dumbing down

Language rant: I agree professor, in the end we are all just a bag of rotting flesh. However, if someone calls me an elitist or intellectual snob, I thank them. In case you haven’t noticed America is rapidly declining in culture, morality and intellect. Remember: you read it here first! The US ranks 49th in literacy of the 158 members of the UN. A rough estimate is that 60% of American adults have never (yes never) read a book of any kind and only 6% reads as much as one book a year – book can be anything – romance novel, self help, etc. Jay Leno asked questions, a series of eight actually, to students after a college graduation ceremony (college gratefully un-named). One of the questions was “How many moons does the earth have?” One woman said that she had taken an astronomy course a couple of years back but couldn’t remember the answer. “What was the Gettysburg Address”? one student: an address to Getty; another: I don’t know the exact address. I find this all unbelievable. 6% of adults went to the theater at least once so far; 3% to the opera (no surprise there). It goes on and on. There is a terrific book by Morris Berman titled “The Twilight of American Culture” some of this information was mined (stolen! plagiarised) from that work. I highly recommend the book.
So, our language reflects some of our descent into idiocy. “Have a good one”. Overused by everyone. I think that people could be a little more creative if they tried – “hope your wife has the clap and you have a pleasant evening”. I grew up in the south and “Y’all come back now, heah?” was heard alot and after the 50th time became tiring, too. In certain parts of the country you will “where’s it at?”. Charming but it ain’t not good speechefying.
It just isn’t his “for-tay”. The word is forte – italian – loud to musicians. It just isn’t his loud? Excuse me? It should be “fort” : thanks goes to George Carlin for that observation. Language reflects our thought processes; grows from our intellectual search; is the one thing that seperates us from the rest of the creatures on earth. Now lets not trot out the old whale song argument. If language becomes simplified to accomodate the uneducated, the marginally illiterate then we are in deep trouble.
Oh my happy bloggers, just wait until I get to religion. Now there is where the dumbed down really live. The press has come forth with numerous opinion columns about the christians, jews and islam all having the same god. “We are all the sons of Abraham” Oh really? Just him? Sarah wasn’t involved? And lets not forget Hagar while we are at it.

Coffee is More Addictive than Cocaine

I can go almost indefinitely without cocaine. I can go for little more than 24 hours without coffee.
I can get up in the morning and consider leaving the house for work without first doing a blast of cocaine. I can’t bear the thought without a blast of espresso.
I can concentrate on my work without my brain interrupting me to demand a line. I can hit a wall, fall on my ass and stay there for want of coffee.
If I wake up in a motel or someplace where there is no coffee I will go out and get some without even brushing my teeth, and persist in my quest for coffee until I score. Even on a bad day you won’t see me out there copping a bag.
Therefore, coffee is more addictive than cocaine. QED.

death of language

Small language rant:
“How will this impact our company”? Sorry, that is wrong and doesn’t make much sense. There is a tendency to dumb down language as if it is cute to do so. In the process, words or syllables get lopped off. In the example: what happened to the word “affect”? If they want to use “impact” then they need a few more words as in: “what sort of impact will this have on the company”.
Next: “invites”: “did you send out the invites Skeezik”? The abbreviation works fine if you say it with a southern accent and spit afterwords. “Invitations” just isn’t that much of a tongue twister to be abandoned. Gotcher invite to the cross burnin floyd.
The queen mother of current language idiocy is the term “from the get go” (or fum de git go). What pitiful soul came up with that one? Sophisticated businessmen (I know – that’s an oxymoron) use it all the time. Again it leads me to think that a bit of tobacco juice may be coming my way when I hear that expression. Ah hell, Billy I node yur wife was yur sister fum de git go. Yee-haw!
There are many, many more. “Have a good one”! said cheerily by just about every check-out person. A good what?? I usually say “Thanks, but I have other plans” and leave them staring blankly into space, the trickle of tobacco juice starting to bubble at the corner of the mouth.
“You know what I’m sayin?” – “I hear you” – “well, if you ask me…” (fuck you, I didn’t nor was I even thinking of asking you) – “that’s what I always say”. The list grows and grows, doesn’t it.
Add your favorites and we’ll see how they impact this blog. This blog has been a good one from the git go and I invitation you to participate. Know what I’m sayin?

