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Rant #398
(published September 4, 2008)
My Private Self-Help Guru
by Frank Sloan
The newspaper tells me of vacation bargains in Mexico. The television informs me of bargains on sexy cars and pepperoni pizza. The voices in the back of my head rip at me for indulging such madness and I slink to the keyboard to vent some frustration.

The essay I write gets saved to a hard drive. The flooded marketplace of opinions drowns my writing before it ever gets to the mail box. The Wal-Mart I work for stocks Spiderman movies and doesn't have shelf space for my thoughts. The congress I elected can't bother itself with drivel from a small-fry with a lap-top and a need to blabber. Not that it should. This is, after all, still America where if you can't sell it, it doesn't exist.

I slouch away from the desk. I walk down to the river. It's muddy and sluggish as usual but I listen for her calming murmur and inspiring counsel. She says, "I hate to say I told you so, but I told you to ignore all media! Didn't I? How do you expect me to help you if you refuse to follow my advice? "

I'm so lucky. Less than a hundred yards from my back door I can meet with my own private self-help guru and she doesn't charge me anything.

With her loving guidance ringing in my ear, I trudge back to the house. Once inside, I feed the cats, mop the kitchen floor, and dribble some water over the desert rose on my side table. I don't smash the TV or torch the newspaper. This is, after all, America, where if you wait long enough, even your self-help guru will sell you something you want to hear.

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