Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

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Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

Post by General Zod »

Now, some of this might be self evident to a lot of people here, but I thought it really communicates a lot of ideas really well and makes some very valid points. While it's not explicitly geared at relationships, it definitely applies and it seems to me like the advice in it can help. (Hell, I wish someone dumped all of this shit on me 12 years ago.)

Let's say that the person you love the most has just been shot. He or she is lying in the street, bleeding and screaming. A guy rushes up and says, "Step aside." He looks over your loved one's bullet wound and pulls out a pocket knife -- he's going to operate right there in the street.


"OK, which one is the injured one?"

You ask, "Are you a doctor?"

The guy says, "No."

You say, "But you know what you're doing, right? You're an old Army medic, or ..."

At this point the guy becomes annoyed. He tells you that he is a nice guy, he is honest, he is always on time. He tells you that he is a great son to his mother and has a rich life full of fulfilling hobbies, and he boasts that he never uses foul language.

Confused, you say, "How does any of that fucking matter when my (wife/husband/best friend/parent) is lying here bleeding! I need somebody who knows how to operate on bullet wounds! Can you do that or not?!?"

Now the man becomes agitated -- why are you being shallow and selfish? Do you not care about any of his other good qualities? Didn't you just hear him say that he always remembers his girlfriend's birthday? In light of all of the good things he does, does it really matter if he knows how to perform surgery?

In that panicked moment, you will take your bloody hands and shake him by the shoulders, screaming, "Yes, I'm saying that none of that other shit matters, because in this specific situation, I just need somebody who can stop the bleeding, you crazy fucking asshole."


"I don't get it. Would it help if I put on a lab jacket? Here, one sec, let me just ..."

So here is my terrible truth about the adult world: You are in that very situation every single day. Only you are the confused guy with the pocket knife. All of society is the bleeding gunshot victim.

If you want to know why society seems to shun you, or why you seem to get no respect, it's because society is full of people who need things. They need houses built, they need food to eat, they need entertainment, they need fulfilling sexual relationships. You arrived at the scene of that emergency, holding your pocket knife, by virtue of your birth -- the moment you came into the world, you became part of a system designed purely to see to people's needs.


"Here's that shit you needed. Now fuck off."

Either you will go about the task of seeing to those needs by learning a unique set of skills, or the world will reject you, no matter how kind, giving and polite you are. You will be poor, you will be alone, you will be left out in the cold.

Does that seem mean, or crass, or materialistic? What about love and kindness -- don't those things matter? Of course. As long as they result in you doing things for people that they can't get elsewhere. For you see ...

#5. The Hippies Were Wrong



Here is the greatest scene in the history of movies (WARNING: EXTREME NSFW LANGUAGE):

For those of you who can't watch videos, it's the famous speech Alec Baldwin gives in the cinematic masterpiece Glengarry Glenn Ross. Baldwin's character -- whom you assume is the villain -- addresses a room full of dudes and tears them a new asshole, telling them that they're all about to be fired unless they "close" the sales they've been assigned:

"Nice guy? I don't give a shit. Good father? Fuck you! Go home and play with your kids. If you want to work here, close."

It's brutal, rude and borderline sociopathic, and also it is an honest and accurate expression of what the world is going to expect from you. The difference is that, in the real world, people consider it so wrong to talk to you that way that they've decided it's better to simply let you keep failing.


"First graders, welcome to Mr. Baldwin's third period art class -- is everyone here? Well, I'm goin' anyway."

That scene changed my life. I'd program my alarm clock to play it for me every morning if I knew how. Alec Baldwin was nominated for an Oscar for that movie and that's the only scene he's in. As smarter people have pointed out, the genius of that speech is that half of the people who watch it think that the point of the scene is "Wow, what must it be like to have such an asshole boss?" and the other half think, "Fuck yes, let's go out and sell some goddamned real estate!"

Or, as the Last Psychiatrist blog put it:

"If you were in that room, some of you would understand this as a work, but feed off the energy of the message anyway, welcome the coach's cursing at you, 'this guy is awesome!'; while some of you would take it personally, this guy is a jerk, you have no right to talk to me like that, or -- the standard maneuver when narcissism is confronted with a greater power -- quietly seethe and fantasize about finding information that will out him as a hypocrite. So satisfying."


