Wow. A new decade. Yes, I know, technically, 2011 is the new decade, but guess what? NO ONE CARES.

Okay, here are four phrases — and the concepts they represent — that I’d like to leave in the dying comet trail of 2009. I’d like to leave them, but I’ll bet they creep through. Oh well.

“‘Fuck You’ Money”

What a truly horrible idea. I know it can be interpreted to mean, “I’ve now got the financial stability to refuse projects and commitments which are soulless and which I perceive to be beneath me.” It’s never put this way in practice.

“‘Fuck You’ Money” is a rage-ful, imagined state of one’s future, where you’ve got the money to flat-out be mean and dismissive towards other people while never having to do anything original or risky again.

I should know because, when I was starting out in show business, and I swallowed whole the concept of a finite amount of success for the creative, I dreamed of “‘Fuck You’ Money”. The mean kind. And to desire this state means you’re probably engaged in some really shitty, soulless endeavors to begin with. Call it “money” and leave it at that. Don’t darken your horizon when you’re young and in the sun.

“It’s Called Show ‘Business’, Not Show ‘Friends'”

You know who says this? Not people doing business.

Assholes say this. Assholes who are out to screw over their “friends”.

“Those Who Can, Do. Those Who Can’t, Teach”


Yes, there are shitty teachers. There are unimaginative, by-rote educators who take no joy in their profession. Maybe they went in full of idealism and energy and got beaten down. Maybe they never had it. Yes, they exist.

But the bulk of teachers — at least, the ones I’ve encountered in my life — teach because they are truly passionate about a subject, concept or discipline. They don’t take any pleasure in the amassing of property or finance. I know that must sound like low-grade insanity, especially these days. They want to keep kicking open new rooms and dusting off windows in their minds and souls. They get a truly endorph-ic lift from delving deeper and deeper into something — an author, an epoch, a science — within which they perceive a teasing glimmer of the infinite.

And since there’s only so much someone can read about a subject or person or book or piece of music, they create new strategies for revelation. One of the surest is to see the thing they love through untrained, un-biased eyes. In other words, students. Semester after semester, year after year, sometimes generation after generation, they watch how the changing world warps, diminishes, or builds up this thing they’ve become obsessed with.

People who toss this phrase off were probably shitty students, and were too dull to spot the passion in the eyes of their quality teachers. These were the assholes I encountered at college, who “studied for the test”, and bragged about how, “I’m never gonna read another fucking book or listen to this faggy-ass music ever again…” and became lawyers who can’t spell and who nod their heads to the same five Bon Jovi songs over their buffalo wings at Bennigan’s.

“Life Is Short”

Is it?

As many people this phrase has helped to get out there, take a chance, grab their talent and make their lives, it’s also led to some of the lamest decisions, failed marriages, sell-out careers and dumbass deaths in history.

Life’s only short if you’re dull or desperate. Take a deep breath, enjoy the present, and keep in mind that, unless you’re plankton in jeans, you’ll probably be around for 80 odd years. Don’t make a limited splash in your twenties and live sixty years of diminishing returns. Build a foundation, and enjoy the whole thing.

Okay, enjoy 2010. I guess.