How to: Be pretentious

1. You hang with a group that is on a slightly less intellectual level than you. You are sitting around with a large group of friends on a weekend night. The friends might be close friends or they might be those peripheral friends who you only see when that slightly awkward friend brings them around. They might use politically incorrect language or just be slightly too earnest for your taste. 2. You choose to exploit your pretentiousness in a public setting. You might be at a bar. Could be in an apartment. Possibly, you are standing in a dark corner of Hollister silently mocking sales associates as they say ridiculous things to incoming customers. 3. You use words that people don’t understand. You are drunk, but resistant to the idea. You tell the person trying to get you into a cab to stop patronizing you. When they are taken aback by your immense drunken vocabulary, you tell them not to be intimidated by your vast vernacular, they just probably aren’t on your rhetorical level. 4. You watch complex films, or not so complex ones, and then judge people who do not understand them. The Super Bowl is on. What are you doing? You are watching the third film in “The Millennium Trilogy” — in Swedish. You lament about the bastardization of foreign films that will be remade as American. 5. You suffer for your art. You drunkenly (see step 3) injure yourself. You break a finger, sprain a wrist, maybe even fracture a collar bone. You then proceed to jam on your acoustic guitar for an hour in agony. Everyone must hear the pain you are in played out through song, because you are just that dedicated to your craft. 6. You dress in clothes that say “I just spent $200 on this black T-shirt.” You spend obscene amounts of money on basic apparel, then insist that you have no idea how much it costs. How dare you even ask, I bought this on such a whim. 7. Apathy is your religion of choice. Although you agree that you are on a slightly higher intellectual level than everyone around you, you insist not to care. You attend class to make grand philosophical statements, but assignments are too great a commitment for you. This column is not meant to be taken as actual advice, but rather as social commentary. The Cynic does not advise you to do or not do any of the activities mentioned above.