If you’re not familiar with Jessica Hagy, find her, read her work, and feel good about living again.
A while back I searched on “philosopher” in Google Images to see what I could find to best illustrate the concept. I found one of Jessica’s graphics, entitled “The Difference between Funny and Mean.” I love it – it’s perfect! I keep a copy pinned up in my work cubicle just to keep my spirits up.
I later bought a copy of her book How to Be Interesting: An Instruction Manual. I’ve wanted to be interesting for a very long time, and I was very grateful to have found this remarkable individual’s work.
Of course, not everyone is quite so enthusiastic about Ms. Hagy’s wonderful bit of genius. A few of the one and two star reviews by Amazon patrons seem to me to just not get what she’s doing. The folks who were looking for a self-help book did not care for this book all that much (1 ½ stars out of five). Mind you, customers interested in sports books averaged 3 ½ stars out of five for this work.
For an abstractionist, her x-y graphs and Venn diagrams couldn’t be more fun. Imagine being able to select a slice of human behavior, suss out its contrapositions (“laughs at others,” “laughs at self”), and then plot out / define the boundaries of the two-dimensional field in front of you.
Hmm. The more I think about it, it makes a whole lot of sense that sports enthusiasts would enjoy the little diagrams and graphs more than others. Among its other virtues, sports reflect the desire to bring order out of the chaos that is human existence. A literal world of play – who knew?