Fuck Robert Young. Screw the stiffs syndicated in most mainstream publications. You wanna know something about something?
Ask a nerd.
Giving really good advice is nerd territory, period. Because all nerds (a) burrow deep and (b) are compelled to share. Seriously. Like crack-addled monkeys, nerds cannot resist getting their advice on at any opportunity. It provides a kind of physical release for them.
In fact, the Nerd Advice Trajectory is very similar to that of the perfect bowel movement. It requires a variety of input, the precise application of both internal and external resources, a gestation period, and, after a mild and pleasant interval of anticipatory urgency, provides an ecstasy upon release matched only by orgasm or an elusive sneeze that finally finds purchase.
Here, for your enjoyment and edification (because the highest form of enlightenment is served up in an entertaining way, i.e. a way that will land), a list of Smart Nerds with Good Advice:
1. Randy Cohen (a.k.a. "Ask the Ethicist" from the NY Times)
Yeah. We need religion to be moral. Yeah. Right. (link)
2. Cary Tennis | "Since You Asked," Salon.com
No one gives better advice than smart, sensitive recovering alcoholics. Or, apparently, engenders such lively discussion in the comments section. (link)
3. Heather Havrilesky | Rabbit Blog
You may know her from Salon's "I Like to Watch" TV column. She's better here. Link leads to a particularly fine example. You may wander from there. (link)
4. Dan Savage | Savage Love
Hilarious, smart, no bullshit sex/relationships advice columnist. And gay. Whatever. Only a pinhead would see that as his chief identifying feature. (link)
5. Sue Johanson | Talk Sex on Oxygen.com
6. Carolyn Hax | Tell Me About It, Washington Post
So smart I almost don't hate her for being younger than I am and graduating from Harvard. Almost. (link)
Who am I missing, nerds?
UPDATE: D'oh! Forgot...
7. The Car Talk Guys
Excellent advice, expertly delivered (i.e., with humor and sass, thank-you-muchly) each week on NPR. (Thanks, trillwing!) If these guys can entertain someone on her third Toyota Corolla (i.e., someone who could give a rat's ass about cars), they can entertain you. Love those accents, too! Grrrrr... (link)