"I swear, if he mentions my hair, I'll slap his face so har- Yes, sir, I'm listening. I'm sorry."

That excerpt is from an insightful critique of "hipsters" and why they seem to have so much trouble getting jobs (that doesn't begin to do it justice, go read the whole thing), and the point is that the difference in those two attitudes -- bitter vs. motivated -- largely determines whether or not you'll succeed in the world. For instance, some people want to respond to that speech with Tyler Durden's line from Fight Club: "You are not your job."

But, well, actually, you totally are. Granted, your "job" and your means of employment might not be the same thing, but in both cases you are nothing more than the sum total of your useful skills. For instance, being a good mother is a job that requires a skill. It's something a person can do that is useful to other members of society. But make no mistake: Your "job" -- the useful thing you do for other people -- is all you are.

There is a reason why surgeons get more respect than comedy writers. There is a reason mechanics get more respect than unemployed hipsters. There is a reason your job will become your label if your death makes the news ("NFL Linebacker Dies in Murder/Suicide"). Tyler said, "You are not your job," but he also founded and ran a successful soap company and became the head of an international social and political movement. He was totally his job.


It was the irony that many people missed from that movie.

Or think of it this way: Remember when Chick-fil-A came out against gay marriage? And how despite the protests, the company continues to sell millions of sandwiches every day? It's not because the country agrees with them; it's because they do their job of making delicious sandwiches well. And that's all that matters.

You don't have to like it. I don't like it when it rains on my birthday. It rains anyway. Clouds form and precipitation happens. People have needs and thus assign value to the people who meet them. These are simple mechanisms of the universe and they do not respond to our wishes.


"This is bullshit. I have a completely clean criminal record, and this is the thanks I get?"

If you protest that you're not a shallow capitalist materialist and that you disagree that money is everything, I can only say: Who said anything about money? You're missing the larger point.

#4. What You Produce Does Not Have to Make Money, But It Does Have to Benefit People



Let's try a non-money example so you don't get hung up on that. The demographic that Cracked writes for is heavy on 20-something males. So on our message boards and in my many inboxes I read several dozen stories a year from miserable, lonely guys who insist that women won't come near them despite the fact that they are just the nicest guys in the world. I can explain what is wrong with this mindset, but it would probably be better if I let Alec Baldwin explain it:

In this case, Baldwin is playing the part of the attractive women in your life. They won't put it as bluntly as he does -- society has trained us not to be this honest with people -- but the equation is the same. "Nice guy? Who gives a shit? If you want to work here, close."

So, what do you bring to the table? Because the Zooey Deschanel lookalike in the bookstore that you've been daydreaming about moisturizes her face for an hour every night and feels guilty when she eats anything other than salad for lunch. She's going to be a surgeon in 10 years. What do you do?


"Well, I'm fucking wicked at capture the flag."

"What, so you're saying that I can't get girls like that unless I have a nice job and make lots of money?"

No, your brain jumps to that conclusion so you have an excuse to write off everyone who rejects you by thinking that they're just being shallow and selfish. I'm asking what do you offer? Are you smart? Funny? Interesting? Talented? Ambitious? Creative? OK, now what do you do to demonstrate those attributes to the world? Don't say that you're a nice guy -- that's the bare minimum. Pretty girls have guys being nice to them 36 times a day. The patient is bleeding in the street. Do you know how to operate or not?

"Well, I'm not sexist or racist or greedy or shallow or abusive! Not like those other douchebags!"

I'm sorry, I know that this is hard to hear, but if all you can do is list a bunch of faults you don't have, then back the fuck away from the patient. There's a witty, handsome guy with a promising career ready to step in and operate.


"Wait, I said I wouldn't hit you!"

Does that break your heart? OK, so now what? Are you going to mope about it, or are you going to learn how to do surgery? It's up to you, but don't complain about how girls fall for jerks; they fall for those jerks because those jerks have other things they can offer. "But I'm a great listener!" Are you? Because you're willing to sit quietly in exchange for the chance to be in the proximity of a pretty girl (and spend every second imagining how soft her skin must be)? Well guess what, there's another guy in her life who also knows how to do that, and he can play the guitar. Saying that you're a nice guy is like a restaurant whose only selling point is that the food doesn't make you sick. You're like a new movie whose title is This Movie Is in English, and its tagline is "The actors are clearly visible."

I think this is why you can be a "nice guy" and still feel terrible about yourself. Specifically ...


#3. You Hate Yourself Because You Don't Do Anything



"So, what, you're saying that I should pick up a book on how to get girls?"

Only if step one in the book is "Start making yourself into the type of person girls want to be around."


"Come ooooon. I know I hid some vodka in here somewhere."

Because that's the step that gets skipped -- it's always "How can I get a job?" and not "How can I become the type of person employers want?" It's "How can I get pretty girls to like me?" instead of "How can I become the type of person that pretty girls like?" See, because that second one could very well require giving up many of your favorite hobbies and paying more attention to your appearance, and God knows what else. You might even have to change your personality.

"But why can't I find someone who just likes me for me?" you ask. The answer is because humans need things. The victim is bleeding, and all you can do is look down and complain that there aren't more gunshot wounds that just fix themselves?

Here's another video (NSFW):

Everyone who watched that video instantly became a little happier, although not all for the same reasons. Can you do that for people? Why not? What's stopping you from strapping on your proverbial thong and cape and taking to your proverbial stage and flapping your proverbial penis at people? That guy knows the secret to winning at human life: that doing ... whatever you call that ... was better than not doing it.

"But I'm not good at anything!" Well, I have good news -- throw enough hours of repetition at it and you can get sort of good at anything. I was the world's shittiest writer when I was an infant. I was only slightly better at 25. But while I was failing miserably at my career, I wrote in my spare time for eight straight years, an article a week, before I ever made real money off it. It took 13 years for me to get good enough to make the New York Times best-seller list. It took me probably 20,000 hours of practice to sand the edges off my sucking.

Don't like the prospect of pouring all of that time into a skill? Well, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the sheer act of practicing will help you come out of your shell -- I got through years of tedious office work because I knew that I was learning a unique skill on the side. People quit because it takes too long to see results, because they can't figure out that the process is the result.

The bad news is that you have no other choice. If you want to work here, close.

Because in my non-expert opinion, you don't hate yourself because you have low self-esteem, or because other people were mean to you. You hate yourself because you don't do anything. Not even you can just "love you for you" -- that's why you're miserable and sending me private messages asking me what I think you should do with your life.


Step One: Get up.

Do the math: How much of your time is spent consuming things other people made (TV, music, video games, websites) versus making your own? Only one of those adds to your value as a human being.

And if you hate hearing this and are responding with something you heard as a kid that sounds like "It's what's on the inside that matters!" then I can only say ...

#2. What You Are Inside Only Matters Because of What It Makes You Do



Being in the business I'm in, I know dozens of aspiring writers. They think of themselves as writers, they introduce themselves as writers at parties, they know that deep inside, they have the heart of a writer. The only thing they're missing is that minor final step, where they actually fucking write things.

But really, does that matter? Is "writing things" all that important when deciding who is and who is not truly a "writer"?

For the love of God, yes.


I've known "writers" who produced less content than what's on this woman's grocery list.

See, there's a common defense to everything I've said so far, and to every critical voice in your life. It's the thing your ego is saying to you in order to prevent you from having to do the hard work of improving: "I know I'm a good person on the inside." It may also be phrased as "I know who I am" or "I just have to be me."

Don't get me wrong; who you are inside is everything -- the guy who built a house for his family from scratch did it because of who he was inside. Every bad thing you've ever done has started with a bad impulse, some thought ricocheting around inside your skull until you had to act on it. And every good thing you've done is the same -- "who you are inside" is the metaphorical dirt from which your fruit grows.


Notice how the camera is pointed up, and not at the base of the tree?

But here's what everyone needs to know, and what many of you can't accept:

"You" are nothing but the fruit.

Nobody cares about your dirt. "Who you are inside" is meaningless aside from what it produces for other people.

Inside, you have great compassion for poor people. Great. Does that result in you doing anything about it? Do you hear about some terrible tragedy in your community and say, "Oh, those poor children. Let them know that they are in my thoughts"? Because fuck you if so -- find out what they need and help provide it. A hundred million people watched that Kony video, virtually all of whom kept those poor African children "in their thoughts." What did the collective power of those good thoughts provide? Jack fucking shit. Children die every day because millions of us tell ourselves that caring is just as good as doing. It's an internal mechanism controlled by the lazy part of your brain to keep you from actually doing work.


