Frankie Boyle’s autobiography, My Sxxx Life So Far is not for everyone. It’s filled with obscenities for one, and his relentlessly irreverent view on nearly everything is sometimes too much to bear. On the other hand, I have to say, I loved it, because this is a guy who somehow never learned to pull his creative punches. This is absolutely 100% authentic, honest, creative, interesting, and funny. Inspiring for me, and I suspect many innovators would find this book a breath of fresh, albeit blue, air.
Frankie Boyle is probably best known as a panelist on the UK comedy show “Mock the Week”. The show is improvised outrageousness and Frankie is clearly the most spontaneous and out-of-the-comedy-box person on it. I really can’t repeat most of what he says, visit the website for a sampling. This is a very edgy show from an American perspective, and would have to be a cable offering in the USA. In the UK, it’s on the BBC prime time. Frankie is from Scotland and the stories of his youth and early comedy career are laugh out loud funny, and at times poignant. He’s as cynical as anyone you’ve ever encountered, and in spite of that hard shell you suspect that underneath is a giggling mischievous school boy; he’s a delightfully impish and highly creative character.
Now, why would I review this wacky book in a creativity and innovation blog? Because humor is a very close cousin to creative thinking. The hard spin that comedians put on any topic is really a perspective shift. That sudden shift away from what you expect is what makes you laugh. And Frankie Boyle, among other things, is an absolute master of that hard spin/perspective shift. Reading this book is a great way to start putting that creative muscle to work. Many innovations are first stated, flat out, as a joke. Many innovations when first considered, are laughed at. Getting a laugh with an idea is a very good sign you are on the right track.
So, put on your rose colored glasses of non-judgement and pick up Frankie Boyle’s My S… Life So Far. I guarantee you’ll laugh — and you’ll learn something about perspective shift while doing it.