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.

A Realist’s Guide To “Old Sayings”

quotesThere are three kinds of people in the world: realists, cynics and idiots — and it’s very easy to tell them apart.  Realists see a glass half full of water and, if they’re thirsty, drink it.  Cynics see a glass half full of water and race for Social Media to tell the world Donald Trump peed in it.  And idiots don’t even see the water.  All they see is an opportunity to create some metaphorical homily that’s supposed to enlighten the rest of us who haven’t noticed life’s intrinsic meaning.  Crap like, “It’s always darkest before the dawn” (a physical impossibility) or “Strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet.”  (Tell that to Mary Ann Nichols who met Jack the Ripper for the first time in 1888.)  Here are some other examples of this dumbass bumper sticker philosophy:

There’s Honour Among Thieves — No, thieves are not honourable.  They’re THIEVES!  They steal things; that’s their job.  And when they run out of regular people to steal from, they steal from each other.  (Hasn’t anybody seen The Sting?)

Money Isn’t Everything — Yeah, but it’s sure as hell ahead of whatever’s in second place.

The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth — Maybe, but I’m willing to bet there’s going to be at least one 300 lb. biker, swinging a metal pipe, who wants to contest the will.

All’s Well That Ends Well — This one’s actually true.

Misery Loves Company — Gimme a break!  The last thing I want to see when I’m feeling crappy is somebody who has it worse off than I do.  That defeats the whole purpose of being depressed.

Laughter Is The Best Medicine — If I even touch this one, I’m going to get emails.

Love Conquers All — I’ve only got one word to say about this:  Romeo and Juliet.

Live And Learn/Older And Wiser — Not even close.  We all know somebody who’s made a career out of figuring out stupider ways to make the same mistakes.

Opposites Attract — This makes a mockery of all those birds of a feather who are flocking together.

Never Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth — This one doesn’t even make sense.  What the hell is a “gift horse?”  And, BTW, when was the last time you actually saw a real horse –“gift” or otherwise?  We’re not Trojans, for God’s sake!

And finally, my favourite:

The Early Bird Gets The Worm — What about the early worm?

 

I Call Bullshit

We live in desperate times when the combination of an omnipotent social media and slipshod education has produced a generation whose philosophical IQ is measured out in clichés.  I call bullshit!  Let me demonstrate with a random selection of the trite musings running around the Internet these days.

dumb-people

The meek shall inherit the Earth — Yeah, I know it’s biblical, but in 2017 some Wall Street investment broker with a roomful of lawyers is going to contest the will.

Age is only a number — You ever notice the people spouting this nonsense are all under 35?

That which doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger — Clearly, whoever thought this one up was never hit by a bus.  When they haul you away from that little mishap, you’ll wish to hell the bus hadda finished the job.

White Privilege — Why am I being arbitrarily profiled because my ancestors happen to come from Northern Europe?  We have a name for people who judge other people by their racial ancestry. . . .

Everything happens for a reason — Do you really think the universe cares if you fall down the stairs?  Google Copernicus, ya moron!

Do what you love and the money will follow — I want to see the person who’s going to pay me to eat Doritos™, drink Pepsi™ and binge-watch Netflix™.

Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans — This is nothing more than a bad excuse for never making any plans in the first place.

You have to look through the rain to see the rainbow — You’re at a bus stop on a deserted highway.  It’s 9:30 at night and pissin’ down rain.  You haven’t seen a bus, a car, a person or a stray dog in over an hour.  Three bikers pull up and ask for your wallet.  Oh, look!  There’s the rainbow!

If life hands you a lemon, make lemonade — This might be true if life also handed you a pitcher, some water, sugar and something to stir it all with, and — BTW — one lemon isn’t going to make very much lemonade.

And finally:

Money isn’t everything/Money can’t buy happiness — I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor: take a wild guess which one I prefer.