On after she finally left him

Do you know what happened to the woman who was beaten by her fiancée?

Thank you so much for that post. I showed it to my best friend and it finally gave her what I could never give her: the courage to leave her husband FOR GOOD. Thank you.

Yes. She and I remained in contact throughout the end of 2013. It took her a while, but with the help of friends and family, she was able to leave her abuser in February after another violent incident.

She has since made her story public. Her name is Jenna, and she’s one tough cookie who’s been through a helluva lot of shit lately. She has my utmost respect, and I wish her the very best as she makes a fresh start.

If you would like further details about Jenna’s current situation, she started a GoFundMe page that I encourage you all to visit. Of course, there’s no obligation to donate, but if you can, I know she would be very grateful.

On brutal fucking truth

How do you get over a guy you never wanted to be broken up from? We had been together for five years. I know our relationship needed to change. There were communication issues and some lack of compassion near the end. But I always wanted to fight for us, whereas he doesn’t want to be in a relationship at all. At times I have clarity and know I can’t be with him, not because of his refusal, but because I need more for myself than what our relationship was. But most of the time, I hope that we’ll end up with each other. We’ve been through a shit load, including an abortion which was a mutual decision, but left us both with the want to eventually have a family together. I’ve never done this before and I feel like I’m trapped inside of myself.

Ugh. I know your type. You’ve been annoying the shit out of your friends with this emotional autopsy for weeks now, and you’ve gotten to the point where you’ve distilled your shitty relationship down to a bunch of sad, tired self-deluding clichés. This is going to seem cruel, but somebody needs to slap you upside the head with some brutal fucking truth.

I’m sorry, but your relationship didn’t “need to change.” That shit needed to end. He was fucking miserable, and you just didn’t know any better. Sure, it was great in the beginning, but that was half a damn decade ago. Neither of you are the same person anymore, and if you’re honest with yourself you’ll start to acknowledge that your relationship probably ran its natural course in the first two years.

After that, he checked out emotionally, and you stubbornly refused to let it go. You wanna know what “I always wanted to fight for us” really means? It means he was trying to break up with you for years, but you were so relentless that he couldn’t figure out how.

Oh, and I promise, he never wanted to have a family with you. Ever. Not even a little bit. That was just a bunch of bullshit he thought you needed to hear while he was holding his breath through your abortion. Yep. It’s terrible, but that’s what guys do.

You want some clarity? Let me be crystal fucking clear: He doesn’t love you anymore. You two are never going to end up together. It’s time for you to accept that it’s over. Pull your head out of your ass and move the fuck on.

Yes, it hurts. No, it’s not fair. Tough shit. The sooner you get some emotional distance from this relationship, the sooner you’ll realize that there’s nothing particularly special about this guy other than the fact that you happened to fall in love with him.

Now, take a deep breath. Exhale. This was harsh, but it needed to be. The good news is you will get over him. The time you spent together wasn’t wasted. You will learn from this, and you will fall in love again, probably more than once. In the meantime, quit romanticizing the past. It’s time to start letting go.

Read this week’s column over at Nerve.com.

On irony and empty gestures

It’s a bit rich that your book recommendations about anti-capitalism all link to an Amazon sales website, which is one of the most capitalistic current ventures cutting the legs out from independent book retailers. Adults are capable of finding a book on their own but you hold our hands and take us to Amazon. I enjoy the irony.

Adults are capable of finding books on their own? Goddamn, you’re a smug little shit. Of course, even smug little shits can make a valid point, so I went back and changed all the links to Powell’s Books.

It’s an empty gesture at the expense of other people’s convenience, but hey, at least it’s no longer irony you’re enjoying. It’s just the smell of your own farts.

On a capitalism reading list

"We are surrounded by capitalist tools. The trick is not using them for their intended purpose." Would you make a reading list based on this, please?

Sure. Here’s a trio of easily accessible books that will give you a broad but critical overview of the current state of American capitalism:

Supercapitalism by Robert Reich

The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein

Profit Over People by Noam Chomsky

If you wanna go a bit further down the rabbit hole:

The Capitalism Papers by Jerry Mander

America Beyond Capitalism by Gar Alperovitz

And finally, if you’re in the mood for a challenging, interdisciplinary mindfuck, here’s the cherry on top:

The End Of Capitalism (As We Knew It): A Feminist Critique of Political Economy by J. K. Gibson-Graham

On calling it a day

People are really up in arms about this art school bullshit. Why do people take everything you say so personally?

Nah, nobody really gives a shit. Sometimes on Friday afternoons I like to fuck around, and the art school kids are just an easy target because they take themselves so seriously.

Fuck it. It’s such a beautiful day out, I should probably just start the weekend early and head for the nearest hotel pool.


On the peace corps

Why do you see the Peace Corps as the primary direction the art school reject should take in light of the recent criticisms the Peace Corps has faced in the last few years for perpetuating poverty and functioning more as a performance than a true service activity?

Seriously? Of all the legitimate social injustice in the world, you cynical assholes are really gonna jump on the Peace Corps like it’s some Kony 2012 shit? Ugh. Of course you are.

What’s so great about the Peace Corps? I don’t honestly see the correlation between denial of worldly possessions and working for an international development organization funded by the world’s most powerful country/imperial superpower.

I was really just using the Peace Corps as an ideological placeholder for selflessly dedicating one’s life to volunteer service, but hey, thanks for shitting all over my point.

The Peace Corps? Seriously? I know you’re not naive enough to believe that it is anything other than a capitalist tool to facilitate expansion through “white man’s burden” ideology.

Allow me to teach you a lesson in capitalist tools. First, go out and buy yourself a big white dildo. Then, using a permanent marker, write the following line of wisdom all around the shaft:

"We are surrounded by capitalist tools. The trick is not using them for their intended purpose."

Now take the dildo, and go fuck yourself.

My best friend did get rid of all her worldly possessions and join the Peace Corps. She’s been in Ethiopia for two years now, and it’s the best decision she’s ever made. Your advice was sound. It’s a brilliant fucking move, no sarcasm.

Cool, cool. Unfortunately, a bunch of insufferable twats have smarmy political opinions that need validating, so you should probably let your friend know that her service is really just a performance that naively perpetuates poverty and facilitates the expansion of “white man’s burden” ideology.

I mean, it’s not like she went out into the world and dedicated her life to actually helping people or anything.

On mixing friendships and relationships

Up until a month ago, my guy best friend and I (a girl) talked all day, every day - we were best buds. A few weeks ago we stopped talking, and I would ask why, and he would ignore the fact that we haven’t been talking or blame it on being busy. I found out today that he’s been seeing someone. Why would that affect if he can talk to me or not? Why would that affect our friendship?

Yeah, sometimes friends disappear when they fall into new romantic relationships. It’s just one of those things that happens. It sucks, and you can be angry about it, but don’t act like an idiot. He’s getting his emotional needs filled by her now, and there’s a decent chance that she doesn’t want him hanging out with you. It should be obvious how that would affect your friendship.

Try not to take this personally. I know that sounds impossible, but I promise, this isn’t about you. He doesn’t think any less of you, and the new girl doesn’t even know you. This is about the quality of their character, not yours. That’s cold comfort, of course, but it’s important to understand that you aren’t being rejected so much as he’s just being a shitty friend.

Hi Coquette. I’m hanging out with my best friend’s ex tomorrow. He’s a cool person and I know nothing will happen because I have a lot of respect for my best friend and my boyfriend (and so does he) but I feel a lot of anxiety because I feel like I’ll have to lie to them about where I’m going and who I’m going with. I’m a shitty liar, especially to the people I love and I’m getting anxiety because I don’t know if hanging out with him will cause either of them to lose some trust in me or make them upset. But I really want to fucking hang out with this cool person. Do I just need to fucking relax? I’m making a big deal over nothing, aren’t I?

