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Seeking Advice

I am a junkie.

I will admit it. I am addicted to reading advice columns. What is it about reading advice columns that I enjoy, you may ask. Well, I had never really thought about it until this very moment. Perhaps it's the kinship -- oh, I've been in a situation just like that; perhaps it's the curiosity -- what kinds of life problems are others facing?; perhaps it's the problem solving aspect -- now, how would I answer that? Or, most likely, it's a little word I learned courtesy of the folks at Avenue Q -- schadenfreude.

Schadenfreude -- n. Pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.

I read and have read many advice columns in my day. The first guilty pleasure that I started reading on a regular basis was Dear Mr. Blue, by Garrison Keillor, on Salon. Now, he's a well-respected guy, right? That's "acceptable" reading material, right? Unfortunately, the rest of my fixes aren't so "acceptable." They include Get Naked, from Time Out New York, and the Em and Lo Down, from Nerve. I read those, of course, for the pure entertainment value.

Advice columns can provide a great service to society. Take, for example, Go Ask Alice, a site that was originally designed to offer advice to Columbia students, but has since expanded to answer questions from folks well beyond the confines of Columbia's campus.

Today's advice included my usual, Since You Asked (which took the place of Dear Mr. Blue), and a great column from The Morning News, which made me laugh (well, more like cackle or chortle) out loud. Not so great at work.

Need advice? Send me your questions and I will impart my great wisdom upon you.

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