03.15.10 – A Monday

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word

lachrymose [lak-ruh-mohs] adj. 1. suggestive of or tending to cause tears; mournful 2. given to shedding tears readily; tearful

birthday

Andrew Jackson (1767), Eduard Strauss (1835), Lightnin’ Hopkins (1912), Lawrence Tierney (1919), Cecil Taylor (1929), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933), Judd Hirsch (1935), Jimmy Swaggart (1935), Phil Lesh (1940), Mike Love (1941), Sly Stone (1944), Ry Cooder (1947), Dee Snider (1955), Terence Trent D’Arby (1962), Bret Michaels (1963), Mark McGrath (1968), Mark Hoppus (1972), Eva Longoria (1975), Will.i.am (1975), Joe Hahn (1977), Takeru Kobayashi (1978)

standpoint

Today’s Standpoint is going to be short and sweet.

Over the weekend, I coined a phrase that, I feel, is a surefire bet to find its way into the cultural lexicon.

You’re most likely heard people discussing the latest “It Movie”, the one all the with-it folks are lining up to see, over and over again.

A recent example would be Avatar. Last year, it was The Hangover. But these are not just “It Movies”, they’re “Yet Movies”. Only a short while ago, I was having dinner at my parents’ house, which is something I love to do but don’t do enough, and my mother posed the question, “Joshua, have you seen Avatar yet?” I laughed a little and responded, “I’m trying to get to the theater to see it, but American Idol is on so damn much, frankly, I’m having trouble finding a night to get out of the house.”

Obviously, I was joking. She wasn’t the first person in my life to ask me a similar question. Seeing Avatar hasn’t earned a spot on my top 100 things to do, and sitting through an episode of American Idol will probably never crack the top 500. The phrasing of the question struck me as odd.

It was the last word – YET. “Have you filed your taxes yet?” “Have you taken a shower yet?” “Christ, are you ready yet?” Those are all questions insinuating an action that’ll eventually needed to be completed. As if it’ll only be a matter of time before I’ll be compelled to capitulate. Apparently, it’s such a fantastic film, I’ve got an obligation, as a member of the human race, one day I’ll find myself watching Avatar and, for no other reason than just because.

I don’t mean to pick on Avatar and I patiently listen to those who castigate me for not seeing it, especially since it’s “so kickass” in 3-D. Before we know it, there’s going to be another movie to take its place, one I probably won’t be falling over myself to rush out and see.

And everyone will be asking me, “Dude, why haven’t you seen it yet?” I won’t have a response that’ll ease their uneasiness. But, I might try to make them feel a little better by telling them about that night back in March when I coined the phrase “The Yet Movie.” You heard it here first.

quotation

…And I thought about how many people have loved those songs. And how many people got through a lot of bad times because of those songs. And how many people enjoyed good times with those songs. And how much those songs really mean. I think it would be great to have written one of those songs. I bet if I wrote one of them, I would be very proud. I hope the people who wrote those songs are happy. I hope they feel it’s enough. I really do because they’ve made me happy. And I’m only one person.Stephen Chbosky

tune

Until recently, Charles Mingus was the most overlooked jazz musician of his time. The guy was both a genius and a mess. His autobiography, Beneath the Underdog: His World As Composed by Mingus,  is still one of the best books I’ve ever read. Lately, when people talk about the big jazz legends, Mingus’ name is being mentioned more and more. And that’s a great thing because, while the guy didn’t receive his due credit during his lifetime, it’s better late than never. Here’s “Myself When I Am Real.” A good title to a great song.

gallimaufry

Back in high school, I pretty much did everything I wasn’t supposed, within reasonable limits. I could’ve easily been one of these kids. Luckily, most of my teachers were men and sleeping with a teacher was at least one thing I spared my parents from having to deal with. And for that,Mom and Dad, you’re welcome.

What a shitty day this lady had. At the completion of her jog, some assjack tried to sexually assault her. She escaped by literally jumping off of a friggin’ cliff. Then the dude takes off on her car. She escaped with minor injuries and she’s okay, but still, she was just trying to get a little exercise. Hey, perverts, in case you’re unaware, I’m here to enlighten you: You suck.

→ I know I’ve plugged these guys before but, the way I see it, there’s nothing stopping me from doing it again, After all, when it comes to the content on this blog, I’m my own boss. (And a good one at that.) If you’re considering getting a tattoo or a body piercing and you’re in the Philadelphia area, the only shop you need consider is Liberty Tattoo in Skippack Village, PA. The folks who run the joint are not only friends of mine but have a fantastic reputation in their line of work. Don’t go anywhere else.

03.02.10 – A Tuesday

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word

brouhaha [broo-hah-hah, broo-hah-hah, broo-hah-hah] n. 1. excited public interest, discussion, or the like, as the clamor attending some sensational event; hullabaloo: The brouhaha followed disclosures of graft at City Hall 2. an episode involving excitement, confusion, turmoil, etc., esp. a broil over a minor or ridiculous cause: A brouhaha by the baseball players resulted in three black eyes

birthday

Sam Houston (1793), Dr. Seuss (1904), Mel Ott (1909), Desi Arnaz (1917), Mikhail Gorbachev (1931), Tom Wolfe (1931), John Irving (1942), Lou Reed (1942), Rory Gallagher (1948), Gates McFadden (1949), Karen Carpenter (1950), Laraine Newman (1952), Jon Bon Jovi (1962), Daniel Craig (1968), Chris Martin (1977), Ben Roethlisberger (1982), Elizabeth Jagger (1984)

standpoint

So the 2010 Winter Olympics Games in Vancouver are officially over and I can honestly I’m going to kind of miss them. For many reasons, I was much more enthralled this time around.

While the rest of the world searches for the next big thing to fixate on, I’d like to dispense my final salvo on this year’s games. And, yes, I completely understand I’m a day late.

→ I’m genuinely curious to see what new oddity people will discuss now that curling won’t be on television 24 hours a day. Check out this article. Maybe one of these will become the subsequent cult sport.

Team USA was, by far, the best in the Men’s Ice Hockey tournament. Hands down. Sure, they walked away with the silver after a hard fought overtime loss to Team Canada, but they played some of the best and biggest hockey ever. Ryan Miller was the tourney’s best netminder but it was the play of guys like Ryan Kesler, Patrick Kane, Zach Parise, Brian Rafalski and Ryan Suter that made it truly special to watch. Hopefully, the NHL and the NHLPA can agree to let its players participate in 2014, when Team USA will be even better and, most likely, the favorite.

Sidney Crosby, the captain of Team Canada and one of the most annoying people on the planet, scored the gold medal winning goal to capture the top spot for his country, further proving my belief the shithead obviously signed some kind of a deal with the devil. Crosby wasn’t that effective in the tournament but, as usual, he managed to to grab the limelight and snatch up a prize he didn’t necessarily deserve. It’s such a weak-minded character flaw to dislike the dude so much, but I just can’t help myself. Also, he looks like SNL cast member Andy Samberg, who I like.

USA snowboarder Shaun White is one of those annoying athletes who knows he’s good, tells people how good he is and then proceeds to never fall flat out on his face. I’m glad he’s on our side.

→ I’m never going to like Ice Dancing. Never. A sport’s got have some sort of attainable points outside the arbitrary opinions of a bunch of strangers. If that’s not a rule, it should be.

→ Watching the Men’s 50K Mass Start Classic Cross Country Race was maybe the longest couple of hours of my life and even made me entertain the notion of maybe putting on NASCAR. Yeah. It was that exhausting.

Overall, I think everyone got what they wanted out of this year’s games. The American people were able to participate in many discussions and enjoy the fine art that is speculative bullshitting. The USA also received the most medals, which again we like because we don’t need to have the best of everything, just the most of it. And Canada won the most gold medals, including the two for ice hockey, which apparently the country desperately needed. Lastly, I’m pretty sure there were some other nations involved in the whole ordeal but, in all the excitement, I didn’t catch any of their names.

quotation

Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour. Walt Whitman

tune

After many years, I’m ready to admit that, in my youth, there was a two or three month period when I was a huge fan of 50s rocker Ritchie Valens. It was most likely right around the same time La Bamba came out. I remember finally seeing an actual picture of the 17-year old Chicano rock ‘n’ roll pioneer and feeling conned – he didn’t look anything at all like Lou Diamond Phillips. Anyway. I always liked “Come On Let’s Go.”

gallimaufry

As much as I became entranced by Olympic hockey, I’m glad the NHL is back in session. Trade deadline is tomorrow at 3pm EST and there should be some serious moves this year. I’m sure close to nine of you are even remotely interested.

→ Last night, I got into a moderately heated debate on Sarah Palin with my mother, who views the ex-governor from Alaska as some sort of victim. For all of you who share that point of view, I offer this. And, for the record, I mean no disrespect to the woman who birthed me. She’s awesome. It’s healthy for people to disagree.

→ Sheesh. Would everyone please get off the back of American singer Elliott Yamin for tweeting during and after the earthquake in Chile? Apparently, the guy helped ease some people’s fears. However, it’s still fair game to make crazy fun out of him for being on Americal Idol.

02.26.10 – A Friday

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word

surreptitious [sur-uhp-tishuhs] adj. 1. obtained, done, made, etc., by stealth; secret or unauthorized; clandestine: a surreptitious glance 2. acting in a stealthy way 3. obtained by subreption; subreptitious

birthday

Wenceslaus (1361), Christopher Marlowe (1564), Victor Hugo (1802), Levi Strauss (1829), William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody (1846), John Harvey Kellogg (1852), Herbert Henry Dow (1866), Grover Cleveland Alexander (1887), Tex Avery (1908), Jackie Gleason (1916), Tony Randall (1920), Fats Domino (1928), Johnny Cash (1932), Mitch Ryder (1945), Michael Bolton (1953), Greg Germann (1958), Erykah Badu (1971)

standpoint

Earlier this week, I admitted to succumbing to the subtle nuances of the sport of curling. I didn’t claim to love it. It’s okay. As far as television watching goes, it accomplishes what it needs to. But I’m annoyed about people clamoring on and on (and on) about the high television ratings curling is getting during the 2010 Winter Olympics. Let’s face facts. This time next week, hardly anyone’s going to be lifting a finger to do anything about their supposed love affair with curling. It’s not the fact the cult sport is getting so much attention that’s drawing my ire. Good for curling, I guess.

No, what’s bothering me is the insinuation and the mindset of “majority rules,” the notion that if most everyone shares the same opinion on a particular person, event or ideal, inherently it must have a certain degree of merit. It’s employed as a substantive bookmark and those in the minority, those who just don’t see what all the fuss is about, are viewed as being ultraist. And, in case you’re unaware, I’m no longer talking about something as innocuous as curling.

In our society, somewhere along the way it became improper to have a dissenting voice. If you’re not a joiner, your point of view doesn’t carry the same weight. In most circles, you’re summarily dismissed as one sort of crackpot. You didn’t vote for Obama? You don’t watch American Idol? You haven’t read any books Oprah’s recommended? You don’t own any classic rock albums? You don’t get jacked for Monday Night Football? Why not? What the hell is wrong with your dumb ass?

Maybe those are questions you’ve been asked. They’re queries designed to put you on the defensive. They’re meant to imply you most likely have a wire loose somewhere in that head of yours. They’re intended to make you reconsider your discord with what everyone else is doing. There’s a reason for that. When you break from the norm it creates a certain amount of anxiety among those who don’t. It raises doubts within them they’d prefer to overlook. It’s cause for pause, an unsettling wavering to the approach of most individuals’ need to be a part of something with little regard to precisely what that something is.

Simply put, the majority has the edge on the minority in sheer numbers. But the latter scares the former much more than the former does the latter. And that’s because while the majority does in fact rule, it’s mostly in error a high percentage of the time. Pick up any history book and you’ll find an overabundance of instances in which the majority blundered.

There’s absolutely no harm in a surge of popularity for a sport in the Olympics, reading a book someone suggests or listening to Boston. The harm resides in the zeitgeist.

The minority is sometimes right; the majority always wrong.George Bernard Shaw

quotation

War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.Jimmy Carter

tune

Earlier this week, I posted an a capella cover version of Toto’s “Africa” by Perpetuum Jazzile. One of my most loyal readers, and closest friends, posted a video response. I think it’s also a quality ditty. Thanks, Joe Taylor, for your interest, albeit often overzealous, in me and my blog. In honor of you, good buddy, I present Howie Day‘s version of “Africa.” Enjoy.

gallimaufry

This is all the proof you’ll need to be convinced it merely takes a lot of money to get a shitty record produced. Props for including Paris Hilton on the list. So very very true.

If you’re an adult between the ages of 25-40, you’ll identify with this article. There’s a reason a lot of names went the way of the dodo. Hey, parents, not that you’ve got a kid, I understand you’re just dying to show all your friends how creative you can be, but give your kid a break. You have to remember that chldren are awfully mean to each other, and your sons and daughters are going to have a hard time appreciating your ingenuity while dining alone in the cafeteria.

→ I’m pretty sure internet music sites all over the world would simply shut down if there wasn’t at least one item per day to post about Thom Yorke. Yesterday’s big news? Yorke finally named the band he put together last fall – Atoms For Peace. The only aspect of AFP (as I’m sure music geeks will soon be calling it) weaker than the name is that Flea, of the Red Hot Chili Peppers (or RHCP), is its bassist.

01.04.10 – A Monday

WORD

dogmatic [dawg-mat-ik, dog-] 1. of, pertaining to, or of the nature of a dogma or dogmas; doctrinal 2. asserting opinions in a doctrinaire or arrogant manner; opinionated

BIRTHDAY

Sir Isaac Newton (1643), Jacob Grimm (1785), Don Shula (1930), Dyan Cannon (1937), Bernard Sumner (1956), Patty Loveless (1957), Matt Frewer (1958), Michael Stipe (1960), Dave Foley (1963), Julia Ormond (1965), David Berman (1967)

STANDPOINT

So, not only is it the the end of a year, it’s the end of a decade. Which, in my estimation, has more than quadrupled the annual year-in-review nonsense. What is the use of exploring what’s transpired in the last 365 days? Or the last 3,652.42199? (That’s exactly how many days are in a decade which kind of weirds me out.)

In any case, I’m only a human being. And so I’ve read some of these lists. Apparently, 2009 is one most people would like to see flushed down the toilet with extreme prejudice. (I’m one of them, but not due to anything outside of my own personal experience.) This past year was, according to most accounts, one filled with tantamount portions of both doom and gloom. And, while I guess everyone is right and everything is sort of shitty, I think it’s wholly irrefutable things could be worse.

And, the reason is this:  In the course of perusing and pondering all the recent trials and tribulations of our downtrodden society, I came upon Yahoo!’s Year In Review – Top 10 Searches. I concluded shit can’t be all that bad after reading what people seem to actually care about.

Despite the times, we’ve clearly got an advantage over any other generation that came before us because, in the internet, we’ve got a vast archive of information that can help better pretty much any situation. I was fully expecting terms like, “financial help,” and “employment opportunities,” to appear somewhere on a list of top searches by a group of individuals who spend most of its time worrying about the future. But, as happens more than not, people leave me disappointed.

Instead of searching for help, everyone’s searching for crap. The top search term of the year was Michael Jackson. Before his untimely death, only the most ardent fans truly seemed to care about whatever odd capers Jacko was involved in. Once he died, everyone took an active interest and felt the need to seek out information on someone they pretty much knew everything about in the first place.

The rest of the top search list was, in order, The Twilight Saga, WWE, Megan Fox, Britney Spears, Naruto (whatever the fuck that is), American Idol, Kim Kardashian, NASCAR and Rune Scape (again, huh?).

Once finding this data, I decided that, hey, everything’s going to be just fine. Because, if life was as seriously dismal as most would have us believe, we’d probably spend less time question for knowledge on tweener flicks, supposed sports, irrelevant celebrities, reality television and, again, whatever those other two are.

Let’s just relax people and collectively ease back from the ledge. If, as as culture, we’re concerning ourselves with such inconsequential nonsense on the internet, how ominous could it really be? Right?

