Monday, January 26, 2009

Grammatical rant #157

Nobody every "does" anything anymore. No, they have a "journey." You don't hear "Grad school was hard but I'm glad I got my Masters." Instead it's "I'm happy I took the journey." People, the pilgrimage route from France to Spain was a journey. This is just an event.

I'm all for finding meaning in life and, yes, it's the little things that make you happy. But why, for the love of Santana, does everything have to be so dramatic? Not everything in life is earth-shaking, yet contemporary society treats a trip to the grocery store like it's The Odyssey. Everything is momentous, a bonding experience, a fucking journey.

When I was a kid I remember riding on the train up to San Francisco with my father. It's an OK memory, I suppose. But in the hands of someone with more pretense, and less self control, than I it would become an epic. "Unlike real life, the click-clack of the train was taking us straight somewhere. Me and the enigma that I called "father." It didn't matter where. What mattered was sitting by his side, looking out the same window at the same neighborhoods, eating popcorn from the same circus-patterned box."

This trend makes even the dullest moment seem like a college's freshman's embarrassing attempt to find symbolism in a book they desperately want to be seen to understand. "I realized that, for my mother, that clean kitchen was Cyrano's white plume." No, bitch, it just meant your mom was incredibly bored and brainwashed by Mr. Clean.

Why can't something simple just be simple? Why does the most mundane memory (your first baseball game, getting your hair cut, getting your first puppy) have to turn into a rite of passage? "It was a really intense journey." No, it was you obsessing about getting Botox.

The offshoot of this is that it minimizes the things that really are important. It's like the trend towards referring to even the most minor of losers "superstar." The result is that people who really do have talent are lumped in with them so that Meryl Streep and Paris Hilton rate equal on the hyperbole scale. If the driving lesson with your mom becomes a touchstone of your life, what does that make your wedding day? The Rapture?

No comments: