fairness” has given me some peace around that:
Instead of mourning unfairness, improve your ability to do good in an unfair world. You may have lost a relationship that should’ve lasted, but you did a good job with your part of it (other than, perhaps, choosing the wrong person). You may have lost a great job, but you did well with it when you had the opportunity, and learned something about the kind of boss you should never work for…
Whether it was a good job, a good relationship, or just a very happy time, focus on the good things you did to appreciate it while you had it, like making the most of a summer’s day, knowing you probably had little to do with the way it ended other than, perhaps, not bringing and umbrella. If someone dumped on you when things seemed to be going well, it probably had much more to do with their character than anything you did wrong or had any influence over…
You haven’t lost your ability to do good things with life, even if it never loses its ability to do bad things to you. (105-106)
There is so much more to quote from this book, but I’ll stop there.
Speaking as someone who has intense, deep fucking feelings, this book has been invaluable. For my own benefit, indeed, but also in dealing with Fucktards who are cowards, Assholes, or just plain mean bullies.
Fuck that and fuck them.
May you all find fucking peace.
Buy it on fucking Amazon: