Sex & Love

Bad Advice

The first universal rule about advice columns is that the questions are, without fail, more interesting than the answers. The second universal rule about advice columns is that all advice columnists are wrong, always. The third universal rule about advice … Read More

By / January 18, 2008

The first universal rule about advice columns is that the questions are, without fail, more interesting than the answers. The second universal rule about advice columns is that all advice columnists are wrong, always. The third universal rule about advice columns is that Dan Savage is the exception that proves the rule. Welcome to Bad Advice, a weekly column looking at the misguided guidance of the Internet’s agony aunts. On Slate, Dear Prudence counsels a guy who’s constantly getting dressed down at his office for non-PC behavior (like using the term “girlfriend” to describe his female significant other). Prudie tells him to leave his job and try to find work at “a rap recording studio, an oil rig, or a race-car pit crew.” Hmm … mean, yet confusing! Dear Margo, the offspring of Ann Landers, punts it to therapists twice this week. Your fiancé won’t shower? If confronting him doesn’t work, try talking to a mental health professional. Still haunted by the possibility that your wife had an affair? Try cognitive therapy. Of course people with personal problems should seek psychological help—especially if the alternative is writing to a stranger on the Internet—but still: Booooring. At Salon, lovably incoherent Cary Tennis tells an Internet troll to buy a bicycle. For once, I am in complete agreement with Cary Tennis. And finally, Dan Savage lays out a Bill of Rights for lovers: If one party doesn’t get to come, neither does the other. So sensible!

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