Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Seven Platitudes of Highly Ineffectual Writers

The Blogosphere. A virtual void filled with an exponentially increasing multitude of numbered lists professing every possible combination of meaningless platitude possible. Why, it's darned easy to choke on all of those fuzzy, dripping, slobbering pre-chewed forms of pseudo-intelligence, isn't it?

What is it in us that even after we've seen the first couple of bullet points, still makes us continue downwards knowing it is only going to get worse. It's like watching a car wreck in progress, we are drawn to it in some inhuman, and ugly way. Maybe it just makes us feel better that we're not the author?

Thus, I give you seven truly uninspired platitudes about the types of uninspired platitudes that ineffective writing -- including this piece -- offer up to us on such a frequent basis that they are washing out all of our rational and real thinking:

1. It's a happy happy world.

Let's face it. The world is not a happy place, it's all about pain and suffering, and that's on its good days. People suck. And they are frequently mean. Any advice predicated on a joyous planet were people live in harmony is bound to disappoint.

2. You can easily change yourself.

Sure, you can undo all of those things in your life, like your environment, parents, friends and even your DNA. Poof, as if by magic you've suddenly made up for the fact that you're basically a shmuck, like all the rest of us. I'd don't think so. You're not a combination between Tom Cruise, Albert Einstein and Jack Kennedy (or the femaleequivalent), and won't ever be. So deal with it.

3. Bad luck is only temporary.

Try telling that to someone who's been in the hole for a few decades. Good luck is based on? On yeah: luck! That don't call it luck if everyone gets it do they? We all know it come in threes, but for some that might just be three lifetimes? It sucks to be them, so you should be grateful for just about any small victory shouldn't you.

4. You don't need real answers, pretend ones will do.

We are a culture of pretend, and pretend knowledge is just as good as the real stuff, possibly even better. Why not! Who needs to understand quantum physics when they can just make up their own, simpler answers that are far far easier to learn. Bad science is a hot practice. Publish and perish. You can take out two stones with just one bird.

5. Selfishness rocks.

Why pander to the masses when you can indulge in individualism. After all, ants are stupid. Working together is dumb. Group-think sucks. Your constant selfish, self-centered, and self-absorbed behavior isn't upsetting your family, friends and co-workers, it can't be that simple can it?

6. Knowledge will help, read more lists, that'll fix it.

If you only just knew, then you'd know, and then magically it wouldn't be a problem anymore. That's what those other guys have, you know, those guys ... Knowledge is only power for those that aren't complete idiots. Mostly, we're all complete idiots, so all we ever seem to do is bloat out on low-quality knowledge. It doesn't change anything, but it sounds nice. That I know, or at least I think I do.

7. It's your fault, but you're not to blame.

Gotta love a take charge attitude, followed by a quick denial of responsibility. Hmmm, if you're taking charge, shouldn't you be big enough to shoulder at least some of the blame when it completely blows up because you haven't got a clue? Why is it that the people who like to lead are also the ones that like to dodge responsibility? Weasel is a useful word here, isn't it?

Well, that's it. That's all I got. It ain't much, it platitudish and it's utter nonsense, but hey you knew that going in, didn't you? It's five minutes of your life that you're never going to get back. But at least you were entertained, weren't you. So, you owe me. Big time. Lot o'cash. The sooner you hand it over, the better you'll feel. If I get super rich, I may even give you a sequel ... Lucky you!