What’s the process of translating a blog to a book like? What was hard? What was surprising?
C: It’s very fun for people like us who like to think about meta stuff. I always knew there was an underlying narrative to our blog so it was fun to lay that out. We pasted all of our favorite articles into a Word document, it ended up being 125,000 words that we chiseled down to around 25,000 over four weeks.
S: What was surprising for me was how much work it as. Like I thought I just had to content farm my own blog til I picked the best things. Wrong. Almost everything needed voice or content editing. Turns out a lot of pop culture shit from like 2010 is totally irrelevant now.
Also for the sake of full disclosure and to be totally honest, we came from a place that was far more snarky, ironic, angry, reactionary, etc. We are both way more grown up, content, happier and inspired than we were when we started. We want to include everyone where perhaps formerly we wanted to show everyone how stupid they were. I’m proud of us, but I don’t deny the poignancy of where we came from whatsoever. There’s a place for all of it, but I think the hardest thing for me was wading through real and sincere thoughts I once had and but don’t currently hold with the same flavor while finding the best way to still represent those thoughts. In any case it feels amazing to be less combative, even if the end product is slightly neutered and pisses off followers who are as butthurt as we once were. Hopefully for their sake not many people are. But regardless, the weight of it is still there, I think.
We’ve talked about how your tone can change over time as you blog and find the right voice. Did you find yourself editing different voices at different times during this process?
C: Yes. We’re two people that write a blog trying to answer the same question “how can I be a thinking person without losing my personality?” Our blog is really about feminism, because the false dichotomy between these two things came from patriarchal views about emotions versus reason. Because we come from this same place, our voices are pretty similar. Most of the changes we made were cosmetic.
S: This is a touch LOL to me because I actually very strongly disagree. I think her voice is much more confident, articulate, straightforward, and (sometimes offensively) (sorry buddy bear) blunt than mine. On the other hand I’m a lot more “emo” as they’d say in 2006… more cautious, worried, nit picking, etc. And I love it. I really love it, it represents the best of our strengths. But was hard for me personally to edit cuz I kept being like, “You can’t say that objectively!!!!” But for real, I think our differences are super complementary. Someone once commented that Chrissy seemed super relatable and nice, and I seemed neurotic as hell. I get it.
What would Socrates think of this book?
C: I don’t think he would like it. Socrates got off on proving people wrong and we think philosophy can be more encouraging than that. There’s room for more voices at the table than just the one who can make the most perfect form of an argument that may or may not be right.
S: Socrates I am pretty sure would hate this because he legit thought women were sub-human. Though I am pretty sure if you gave me like 30 minutes I could convince him to sleep with me, so.
What’s an ad hominem critique of this book?
C: I mean, you could very easily go through the book and make truth tables about how this argument or that argument isn’t the strongest one out there. But that’s what we are trying to draw attention to. If you can make a logically valid argument that god exists (cf: Anselm’s Ontological Argument) but there’s still tons of atheists and agnostics in the world, isn’t it also inversely true then that something could be true without you being able to make a logically valid argument for it?
We’re not this esoteric in the book, I promise, this kind of thinking just gets under my skin.
S: Oh trust me I am on a constant high anxiety wave so here’s the considerations I had in my panic attack the night before this came out: a) this isn’t real philosophy, b) you are immature and desperate and that’s embarrassing, c) you are on a constant downward spiral, the depths of which I can’t believe you haven’t hit yet.
When do you recommend people read this book? When they’ve just been dumped? When they’ve just looked at a picture of Kierkegaard for the first time?
C: Ha! I really think this book is for everyone. I was considering trying to get a copy to Wes Craven because he has a masters degree in philosophy but spent his life directing low brow films. Most people have an intellectual side that they aren’t sure how to connect to their visceral side and we want to encourage them to embrace both and use them together. A professor in college told me I laughed a lot to make myself less intimidating to the guys in my philosophy class because I was smarter than them. This book is for people who don’t want to think in those terms. An appreciation for low brow culture, your gender, your style of dress, your number of sexual partners, your joie de vivre–none of these things speak to your intelligence level.
S: My answers previous to this seem too verbose. So here I will just say “you won’t be bored and you can read it in like 1hr max.”
What do you guys plan to do next?
C: From the day Thought Catalog suggested we do this to today, it’s been just over two months and we’ve been working long hours those days so I feel as if we’re not quite in the space to see what the next thing is. My ultimate dream job is to do some kind of philosophy column for Cosmopolitan. Maybe that.
S: My goal was not to care about success but to make enough money to go on vacation with my boyfriend. Then I did my tax return at 6 p.m. on the 15th and I found out I got like $2,500 back or something stupid. So I might just go on vacation now and let the chips fall as they may as far as possible.
That said my like ultimate dream is to produce a tarot deck and instruction book that isn’t irreverent but is helpful and gorgeously designed. I don’t care if anyone buys it I just want to hold it in my hands and cry a little.
(Book cover design by Brad Surcey)
awesome awesome awesome