Getting set to head north to Madison and Milwaukee, but had to share Billy’s “Die Now, Live Later” piece for Second City. Made me think of “Words of Advice for Young People”, William S. Burrough‘s collaboration with Bill Laswell’s Material (also reminds me of an after hours spiel he gave to the Plastic Fantastic Band in Pesaro)
(from the amazing Hallucination Engine album)
Advice for every Idiot Under 30: Die Now, Live Later
From time to time people who are not yet in their 30′s ask me:
“How come you can’t obtain a driver’s license, or a credit card, or enter the state of Wyoming legally?”
And my answer is always simple.
“Because I used to be a degenerate fuck-up.”
“And now…”, they generally inquire.
“I’m a functional one.”
I don’t mean to lecture you future 30-somethings, but here’s some top-notch advice for the youth of the internet. If you are a young man or woman wondering about the implications of the bad decisions that tempt you everyday – It’s time to fucking forget them you tightwad-crybaby-pants-newborn. This is your time to shine, mon frier.
Your time to…
A) Fuck the wrong people.
B) Become a connoisseur of all the best vices.
C) Fist punch people who don’t make any sense to you, even if means spending a night in a holding cell in Barcelona.
D) Buy things you can’t afford.
E) Drive super fast no matter where you’re going.
F) Sleep as little as humanly possible.
The fact of the matter is you’re just doing the things that you’ll be too tired to, or dare I say, too refined to do later. And that’s what makes YOU interesting. Your stories will be more insightful at those future parent teacher conferences, your tattoos/scars more colorful when they’re revealed in those future yoga/pilates classes, and when your future company goes on a paintball retreat everyone will want to be on your team cause they all know YOU used to be a bonafide PSYCHO.
Now it goes without saying that this is acting poorly within reason. I’m not condoning Lindsay Lohan/Gary Busey styled-behavior. Don’t hurt people (intentionally). There’s a distinction, folks. Everybody enjoys anecdotes like “I had an epiphany that I could dive into the pool right from the hotel window!” Not anecdotes like “I beat the shit out of my sister’s boyfriend cause I used to be a Vice Lord and addicted to meth, and also I had a thing against Puerto Ricans for a little while.” Know the difference. You are allowed to be a fuck-up only as long as you can point to people in your immediate circle more fucked-up than you.
But it’s a great way to live and even a better thing to change. Trust me, people will applaud your future self JUST for not fucking up. If you pay your taxes on time or iron your clothes semi-regularly, people who’ve known you will celebrate you like R. Kelly passing a literacy test. They’ll have tears in their eyes when you start to date a chick or guy without a rap sheet or a gold tooth. But the truth is you didn’t get better. You just got bored.
So take it from me. Don’t live the straight life cause you have to, do it because you’ve already done everything and everyone else so thoroughly that now you want to get some much-deserved approval for your reformation. It’s like Henry the IV with potentially more casual sex and indiscriminate spending. Bombs away!Billy Bungeroth, (Editor) is a Director and consultant at The Second City in Chicago and also plays guitar with JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound.