Unsolicited Advice for Living in the End Times, Vol. 25

Well, here we are beginning our third year together, me offering advice you didn’t ask for. I have found that unsolicited advice is always more helpful than any words of wisdom that come after I needed to ask for them. Have you ever had a good response when asking, “Why am I here?”— whether you meant “on the planet” or in any number of late-night watering holes that one confusedly finds oneself? I doubt it. You didn’t even ask the proper question. What you should have been asking was “How do I get out of here?” or perhaps “Where’s my car?”

Some of the more skeptical out there might begin to wonder why they need advice for an end of time that doesn’t seem to be getting here. I have one thing to say to these ADHD naysayers: the G train. You think it’s never going to arrive, yet just when you think it’s never coming, it rolls into the station. The end of times is like that warm whoosh of stinky air that smacks you in the face as the train emerges from the tunnel—think of this advice as protective glasses keeping the muck and mire of the subway out of your eyes.

The more prudent among you might accept the need for some guidance but question taking it from me. That is a fair point—more than fair. I have given quite a bit of bad advice in my lifetime, and many of my predictions have been ridiculously wrong. My response to that concern is it’s time we all get out of our comfort zones—in this case, the need to judge things based on how they appear to us. The problem is appearances: How we look at things can change as time changes. It’s always a combination of how you see things and when you saw them, with a bit of how you’re feeling at the time mixed in.

If the National Socialists of 1930s Germany were having their rallies today, people might be celebrating them as the inventors of the flash mob. Their videos would go viral. In fact, if Hitler had been on Twitter, he might have gotten so much satisfaction from his many followers retweeting his quirky quips that we may have avoided that whole world domination kerfuffle. Time marches on, but it doesn’t have to be a goose-step.

You can see that there are some built-in difficulties with the whole vision thing. You have to find who or what speaks to you, and then figure out what’s being said. It would be easy to look at me and think that I’ve been wrong so often in so many ways about so many things that I shouldn’t be listened to. Or you can build your own personalized statistical system that that tells you I’m bound to be right this time. Or if you’re not the mathematical type, you can go with a “broken clock is right twice a day” theory. It’s not just the eggs that get cracked when you make an omelet.

I want you to take to heart the suggestions I offer, and I want you to know they come from my heart. So I will let you in on a little secret something that might make it easier to accept them: They all work even if the world doesn’t end. I’m not for a second saying that it isn’t ending, but it’s your end times too, and you can think what you need to think. I do promise that all counsel I give will make you happier, or at least more comfortable, even if you and your world last forever.