Just Say No to Ronald Reagan: Weird Advice From Famous People

A variety of questionable celebrity pointers, from Snooki's parenting tips to Benjamin Franklin on how to choose a mistress
banner snooki AP charles sykes.jpg
AP / Charles Sykes

This week, I stumbled across this amazing video of William S. Burroughs doling out some highly questionable advice to young people. The advice cultural icons give isn't always totally sound (or maybe it is—what do I know?), and below, I've put together a collection of some of the more outlandish, colorful, and dubious advice from famous people. Whether you take heed or not is up to you.

William S. Burroughs's Advice for Young People

"Beware of whores who say they don't want money. In the long run, these are the most expensive whores that can be got."


twain1.jpg

Mark Twain's Advice to Little Girls

"You ought never to take your little brother's 'chewing-gum' away from him by main force; it is better to rope him in with the promise of the first two dollars and a half you find floadint down the river on a grindstone. In the artless simplicity natural to this time of life, he will regard it as a perfectly fair transaction. In all ages of the world this eminently plausible fiction has lured the obtuse infant to financial ruin and disaster."

See more here.


john-waters-2007-1-edinburgh-film-festival.jpg

John Waters's Advice in Role Models

"If someone is racist and really cute, could you still have sex with him? I have to admit the answer is yes. I have. You just change the subject or shout, 'La la la la la la la,' covering your ears when he speaks nonsense. If all else fails, stick something in his mouth to shut him up."

"[F]or all the neurotics who may have felt a little blue one day and were unfairly diagnosed and overly medicated before they could even try to talk out their problems, I have some advice. It's appropriate to be depressed sometimes. Who wants to be 'even' day after day? If you just killed three people in a DWI accident, you should feel bad. If your whole family molested you in a giant basket on Easter morning, you have a right to be grumpy every once in a while. But feeling down can make you feel up if you're the creative type. The emotional damage may have already been done to you, but stop whining. Use your insanity to get ahead."

Read more here.


item0-rendition-slideshowwidehorizontal-courtney-love-ss01.jpg

Courtney Love on How to Lose Weight

COURTNEY: The thing you gotta do is—A! Stop counting calories! Okay? B! DO not get on a scale! 'Cause lean muscle weighs more than fat. All right? I cut out FAT! That's all you gotta do. FAT! No cheese. That's it, Lisa. Period. NO CHEESE. I told this to KROQ, I told this to my nanny. People I tell this to lose ten, 30 pounds. STOP CHEESE. You know why the Orientals are not fat? 'Cause they look on cheese as this gross, Western habit—it's like sour milk LARD. They don't want anything to fucking do with cheese. If you're gonna eat cheese, take it out on a picnic, cut it up carefully, and really taste it—with wine or something. Don't melt it on shit. And I lost 40 POUNDS by not eating cheese. And I even ate a little mayonnaise. All right. Skip the butter and skip the cheese and you will lose weight. I swear to God, Lisa. I was a fat girl my whole life. No one would fuck, and when they did they'd do things like fart in front of me. I told my friend that this guy farted in front of me, and you know what he said?

Lisa: Nn-nn

COURTNEY: He said, "Well, look at her; wouldn't you fart in front of her?"

Lisa: Oh! Here's my second question—

COURTNEY: Don't eat cheese. There are a million things to eat that are not cheese.

Read the rest of the interview, from Lisa Crystal Carver's '90s zine Rollerderby, here.


Frank Zappa on Parenting

Presented by

Emily Temple is an editor at Flavorpill.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Entertainment

Just In