Again, this is just my opinion and I'm not insulting your intelligence. I'm a pretty "smart" guy, yet it took me years of experience with the program to really get it, and I'm still learning things. I'll give you a simple example:
In May 2015 I injured my shoulder while benching without a spotter (dumb). I immediately went out of state for a training course that was very physical and I continuously re-aggravated that injury until I returned home several months later. My bench was pathetically weak at that point. I began rehabbing/rebuilding my shoulder/bench strength by setting my TM extremely low. I mean pathetically low. I was the weakest I'd been in forever, and yet the TM was so low I was hitting 20 reps or more on the 5's week. Five months later I blew away my lifetime previous 1RM on the bench press. "Conventional" wisdom would say this isn't possible. Yet it happened. This sent me back to the drawing board, completely, with respect to how I think of a TM, and it taught me to use the TM as a tool, rather than "90% of 1RM". I'd heard it from Jim 20 times by reading his books and articles, but it didn't sink in until I experienced it myself in the weight room.
The problem with jumping right into the variations is that you haven't yet established a baseline. And without that baseline you're unlikely to properly utilize the jokers, FSL, etc., to their maximum benefit. Basically, you need to get to a point with the program and it's philosophy where you can appropriately auto-regulate their use, erring on the side of restraint, and that takes an investment of time during which you're doing exactly what Jim tells you.
It's hard, I know, but don't think of it as forcing yourself to start basic while working your way up to something "better". Think of it as the first positive steps in accumulating real knowledge with respect to strength Training, rather than the nitwit internet "knowledge" so prevalent nowadays. Jim's right with his slogan "You're being lied to". And yes, I drink the cool aid, but I drink it because it works, and because the philosophy behind it has had positive carry-over into other aspects of my life. I can't thank Jim enough for that.