QUOTATION

You know, Hitler wanted to be an artist. At eighteen, he took his inheritance, seven hundred kronen, and moved to Vienna to live and study. He applied to the Academy of Fine Arts and later to the School of Architecture. Ever see one of his paintings? Neither have I. Resistance beat him. Call it overstatement but I’ll say it anyway: it was easier for Hitler to start World War II than it was for him to face a blank square of canvas. → Steven Pressfield

TUNE

I’m fully aware of the fact that, in terms of music, I’ve a tendency to circulate around certain artists. Sorry. Some of these folks are just too damn good.  I found “New Amsterdam” on vodpod (a site I feel you should most likely be checking out) over the weekend and decided to share one of my favorite Elvis Costello offerings.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ I’m disgusted to report that even I’m not immune to the controversial MTV “reality” show Jersey Shore. The creators should be rounded up, along with anyone remotely involved including the cast, stuffed into a bag and hammertossed into the ocean. That said, I’m still watching it. Shit, I’m watching it right now. Christ.

→ It seems the Philadelphia Eagles‘ run of stepping ass-backward into big piles of sunshine has come to a close. Yesterday’s shutout loss the Dallas Cowboys was pretty embarrassing. Luckily, instead of enjoying the bye week they’d have earned from a victory, the whole team gets to go back to Dallas next week and do it all over again.

Jeff Bridges might finally get his due with an Oscar nod this year for his role in Crazy Heart. About effing time.

09.21.09 – A Monday

WORD

farrago [fuhrah-goh, –rey-] n. a confused mixture; hodgepodge; medley: a farrago of doubts, fears, hopes, and wishes

BIRTHDAY

Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor (1415), Louis Joliet (1645), H.G. Wells (1866), Larry Hagman (1931), Leonard Cohen (1934), Henry Gibson (1935), Jerry Bruckheimer (1945), Stephen King (1947), Bill Murray (1950), Bruce Arena (1951), Ethan Coen (1957), Nancy Travis (1961), Rob Morrow (1962), Cheryl Hines (1965), Faith Hill (1967), Ricki Lake (1968), Alfonso Ribeiro (1971), Luke Wilson (1971), Liam Gallagher (1971), Nicole Richie (1981)

STANDPOINT

I got nothing to report today. All of this medical treatment has turned my sleeping patterns into much of a debacle.

Some things are in the works, though.

Is 2009 the year of celebrity deaths? Maybe. Maybe not.

What I’ve figured out about my relationship with the suburbs. And, no, all you Facebook friends, it’s got nothing to do with all the damn spiders.

Lastly, I’m working on a piece about the modern dating scene and I think more than a few of you will be curious to see what I’ve discovered.

Until then, come back for some more.

QUOTATION

It’s so much easier for me to talk about my life in front of two thousand people than it is one-on-one. I’m a real defensive person, because if you were sensitive in my neighborhood you were something to eat. ← Richard Pryor

TUNE

Watching the SNL rerun this past Saturday, I came to the conclusion everything Green Day has done in the past several years is just simply mediocre. I mean, “Jesus of Suburbia” (Great lyrics: “And there’s nothing wrong with me/This is how I’m supposed to be/In a land of make believe/That don’t believe in me.”) is a really great song but I’m done thinking bands who reshape its music to appeal to the lowest common denominator (AKA the musically lazy who make up just about every dim-witted person who make “American Idol” a runaway hit show). I’m here to tell you “J.A.R. (Jason Andrew Felva)” was the last truly good song Green Day released. Disagree? Too bad. You’re exactly who I’m talking about.

GALLIMAUFRY

→ Something that’s truly sad about…well, life in general…sometimes is when you find program on television that truly appeals to you. It’s smart and funny and entertaining. Comedy Central used to air this game show called “Beat the Geeks.” And I loved it. So did my buddy Tim. We would watch it for hours On-Demand. But then it went away. And the world was reduced accordingly.

→ Often, I’ve wondered just how many days Bill Murray’s character spent running around Punxsutawney in Groundhog Day. Luckily, someone took the time to figure it all out. In what may be too much detail.

→ My buddy Dave Frees, a solidly good guy in his own right, has a son in Victor’s Lament. Check out the music. Kind of a Mighty Mighty Bosstones vibe to it, but probably better. Check out “Living for Today.”

