Like most of you, I'm not really good at being an adult/socialized human being. I try to be a functioning member of society, but, on my best day, I'm still just a sweaty collection of farts and stuttered observations about pop culture, covered in a stained t-shirt. I'm always looking for advice on how to be a better person, and I often turn to celebrities, because they seem pretty on the ball. Last year, I learned all about myself (and also partying) by religiously reading and following everything that Andrew WK said on Twitter. This time around, I'm following the words of singer(?)/artist(?) Yoko Ono. Like WK, Ono loves giving advice on Twitter, so I decided to spend an entire business week reading her Twitter feed and following her advice.
I settled on a business week because, if I had to do this for two more days, I would have murdered just everyone.
MONDAY: Exercising My Imagination
It's important to Yoko Ono that I use my imagination. She encourages everyone to just sit and think and dream and waste time on idle thoughts, which I imagine is a side effect of the potent combination of having lots of money and being surrounded by people who have absolutely no expectations of you. It's no surprise to me that I've had my dumbest and most self-absorbed ideas ("Man, I just think the world would be a better place if everyone would just take an hour out of every day and play Frisbee with me"), when I was young, and pointless, and when I didn't have a job or bills or a reason to be anywhere at any time. That, I imagine, is what being super rich is like. People who run around and work seem silly and frivolous to you, and you have all the time in the world to come up with unique imagination prompts, because you've achieved some kind of financial solvency-induced spiritual enlightenment.
Still, I'm sure there's value in just shutting out the real world and imagining, and I'm not here to judge Yoko, I'm here to do whatever she tells me to do.
But, OK, I'm not going to do that, because dreams are bullshit, and because I have no control over them anyway. I can't make myself dream about flying. If Dream Daniel wants to fly forever, that's his business, that's got nothing to do with me. Also, I get the feeling that if I did spend all night dreaming about flying, I'd just wake up sad that I couldn't fly anymore, and then I'd be awake and in real life, walking around, being an idiot, dealing with chumps. That sounds like a horribly depressing way to start my day.
I imagine that would be very hot. Did I do that right? Did I win this imagination? Because I'm already sweaty when I do my really awesome dances to begin with, and I'm guessing that I'd be even sweatier if I had to do it in front of all those suns in the field that you seem to think I know.
I get the feeling that Yoko Ono gets to sleep a lot more than I do. When your advice is always "Bored with life? Go to sleep and pretend things are better!" it suggests a lack of urgency in your real life, like you have no actual concerns. And normal people -- people who didn't have sex with Beatles when they were younger -- have all sorts of real-life concerns to deal with. Jobs and bills and occasionally being awake, and so forth.
Also, wouldn't this be more effective if I was dancing with and complimenting people in real life? Isn't that objectively more meaningful? Telling a person that I've subconsciously projected in my dream how beautiful they are is like telling my brain how beautiful it is, and I don't need to do that. My brain already knows, baby, we've been tag-teaming dreams since way back. It just seems like I'd have more of an impact if I told people in real life that they were beautiful, but you want me to do it in my dreams, which ... Hey. Is Yoko Ono trying to Inception me?!
TUESDAY: Tape Recording Things
Yoko's way into sending me out on missions to record things. I thought at first that it might be a Zen thing, some kind of ancient, spiritual lesson, like I'd go out to record something that was unrecordable, and in the silence I'd discover something about myself.
When I tried to record the lake freezing, for example, I realized in the silence that all I really wanted was the hot chocolate that Yoko and I promised myself. Then I recorded even longer, and I came to another discovery: I didn't even have to sit outside at a lake all night if I wanted to drink it, and that lakes don't make sounds when they freeze, and that I live in California where lakes don't freeze anyway, and that I don't have time to stare at a lake waiting for miracles, because my brain's not made of monkey shit. Then I drove home and drank hot chocolate. (That's kinda Zen, right?)
Some of her other recording missions are less abstract.
This is a good tip, because when it's raining outside, it's important to remind people that they used to be happy. Don't cheer them up or anything, just say, "Hey, remember that time Phil told a great joke? I didn't record the joke, but listen to how into it we all were!"
Look everyone, it's Yoko Ono saying the phrase "give it to your mother!" Sorry, boners! Anyway, I didn't do this one. I don't know if my mom can still legally abort me, but I know that handing her an audio tape of extra-strength silent moon madness when she's sad would give her total justification to do so.
My girlfriend came home after an awful day of work. Her eyes were red from crying and her boss, whom we've always assumed was a bit of a pervert, behaved very inappropriately. Before I let her tell me what happened, I ran and got my tape recorder and sat silently while I documented the whole rant.
"Daniel, what the hell is this," she asked after she'd finished ranting.
"It's ... it's, like, your thoughts, and shit. Your feelings about ... about the thing you were saying. I've got it all on tape."
"I asked you a question," she said, clearly gearing up for another rant. "Should I report my boss for sexual harassment or not?"
"I wasn't, uh ... I didn't actually catch all of the details of what you said," I explained. "I was kind of busy with the recording. Wanted to make sure we didn't run out of tape and that the levels were OK. You peaked once but I think I can fix it in post."
"Well, Jesus, what are you even going to do with it?"
"Stop getting so mad. I'm going to bury it. When it snows. Obviously.
"It doesn't snow in Calif-"
"I fucking know it doesn't snow in California, you're talking to the guy who spent four hours waiting for a lake to freeze in goddamn Pasadena. Jesus, it's like you don't even dream about painting stars."
"What the shit, Daniel? What am I supposed to do?"
"Uh, geez, I don't know. Watch a butterfly dance, maybe, and see if you can make your heart dance with it and, like ... rub up on some fireflies or something. Any of that sound soothing?"
Anyway, we broke up.
WEDNESDAY: Vague Advice.
Every once in a while, Yoko Ono gives out advice in the middle of a conversation that she forgot to have with us.
I'm not taking that out of context, and this isn't a continuation of an old tweet. Her previous tweet was "There is no frame for the universe" and then a link to her crazy website. That's all of her advice. She just jumps in and assumes I can't manage "that," she's already decided that I'm not up for whatever task it is that she hasn't yet assigned to me. And, in truth, she's probably right, I probably can't manage whatever it is she wants me to do, because the statues by my apartment don't whisper to me and none of the butterflies I know really "get" my specific style of awesome dancing, just yet.
Do ... Yes, alright. But do what? What's the thing you want me doing? Everything? All the things? Because that's a lot of things ...
That's exactly what I've always imagined the ghost chick from The Ring will say before she kills me.