Sunday, October 21, 2007

To Do or Not To Do

I don't have a newspaper column, but if I did it would be called "In The Knew" and in it I would provide advice to young people. Here is a fictitious entry in my fictitious newspaper column:

In The Knew
Observations for the young and the young at heart
By S.T. Peterson

"To Do or Not To Do"

Dear Friend,

Amid murder and antique language, it is easy for a modern audience (and a modern theater company) to forget about our tragic hero, the Prince of Denmark, that he is a young man. Hamlet is a young man with a young man's question, and like so many young people before and since, he has confused his linking verbs. "Being" is not the sort of thing over which one has agency. Try it sometime. I think you'll find that you already are. The real question our Little Prince invites us to ask is the title of today's column. As so many bumper stickers which have never been printed ought to advertise, "I'll kill myself if it's the last thing I do!"

Today's topic is how to do the things you need to do. I am something of an expert on the matter: I have had to do many things in twenty one years. Some of them important, other not so, some fun, some difficult, but I have approached them all with the same resolution and the same basic method. I generally abhor "3 Easy Steps to Suchandsuch" by Charlatan McFullofit, but I make an exception here for my own, "3 Easy Steps to Doing the Things You Need to Do," because I wrote it, and because it really works! What follows is the basic pattern I have followed whenever faced with something to do, and look at me. I've got a fucking newspaper column!

Step One: Don't do the thing you need to do. This may seem counter-intuitive, until you consider...

Step Two: Consumerism. Instead of doing what you need to do, go buy something. That will probably make you feel better about yourself. If that doesn't work, try...

Step Three: Masturbation.

So there you have it. The three perfect and only steps to doing the things you need to do: don't do it, buy something, and then masturbate. This is how I have faced ever task in my life, great and small, and it hasn't failed me yet. I can only speculate that things would have turned out better for old Hamlet if he'd know the secret. Make wise use of this knowledge yourself and bright things await.

Sincerely and faithfully yours,
S.T. Peterson