07.21.09 – Tuesday

Word: blithe [blahyth, blahyth] adj. 1. joyous, merry, or gay in disposition; glad; cheerful: Everyone loved her for her blithe spirit 2. without thought or regard; carefree; heedless: a blithe indifference to anyone’s feelings

Birthday: Philip Neri (1515), Jean Picard (1620), Sam Bass (1851), Ernest Hemingway (1899), Don Knotts (1924), John Gardner (1933), Janet Reno (1938), Kenneth Starr (1946), Cat Stevens/Yusaf Islam (1948), Garry Trudeau (1948), Robin Williams (1951), Howie Epstein (1955), Jon Lovitz (1957), Charlotte Gainsbourg (1971), Josh Hartnett (1978), Damian Marley (1978), Rory Culkin (1989)

Quotation: The unforgivable crime is soft hitting.  Do not hit at all if it can be avoided; but never hit softly.Theodore Roosevelt

Tune: Brakes (sometimes known as brakesbrakesbrakes) is an English band best known for its short song, “Cheyney, Cheyney, Cheyney, Stop Being Such a Dick,” credits itself, in the words of lead vocalist Eamon Hamilton, with being “fundamentally responsible for the election of Barack Obama as President of The United States of America.” Hamilton further explains, that without the song, “…it is without a doubt that McCain would’ve won, and died, and Sarah Palin would have become President and Ruler of the Known Universe by April 2009. We would’ve been releasing our new album ‘Touchdown’ into a world in the grip of a nuclear winter, with no electricity for people to listen to the CD, and no Internet for them to download it from. We would still have toured it, though.” Those words may or may not be true, but I’m reasonably sure I’m happy we didn’t have to find out. My favorite offering from the band? “Beatific Visions” off the album The Beatific Visions.

Gallimaufry: We may be witnessing the beginning of the end. As is the case with all popular and profitable pop culture offerings these days, American Idol is involved in troubles involving slighted egos demanding overinflated financial compensation. It all started when Ryan Seacrest, host of the FOX show, received a contract extension for three years to the tune of $45 million dollars. It grew larger when the show’s most visible (and biggest asshole), Simon Cowell began negotiations to make him richer than about 99% of the rest of world’s population. It became a problem when Paula Abdul, the judge most known for emotional breakdows and once upon a time starring in a music video with Keanu Reeves, began feeling slighted from a lack of a big money offer, declared she’s thinking of not coming back to the show for the next season. Everyone better wise up because, while Idol is a big money ticket, it can’t afford to start paying everyone oil executive salaries. Alternatively, despite the fact Abdul might be one of the most annoying people on TV, someone needs to step in get a deal working with the former Laker girl because the truth of the matter is people do tune into the show to see if she will freak out. Bottom line, Abdul’s a bit of a draw. “One weapon of this kind that went off over Omaha would eliminate most of the electrical production in the United States. And we are not today hardened against this. It is an enormous catastrophic threat.” Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said that yesterday during a speech at the Heritage Foundation. You’re probably wondering what he was talking about. Nuclear weapons? Biological? Nope. The man who is trying his best to become the predominant GOP mouthpiece was talking about EMPs. Electromagnetic pulses. He’s pretty sure it’s the weapon our enemies will soon be using to take us out. His proof? A fictional novel by his “co-author and good friend Bill Forstchen,” a novelist who, ” has written a remarkable novel called One Second After, in which he takes a town in North Carolina and shows you what would happen with a successful electro-magnetic pulse attack.” If we’re going to start defending ourselves from fictional attacks, I’d rather start with something more inevetable, like Independence Day. Those aliens were completely out of their fucking extra-terrestrial minds. For all of you out there who think Facebook might be creepy and weird, read the romantic tale of Kelly Hildebrandt and, um, Kelly Hildebrandt. One is a 20-year old woman from Florida. The other is a 24-year old male from Texas. They met when the female Kelly Hildebrandt plugged her own name into the Facebook search engine. It produced one result – the male Kelly Hildebrandt. After a gradual process that started with email exchanges and ended with the male Kelly visiting the female Kelly in South Florida, the couple fell in love. See? That’s not creepy or weird at all. Right? (I’m fully aware some of you are going to find their story insanely adorable.)