Nope. This is a big deal. You’re making a huge mistake, and if you’re not careful it could very easily ruin everyone’s relationship.

If you feel like you have to lie to your best friend and your boyfriend in order to hang out with your best friend’s ex, then you’re already doing something wrong. You damn well know it’s wrong, and the anxiety you’re feeling is you conscience screaming at you that it is all very, very wrong. Listen to your conscience…

It doesn’t matter if nothing happens between you and your best friend’s ex. That’s not the point. The point is you’re betraying your best friend and your boyfriend by not telling them. You are deliberately deceiving them through an act of omission, and there will be consequences when everything comes to light.

You should also take a hard look at whatever shady part of you wants to hang out with your best friend’s ex. It’s not innocent, and you damn well know it. (If it was innocent, you’d have no problem being open with everyone involved.)

I want to sleep with my friend’s ex-wife, should I?

Hell no. What kind of moral cripple asks a question like this? Your friend’s exes are off-limits. Everyone knows this. Unless your friend explicitly sets you up with an ex and everyone involved is cool with it, never sleep with a friend’s ex. Even under those rare circumstances, it’s still probably a bad idea.

Read this week’s column over at Nerve.com.

On why art school kids are annoying

I’m curious what your problem with art school is. I’m aware that a BFA isn’t really for everybody (or sometimes, even worse, is falsely made for everybody), but I’m unclear as to where your disgust for art school comes from.

I don’t have a disgust for art school, and the reason you’re often unclear about things is because you suffer from black-and-white thinking.

I was answering a much larger question from someone stuck wearing art school blinders. I had to smack them upside the head with a big crazy idea to make them realize that life is so much fucking bigger than a couple of art school rejection letters.

How would someone be dodging a bullet by not getting into art school? I got in a few years ago, owned it and was immediately put on a design degree without an interview, aced that too and now I’m in my dream job working as a designer and travelling the world.

If I hadn’t been to art school, learnt my shit, made good connections and worked my ass off, there’s no way I’d be where I am today. Maybe some have a different view of art school to what it really is, maybe Yale is pretentious and useless (I have no idea, I’m from Europe) but what I do know is the art school taught me a lot, including better process, ideas generation, fine art skills (that actually got me noticed for the job I have now) and most importantly, commerciality in art and design.

Ok fine, I seem offended by your comment, but really, I’m just saying art school can be brilliant, and it being a bullet to dodge isn’t something I could easily agree with.

Of course, of course. Not only was my advice completely wrong, but I failed to take into account your specific life experiences when answering that other person’s question that wasn’t even really about art school.

Congratulations on all your success, and I sincerely hope the world keeps revolving around you.

So you think art is a waste of time? Or only that being an artist is wasting your life?

No, silly. Art isn’t a waste time. Then again, being an artist might be a waste of your life, but only because you’re too stupid to understand the difference between being an artist and getting into art school.

On the ripple effect

You are a giant fucking asshole, bitter to the core. I agree with your existential nihilism, but don’t put your self-hatred on everyone else who asks a fucking question, bitch.

This was the immediate response to me telling someone to get rid of all their worldly possessions and join the Peace Corps.

Goddamn, I love this fucking sport.

On finding a balance

I got an interview to Yale school of art and then got denied. I got denied from my back up school too. Now I have no clue what I should do with my year. I’m really tired of working my shitty day job and trying to have a studio practice. I’m too drained (physically and emotionally) to do both, and now I feel like I’m doing a shitty job at both. I’m self aware enough to know I’m being a fucking brat, but how do I stop acting like a fucking brat and find a balance that makes me happy?

You wanna stop acting like a fucking brat? Okay. Quit your shitty day job. Sell, give, or throw away all your worldly possessions. Join the fucking Peace Corps.

You dodged a fucking bullet by not getting into art school. Now quit wasting your life and go do something that scares the shit out of you.

Oh, and since you asked, do you wanna know why you’ll never find a balance that makes you happy? Because you think I’m fucking kidding.