Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What Utter Crap!

Mwa, blogging at Lost in Translation wrote a great post about the crap some people come out with. Her particular irk was the call  "not to be like everyone else"; the criminal phrase she'd read being "whatever you do - do it differently".Being of eminent common sense, she immediately thought "What the hell does that mean?"  I would suggest hanging out the washing in your birthday suit, or perhaps nipping to the bank juggling two meatballs and a ham sandwich, but that's just being silly.

It did make me think however, about the phrases and other crap that people come out with, and how we either don't question or simply don't have a clue what they mean.

Take some of these -

Oprah - it would appear she can only speak in inspirational quotes these days. I think my most fave has to be "Dont' waste another second of your life on a job that you hate. Free yourself". So there you go - all you people who complain about a boring/dead-end job. Just leave! Don't worry about the bills, I think Oprah has set up a charity to deal with that.

Mind you, this one comes a pretty close second -
"In every aspect of our lives, we are always asking ourselves "How am I of value? What is my worth?" Yes I believe that worthiness is our birthright".

Personally, I'm always asking myself how I'm of value and what my worth is. Aren't you? I think if she lived among the real people she'd find those questions to be more like "Why am I doing this" and "What is the point?' 
"Worthiness is our birthright" - ????? For pete's sake woman.

But George Eliot (alias Victorian writer Mary Anne Evans) also dished up some ace stuff in her time-
"It is never too late to be who you might have been".

I have to say that she's dead wrong here. I might have had my first book published in my forties, but it's definitely too late for the dream of International Rock Goddess. Unless of course, I do it in Calendar Girls' fashion, but then that wouldn't be quite the same.

It's like when people say "Live in the moment".
"What option do I have?"  I always want to scream.
Oprah of course, has re-phrased this as another inspirational gem, -
"Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure."
I think she's telling us that since we could be hit by a bus tomorrow, we should enjoy today. Bit of a bummer if you're up to your armpits in laundry or worse still, doing a job you HATE.
Anyway, I could go on and on, but I'll stop myself and ask if there are any other "utterly meaningless" sayings out there?


  1. Good Morning from America!
    How about 'If life gives you lemons, make lemonade' which if fine if you want to go around with a sour face all day. And making fresh lemonade if really hard work!
    Yes, you might get hit by a bus or quite a job you hate but really, why make more work for yourself then really necessary.

  2. Yeah, it's easy to make sweeping statements about self actualization and following your dreams when you're sitting on a bank full of millions!

  3. Ha,ha, some good points here Toni. You haven't been reading my personal blog have you? We're having a discussion about living in the moment as well. A lot of self-help books tell you this to keep you from worrying about the future and "what if" thinking. But if "now" sucks, dreaming about a better future and not accepting now is the only way you get through. Sometimes I think they say "live in the moment" because they don't have any other answer.

  4. Here's one: "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal" - said Henry Ford. I'm not sure this is strictly true, in the real world.

    And what about: "There are not enough hours in the day". Actually, yes there are, 24 last time I counted, and it's the same every single day.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Sorry for the delete, clearly I haven't had my tea yet.

    Oh, I forgot to add my favorite, "There's a reason for everything and while you may not know what it is right now, it will show itself eventually." Piss on that.

  7. ditto on the 'piss on that' comment.

  8. Oh, I know! Must be nice to be in a financial position where you can sit back and spout quotes like that all day!

  9. I've stopped listening to other people and figure things out for myself. Oprah is not worth her millions, she's just a very average woman who was in the right place at the right moment and saw her opportunity. I don't know why people adore her so. Her shows don't amount to much and I don't watch them. It's a case of one eyed leading the blind. She has a lot of business savvy, I'll give her that.

  10. I personally get pissed off when a shop keeper says *Have a nice day* to me. Some days I have been really sick with my head wrapped up in a scarf...... obvious to all I was not well on chemo and some little squirt automatically says *Have a nice day*
    Well they should try it!

    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  11. In a similar vein to Maggie, I hate 'Cheer up, it might never happen'. Well, sometimes, actually - it has!

  12. My face is one of those that looks utterly miserable when in repose. I can't count the number of poeple who've told me to "cheer up". How do they know I haven't just had some bad news?

  13. I'm swooning - I feel like putting on airs and forgetting where I came from. My blog on yours! I love it!!!

    (Oh, and good post by the way.)

  14. I know a man who's answer to any dilemma is "it is what it is". And THAT is about as helpful as a wet fish I want to tell him.

  15. Mwa - very neat bump BTW. And pwah - what are you talking about?

    Pam - I have to admit I use that a lot myself when I'm trying to accept something and get on with it. (Like having a surpise baby at 41, say!!!)

  16. Brilliant post! I have been feeling spectacularly worthwhile today (NOT) so this really made me chuckle. x

  17. My own pet hate: "Chill out".

    Yup. Sure. So YOU do the chores, work a full time job, run a house hold, look out for the kids, balance the finances AND wipe the scowl off your face.

    All at the same time, of course.

    Oprah? Who she?

    LCM x

  18. Some very good comments here. I detest the "Have a nice day" phrase and I'm an American. We sound like robots and it's so disingenuous. They give you terrible service and then follow it up with that rubbish.

    I had to return and add to my original comment which was that I hate the phrase "There's a reason for everything." On Sunday we had a very short yet terrible thunderstorm. At one point they thought we may have had a tornado. Yesterday I found out that a lady I work with lost her grandson in that storm. He was running to his house to escape the storm and a tree limb fell on him. Now, what's the reason for that?

  19. For me it has to be the Southern weathercasters saying...loads of sun in the South...but clouds/rain/tornados/floods/earthquakes for the Northerners in a rather off hand manner whilst pointing at an area which is vaguely North. (Scream.)

    (BTW John Humphries on Radio 4 Today keeps on mentioning the lack of the rain in the South. Bl@@dy here if you need the rain so much, John! Having said that we had a brill day today weatherwise. ;))

  20. I didn't know Oprah was so... erm... spiritual. This explains a lot. If I were Tom Cruise, I would have jumped up and down that sofa in despair, too.

  21. "Carpe diem". How come it's always the people who have millions that can spout this crap. "Free yourself". Thank you Oprah, I'll be showing up on your doorstep for handouts tomorrow! I loved Oprah when she first appeared but now, she's like one of those cult leaders spouting gibberish. Actually, I like "life is what happens when you're busy making other plans.

    Just wanted to say as an Anglophile, I LOL through your book while drinking my Pimms the other afternoon.

  22. Along the Oprah lines, an expression I've been resenting a lot lately is "I love what I'm doing so much that I'd do it for free." I keep hearing it said by multi-billionaires when they're on talk shows like Charlie Rose. Latest instance was David Rubenstein, co-founder of a the private equity firm The Carlyle Group. He is #155 out of 400 in the rankings of wealthiest Americans, with a net worth of around $3bn. When is the last time he did something for free, I ask you? Give me a break!


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