Friday, January 27, 2017

Please Stop Saying That!!! Part 2

Time again to discuss the words and phrases that are more played out than a Tori Amos cd on a lesbian honeymoon. The following words/phrases need to be flushed down the proverbial drain and out of our collective brains. Check out part 1 here!

These aren't offensive phrases, just offensively annoying. And if there's anything more offensive than being offensive, it's being annoying. So cut that shit out!

6. You're just butthurt! 

Image result for butthurt meme
This image combines a dickhead phrase with a dickhead face...we have achieved Maximum Dickhead!

This was originally a funny response to somebody's whining. It came and went like most internet memes, but during the presidential election it resurfaced like the herpes blisters on your ex's upper lip, and then after the election it burst open onto the public's collective face. Most recently, it was commonly used as a diss towards the participants of the recent Women's March. It's another way of saying "you're upset because you got your ass beat"...or raped, depending on the level of assholeishness of the person who spouts it. It is an evolution of the "U MAD?" meme. Online, when people show any amount of emotion or passion, it is met with a flurry of accusations that they are overcome with emotions and not thinking clearly. So "you're just butthurt" is simply the latest iteration. Instead of engaging with whatever someone is saying, "you're just butthurt" dimsisses any legitimate complaints on the basis of emotional hysterics.

Most people who use the phrase, besides lacking in originality, like to believe that they are above thinking with emotions. "You're just butthurt!" is often followed by "stop getting so emotional" or the faux-intellectual, "Facts aren't affected by your feelings!" These people are such incredible human beings that they have completely transcended human emotions. In fact, they look down upon anybody who remotely expresses emotions.

Except, a human without emotions is called a psychopath. The psychopathic tendencies show themselves when someone complains about X, and then a moron chimes in with "you're just butthurt about Y." Let's take the most obvious example. If I say, "Trump's idea to build a wall on the Mexican border is the stupidest fucking idea in the long list of his stupid fucking ideas," eight out of ten times, someone will respond, "You're just butthurt Hillary lost!" Despite the fact that I never mentioned Hillary. Despite the fact that I didn't vote for Hillary. Despite the fact that Hillary voted for the Secure Fences Act that set the groundwork for this stupid fucking wall.

Some of these commenters are genuine psychopaths with no feelings. There's no use arguing with them. They claim to base their decisions on cold hard logic, despite the fact that that's not how decision making works. Plus, basing conclusions on logic alone doesn't make those conclusions any less susceptible to logical fallacies.

Most commenters aren't complete psychopaths (despite their support for a complete psychopath) and their feelings are all tied up into their arguments, too. Most of their "logic" is based on racial/gender bias. If you don't believe it, or if they refuse to acknowledge it, just call them racist and you'll see some emotions. Nothing brings out the anger in a racist like being called a racist. It makes me laugh. Oops, sorry, I showed emotion.

Yes, facts are important, and we should base opinions on factual evidence as much as possible. However, most of the people who use this term generally ignore facts as well, or they will use irrelevant facts to discredit an argument, making the original commenter angry, which is what they want. It's an endless cycle of assholeishness, hurt butts, and a general decline in humanity.

5. At the end of the day... 

Image result for at the end of the day meme
Brando never asked for this.

This is a favorite in the sports world, but you also see it a lot in pseudo-insightful social media posts, such as the one above. I see it a lot now from people who want everyone to just get along: "There's no reason to argue. At the end of the day, we're all just people!" Wow, how insightful. We're all people at the beginning of the day, too. And in the middle. And the problem is that we have very different values and perspectives. Now what?

In the sports world, it's often used to discredit or ignore an entire argument or set of points that you don't agree with or don't want to engage, without saying you don't agree with it, or engaging with it in any meaningful way. "Yes, Russell Westbrook may average a triple double and lead a mediocre team to the playoffs, but at the end of the day, the fans didn't vote him as a starter for the All Star game and that's all that matters." It's a way of setting up what you believe to be the most (or only) important fact of the debate. It comes off as very condescending and dismissive. To me at least. And at the end of the day, that's all that matters.

I also just learned that "At the end of the day" is a song from Les Miserables, so, at the end of the day, it's a worse phrase than I thought!

Did I use it enough to make you hate it, too? Cool! Wait till this next one...

4. Look,

Look, I understand that public speaking isn't easy, especially speaking on live television. I get that, but look, you need to find another way to set up your points.

Look, all I'm saying is that a) it doesn't make much sense because what you really want is for people to listen, not look, and b) it's so overused to the point that nobody hears anything after you say look. We're just looking at you.

