Thursday, January 31, 2013
Some people call it soda. Some people call it pop. Then, there are those that call it coke. For most people that attitude is, "who cares?" That's a good attitude to have, because really, in the grand scheme of it all it absolutely does not matter one bit. Yet, there are those who religiously cling to and fight to defend what name they give their carbonated beverages. We may also discover much hatred aimed at the other camps. There is a special hatred from the soda and pop people aimed at the coke people. How can anyone call a thing that is so broad in it's categories after one thing within the thing? It's absurd! Isn't that what they say?
Tut, tut soda and pop people. Shame on your small and narrow mindedness. You hate them for something you do all the time. I say hypocrite to you. Hypocrite!
Let me expound through the classic use of examples:
When you cut your finger, do you not ask for a band-aid? Yet, you do not mean the brand Band-Aid? You don't mean that if I do not bring you specifically a Band-Aid brand bandage you will refuse it and only a Band-Aid brand bandage will do? No, what you are asking for is a bandage. An adhesive strip with an absorbent cottony gauze attached to the middle to soak up your forth-spilling blood. But you say band-aid because it's an understandable blanket term used to describe the thing you want. Isn't that so?
When you have a sheet of paper with important information on it, and it is information you need to get into the hands of others so they may also have said information, are there not those among us who would ask for a xerox of this paper? Xerox is a brand. The company Xerox was once nationally famous for the particularly good quality of the copies their copy machines made. So good that instead of making copies of things, people were jamming into the office copy room to make fresh xeroxes. The word stained itself upon the American language, and thus became the word for the thing people mean when they ask for a xerox. They mean a copy. (Point of Fact: this was not fact checked, but we all know it's true)
I could use other examples. Jet Ski or Crockpot are two of those examples, but there are more. What I just exemplified for you are the same type of things our fine Southern friends are doing when they ask for a coke on a hot summer day. They do not mean they require a Coke-Cola made by the Coke-Cola company and only a the dark delicious Coke will sooth their beleaguering thirst. (actually, to be honest to the reader, that is, in fact, what they do mean some of the time). But they are requesting the same beverage you would be in need of when you ask for a pop, or I ask for a soda. And yes, my preference is towards the word soda and I have my reasons for it,* but I dare not begrudge another their American right to call it by what name they choose. I would not be a a true American if I did not believe another man had that right. I digress...
All the man wants is his beverage. You two or we three are all the same in our cry to heal our parched lips or our dry mouth. You ask for a pop and get a root beer. I ask for my soda and get a cola. He asks for a coke and gets an orange flavored drink. All are served. All are refreshed.
This feud! This rivalry and uncouth display of pride is at the top of the list of things going wrong with our nation. Why do we let things divide us? I have it in my heart to accept that man who calls Dr. Pepper a coke. This man, who uses coke instead of soda, may come to work for me and be the most loyal worker I will ever know. (Point of Fact: I do not currently own a business where I would employ another, but this is a futuristic hypothetical situation in which all options may be possible). That woman, who names the delicious citrus Mt. Dew a pop, may end up the love of my life and write with me a love story unparalleled anywhere in human literature. (Point of Fact: the position of Love of my Life is currently open and every conversation with a woman is an interview) My point is how much do we miss with our bitter discontentment? Moreover, we waste our hate; Hate, which is the most extreme negative of all human emotions, on something so stupid as what to call a beverage. For shame!
This is not the country I was raised to love. This is not the nation those who came before us built that we might have, (Point of Fact: This country was actually built on a lot of hate, but not over anything so idiotic as this.) nor are we taking it in the direction requisite for it to be a pleasing world for our children to live in. (Point of Fact: I don't have kids.) But, we can evolve our neanderthal brains and shake off these thick generations of misplaced malice and ill will. Let us be brothers and sisters in this and all things. You, me, them we will continue to be different. Our vernacular may always seem peculiar to others and that is fine, but let us embrace our differences and join hands in brotherhood and unity and let us foster hate no more in our hearts. Because seriously, this is a really really stupid thing to get uppity about. Really very stupid.
