Monday, December 17, 2012

...even Ask "How Can You Possibly..." (Part 2)

Consider the very first book title that began with "The Complete Idiot's Guide to..." It is quite possible (probable, in fact) that someone initially responded to the book title with something like, "You can't sell a book that calls its own readers idiots or dummies.”
But now, even if you have never read an "Idiot's guide" yourself, we all know that the book is not actually written to self-proclaimed idiots. This would apply to the “… for Dummies” books also.
Now, regarding the series HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY®, what we hope to accomplish is something of far greater significance and importance. We are trying to change culture, or rather, change a teeny tiny part of the present culture, specifically, the part of people’s minds that relate and react to questions that begin with these four words: “How can you possibly…” Right now, this sub-phrase is used as rhetorical weaponry. It is an accusa-tion, for the most part. Not a question, but an implication that there is NO answer. But imagine if that were to change someday…
Now, imagine a time in the future when a HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY® book is as famil-iar as the Idiot's and Dummies books are today. You are at a social gathering and a couple of people are getting into a heated debate about some political topic. Imagine one of them standing up, puffing out his chest and saying, "What?! You’re crazy! How can you possi-bly..."
But then this excited person just trails off for a moment. He sees, in his mind, a half-dozen HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY® books flashing across his memory.
Then, instead of finishing his rhetorical question, he simply says, "Hmm. I wonder if there is a ‘How Can You Possibly’ book out there on this subject."
“Nope!” says someone across the room. “I’ve checked. There isn’t a book. But there is a HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY® podcast that’s similar..
“Really,” says that man, who just moments ago, was about to assert the IMpossibility of… whatever the issue was.
But now, just as he was in the midst of saying something rhetorical, accusatory and mind-closing, his mind now reversed directions as he considered the existence of a book that might contain that answer.
Behold! From a non-answer to a possible answer.
From the implied impossible to the ponderously possible.
It's a simple goal, isn't it? Changing rhetorical questions to real ones. It would be nice to change all of them. But, at least, we might be able to change how people react to those questions that begin with "How can you possibly...", whether they are saying it or hearing it.
And THAT is the goal of the HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY® book series. And that’s why I trademarked it.
P.S. Here are some titles that are “in process”, meaning, I have willing and qualified contributors lined up.
With the exception of this first one on Muslim feminism (finished and should be pub-lished by February), until I generate development funds, the rest of them will be slow in coming:
HCYP be a Muslim Feminist? by Raheel Raza
HCYP Make a Case Against Teaching? by a retired Penn State professor Larry Spence
HCYP be a Black Tea Party Advocate? by… well, by a Black Tea Party Advocate, of course, though I’m still not sure that the title is right.
HCYP be a Black Mormon?” by several contributors
HCYP Think Spider-man II is Better than Citizen Kane?” by several contributors, in-cluding a Foreword by Stan Lee (seriously!)
HYCP Protect the Borders with Open Immigration?” by… me!
HYCP be a Mormon and a Republican?”by me (Though I wish an LDS Democrat would take this one on, utilizing the same technique that I used in writing “HCYP be a Mormon and a Democrat?”
HCYP Build a Hobbit Hole in Your Own Backyard? by me and another "Joe" who has also build one in his backyard

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