His Idea of Heaven is Hellish

I work in downtown Chicago, just a few short blocks from the famous retail establishment, Marshall Fields, affectionately known by insiders as simply, “Fields.” In order to access the stairwell leading to the Red Line “El” train, passerbys must -oddly enough- pass by an individual who stands in front of Fields every single week day with a crackly amplifier and a poor quality microphone preaching loudly and passionately about the sinful ways of mortals. His sermon never changes and he always admonishes those whom he spots smoking that, “THERE ARE NO CIGARRETTES IN HEAVEN!” This assertion is followed by a related concept: “THERE ARE NO WHISKEY BOTTLES IN HEAVEN!”
Well, my question is simply this: What the hell is the point of a heaven like that?

Shit on Mrs. Leroy: An Anecdote

I was a first grade student in a middle class white Maryland suburb in about 1966. Think Johnson administration, automobiles with fins.
I befriended a kid named Dennis Godbald. Note the unusual surname, which I’ve never encountered again. Godbald was not from the same socio-economic stratum as most of the kids. He was white welfare trash. And he was “bad” — a bit of a discipline problem. Maybe his home life was more dysfunctional than most — maybe. In any case, I don’t think he was stupid. He had a rebellious spirit and a well-developed sense of humor.
One day Godbald and I were walking through the schoolyard discussing the possibility of doing something — I forget what — and I remarked that our teacher, Mrs. Leroy, would probably disapprove. And Godbald said these exact words: “Aw, shit on Mrs. Leroy.” I laughed at the disrespectful attitude and the blunt way it was expressed.
Shit on Mrs. Leroy has informed my thinking about authority ever since. Not that all authority is to be disrespected; rather, the burden of proof is on authority to prove its legitimacy. A test which the perhaps well-meaning Mrs. Leroy failed, from young Dennis Godbald’s point of view.

How do I pray like bush?

There was a picture, black and white, in some publication recently that showed the dear leader with his cabinet before the festivities had begun and they were all praying. I was entranced by the image – they were perfectly composed – all in a row. Their heads were bowed at the same angle; hands held in a posture signifying their humbleness; eyes squinched tightly closed. They all wore the same uniform but because it was in B&W I couldn’t make out the color of the ties. I’m sure they were the same. Look – I can’t join in praying like the leader of the free world if my tie isn’t the correct color; don’t you agree? Sometimes it is red, sometimes blue. If anyone can help me with my problem or has a thought/guess about the correct color I would be more than grateful for the help. Oh! I almost forgot – what the fuck are they praying for?

If the shoe fits, then for fuck’s sake, wear it!

I realize it’s now passé, but really. Those MoveOn folks are starting to disappoint with their wussiness. The winning ad, chosen by the MoveOn voters, that CBS is nixing is too tame for my taste. The Hitler ones are actually good — not to mention powerful.
Hitler had to defend Germany against Polish aggression, right?
Thanks to theMemoryHole.org for posting the ads that MoveOn pulled.

The fighter in the white trunks…

You’ve noticed that when sportcasters are calling boxing matches on TV, they always tell you which fighter is which based on the trunks they’re wearing. Occasionally the trunks are quite similar. “Héctor Rodriguez is the fighter in the white trunks with the blue piping, and Tyrone Jackson is the fighter in the the white trunks with the blue piping and little gold accents on the outer seams.” Ever wonder why they don’t say what everyone already knows, which is Héctor Rodriguez is the Mexican guy and Tyrone Jackson is the black guy? I’m sure the networks’ answer is: Because that would be racist.
Racist? You mean there is something shameful and unmentionable about having physical attributes that are characteristic of certain races and ethnicities? That attitude itself is insulting.
Then, is it because they don’t want to portray the fight as a fight between an black man and a latino? We can already see that for ourselves.
OK, so suppose both guys are, say, black. African American, if you please. So now you need to distinguish them by their trunks, even thought the ring announcer just told you who they were (“fighting out of the corner to my left…”)? Why? Because they all look alike?