Friday, October 24, 2014

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Kelly Crigger, Author and Curmudgeon

Kelly Crigger, Curmudgeon and Author
Kelly Crigger is a self-avowed curmudgeon, and he’s used his knowledge to write a guide for others to follow. As one reviewer said, “The world needs a great big dose of reality, and this work here is exactly where it starts.” Crigger started to write “life lessons” for his children, but his journal evolved into CURMUDGEONISM: A SURLY MAN’S GUIDE TO MIDLIFE.

Crigger continues to enjoy writing and is now co-authoring a book “I Am Haunted” and has four other novels underway. He likes spending time with his family, and appreciates the days he gets to spend with them.

Q: What inspired you to write CURMUDGEONISM: A SURLY MAN’S GUIDE TO MIDLIFE? Why did you write it?

Kelly Crigger: I went through a dark period in 2013 where I lost my father and my business and was kinda pissed at the world and people in general. When you own a business you see the worst in people. They all want to take advantage of you or lie to your face and it really jaded me. At the time I’d been writing down life lessons for my kids and was planning to put them into a book for them. So I just got drunk one night and took all those lessons and rewrote them with a “fuck you world” attitude and 8 weeks later the book was done. Once I got started I couldn’t stop myself.

Q: When did you comprehend the significance of curmudgeonism?

Kelly Crigger: About a year after retiring from the Army I was lost and really wasn’t sure who I was anymore. I was used to a life of selfless service where everyone helps and trusts each other and landed in a world of backstabbing, lying assholes. I figured there were probably a lot of midlife men like me struggling with their place in life and wrote this for them.

Q: How helpful is humor to recognizing and coping with curmudgeonism?

Kelly Crigger: Very. My book comes across as angry (and it is) but it’s also laced with humor…if you can recognize it. John Cleese said it best – “Humor is best when it’s mean spirited.” I took that to heart.

Q: You offer advice on “how to cope” with this “midlife tailspin.” Is this advice based on your own discovery of Curmudgeonism? Or did you research scientific or medical authorities?

Kelly Crigger: My own tailspin that I am only just barely coming out of. You have to remember that men are wired to provide (at least the ones who give a shit are). When anything threatens our ability to bring home the bacon, put a roof over our family’s heads, or pay for braces, we freak out just a little and dedicate our energies to bringing the world back into balance by ensuring we provide now and in the future. 

Q: One of the reviewers of CURMUDGEONISM says, “this book is about one thing above all else: reality.” Do you agree? Why or why not?

Kelly Crigger: Of course I agree. I dedicated part of the book to those namby pamby souls who turn a blind eye to reality and try to wish it away. Men go to war, immigrants are here, drugs are everywhere. To encase yourself in a cocoon of denial is stupid and doesn’t help solve any of these problems.

Q: Do you believe that your insight into curmudgeonism applies to men worldwide? Or is it more pertinent to men in the US and developed countries?

Kelly Crigger: I’d like to think it’s applicable to men everywhere, but I’m willing to bet there are cultural differences that would make men in different countries look at me like an idiot. Islam doesn’t treat women like we do, so I’m sure my views on the opposite sex would not go over well with them.

Q: What are the top three to five tips you might offer to curmudgeons?

Kelly Crigger: 1. Live and let live, meaning when you encounter morons just give them a wide berth and be comfortable in knowing they’re morons and you’re not.
2. When you cannot avoid encountering a moron, let him have it. Prove he’s a moron not to be an asshole, but to help him recognize that he’s a moron and you’re only trying to help reduce his moronism.
3. Never apologize for being a curmudgeon.

Q: Did you learn anything when writing CURMUDGEONISM?

Kelly Crigger: I write angry subjects better when I drink.

Q: What’s next? Any novels in your future or do you prefer non-fiction?

Kelly Crigger: I’m co-writing a book with Zak Bagans called I Am Haunted that comes out in February. It’s on Amazon now. After that I’ll be working on novels. I have 4 in various stages of production.

Q: Tell us about Kelly Crigger. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Kelly Crigger: Drink and hate everything. Just kidding. I love to write and be with my family. I’m kind of a hermit. My job is Chemical and Biological Defense, but for the most part I’m just sitting in my house with my family as much as possible because I know these days are limited. The kids will move out eventually and if they’re like me they’ll never look back.

About Kelly Crigger

Kelly Crigger is an angry troll who lives under a bridge, eats goats that wander past, and throws their bones into the canyon of despair.

Discovering who you are is not just for teenagers. Midlife men must also rediscover the world around them while struggling with their own impending mortality and legacy, especially those who change careers and lifestyles.

Middle-aged men like me are under siege, beset on all sides by personal ambition, internal expectations, familial pressure, disillusionment, uncertainty, and legacy. It’s a constant battle to balance the needs of the self and the needs of others and a struggle to discover which ones really take priority. Some win this battle and some tragically lose.

Curmudgeonism is a state of mind, unwavering, unapologetic, and uninterested in what people think. We are the proverbial old dog that can’t be taught new tricks because we know the old tricks are tried and true. We have firm beliefs that can’t be shaken. Free trade is good. True leaders are rare. Happiness is a luxury. Golf is a waste of time and we don’t have enough years left to be unproductive. We don’t apologize for our views because we’ve spent half a lifetime developing them. Theory and idealism sounds good in school but only until it becomes cost prohibitive and the real world determines ground truth. Curmudgeons are uncaring about what people think and have low expectations on the world because it’s done little more than disappoint us. We’re middle aged and tired of looking, acting, feeling the way people want us to, so we’re breaking out and being who we were meant to be; irascible curs who make the world a better place through brutal honesty. We see this as our duty and take it seriously.


Twitter address - @kellycrigger or @curmudgeonism

Follow the entire Curmudgeonsim Tour HERE
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