If you’ve been reading this for the last 50 weeks, you will understand what my wife says about me, that I am a young(ish) man who can’t wait to be an old one. There are times when I endorse piratical anarchy and others when I channel a disciplinarian mean streak. I tried to be kind, but since the world isn’t, I have not always been.
I care deeply about people and want them to be happy. I want them to be successful. I want their dreams to come true. I want them to battle weakness because if they can win in these times, I know it’s possible that I might as well.
The best piece of advice I can offer is try to work hard at being the kind of person that shows up. Show up for the people that you love and show up for yourself. When your heart tells you to do something, do it. When there is an easier path that doesn’t offer a story, do not take it. Always show up looking for a story.
This column started as a joke. I didn’t see myself as the type to offer good advice at all. I am eccentric and easily angered. I have accomplished less than I had hoped to at this age. But what I do have, friends and a loving wife and a home and a couple of little dogs and an easy laugh and a great family and a job that’s tolerable, well, most people aren’t so lucky.
I am profoundly greatful for everything that I now have. It took some doing, but everyone can, if they fight for it, get to a place they can be content. Things will stay hard for most people, though. That’s just life.
There are a couple of people who asked the best questions I’d like to thank, but the nature of these columns is that they are to be anonymous. You know who you are. Thank you for showing up.
As always, on to your questions.
What kind of real life people fascinate you?
I like stories about people who have come through extreme situations and lived and still have a sense of humor. I like soldiers, cops, farmers, convicts, dope growers, country musicians, motorcycle racers, explorers, mountain climbers, castaways, chefs, sober types, and people who can fight but don’t look like they can.
I’m completely disinterested in people with trust funds and academic credentials.
What keeps you up at night?
The idea of outliving my wife or her outliving me. I know it’s probably one or the other. I’m often filled with dread over this. I think about it constantly.
What is going to be the most valuable knowledge to have in the next decade?
It’s good to know how to mind your own business.
How will artificial intelligence shape the way we live and work in the next 10 years?
Techno scammers will continue to claim, as they always have, that AI is “just 20 years away.” I guess they’ll continue to raise money for their efforts, but I’ll believe it when I see the first T-800.
The real change will be continued automation. Truckers and anyone who drives for a living will be fucked when self driving vehicles become the norm. Even migrant workers will be affected as better robots are used to gather crops. If you do something physical and repetitive for a living, you better start upskilling now.
What will you never be able to respect?
I know we’re supposed to be changing attitudes about men and women’s roles, but I can’t respect a man who lives off of a woman. This includes giggalos, pimps, mama’s boys, regular losers, and other assorted creeps.
What is the most clever life hack you’ve ever learned?
I prefer to call them shortcuts. The thing that’s probably saved me more time than anything else is my morning/lunch smoothie.
I make a huge one with enough calories and nutrient density to be able to have nothing else until I get home from work in the evening.
What’s your take on the Hygge Manifesto that’s trending?
My co-workers love it, but I think it’s corny.
If you live in a cold, dark place where there is only war and your gods demand you die in battle or be cursed into darkness forever, I guess it makes sense to try and feel better with a warm blanket.
If you live in LA and do this, you’re a fucking dork. It’s basically a full body man bun.
Comfort is the enemy of improvement.
What is the most beautiful one line of a song you have ever heard?
There is a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything) That’s how the light gets in