March 15, 2000
Walking The Walk

I had a startling revelation the other day, while I was locked in my closet. Well, actually I had two startling revelations; the first being that the show "Judging Amy" is one of the most intensely boring television programs ever created, rivaling anything seen on C-SPAN. The other revelation, which I plan to discuss here with you this week, is the fact that I'm just not living up to the requirements of being a legitimate fan of Nine Inch Nails. I also have become concerned about others who may not be meeting these requirements.

See, the thing is, many people who don't particularly care for Nine Inch Nails may become confused and disoriented when they see someone who does like NIN, but doesn't fit their idea of what a NIN fan should look/smell/act like. In order to help quickly resolve this urgent problem, I've decided to help all of you by listing some guidelines to follow in order to be the ideal stereotypical NIN fan, and make Trent proud.

First and foremost, it's absolutely vital that you have some sort of shrine to Trent Reznor that you worship regularly. The one shown here is one of the more simplistic types, but it'll do. You should try to gather as many NIN-related pictures and objects as possible, and any empty spaces should be promptly filled in with either a hastily-drawn NIN logo or some scrawled verses from a NIN song, preferably from The Downward Spiral. Don't forget to add plenty of upside-down crosses and pentagrams, because those are cool.

The main drawback to Trent Reznor shrines is that you can't take them out in public with you (that is, whenever you do decide to venture outside). When you're around other people, how are they supposed to know that you're the most devoted NIN fan ever? Answer: Carve things into your body to make your loyalty clear for the world to gaze upon. Sure, you can always have a "professional" do it for you, but Trent appreciates it more if you do it yourself with a toothpick.

An equally effective (and less painful and bloody) way to say "Hey, look at me, I like NIN!" is to wear clothing that clearly marks you as a loyal NIN devotee. Don't ever leave your house wearing something that doesn't have Nine Inch Nails written all over it, otherwise people might confuse you with all the other conformist, mindless bastards. Assert your individuality along with other NIN fans and be different, just like all the other different people.

Now that your arms are carved and you're wearing NIN logos boldly emblazoned all over your clothes, it's time to look at the way you carry yourself. If you walk upright with your shoulders back, you will look like a "poser", and nobody will believe you're really into NIN. Be sure to perfect your "mopey slouch" before appearing in public. People can tell when you're just faking it.

if you already look like this, congratulations!

If you follow these quick and easy steps, you will hopefully begin to look like the picture above in no time. If you're still having trouble becoming Trent's biggest fan, here are a few more handy tips:

Don't cloud your mind by listening to other kinds of music.
Instead, sit in your room for hours at a time while listening
to "Closer" on repeat.

If someone dares to contradict your "Trent is God" belief by
mentioning that Trent says "God is dead and no one cares",
just scream at them and run away.

Drop out of school. You don't want to end up turning into
some kind of preppy anyway.

Don't tell anyone about that time you waited three hours
outside in freezing weather after a concert just so you could
hug Jon Bon Jovi. People just won't understand.

Remember, NIN and Satan go hand in hand. Tell everybody
you meet about how cool the Devil is, and they won't mess
with you.

Announcing to your parents that you're bisexual just doesn't
have the shock value that it used to. Instead, tell them that
you prefer to have sex with gay trees.

Start a pointless NIN website on the Internet and update it
every week, even if it means giving up any semblance of a
"normal social life."

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