Continuing as a faux “intellectual”

by Ahmad Dixon, Contributor

If you’re anything like me then you are a total fraud. Your talents of successfully winging assignments and pretending to be an authority on various subjects have allowed you to gain the love and admiration of your peers.

While substance is hard to come by and takes years of meditation, appearance is something that can be achieved in a few easy steps.

Here are tips that will you continue your status as a fake intellectual, you shallow deadbeat.

Quote people smarter than you.

It was American novelist Jack Kerouac who said, “You can’t fall off a mountain.”

Does anyone know why? No. Does anyone know what it means? No. Does it really matter? No.

That sound byte is an example of a saying that sounds profound, but taken out of context from a book you’ve probably never read, lacks all depth.

But fear not, you don’t cite quotes to add to the conversation or to inspire the person sitting across from you.

You quote and name drop to show how well read and educated you are, even though you spent all of last night playing Super Smash Bros. in the dark.

Quoting also removes the hardship that comes with mining into your soul for original thoughts and emotions and trust me, no matter how deep you dig, odds are you’re not going to find any.

For added success, Photoshop an interesting picture of a dead celebrity next to a seemingly insightful, yet ultimately vapid sentence.

Did I write the sentence? No. Did I create the image? No.

I searched for it on Google. Actually, I used Bing.

Be dismissive and cynical.

Whenever you meet someone who feels legitimate joy because of something roll your eyes and scoff.

“Oh you listen to (Insert popular thing here) you know that isn’t real music. What you should be listening to is (Insert obscure thing here.)”

It doesn’t really matter if that popular thing has any artistic merit, or if it brings happiness to people, what matters is that it has reached mainstream consciousness. Therefore you must hate it, or pretend to.

This also means you must seek out media that appears to make you seem worldlier, not the media that you actually enjoy.

So while everyone is out seeing “Star Wars Episode VII,” you’ll stay in and watch “2001: a Space Odyssey” on VHS, the superior home entertainment format.

Whether or not you actually get anything out of the film is irrelevant. What matters is that many of your classmates would be bored watching it and Roger Ebert gave it four stars.

You don’t even have to watch the majority of the film. Just glance over your shoulder every twenty minutes to make sure you don’t miss any plot points.

Contradict people whenever.

Convenient. Petty, meaningless arguments are the bread and butter of the fake intellectual.

It’s how you show lesser minds that you’re better than them.

Some key phrases you may want to use are, “It’s just a plant, man!” or “It works in Sweden!”

These empty remarks require no knowledge of theology, chemistry, or basic economics, but they will get your relatives riled up at barbeques.

Try not to use these phrases in front of people who actually watch the news instead of The Simpsons, they may actually want to argue and you don’t want that.

They are going to try and counter your statements with silly facts instead of emotionally yelling the same two sentences into someone’s ear over and over again.

Dress to impress.

A simple, yet important rule. You can wear the standard t-shirt, jeans and hoodie.

The t-shirt must have a pop culture reference that only a select number of your peers will understand.

What this does is announce to the world how cultured you are and that you belong to a special club, a group of people who follow the first rule of this list.

You have to display your favorite inside jokes because the best thing about inside jokes is that they are universally enjoyed and make everyone happy.

Your other option is to dress up in thrift store blazers and wear ties.

You do this to show that you have much more class than the other people walking down the street, but they have to be secondhand and tattered to also show that you don’t care.

Not caring is an aesthetic you should always strive to give off.

Unlike the rest of mankind, you are not bothered by anything. You are cool under pressure. You don’t play by society’s rules.

But in reality you do care, if you didn’t, you wouldn’t have spent all that time looking for that jacket.

Be nervous all of the time.

You will always be aware that people might pick apart your fabricated persona to reveal the void underneath.

You will constantly be aware of the fact that your head is filled with air and your thoughts are not your own, but those of authors long dead.

Your cynical brain tells you that you should always be doing something else, but you have no clue what that something is.

You don’t want to hang out with that guy in one class because he’s a Luddite who doesn’t know who Allen Ginsberg is, but you feel insecure around the girl in another class that can actually write poetry.

Even if it’s awful, like most poetry, it’s more than you’ve accomplished all year.

Laziness and negativity has left you bored, empty and unfulfilled.

I hope this guide will help you to appear smarter than those around you.

I have no clue how to end this, so here’s another insightful quote, this time by Kurt Vonnegut. 

“Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.”

I don’t know if that’s at all insightful.

I just picked Vonnegut because I have a picture of him on my binder that I downloaded off the internet.