Thursday, February 25, 2010

Advice columns are bitchin'

One of my most favourite things to do on the internet is read advice columnists. Some people like YouTube, others like FML, some are into novelty blogs or online magazines or whatever. I like all those things too. But boy howdy do I like me a good advice columnist.

Mostly because it's a window into other people's problems and I'm super nosy. It's like finding someone not on your Facebook friend list has 500 pictures available to browse. It's like sitting next to someone on the TTC who's having a scandalous phone conversation and totally not aware you're listening to everything. Basically, I love people in the sense that I truly enjoy these little blips into their lives.

My favourite is Miss Manners. An oldie but a goodie, and arguably the best in the business. Decades of honing her skill in her column (and books) have made her a force. Her acerbic wit mixed perfectly with civility makes my brain tingle with glee.

Next in line is Dear Prudence at Slate magazine. What makes this one so good is the columnist has a really good head on her shoulders, and is kind of a smarty pants. Bonus: There's a weekly video with one letter animated and "Prudence" herself answering the question. Awesome.

Third is Dear Margo, the original Dear Prudence and daughter of the late Ann Landers, who has carried on her work at WOW. She cutely signs off all her responses with an adjective describing her reaction to the letter. -Margo, Revealingly; -Margo, Sympathetically; -Margo, Gaspingly. Plus she's older, has a wealth of life experience that she hints at periodically and even when she's being unconventional, it's easy to see where she's coming from.

Last is Advice Goddess. Amy Alkon beats around the bush far more than any of the others, but she always drives home her point. Hers are mostly relationship woes, but as those can be the most interesting, it's easy to overlook.

And missing from this list is tried and true Dear Abby, who frankly drives me crazy with her moralizing.

I'm now going to read Miss Manner's latest, then settle into Amy Alkon's book, I See Rude People. Life is good.

However, it can only go on so long. Women's gold medal hockey is on tonight. Priorities!


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