04.23.09 – Thursday

Word: milieu [mil-yoo] n. surroundings, esp. of a social or cultural nature: a snobbish milieu

Birthday: William Shakespeare (1564), James Buchanan (1791), Cow Cow Davenport (1894), Lester B. Pearson (1897), Shirley Temple (1928), Roy Orbison (1936), Lee Majors (1939), Sandra Dee (1942), Hervé Villechaize (1943), Joyce DeWitt (1949), Michael Moore (1954), Jan Hooks (1957), Valerie Bertinelli (1960), George Lopez (1961), Timothy McVeigh (1968), John Cena (1977), Kal Penn (1977), Jaime King (1979)

Occurence: 1985 – In the most unpopular move in soft drink history, The Coca-Cola Company replaces Coca-Cola Classic with New Coke. Three months later, the original is back in stores.

Standpoint: It’s time for this week’s edition of Annoying Sayings & Misused Words. Let’s get to it.

  • “figuratively” vs. “literally” – Literally, everyone is abusing the word “literally.” (Sorry. Couldn’t resist.) But it’s almost true, I guess. If you’re like me in that you (a) have normal hearing and (b) understand the English language, then you know what I’m talking about. For example, a statement like, “The party was so packed. There were literally 2,000 people in that apartment.” Sure, I understand that there were a lot of people at the party. But unless the host lives in one of the most impressive apartments in the history of indoor dwellings, then I think the numbers are a bit off. To put it lightly. Rather, the word “figuratively” should’ve replaced “literally.” “Figuratively” means “metaphorical” or “not literal.” “Literally” means “in a literal manner” or “word for word.” So all these people saying things like, “Jesus, it’s literally been raining for 20 straight days,” or, “You should’ve seen the dog park. There were literally like 700 dogs down there today,” need to simply substitute the word “figuratively” for “literally.” The problem here? It won’t happen. “Figuratively” just doesn’t roll out of the mouth the same way “literally” does. It doesn’t convey the same feeling or deliver the same kind of impact. So, sorry, folks, I think we’re stuck with this one. Literally.
  • “My Bad” – Once, an employee of mine showed up for work about two hours late on a very important day. First thing he said to me? “Sorry, Josh, my bad.” I just about shot through the roof. “My bad” has become one of those things that people say in lieu of an apology. I think it started with pro athletes who say it frequently after a missed pass or a dropped ball. But showing up two hours late for work? I needed a little more than that because I was already completely certain it was “his bad.” I wasn’t sitting around wondering if the guy was late because of something I might’ve done. I knew that the blame rested squarely on that clown’s shoulders. So, do me a favor. Unless we’re playing flag football and you miss me wide open by a mile in the end zone, don’t bring out “my bad.”
  • “Same Difference” – As with “My Bad,” this falls into the category of “lazy sayings.” One article I read qualified it as a “verbal shrug.” I think that about sums it up – it’s the equivalent of “whatever” nowadays. “Same difference” isn’t so much misused as it’s overused. It really should be “same thing, no difference,” but that’s not how most mean it. Mainly, it’s used in the same way as, “I’m just saying.” It’s just a conversational device for one to end an argument in which they are wrong without having to admit it.

Tune: Last summer, I listened to “Sultan” by What Made Milawaukee Famous about 4 times a day. I like the use of horns. Also, pretty great name for a band.

Gallimaufry: I was working and didn’t get a chance to watch it, but according to everyone who did, this week’s disco episode of “American Idol” was pretty awful. I heard it described as “a trainwreck”…Tonight, the Flyers face elimination in their first-round playoff series with the Pittsburgh Penguins. If the Flyers can’t pull it out, losing to a team with as little heart as the Penguins will be tough enough. But what might be worse is losing to a team with some of the most pathetic fans in sports history. Disgraceful. And we in Philly get a bad name as fans…For the record, I think Perez Hilton is annoying and probably secretly loves all the celebrities he shreds on a daily basis. But, after some deliberation, I think what he did to Carrie Prejean during the Miss USA competition was a pretty strong and calculated move.

Incoming: Tomorrow3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead and 5 Things You Should Say To Your Waiter If You Want Him To Dislike You.