The best thing you can do for your image is to stop breathing. Really. After you’re dead, you will achieve the perfection you never, ever would have approached during an aimless and undirected life.
We lionize the dead, and I don’t get it. I understand not speaking ill of the dead (Well, not really; if somebody was a complete twatwaffle during life, why the fuck would their death change anything?), but the complete 180 that your peer’s opinions take upon being interviewed regarding your death is inexplicable.
You could have been a straight C- student, raped half the girl’s field hockey team, and been a habitual stealer of your grandmother’s Oxycontin, but if you go to Afghanistan and get greased by an IED, you instantly become Christ-like. Everybody in your hometown suddenly remembers you as a scholar, a respectful young adult, a dude who would probably have saved the world had your life not been tragically cut short by war. These professional athletes who have histories of domestic assault, weapon violations, and drug charges? These ballers die of a drug overdose or get shot during a drunken brawl outside a strip joint the day before a game, and their coaches, managers—and of course, their sainted mothers—now remember them as guys “who were really turning their lives around. They really had great things ahead of them.” You could have been the most partisan, corrupt, page boy-raping motherfucker ever to stink up the Thunderdome of Congress, but after your death, the same politicians who dedicated their political careers to utterly destroying you suddenly describe you as “a class act, a uniter, a champion of the people.” Rock it hard for 40 years, dominate the charts, wear iconic sunglasses. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame might ignore you like that hot girl listening to her iPod on the 8:45 bus to Norwood. But die? They’ll bronze your guitar and pull Keith Richards out of his life-sustaining sarcophagus to MC your induction.
So, don’t worry if your life’s accomplishments don’t amount to a squeaky fart during a hurricane. Just make sure that, when you go to meet Jesus, you do so in a manner that at least merits a small news story featuring interviews of people who thought they knew you. You’ll be remembered as being more intelligent, more accomplished, and pulling much more ass than you ever did while you were breathing.