"I just wanted to tell you that you're in my thoughts. Good luck -- let me know if that cured you."

How many of you are walking around right now saying, "She/he would love me if she/he only knew what an interesting person I am!" Really? How do all of your interesting thoughts and ideas manifest themselves in the world? What do they cause you to do? If your dream girl or guy had a hidden camera that followed you around for a month, would they be impressed with what they saw? Remember, they can't read your mind -- they can only observe. Would they want to be a part of that life?

Because all I'm asking you to do is apply the same standard to yourself that you apply to everyone else. Don't you have that annoying Christian friend whose only offer to help anyone ever is to "pray for them"? Doesn't it drive you nuts? I'm not even commenting on whether or not prayer works; it doesn't change the fact that they chose the one type of help that doesn't require them to get off the sofa. They abstain from every vice, they think clean thoughts, their internal dirt is as pure as can be, but what fruit grows from it? And they should know this better than anybody -- I stole the fruit metaphor from the Bible. Jesus said something to the effect of "a tree is judged by its fruit" over and over and over. Granted, Jesus never said, "If you want to work here, close." No, he said, "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."


"And then a buffalo will stare stupidly into your soul while slowly chewing grass and softly farting."

The people didn't react well to being told that, just as the salesmen didn't react well to Alec Baldwin telling them that they needed to grow some balls or resign themselves to shining his shoes. Which brings us to the final point ...

#1. Everything Inside You Will Fight Improvement



The human mind is a miracle, and you will never see it spring more beautifully into action than when it is fighting against evidence that it needs to change. Your psyche is equipped with layer after layer of defense mechanisms designed to shoot down anything that might keep things from staying exactly where they are -- ask any addict.

So even now, some of you reading this are feeling your brain bombard you with knee-jerk reasons to reject it. From experience, I can say that these seem to come in the form of ...

*Intentionally Interpreting Any Criticism as an Insult

"Who is he to call me lazy and worthless! A good person would never talk to me like this! He wrote this whole thing just to feel superior to me and to make me feel bad about my life! I'm going to think up my own insult to even the score!"

*Focusing on the Messenger to Avoid Hearing the Message

"Who is THIS guy to tell ME how to live? Oh, like he's so high and mighty! It's just some dumb writer on the Internet! I'm going to go dig up something on him that reassures me that he's stupid, and that everything he's saying is stupid! This guy is so pretentious, it makes me puke! I watched his old rap video on YouTube and thought his rhymes sucked!"


"When you get to where I am in life, you feel free to give me advice! Until then, you're nothing but meat and guesses."

*Focusing on the Tone to Avoid Hearing the Content

"I'm going to dig through here until I find a joke that is offensive when taken out of context, and then talk and think only about that! I've heard that a single offensive word can render an entire book invisible!"

*Revising Your Own History

"Things aren't so bad! I know that I was threatening suicide last month, but I'm feeling better now! It's entirely possible that if I just keep doing exactly what I'm doing, eventually things will work out! I'll get my big break, and if I keep doing favors for that pretty girl, eventually she'll come around!"

*Pretending That Any Self-Improvement Would Somehow Be Selling Out Your True Self

"Oh, so I guess I'm supposed to get rid of all of my manga and instead go to the gym for six hours a day and get a spray tan like those Jersey Shore douchebags? Because THAT IS THE ONLY OTHER OPTION."


"Way to leave 'the hood' behind, asshole. New house or not, you'll always be white trash!"

And so on. Remember, misery is comfortable. It's why so many people prefer it. Happiness takes effort.

Also, courage. It's incredibly comforting to know that as long as you don't create anything in your life, then nobody can attack the thing you created.

It's so much easier to just sit back and criticize other people's creations. This movie is stupid. That couple's kids are brats. That other couple's relationship is a mess. That rich guy is shallow. This restaurant sucks. This Internet writer is an asshole. I'd better leave a mean comment demanding that the website fire him. See, I created something.

Oh, wait, did I forget to mention that part? Yeah, whatever you try to build or create -- be it a poem, or a new skill, or a new relationship -- you will find yourself immediately surrounded by non-creators who trash it. Maybe not to your face, but they'll do it. Your drunk friends do not want you to get sober. Your fat friends do not want you to start a fitness regimen. Your jobless friends do not want to see you embark on a career.

