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Thanks to William Jackson:

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Get a clue, young people of the world! Get a clue!

I’ll make it easy for you: We. Are. Your. Future. And. We. Know. Stuff. You. Need. Right. Now. Stuff you need to succeed, right now. How to succeed at life! Get a clue, and get over yourselves. They’re something of a package deal, sad but true. Everyone has or had youth, for exactly long as you do now. Everyone! It’s no great or unusual achievement, youth: all you did to earn it was to get born and survive to your current age. So common, average, ordinary! Don’t get me wrong: you’re special and unique, but it has nothing to do with your youth. Youth typically assume they know everything and that they’ll never get old. Typical! You can even find songs about it on old-timey records in your grandparent’s attic. You do realize we smirk over such old delusions, don’t you? Smirk! You’re copying your parents ideas that way, word for word and deed for deed. Adults routinely use such delusions to trick you into smoking cancer sticks – such incredible suckers! – to buy exactly the clothes they want you to buy, then to throw away and buy the next set, then… They make giant wealth jerking you around like so many cute puppets with youthful overconfidence and delusions. Why let them?

Why not learn the real deal from people who’ve been there, who learned from what? From experience: life experience. Put down your desperately important and soon-forgotten text messages for just a moment, now and again. Set aside the cool new celebrities your parents’ generation manipulates you into following, just a moment, now and again. You say no one tricked you into following your cool new flavors of the month? Kids are so much smarter than clueless adults? So cute! You sound just like your mother did when she said exactly those words at your exact age: precious! Please don’t hold our smirks against us. Can we take a picture of you right now? So defiant: we can use it to embarrass the heck out of future you, post-got-a-clue. You’ll see! We used to think that, too, exactly that, all of it, until eventually, we did what? Until we got a clue, silly. Try and keep up. Get a clue! Take a moment here and there to stop screwing around and learn about growing up and living successfully instead. Free teachers are legion, they’re eager, they’re everywhere, and you shun them because they’re “old.” Such a clueless choice: Get a clue! Or give it a few decades (exactly) like your parents did (exactly!), and learn it all the slow, hard, ugly clueless way, with your mistakes and regrets. Your call!

Why be a typical? Try winning instead, for your entire life. Say “Hi” to some old folks and…. you know what, right? You must know by now. Even your parents weren’t THAT slow…


  1. Thanks for starting this discussion Greg.
    I guess some would call me old. I get the AARP newsletter and I have a Medicare card! When the card came in the mail, I thought it must be a mistake!

    I have so much to say about this….no idea where to begin. My daughter is autistic and 28 years old. so I have to live forever! No time to be old.

    Professionally, I teach nursing as an adjunct. I’m starting to feel passed over by the new PhD’s. We read about the nurse educator shortages, but many of us older, experienced folks are not getting hired.
    Old dogs and old nurses still have much to contribute!


    1. I’m 48, and I work with children who, my 10 year assures me, are rather old. It’s an idea. Aging is a fact, except that a huge chunk is gradual deconditiong people mistake for aging. But old is a judgement, a stereotype, a set of assumption. One could just as well use young the same negative silly way, which I did a bit.

      As for Adjuncts, I’ve done it w a few colleges: I live amongst a veritable forest of them. Easy, very unreliable work without supervision that disappears on a whim, often without any notice. I’m taking a break from it atm. The pay was good, but it only pays when you actually get the job. Mine was there, two days a week each spring, then poof! Gone, as they told me only when I noticed I hadn’t heard about the staff meeting & called. It was the closest to migrant farm work I’ve ever gotten, albeit more comfortable & better paid, until they threw off the back of the teacher truck. Then I was suddenly quite unemployed, two days a week…


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