Advice is a form of nostalgia.
Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal,
wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts
and recycling it for more than it's worth.

- Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen

Unsolicited advice is a violent act.

- Adrienne Rich

A prince nevertheless should always take counsel, but only when he wants it, and not when others wish to thrust it upon him; in fact, he should rather discourage persons from tendering him advice unsolicited by him. But he should be an extensive questioner, and a patient listener to the truth respecting the things inquired about, and should even show his anger in case any one should, for some reason, not tell him the truth.

- Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince (1513), chapter XXIII, How to Avoid Flatterers

o n   A D V I C E

I hate advice. unless i specifically ask for it. or if somebody else asks for it and i get to hear it as a third person, like Dr Laura.

So when i saw Adrienne Rich's comment on advice (above), i had it made into business cards so i could politely & discreetly hand the card to any such freelance adviser who i felt needed to be given some material indication that i found their comments unwarranted and offensive, and maybe they'd learn to keep their patronizing mouth shut around me.

That was seven years ago or so (ca 1991). Then i heard the following spoken song, "Everybody's Free to wear sunscreen," on the local college radio station the other day, and i again appreciated some new comments on advice, right in sync with Rich. (i refer to the latter two sentences, not the first, unless i'm asking.)

So i created this web page to collect people's comments on advice that i find useful.
Now i can tell people where to go with a url rather than a finger. ; )


Everybody's Free to wear sunscreen

Mix Quindon Tarver & Lee Perry
Written by Tim Cox & Nigel Swanston
From the album "Something For Everybody"

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of '97, Wear sunscreen

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.

The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind, you will never understand the power and the beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in twenty years you will look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future, or worry knowing that worrying is as affective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind. The kind that blindsides you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you. Sing. Don't be reckless with other peoples' hearts; don't put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss.

Don't waste your time on jealously, sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters; throw away your old bank statements. Stretch.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to knees, you'll miss them when they're gone. Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the "Funky Chicken" on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own. Dance. Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions even if you don't follow them. Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Chorus: Brother and sister together will make it through, Some day a spirit will take you and guide you there, I know you've been hurting, but I've been waiting to be there for you And I'll be there just helping you out, whenever I ca-a-an

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They are your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go but a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps between geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.
Live in northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths: prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old and when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders. Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse, but you'll never know when either one will run out. Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're forty, it will look eighty-five.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it.

Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.


Everybody's Free, oh yeah, to feel good, ohhhhh, to feel good.


It's been about a year since Baz Luhrmann last spoke to X- Press Magazine and what a year it's been.

His take on Romeo + Juliet came out and it really was a case of a film that literally assaulted, dazzled and caressed the senses.

Rarely does a film get it so right when combining the disparate elements of vision and sound, but every nuance of the film underlined the drama that was unfolding and if anyone found themselves wavering with Elizabethan English, there was underscoring aplenty to carry them through.

It wasn't surprising then that the film did well and it's more than justified that the film's soundtrack celebrated unparalleled sales as did the follow-up soundtrack.

Now Luhrmann is continuing down the musical pathway. Something For Everybody is a new album compiled by him and a team which features music he's utilised in all of his productions, from Lake Lost in 1988, to Haircut the same year, a reworking of Hair and on to La Boheme (1990), Strictly Ballroom (1992), A Midsummer's Night's Dream (1993) and, of course, Romeo + Juliet. But not everything will be as you remember it. There's some radical reworkings going on so that, as it boldly states, there really is something for everybody.

The vocals for Sunscreen, the text came from the Net, is that right?

Yeah, let me explain it, because I think it's a brilliant moment in the history of the internet. Anton and I were working on Everybody's Free and what happened was this speech came up on the internet by Kurt Vonnegut, apparently from a friend of his, and I'm a great follower of the man, I was going to do a Vonnegut Opera at one stage. So there's this thing which features all these great observations there and I was 'Oh, my god, it's incredible, but we'll never get the rights from Vonnegut'.

Within an hour, Anton was on the Internet and found out that it wasn't from him after all and in fact it's the work of a brilliant young journalist named Mary Schmidt.

Later we were able to talk to her by e-mail, she was a fan of Strictly Ballroom and Romeo And Juliet. An hour later again we spoke to her publishers, The Chicago Tribune and the next day we were recording with a local voice artist in Sydney.

Two days later it's on Triple J, by the end of the week it's the most requested song on Triple J. A week later it goes out on commercial radio here -- a seven minute spoken word song and next week as we speak, it goes out on college radio in the US. So I just think the Internet had everything to do with that huge circle of culture moving around and so quickly It's exciting.

curious variations among text versions on the web ...

Accept certain alible truths
Except certain inalienable truths

you'll fantasise
you'll fanaticise

a way of wishing the past from the disposal
a way of fishing the past from the disposal

it will look eighty-five.
you'll look 85.

Be kind to your needs
Be kind to knees

Live in California once
Live in northern California once

"Advice is seldom welcome; and those who want it the most always like it the least."
- Philip Dormer Stanhope, the fourth Earl of Chesterfield, British
statesman, wit, and diplomat, born 22 September 1694,
author of "Letters to His Son"

    created: 12jun98
    last revised: 25dec99
tpk advising the local county commissioners how to think & vote