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12/27/09 / On advice

“You live only as long as you can lie into the mug of anybody, and without batting an eye. And when you can’t anymore, well, it’s time to get hold of that razorblade.”

-Tranquility, Attila Bartis, Pg. 99

With the proliferation of advice – on the Internet, in the news, on television shows (Oprah, Dr. Phil, etc.) – in the public consciousness, advice is getting pretty cheap. I don’t mean monetarily but in terms of its actual value. The good news, however, is that real advice is becoming that much more valuable. I can’t tell you where to get such advice, but I’m sure when you or I or anyone else receives it, we’ll value it that much more thanks to all the garbage advice out there.

So then here’s some advice on:

How to stand out in a world so big

First the benign suggestions:

  1. Do wear interesting clothes and accessories. Bright colors, subdued colors; big glasses, little glasses; basically anything extreme.
  2. Do talk funny, or if not funny at least talk differently. Even sport a strange laugh if you can manage it.
  3. Do drive a Hummer or another gas-guzzling SUV in places like Boulder (where I live). Conversely, buy a Tesla from the showroom they just opened here and drive that around.
  4. Don’t buy or use Apple or Google products.
  5. Don’t buy or use a cellular phone.
  6. Don’t use Facebook or Twitter. That already will make you stand out.

The more obvious stuff:

  1. Take pictures wherever you go. Share them with others, but not on Flickr (please).
  2. Write something remarkable. It’s easier said than done, but you can do it. If you don’t, at least you’ll already have done something pretty original by trying.
  3. If you do write something, get it published, or publish it yourself. Then try to sell it.
  4. Take someone to court for an injustice. Not something petty or stupid, but something you actually feel strongly about. Hopefully it’ll be something worthwhile and you’ll get positive press attention for it, and perhaps even inspire a change somewhere.

Making lists of (largely) obvious stuff is a good filler for when you have nothing else to write. It is, after all, how most magazines manage to publish every month.

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