Un-ironic, Wise Old Man advice

Opinion by Ian Knight
Oct. 27, 2015, 11:59 p.m.

I receive a plethora of emails every week from fellow Stanford students asking me for guidance. I try my best to listen considerately and respond with only my most thoughtful counsel, but I almost always end up giving the same suggestions. So I’ve decided to make a list of my top 10 pieces of general advice for all the confused souls out there, especially for all my fellow liberals at Stanford. Listen up, kids.

  1. Ride a motorcycle to look cool and feel alive, even though getting into fistfights with emasculated, middle-aged men at local dive bars on weekends would probably provide the same sense of thrill without the need to risk your life every time you go to buy cigs at the convenience store.
  2. Let’s be real. This is Stanford. Focus exclusively on getting rich at the expense of others and leave your sense of ethics at the door (I’m looking at you, Future Pharmas of America). You can worry about all the social and political issues that affect poor people after you join the one percent, because the best way to help other people is to worry about yourself first and foremost.
  3. Cigarettes are bad for your health, but marijuana has no negative consequences and will actually make you smarter and a harder worker. Furthermore, weed is totally non-addictive. It is purely my voluntary choice to smoke it every day and spend thousands of dollars every year on a dried herb that makes me feel good temporarily even though working hard and improving my character would prove to be an infinitely more beneficial investment of my money, time and effort.
  4. Guys: stop jelqing ASAP. It gives you nerve damage. Instead, just wait for eight-inch bionic penises to flood the market of the neo-Capitalist future. I give it 10 years, tops. Til then, just focus on obtaining as much wealth as possible in order to make yourself more attractive. Oh, and start lifting weights (this is real advice; go to the gym).
  5. Bernie Sanders is a good guy and genuinely wants to help people, which is why he is organizing an election campaign instead of a popular movement among young people that will sustain itself after Hillary Clinton inevitably becomes president. Bernie 2016!
  6. I heard Mike Brown, a 6-foot-4, 290-pound black man, stole cigars from a convenience store, assaulted the store clerk and charged at a police officer who then shot him to death in self-defense. Naturally, we should use Brown as the prime example of police brutality against black people for our racial equality movement, even though all the available evidence and reliable witness testimony validates the police officer’s account of events. (Yeah, I said it. It’s about time someone did.) Then we should arbitrarily shut down bridges and highways as though that will actually convince people to join our cause instead of just make them pissed off that they’re going to be two hours late to work. That makes sense. We are not shooting ourselves in the foot at all, and any white scum who try to persuade us to pursue a more reasonable form of protest with effective historical precedent need to check their privilege. I care about people, which is why I scream “burn everything down” and “shut this shit down” any chance I get at a Black Lives Matter rally and villainize the people whom I want to start caring about the social movement I represent.
  7. Want to get invited to the headquarters of a major tech company like Google or Facebook? No problem: Simply take a standard digital alarm clock from the 1980s, remove its internal electronic parts, throw them into a box without actually doing anything too complex or intelligent and bring your brand new invention to school.
  8. I am a proud feminist, and it is for this reason that I will be voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016, because the pointless achievement of a female president no matter her track record or the efficacy of her policies certainly outweighs actually improving the lives of women.
  9. Any liberal who criticizes the questionable tactics and generally childish behaviors of other liberals and not just those of conservatives and moderates is a threat to all that is good. We do not need to acknowledge our own faults or unreasonable beliefs, and anyone who encourages us to do so is a fascist who just doesn’t get it.
  10. Monday through Saturday I will proudly proclaim that freedom of speech is an unalienable right by which open debate in a forum of ideas can guide us to truth in the human context. But on Sunday I will say fuck that shit and call the Political Correctness Gestapo to confiscate your Confederate flags, shut down your newspaper for publishing a moderately positioned op-ed, and demand retribution for your Kanye West-themed party. I stand for liberal ideals, which is why I try to stifle the Constitutionally protected rights of others. I have no idea what cognitive dissonance is, but if I did, then I would probably deem it an incredibly bigoted notion.

And remember: never improve, stay smug and keep that stick up your ass.


Contact Ian Knight at isknight ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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