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The Advice Goddess and the statist-in-training

My friend Amy Alkon (ask Perry about her delightful “Godless Harlot” business cards) is a nationally syndicated advice columnist in the US. She gets requests for assistance “a little too frequently,” as she puts it, from a certain girl in the UK. After being copied in on a round-robin email appeal from this British girl to several advice columnists, Amy pointed out to the help-seeker that she is more likely to spend her time responding to those who are not mass mailing loads of other people with the same question. How did the girl respond?

Excuse me, but you are supposed to give me advice, not insult me. Now give me advice, before i report you to the council.

Somehow I do not think that Amy need worry about having to fight an extradition order.

12 comments to The Advice Goddess and the statist-in-training

  • I would have sent a very simple reply: “My advice is to kiss my ass.” Or possibly “arse”, since the e-mailer is apparently British.

  • CFM

    Excuse my paranoia, but would “the Council” make any moves if the Advice Goddess lived within their jurisdiction?

    It would not be any more surprising than some of the stuff the NuLab types have done in the past. Remember the gay horse?


  • Chris Harper


    A student pissed off a mounted copper by repeatedly claiming that the horse was gay.


    The press had a field day with this one, but it looks to me that the bloke was arrested, not for claiming that the horse was gay, as it was presented, but for being a pain in the arse.

  • Thanks, Chris. The world has gone mad.

  • RAB

    One has to be sooo careful with words nowadays.

    Pain in the arse Chris?

    Is that a knocking on your door I can hear ?

  • I just love the idea of “The Council” as practically the old testament God: an all powerful deity that gives people things on its whim and its pleasure, and that which you pray to when you have a dispute with your neighbour, in the hope that it might strike him down.

    It beats my idea of the council as an organisation that demands a large sum of money from me once a year and which I otherwise have no interaction with.

  • Paul Marks

    “I will report you” is the standard form of words for a certain sort of nasty British person (it need not be “to the council”).

    In America the standard form of words for a similar sort of person is “I will sue you”.

    I suppose there is a difference.

    “I will sue you” means I will take my complaint to a jury and we will argue it out. Of course this does mean to a jury of daytime television watchers (everyone else tends to get out of jury service) and before a Judge who is likely to be full of “progressive” notions such as the “deep pockets” principle (as in “X has not really done anything wrong, but X has deep pockets and Y has a serious problem – therefore X should be forced to give money to Y”), but it is still better than “I will report you”.

    The British form of words implies handing over an enemy to an external power who will harm him or her in some nasty way (regardless of what arguments than can make in their defence).

    Of course the words “your job is to give me advise” (without payment of course) are an example of entitlement culture.

    People have been taught that they are “entitled” (have a “right to”) things – at the expense of the time and money of other people.

    Whereas the libertarian may want these “basic things” (job and so on) but knows that no one should be forced to provide these things. So (if the libertarian can think of no way to get the things he wants) he knows he just has to go without.

    By the way entitlement culture is not just a British thing – it is much stronger in the United States than many people think.

  • RobtE

    Thanks for the link to the blog. It isn’t one I’d heard of before.

    Amy’s blog belongs in the same category as Terry Pratchett’s novels. They are both seriously dangerous to relationships. Personal experience has shown that partners have a limited tolerance for being poked in the ribs and told, “Hey, listen to this. It’s brilliant.”

    If you haven’t yet read the account of her stolen Rambler, do so. But do it when no one else is in the room. Trust me on this.

  • Sunfish

    Perhaps Amy should have given this fine human being some advice: “My advice is to stick your question some place where it’ll hurt when you sit down.”

    By the way entitlement culture is not just a British thing – it is much stronger in the United States than many people think.

    I was at a city council meeting last year where the main topic was the issuance of a retail liquor license. One guy stood up to oppose it. His reason? He owned a liquor store about a block away, and a new store would cut into his customers and his market share, and he had the understanding that the city had basically entitled him to sell exclusively in that part of town by licensing him.

    I know about the chavs (what a delightful word, a pity there’s no exact match for it in American English) but if you guys have the same whiny grabby mentality in the middle class as well, then the whole world has gone mad.

  • Wouldn’t “chav” be the same as “trailer park trash”?

  • Sunfish

    Wouldn’t “chav” be the same as “trailer park trash”?

    Maybe. The thing is, I’ve not heard the term “trailer trash” applied to people who lived in housing projects (our version of council estates, I guess.)

    Ah, what the hey, if the Birkenstock fits…