Just remember, they're only expressing their own fear, since trashing other people's work is another excuse to do nothing. "Why should I create anything when the things other people create suck? I would totally have written a novel by now, but I'm going to wait for something good, I don't want to write the next Twilight!" As long as they never produce anything, it will forever be perfect and beyond reproach. Or if they do produce something, they'll make sure they do it with detached irony. They'll make it intentionally bad to make it clear to everyone else that this isn't their real effort. Their real effort would have been amazing. Not like the shit you made.

Read our article comments -- when they get nasty, it's always from the same angle: Cracked needs to fire this columnist. This asshole needs to stop writing. Don't make any more videos. It always boils down to "Stop creating. This is different from what I would have made, and the attention you're getting is making me feel bad about myself."

Don't be that person. If you are that person, don't be that person any more. This is what's making people hate you. This is what's making you hate yourself.


What are you going to do with it? Hunt witches or kick off the Olympics?

So how about this: one year. The end of 2013, that's our deadline. Or a year from whenever you read this. While other people are telling you "Let's make a New Year's resolution to lose 15 pounds this year!" I'm going to say let's pledge to do fucking anything -- add any skill, any improvement to your human tool set, and get good enough at it to impress people. Don't ask me what -- hell, pick something at random if you don't know. Take a class in karate, or ballroom dancing, or pottery. Learn to bake. Build a birdhouse. Learn massage. Learn a programming language. Film a porno. Adopt a superhero persona and fight crime. Start a YouTube vlog. Write for Cracked.

But the key is, I don't want you to focus on something great that you're going to make happen to you ("I'm going to find a girlfriend, I'm going to make lots of money ..."). I want you to purely focus on giving yourself a skill that would make you ever so slightly more interesting and valuable to other people.


"Holy shit, by learning Spanish, I just gained the ability to speak to 400 million people I previously couldn't."

"I don't have the money to take a cooking class." Then fucking Google "how to cook." They've even filtered out the porn now, it's easier than ever. Damn it, you have to kill those excuses. Or they will kill you.

If you want to make note of your project in the forum thread or the comments and check in this time next year, knock yourself out. I'll be curious to see if even one person actually does this, but if so we'll look back, not just on whether or not we actually followed through, but why. You have nothing to lose, and the world needs you. Here's a video of a corgi rolling down some stairs.
How many of you would have dismissed the article entirely because of where it's from?
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Tritio
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Re: Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

Post by Tritio »

Thats interesting. Thanks for posting that article.
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Re: Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

Post by Imperial528 »

While reading this, I started doing some calculus work on a personal project I had put off.

A very good read.
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Re: Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

Post by Stofsk »

Everyone should get advice like this, the sooner the better.
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Re: Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

Post by madd0ct0r »

weirdly, someone was recommending me this article last night.
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Re: Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

Post by Hillary »

What this is really saying is "if you're not successful, it's YOUR fault" - this isn't really aimed at the people who haven't made a success of their lives, it's aimed at those at the top, so they can feel better about having the success & power. You see, if those losers had worked as hard as me, then they'd be just as successful. Throw in a bit of "nice guys come last" rhetoric that could have just as easily have come from Wall Street as Glengarry Glenn Ross and you have an article that will sit well with everyone who voted for Mitt Romney.

Fuck your family, fuck your friends, fuck morals, it's all about going for what you want and kicking everyone else out of the way. It's not how I live my life.
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Re: Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

Post by AniThyng »

Hillary wrote:What this is really saying is "if you're not successful, it's YOUR fault" - this isn't really aimed at the people who haven't made a success of their lives, it's aimed at those at the top, so they can feel better about having the success & power. You see, if those losers had worked as hard as me, then they'd be just as successful. Throw in a bit of "nice guys come last" rhetoric that could have just as easily have come from Wall Street as Glengarry Glenn Ross and you have an article that will sit well with everyone who voted for Mitt Romney.

Fuck your family, fuck your friends, fuck morals, it's all about going for what you want and kicking everyone else out of the way. It's not how I live my life.
Sorry, not seeing how you got that out of the article. It's quite clearly aimed at the kind of people who aim to lose weight by getting a gym membership...and stopping there. Then whine that society looks down on fat people. And get defensive if you suggest that maybe taking an hour out of your gaming time to exercise might be a good idea, because who are you to say gaming has less value than exercise!

