Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mash Day: Bad Advice, Good Advice.

Does it ever seem like everyone wants to tell you what to do all the time? And most of the time, people's advice just isn't that helpful. So perhaps you turn to movies to give you some hints for guidance in your life. Movies. The perfect source for examples of people making excellent decisions. Or not.

In How to Fight, Lie, and Cry Your Way to Popularity (And A Prom Date), you can glean wisdom such as "The best way to take the popular girl down: Be more abusive than she is. Then apologize to the whole school and all will be well." (That's Mean Girls, by the way.) Yes, you can learn terrible lessons, gathered from 50 well known movies and bundled into this goofy book. Test your Lousy Life Lesson Know How. What movie would you need to watch to learn this? "It's okay to date a dead, murderous vampire as long as he's hot and has great hair."

But seriously, there are some people out there who have good advice to offer. And their stories have a little more poignancy.

Dan Savage gives advice for a living. He's pretty successful at it. His advice for young people who are being harrassed due to their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity is: It gets better.

When several young people took their own lives after being bullied, Dan Savage wanted to do something about it. First, there were thousands of YouTube videos made, instigated by Dan and his husband Terry. Ordinary people and famous people, including The President, made videos recounting their experiences and encouraging young people to hang in there. Then they put together a book. It Gets Better is a written collection of stories and statements gathered as an offering for LGBT youth. You can check out the book. You can also check out the website. I just did, and realized that today is National Gay-Straight Alliance Day. Hey! Happy GSA Day. And don't forget to be yourself.

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