Ollie's Modern Life

This month Ollie Peart channels his inner Baz Luhrman, for the feel bad hit of the autumn


Ladies and gentlemen of the class of 2020.

Wear a facemask.

If I could offer you only one tip, until there is a vaccine, a facemask would be it.

The benefits of a facemask have been sort of proved by scientists and thrown into disrepute by nut job conspiracy theorists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than stuff I’ve read on the internet and podcasts I listen to. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh, never mind, you’re gonna post it on Instagram anyway, get miserable and cry when you don’t get more than 50 likes. In 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself with stupid hashtags and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much of a complete and utter stupid waste of time Instagram really is.

You are not as fat as you imagine.  

Don’t worry about the future, or do worry because let’s face it, to try not to worry is almost impossible with the bombardment of hideous goings on in the world at the moment. Just know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation without Google. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, like private photos ending up on PornHub at 4am on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Saying that, don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, like voting for Trump. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours, like people who voted for Trump.

Floss - or use one of those fancy sonic toothbrush things.

Don’t waste your time on LinkedIn. Sometimes you’re in search results, sometimes you’re not. Who fucking cares? There is no race, just delete your account and NEVER go premium.

Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, don’t tell me how – I don’t get compliments. Keep your old unsolicited dick pics, you’ll never know when you’ll need them in court. Recycle your old bank statements and go digital. What are you, a Neanderthal?

Joe Wicks.

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. Robots will rule the world in the next decade anyway. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know don’t know what Tik Tok is.

Get plenty of calcium, even if you’re vegan.

Be kind to your knees. And bees. We’re all fucked if they disappear.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll choose IVF, maybe you’ll choose childfree. Maybe you’ll come out at 40, maybe you’ll dance the ‘Nae Nae’ on your 75th wedding anniversary.

Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, no one likes a show off. Don’t berate yourself either, people will do that on Twitter for you.

Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s. Unless you’re backed up by a multi-billion dollar trust fund, then regardless of choices you’ll be fine.

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can – a wank every now and then won’t hurt. Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it, just block the pricks who give you a hard time about it online. It’s the ONLY instrument you’ll ever own, no one has room for real instruments these days.

Dance, but make sure it’s carefully choreographed and posted on Tik Tok as a matter of urgency. Just be wary that pervy 50-year-old men will be looking at it in their living rooms.

Don’t read directions, Google Maps reads it out for you.

Do not read beauty magazines. Especially Goop, they’ll ask you to stick an egg up your foof. 

Get to know your parents. Your real ones. There are DNA tests for that. They might sell your data but at least you’ll know who your Dad is.

Be nice to your siblings, except on the family WhatsApp group. They’re the best way to find your Mum’s postal address for the Christmas card you ought to send. 

Understand that followers come and go. Most of them are bots. A precious few won’t block you.

You don’t need to work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, we have Zoom for that. The older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young, so hit them up on houseparty from time to time.

Live anywhere other than London because the house prices are obscene. You can’t move to Cornwall anymore, it’s just as expensive.

Travel within lockdown guidelines and take note of recent Covid outbreaks.

Accept certain inalienable truths. Jeff Bezos will keep making money. Politicians are all bastards. U2 are old and should stop making music immediately. You’ll fantasise that when you were young chocolate bars were bigger, politicians were still bastards, and children played music from their phone without headphones on and you did nothing about it.

Respect your elders, unless they voted Brexit.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. You could set up a Kickstarter or GoFundMe, but I wouldn’t bank on it working out. You won’t win the lottery, you’ll be in your overdraft until you die.

Never mess too much with your hair, and NEVER get a man bun. 

Be careful whose advice you buy and also those who supply it for ‘free’ on monetized videos on YouTube. Those pricks will say anything for ad revenue.

Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is regurgitating the past with a click-baity video title, a chirpy, overly positive vlogger and them pretending the advice was theirs all along. 

But trust me on the facemask.

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