And that whole bit about it's all about what you can do, not what you say you can do isn't wrong - do I want the guy who can talk about how he would program or the guy who can clearly demonstrate problem solving skills and application of his programming knowledge? Who do people respect more? A geek who can talk their ear out about comics other people have written, or someone who actually draws (quality) comics? A lot of defensive nerds tend to confuse the two and think that the former grants them equality to the latter.

Heck...just see that thread someone put up about a fanfic...they are about to write. Contrast to someoine who just at least posts the fanfic itself.

Seems straightforward enough.
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Re: Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

Post by General Zod »

Hillary wrote:What this is really saying is "if you're not successful, it's YOUR fault" - this isn't really aimed at the people who haven't made a success of their lives, it's aimed at those at the top, so they can feel better about having the success & power. You see, if those losers had worked as hard as me, then they'd be just as successful. Throw in a bit of "nice guys come last" rhetoric that could have just as easily have come from Wall Street as Glengarry Glenn Ross and you have an article that will sit well with everyone who voted for Mitt Romney.

Fuck your family, fuck your friends, fuck morals, it's all about going for what you want and kicking everyone else out of the way. It's not how I live my life.
Did you stop reading halfway through? Because it sounds like you missed the point completely, which is pretty hilarious.
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Re: Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

Post by Lagmonster »

Stark wrote:Did you accidentally post something vacuous aimed at self-obsessed cowards or was that supposed to be 'helpful'?
He probably could have saved some time and effort by just saying, "You can't get by on good intentions, you actually have to do shit".
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Re: Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

Post by General Zod »

Lagmonster wrote:
Stark wrote:Did you accidentally post something vacuous aimed at self-obsessed cowards or was that supposed to be 'helpful'?
He probably could have saved some time and effort by just saying, "You can't get by on good intentions, you actually have to do shit".
I think the point is that making it too simple would mean it wouldn't sink in with the target audience. It's easy to dismiss a one liner.
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Re: Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

Post by Simon_Jester »

Hillary wrote:What this is really saying is "if you're not successful, it's YOUR fault" - this isn't really aimed at the people who haven't made a success of their lives, it's aimed at those at the top, so they can feel better about having the success & power. You see, if those losers had worked as hard as me, then they'd be just as successful. Throw in a bit of "nice guys come last" rhetoric that could have just as easily have come from Wall Street as Glengarry Glenn Ross and you have an article that will sit well with everyone who voted for Mitt Romney.

Fuck your family, fuck your friends, fuck morals, it's all about going for what you want and kicking everyone else out of the way. It's not how I live my life.
Not quite.

He even talks about how being "a good mom" or "a good boyfriend" is a skill, which you can acquire- but you have to do things, not just be a nice person on the inside.

Nearly everyone thinks they're a good person on the inside. Even the ones who are, by all evidence, wrong. Who act like arrogant morons or giggling nincompoops or completely useless goofballs.

"I can change! I'm better than this! You're not giving me a chance!"

"You get a new chance every day. So USE it, instead of just acting the same way every day and complaining when you get in trouble for it, or don't get the things you want."

There are people in the world who are truly good and talented, and yet are totally unsuccessful. Some people really are that unlucky.

But there aren't a lot of them.

...

That said, I do think the article takes a self-congratulatory tone to some extent, and I don't approve of that.
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Re: Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

Post by Stark »

Lagmonster wrote:
Stark wrote:Did you accidentally post something vacuous aimed at self-obsessed cowards or was that supposed to be 'helpful'?
He probably could have saved some time and effort by just saying, "You can't get by on good intentions, you actually have to do shit".
I think you mean pages and pages of 'I will smugly motivate people with initiative problems by laughing at their weakness'. Best motivational speaking ever? Oh wait, cracked. :V I (and anyone who's ever interacted like an adult with other people) can motivate people, even in situations where they have problems with taking the initiative, in constructive and personally-building ways. That doesn't go over so well on cracked of course; we'll get this bad (and actually kind of sinister) advice thrown around for ages by nerds who read it and say YEAH! THOSE GUYS WITH THE NOT DOING! because it makes them feel that they've 'understood' and maybe even 'solved' some important issue. Ironically, exactly the behaviour the article itself derides.

