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Articles you should never write

December 16th, 2016


(Image is of an older man in 1870 with a bald head and long hair at the back.)

I am not the boss of you. Never-the-less here follows a list of things you shouldn’t be writing about and publicising on the internet. You might wonder why I don’t simply avoid articles I dislike, but these fingers were made for clicking. I can’t stop myself, so I will try to stop other people.

Telling other people what to wear

It is helpful to have someone on the internet defining ‘business casual’ and ‘formal attire below the knee only’ but these articles should be a guide to common practise, and not be written in a prescriptive tone.

If you see someone wearing yoga pants, shorts to a wedding, or a hat that doesn’t suit the shape of their face, keep that thought in your shallow shameful little head. Let people wear what they want, it doesn’t affect you. Definitely DO NOT take to your laptop and write a little think piece about it.

Although I guess there’s some stuff about cultural appropriation and exploitation relating to clothes that might be important to write about. In those cases, you do you.

Telling other people what to do with their hair

When I was in Year 8 I told my friend’s boyfriend that he couldn’t sit with us unless he cut his hair (he had a long ponytail and was getting teased a lot). He didn’t. He kept sitting with us because luckily I have no power.

Now that I’m 37 instead of 14 I have stopped telling other people what to do with their hair. High five for me. Am I going to get some kind of award? No? That’s just called being reasonable. Shame.

At times I have taken my commitment not to interfere with other people’s hair too far. Once, in a bar my friend’s hair literally caught on fire after he leaned back into a tee-light candle. I waited for him to signal that he was unhappy with having a burning halo before I offered to smother it. Some may argue this was bordering on callous but I still think that unless someone has specifically and directly asked you for help with their hair, do not give it to them verbally, in writing or by implementing emergency procedures.

In particular, do not write articles about how men who have a comb-over or a pony tail or a mullet make you be sick in your mouth. I know that women have copped this kind of thing a lot longer and worse than men, but hows about we let men keep the vote as well? Jeez I’m broadminded today.

Telling people 183 things they shouldn’t say to someone who…

Some of these articles are useful. Some people console grieving parents by telling them there’s a reason for everything, and these people need to be told to stoppit as quickly and often as necessary.

I have learned many good communication tips from ‘100 things not to say’ articles. However, some writers go to far in my opinion, and as a result I’m left floundering when I meet someone who has a cold. Should I ask how they’re feeling? (No, they’ll either have to lie or be negative.) Should I mention their copious mucous? (No, you should allow them to bring this up IF they want to.) Should I say ‘Hope you feel better soon!’ (No, it doesn’t matter if they feel better soon, the point is they feel shit now.)

The only thing I’m left with is patting them on the head, which is actually one of the things that you are definitely actually really not supposed to EVER do to someone over the age of five (seriously, don’t do this).

Telling modern parents they’re responsible for the terrible state of children these days

These articles contain some combination of the following insights:

  • Screens rot the brain and you should smash them all as soon as you finish reading this article.
  • Childcare does something. We’re not sure what but you’re being very selfish.
  • The kids aren’t learning phonetics and the bridges will all fall down.
  • We need to bring back bitumen and burn the tanbark because hot feet and an acquired brain injury help kids learn.
  • Buy the author’s book or your child will murder you in your sleep and it will be all your fault.

I’ve read it all before, but I’ll read it all before the week is out.

‘Stop reading them Penny’ you say. Next you’ll be suggesting I don’t click on Where Are They Now articles. As if.

Posted in Parenting, School, Writing

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