Look, is it the worst thing in the world to say? No. Some people need a ready-made segue, and this seems to be a favorite among sports commentators (and presidents). The next time you listen to a sports talk show, especially one with awful commentators (like the luckiest QB/Worst Commentator in the World, Trent Dilfer) count how many times they say "look" before they attempt to make a point. Some will say "look," make a point, then say "look" again! Look, man, I'm looking. Make your fucking point!

Look, I'm just trying to say look enough where it loses all meaning. I think it worked. I don't even know what look means anymore. Is it a fish? Is it something that you catch a fish with? Is look a jedi? Is it a planet a jedi would visit? What the hell does look meeeeeeaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnn...

3. To be honest (TBH)

Image result for tbh meme

Do you normally lie? When you don't say 'to be honest" before or after a statement, should I assume you're being dishonest? Do you have a sense that most people don't believe you when you talk?

A lot of people say it to temper their statements, out of courtesy to the person they're talking to: "To be honest, I really don't enjoy your commentary, Trent." It gives statements a little extra force, but in a way that's almost apologetic. Many times the statement will even start with an apology: "Sorry, but I just don't like butt rape, to be honest." It's a way of explaining something you are saying without really explain anything. You're being honest, and that's all that matters.

As far as TBH, I don't mind text abbreviations for texting, but saying text abbreviations out loud is another sign of a psychopath. Larry David should have cleared this up for everybody a while ago, tee be aytch! El oh el!

Ess tee eff you!

2. This.

Not the word "this" itself, but when it is used, by itself, to accompany a shared article or post. Instead of explaining why they agree with a post or article, people will simply write, "This."


Reporter/activist Shaun King is probably the worst at this (ha). I generally agree with the causes he champions, but I don't necessarily agree with all his tactics or opinions. The most annoying tactic is that he constantly shares posts and adds a simple "This." Sometimes he'll switch it up and put, "All of this." Or even, "This. All of this." Just share the damn post! You don't need to add anything if that's all your going to write. If you simply have to write something (maybe so people will like and share YOUR post instead of the original, hmmmm?) then explain why exactly you agree with it, or at least why you're sharing it. Or give a shout out to the author, or something!


Even "yes" or "I agree" would be better. I get that it has become internet shorthand for "I agree with this" but what it's really trying to say, without giving specifics, is, "This right here is some hardcore truth. This is deep ass shit. This is going to blow all the ignorance and fear and hate right out of your hurt butt. Read this. Read this now."  Just say that. I'm much more likely to read it.

The pinnacle of annoyingness is when King (and others) share THEIR OWN POST and add "This." The first time they shared it wasn't sufficient, apparently. They need everyone to know that they missed out on some serious truth. What kind of megalomaniac tells people that they agree with their own work and that everybody else really needs to see it? That's Kanye levels of arrogance. Don't ever go full Kanye.

1. Fake news!

Fake news! The biggest story of the election! Fake news, fake news everywhere!

Image result for fake news meme
Come on people, now you're ruining memes and Toy Story!

Since the election, many people have insisted that fake news got Trump into the White House (in addition to racism, sexism, voter suppression, Russia, the FBI, and of course, a horribly run campaign by the opposition) "fake news" is all the rage. Not fake news itself, that's been around for a long time under various names: propaganda, misinformation, lies, CIA reports. It's only the term "fake news" that's recent. It started by calling out news reports that were actually fake, but now, anytime an uninformed loser sees an article they don't agree with, they jump on the comment section and spout "fake news!" as if they are the only ones with the unmitigated truth at their disposal and everyone else is a bunch of gullible suckers.

The fact is, there really is a lot of fake news and misinformation and propaganda out there. With the omnipresence of the internet as a news source, we have all been guilty of believing and sharing stories before verifying their authenticity. It doesn't help that some of the most trusted, historic media outlets have often fallen victim to fake news stories or pushed their own questionable stories.

Of course, now the biggest purveyors of fake news have completely co-opted the term and made it meaningless. When Breitbart is condemning "fake news," we are officially in The Twilight Zone. That was their goal all along: undermine the media and shape reality as they see fit. They attack the media (although they are part of "the media") while flooding the internet with fake news to the point where it's hard to tell credible stories from non-credible. And it's not just Breitbart; there are sites that published nothing but fake news talking about the plague of fake news.

Any time there's a negative story about Trump, his advocates simply scream "fake news!" His supporters aren't the only culprits, though. Anything someone doesn't like or agree with is written off as fake news. An article features a study that goes against our long held beliefs? Fake news! Simple! Now we can go on believing all the dumb shit we want to believe!

Again, there is absolutely a real problem with fake news and alternative truths. We should absolutely call it out when we see it. Maybe we can use a different term though? The trolls own "fake news." It's time to be more accurate: call propaganda propaganda; call lies lies. The term "fake news" has lost all meaning. Kind of like the term "American exceptionalism."

I Love You All...Class Dismissed. 

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