I’m Offended!

These days, grievance is a growth industry.  For many people, being offended is the default setting on their lifestyle menu: they go there first and ask questions later.  This is a pain in the ass to the rest of us because the Eagerly Offended constantly demand centre stage, they won’t shut up and there’s no reasoning with those nimrods.  They want to be outraged.  So, since it’s practically impossible to beat ‘em, I’ve decided to join ‘em and be offended too – by clichés.

English is a beautiful language, and I’m shocked and appalled that people who wouldn’t recognize a simile if it bit them on the bum think it’s acceptable to toss around hackneyed phrases as if they were confetti at a gender reveal party.  There are millions of people all over the world who love and admire the English language, and the indiscriminate use of stale, worn-out and unimaginative vocabulary is very distressing and hurtful to them.  This is the 21st century — not the Age of Edward Bulwer-Lytton, for God’s sake!  We need to stand together to put an end to this linguistic appropriation and perhaps, moving forward, we can create a world free of lackluster analogies for our children to enjoy.  Here are just a few egregious examples to get the ball rolling.

I slept like a baby.

Talk to any sleep-deprived new parent and they will tell you that babies do not sleep well, at all.  They’re constantly waking up at all hours to either demand food or let you know, in no uncertain terms, they’ve turned it into something icky.

The expression should be – I slept like a single person who learned about birth control in middle school and, over the years, has become really, really good at it.

It was funny as Hell.

By definition, Hell is not the least bit humourous. 

The expression should be – It was as funny as the look on the loud-mouthed atheist’s face when Satan explained the Rules of Eternal Damnation.

Happy as a clam.

I have a strange feeling that happiness is not derived from getting dumped into a pot of boiling water and literally being cooked alive.

The expression should be – Happy as a fat person with a bowl full of empty clam shells.

They treated him like a dog.

Oh — they gave him free food, provided shelter, made sure he had clean water and exercise, paid for his schooling, personal grooming and health care?

The expression should be – They treated him like a human.

You’re only as old as you feel.

This only works on those particular days when you feel younger than you really are.  On all the other days, you’re pretty much screwed.

The expression should be – Everybody knows we’re all getting older; quit trying to do a chronological comb-over.

And finally:

Money isn’t everything.

Of course not.  There are all kinds of other things — like poverty, hunger, homelessness and deprivation.

The expression should be – Money isn’t everything, but it certainly is ahead of whatever’s in second place.

Stuff I Learned From The Movies

film

They say art imitates life, and even though I don’t know who “they” are, I believe them.  Sure, in the 21st century, we’re definitely swimming in the shallow end of the artistic pond, but we still have film makers.  These are the contemporary artists whose vision, diligence and painstaking efforts help us understand the human condition.  Here are just a few things I’ve learned from the movies.

Impossible missions are not only possible; they’re down right probable.

Nazis and drug cartel henchmen can’t shoot straight.

There are more than 100 ways to build a time machine, but if you build one, expect it to end badly.

Englishmen are evil.

When you look up “weird” in the dictionary, they spell M. Night Shyamalan’s name correctly.

Your gay friends are a lot smarter than you are.

Aliens hate Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and The Statue of Liberty.

Despite all evidence to the contrary — and a ton of personal experience — major urban areas have very little traffic, and you can drive as fast as you want on most surface streets.

Small towns are creepy, the wilderness is dangerous, and whatever you do, stay away from the water.

Eastern Europe is full of old, broken-down automobiles and abandoned buildings.

White groups always have one black friend, but black groups seldom return the favour.

It’s okay to stalk your ex-girlfriend, a co-worker, your best friend’s wife or the woman in your apartment complex — as long as you’re convinced you truly love her.

Despite all evidence to the contrary — and a ton of personal experience — all people over 50 have Alzheimer’s.

Secret government agents (spies) are easy to spot: they’re the ones in the expensive clothes.

Adam Sandler isn’t funny.

Sad things have subtitles.

People in New York and Chicago are really good at managing their money.  Even when they have the crappiest job in history, they can still afford a decent apartment.

All Asians know kung fu – even the little kids.

Despite all evidence to the contrary — and a ton of personal experience — super-hot girls are actually attracted to nerdy guys.

Contemporary bras are so comfortable women wear them all the time — even when they’re sleeping or having industrial-strength, marathon sex.

When you hear Middle Eastern music, something’s going to explode.

Amy Adams and Isla Fisher are the same person — and she even proved it in Nocturnal Animals.

But the best thing I ever learned from the movies is —

If a bald guy offers you the red pill, run like hell!

Platitudes!

preachingNot that long ago, Social Media was being called the greatest gift to democracy since Jefferson.  How the mighty have fallen!  The problem is a) you don’t have to take an IQ test to own a computer and b) statistically, half the people who have computers would fail it if there was one.  The result is Social Media is over-populated by people on the bottom end of the “I’m-just-as-smart-as-you-are” scale, and the rest of us can’t disagree with them because that’s some kind of brain-shaming or something.  Meanwhile, these (for want of a better term) stupid people have reduced the conversation to the lowest common denominator which includes bashing everybody over the head with industrial-strength platitudes.  And, unfortunately, unlike cute cat videos, attaching deep meaning to meaningless clichés digs a deeper hole in the cyber-stupid and that just makes it harder and harder for any of us to get out.  Let me show you what I mean.

Bravery has many forms – No doubt — but not all bravery is created equal.  Somehow, we’ve forgotten that there’s a big difference between running into a burning building to save grandma and finally getting up enough courage to tell grandma we’re gay.  They’re not the same thing, and every time we equate the two, we devalue what courage really means.

Face Your Fears – I’m afraid of grizzly bears and I’m pretty sure that going mano a mano with a large North American land mammal is going to end badly– regardless of my personal growth.  Facing your fears only works when your fears can’t rip your face off.

People Can Surprise You – This isn’t always a good thing.  Like it or not, life dictates that we’re all going to accumulate more than a few substantial scars from getting stabbed in the back by people who’ve – uh — surprised us.

You Can Do Anything If You Try – This is why so many people think they’re creative, don’t want to do the grunt work and spend their entire lives pissed off with the world when they discover they have to.

Money Isn’t Everything – I’m not even going to grace this stupidity with an answer.

It’s Okay To Ask For Help – Yeah, but don’t be shocked out of your socks when you don’t get it.  Don’t believe me?  Ask your friends to help you move!

Don’t Give In To Hate – Folks, life isn’t a Star Wars trilogy!  There is no Dark Side that will suck you in and corrupt your soul.  I hate people who litter, and I don’t care what their motivation is.  Honestly, if it’s morally reprehensible, what’s wrong with a little hate?

And finally:

Be Yourself – These days, everybody’s so wrapped up in being themselves they’ve totally forgotten that there are 8 billion other people on this planet.