My highlight is the idea that to get abc that you want you should be prepared to completely change yourself as a person. I kept expected the ladder theory to come into it somehow.
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Re: Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

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There are actually a whole lot of Cracked articles that take this kind of tone, particularly those written by John Cheese, and they're invariably met with these upsetting responses of "I'm gonna do it! I'm gonna be a real person starting... now!"

what is it about cracked man

does it have to do with an audience cultivated by the daily promise of "obscure" "facts" to parrot to your friends
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Re: Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

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Look at the responses in this thread; it got heaps of positive responses, because people empathised with the negative behaviours described. Does everyone who 'likes' the article have a high level of initiative or self-actualisation? Probably not. But the article makes them feel good.

I just love that people read it and think YEAH ITS THAT EASY YOU DUMBOS and go back to being nerds immediately. Not only is the article ethically questionable and misguided, its functionally useless.... unless the intent was to make nerds mob on your 'side'.

Which it was. :V

That idiots like Zod might consider it the most 'helpful' 'article' you might see is the only joke here.
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Re: Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

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It's one the most idiotic articles i've read on Cracked in a while. Wong is just Maddox for a new generation and thinks he's so clever for giving people advise that boils down to "you should all have egos as big as mine for teh mad boobs".

The only time the article even makes a point is number #5, set around a speech in a forgettable movie I guess he really liked. The rest of the "points" are Wong preemptively trying to sink criticism by attacking his favorite strawmen.

It's hilarious too because the article's title is about "Making you a better person". But being a super-pragmatic selfish douche bag does not in fact make you a better person. It just makes you an asshole. Gee he's a fantastic motivator all right.
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Re: Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

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I don't think it's about being an asshole at all. Its about your desires literally defining you as a person. We are encouraged to change everything about ourselves to make some girl like us, or to be a better artist.

Realistic goal setting and cost/benefit analysis is not the stuff of cracked.
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Re: Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

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could you elaborate on the artist thing?
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Re: Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

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Maybe what he is doing is an elaborate satire of his readers and no one actually realizes it, and thus thinks it's positive.

It's only funny to those who get the joke.
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Re: Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

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Its one of the examples used. He hates people who self-identify as a writer without writing anything, (clearly he has been to university lol) and later says that one should be prepared to change their hobbies, habits, and personality to 'achieve' 'success'.

This shows either a huge lack of understanding of art or social communities, or an ignorance of effective goal setting.

Or y'know he's just a blowhard idiot writing nod-along bullshit for smug nerds.
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Re: Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

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maybe he's just having an upsetting week :V

i remember one time he wrote an article about how life is not as convenient as an 80s coming of age movie

well golly
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Re: Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

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In his mind anyone who can't meet his definition of success must be secretly miserable and hate their lives.

To me the most surreal thing about the article is watching him say that anyone who criticizes him must just be pathetic, insecure loser who's afraid of self improvement. So just sit back and let him criticize you, the reader, for being a pathetic insecure loser!
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Re: Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

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When giving advice, it's helpful not to misidentify the problem. If you're (say) a lonely nerd out for internet kudos, railing against 'those people' who 'don't' 'do things' is easy - just do things you dumbo! LOL ROFFLE OMG BBQ!

In reality, people in these situations are often well aware of the steps to take to either reach their goals or resolve their difficulties. However (like smokers, or domestic violence victims) they cannot actualise those solutions or actions. Simply repeating 'HAHA DO IT YOU DUMBO LOL' does not actually help anyone.

Except you, the writer, of course.
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Re: Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

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I read it yesterday and I think his fellating about the movie Glengarry Glen Ross was the bit that pissed me off the most. Since he clearly thinks the message of that movie (which he misunderstood anyway) is applicable to everyone. He's just narrow minded. Assuming that everyone must define success and achievement the same exact way he does.

The article is supposed to rail against insecurity but the best part is that it's secretly for insecure people.
Last edited by CaptHawkeye on 2012-12-19 09:49pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Possibly the most helpful article you'll read today

Post by Zablorg »

stark you're like an HR consultant guy or something right

is this sort of problem-solving field your area?


hawkeye i have not seen the film so what was the actual message

i mean i guess you could do worse than to insist people do their jobs

was the message "alec baldwin"
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