*I prefer the term soda because, to me, it sounds less colloquial. It sounds, to me, like a word to be used in formal gatherings and important events. Not that I ever go to those, but it's good to be prepared. You never know. Having said that, I do not care a hair what you call what you drink.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Everyday when I leave my house I hear a teenager or a hipster wanna be declare something to be "epic." In zero of these cases is the thing actually epic. Today I threw something in the trash which is a common thing to do. We all do it every day. I'll admit, with my head bowed in pure humility that it was pretty crazy shot. It was a skill shot and not a luck shot. It was honestly an impressive shot. The girl watching claimed it to be an epic shot. My heart cringed. That shot was in no way epic. You may be thinking, "well some things actually are epic." True. Some things in fact actually are epic. However, if something actually epic were to occur it would change the world. It is extremely unlikely that any reader of this blog with encounter anything epic in their lives. You should stop using the word unless you are describing something that is actually epic.
Actual epics you may have heard of include: Gilgamesh, the Odyssey, the Iliad, Beowulf, King Arthur's search for the Holy Grail, and Paradise Lost.
Of course there are many many more, but again they are, for the most part, made up stories.
Now, a rant without helpful information is useless. I want to help you. So, here are some rules to determine if something was epic or not.
1. An epic will start in the middle or end of the story and will flash back to the beginning.
2. An epic will cover a vast setting. This will include many nations, the world or even the universe. (not the distance form my hand to the trash)
3. the person telling the story will begin by asking a muse to help them and to inspire them to tell the story in a truly amazing fashion worthy of the events of the story
4. It begins with the statement of a theme (think about how the theme of Beowolf was to slay the Grendle, or how Odyssius just wanted to return home)
5. Do you know what an epithet is? Well, you need to know if you're going to claim something to be epic because epics have epithets.
6. An epic will contain long lists (lists of the heros deeds, places he's been, monsters he's defeated, etc. )
7. An epic features long and formal speeches. Gilgamesh has plenty of those if you need examples.
8. Epics will involve the divine intervention in the affairs of our hero or other humans in the story. If there are no Gods or other divine beings in the story it is not an epic. Neither Zeus, Ra or any other god was involved in my trash shot.
9. The hero of your story will embody all the values of a civilization. I believe in these days that no hero from any nation could arise to embody this characteristic of an epic. You'd have to invent one.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Today at work they showed the classic Back to the Future trilogy. I had no fewer than four individual conversations with people who had never seen them. Never! There were two girls who didn't even know what we were watching. I'm amazed that people have never heard of Back to the Future. I'm not that old, they weren't that young. What's going on people?
Back-to-the-Future-related side note: At the end of the second movie Doc Brown's Delorean was struck by lightening sending him and the car back to 1885. Marty get's the note from the Western Union guy sent by Doc Brown telling them he's OK and informing them where he stashed the car. They find the car and Marty goes back in time in the Delorean to save Doc from being murdered by"Mad Dog" Tanner. My question is this: Shouldn't there have been two Delorean's in 1885? There should be the one Doc took back and the one Marty took back. It's a pretty big plot hole if you ask me. However, the movies are still hilarious and unique and people should have watched them. At the very least people should have heard of them. Goodness folks, get with the times!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
As I was walking through the airport today I saw a girl who looked exactly like a friend I have from Minnesota. The only difference between this girl and my friend back home is that my friend back home is a boy. They had the same hair color, same build same pointed nose so many similarities. The one at the airport was, however, clearly a girl. I thought about how funny that was that here existed my friends Doppelganger, except this one is a girl. Then, as my mind often does when i think of something clever, I took time to ponder and reflect. I remembered having seen girl versions of other friends of mine, not as exact, but similar. Then my mind reached the conclusion that out there, in the wide-wide world, is a female version of me. The thought weirded me out. As I thought about this she-me I felt bad for her. Because, while I'm an ok-looking guy, she would be an ugly looking girl. Especially if she was as like me as this girl was to my Minnesota friend. I hope I never see her, it would be the strangest thing ever. If I recognized her for what she is, I'd have a hard time not staring. I just got a shiver. I'm done thinking about it.