Not long ago I received an email marketing missive meant for my late mother.
“Dear Amazon.com Customer,” it began. “We’ve noticed that customers who have purchased or rated ‘Rolling Away the Stone: Mary Baker Eddy’s Challenge to Materialism’ have also purchased ‘Stone Me: The Wit and Wisdom of Keith Richards.’ For this reason, you might like to know that ‘Stone Me’ is now available in paperback.”
I was interested, in fact. But I was also skeptical of the pairing that this algorithm offered. Was there really a massive crossover audience for readers of a 500-page intellectual biography of the woman who founded Christian Science and a sampler of bon mots from the guitarist who co-founded the Rolling Stones? I had to find out.
Sleuthing through works by the woman and man responsible, respectively, for “Science And Health,” “With Key To The Scriptures” and “Sticky Fingers,” offered some pretty stunning insights, especially when you look at their words line by line. For example:
Mary Baker Eddy: “Divine love always has met, and always will meet, every human need.”
Keith Richards: “Miraculously, due to abstinence and prayer, my teeth grew back.”
Now see if you can tell who said it. Mrs. Eddy or Mr. Rock and Roll:
“When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea.”
“Vodka’s easier on the voice, man.”
“A scientific mental method is more sanitary than the use of drugs, and such a mental method produces permanent health.”
“I’ve never had a problem with drugs. I’ve had problems with the police.”
“The basis of all health, sinlessness, and immortality is the great fact that God is the only Mind; and this Mind must be not merely believed, but it must be understood.”
“I was No. 1 on the ‘who’s likely to die’ list for 10 years. I mean, I was really disappointed when I fell off the list.”
If Mom were still with us, would she pick up a copy of “Stone Me?” Maybe not. But she always did have a sense of humor.
With a Perspective, I’m Steven Saum.