Advice King

Comedian, musician, host of Chris Crofton's Advice King Podcast and former Nashvillian Chris Crofton asked the Scene for an advice column, so we gave him one. Crowning himself the “Advice King,” Crofton will share his hard-won wisdom with whosoever seeks it. Follow Crofton on Facebook and Twitter, and to submit a question for the Advice King, email bestofbread[at]gmail[dot]com or editor[at]nashvillescene[dot]com.

Dear Advice King,

My therapist says I harbor a "fear of success" and don't feel deserving of financial freedom. I tell her that I don't want to be greedy in an unfair world, but it's also true that I struggle to pay my bills every month. How do I find the balance between the two?


Financially Frustrated in New York


Have you tried “manifesting”? Rich people swear by it. The thing is, in order to learn how to do it right, you have to go to a seminar run by a woman named “Teymara” or a man named “Jafree.” The seminar usually costs around $300, and includes lunch. Quinoa salad with cranberries, I betcha. Maybe a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. I’m gonna go out on a fairly solid limb and say Sauvignon Blanc is the official varietal of manifestation.

How does manifesting work, you ask? You just think about money, and then you get it. Seriously. It’s that simple. You just focus your “energy” on “abundance” and it will come to you. 

Are you angry yet, Financially Frustrated? I am. 

What do rich people imagine that poor people think about? Garbage cans? Mangy dogs? Eviction? This “you get what you attract” line of thinking leads directly to shaming the least fortunate. It’s just victim-blaming turned inside-out. 

The phrase “everything happens for a reason” lives in the same gentrified neighborhood as “manifesting.” It sounds nice — but it’s not true, either. It’s true that humans can adapt to terrible circumstances, but a Ukrainian woman losing her husband of 50 years to sniper fire and still finding the will to live is NOT the same as, say, “We were all disappointed that Hunter didn’t get into Harvard, but it turns out he’s thriving at Bard!” 

I wouldn’t recommend saying “everything happens for a reason” to a Ukrainian. Or telling a Ukrainian about manifestation seminars.

Hi, Financially Frustrated. I haven’t forgotten your question. “Fear of success” made me think of manifesting. I mean, you MIGHT be afraid of success. I’m not saying that it’s absolute horseshit. But the idea that you can straight-up manifest a mortgage payment is absolute horseshit. If the people conducting the manifestation seminars are rolling in manifested dough, why do they need to charge $300 for a quinoa salad? And why don’t their websites look better?

Anyway, before you blame yourself for your lack of money, consider blaming society. THERE IS CONSIDERABLY LESS MONEY AVAILABLE. It’s all offshore. It didn’t so much trickle down as it trickled OUT. Never to return. “Fear of what your options are” sounds more likely. And that is completely rational. There is a syndrome affecting the poor, and it’s not a lack of positive-thinking. And it’s not “happening for a reason.” The syndrome is that they are being demonized by the wealthy. They are being blamed for their circumstances. You can’t manifest a middle class. You can’t manifest morality.

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