At work recently, one of my supervisors came up to me and asked me if anyone had talked to me about "reverse greeting". Now, when I think greeting, I think "Hi, how are you?", "Welcome", you know, that kind of stuff. So, when you say to me "reverse greeting", I think "You have got some balls showing up here. Get the fuck out. Who the fuck do you think you are? I am going to knock you the fuck out." I think this is logical. In my experience, this would be sensible to assume as the concept being conveyed when combining these two words. Greeting, and the reverse of greeting. But no, this is not what reverse greeting is. I was informed reverse greeting is simply asking someone why they didn't buy anything when they're leaving your store. It's rude, and annoying, but that's not the issue right now. It's calling it reverse greeting, instead of just calling it asking someone why they didn't buy anything.

Has anyone else noticed this trend? Is it just me or do we seem to be making up all kinds of phrases and words to either hide what we're really trying to do or say, and making shit up so we create some kind of feeling of superiority within whatever community it happens to be? It's one of those things each industry seems to develop on their own. One of the first one's I ever remember hearing was "talent". In the entertainment industry they call actors, comedians and such, "talent". On talk shows, the guests are "talent". What happens when your guest is Tom Cruise, Paris Hilton or Bill O'Reilly? Do you still call them talent? They're not "talent". They're guests on your talk show. If it's a movie, they're actors. Maybe they have talent, but maybe they don't. Considering the state of the entertainment industry, using the word talent too liberally is just pretty much a bullshit way of convincing yourself you're not in a sinking ship. Changing to a new word does not constitute a lifeboat. Unless, of course, the word was Blackwater, and the word is now XE (because those two letters have magical powers to erase human memory, and to erase law). Possibly if the phrase is AIG, and you change it to "Sufficiently Bullwhipped Into Understanding Our Prior Idiocy", it might make a difference.

I use AIG to make a point. Lots of the masters of the financial world used some really creative arithmetic with a load of bullshit added in to sell a bunch of worthless shit for boatloads of money. They called them "derivatives", and "Sub-prime loans" instead of worthless piles of shit. It's kind of hard to sell a worthless pile of shit though. We're now calling them "toxic assets" instead of worthless piles of shit. Call them The Queens Nipples if you want, but they're still worthless pieces of shit. And the really sick thing is that nobody even really understands what a fucking derivative is. I actually watched some of the Congressional hearings about our current economic mess, during which the theater was dramatic and the bullshit was piled high as the members of Congress "grilled" the heads of half a dozen banks. All of them, without exception said of derivatives, "They're very complicated financial instruments. I don't even completely understand them." Really? These are the financial wiz kids we're trying to make sure don't leave for a more appealing opportunities? I don't really understand how it is we want to keep people in place who would sink trillions of dollars into "complicated financial instruments" they don't completely understand. I'm sorry, but if the people you're trying to keep in place to watch your money are the people who came up with the idea of throwing money into derivatives you probably need to pack your shit too Skippy. In fact, I'm thinking that bringing back the Hooverville just for folks so intent on keeping these brain trusts. Giving them a pink slip with a print out of directions to their tent attached would sound about right.

We're doing this all over the place. One of my personal favorites is "monetize". What the fuck does monetize mean? It means to make money off of something, profit. But no, you don't say "how do we make money off of this?" You say, "How do we monetize this?" Because God fucking forbid you don't sound like you've got your lingo down, because if you don't say monetize, your idea probably isn't any good. It's probably not flashy enough, not sexy enough or useless enough to really sell to people. Then again, maybe we're coming up with new ways to say "make money off of" because we're afraid to be confronted with just how much we're trying to "monetize" everything conceivable. "Incentivize" is another good one, instead of providing incentives, you incentivize. In other words, you come up with ways to convince people they need your useless shit. No, actually, you convince people they are going to be better, happier, prettier, more well adjusted people by buying your useless shit. You incentivize them into believing the bullshit you're selling. Instead of not selling a piece of shit, and coming up with a really good idea, we spend the time we should have spent coming up with a good idea "incentivizing" a bad idea. Awesome. Brilliant. Sometimes, you "incentivize" people with something that would actually be a good thing or a good idea if it weren't dependent on the thing your trying to sell actually being worth something. It's like saying, "we'll give you a free bag for this beautiful, life fulfilling, image enhancing pile of shit". If I say, "I'll take the bag, keep the pile of shit," the response is, "well, you have to buy the pile of shit to get the free bag to put it in." I have been incentivized.

One of the best I've heard in a long time comes from the internet media community. They were talking specifically about programming available on the internet. They were using the phrase, "breaking the space/time continuum". Now, maybe it's just me, but if any schmuck with a PC or laptop can break the space/time continuum, I have suddenly become fully in favor of strictly restricting internet access, to me, and me only. It would certainly be a different experience, but I trust myself not to do anything which we currently believe could possibly unravel the very fabric of the universe. Right now, I'm not that interested in trying to find out if there really is some kind of existence beyond this one, so I trust that I'd do everything within my power to avoid such an event. There aren't too many other people out there I'd trust with that kind of power. But, don't worry, this is all completely theoretical since, in terms of internet media, "breaking the space/time continuum" just means that you can watch or listen to something anytime you want. It means there's no specific window of time you can catch that programming. You don't have to be sitting in front of your PC or Mac at eight p.m. to see the latest episode of "Soulless Over Indulgent Spoiled Bitches of New York City". The future of civilization is saved, you can watch it anytime you want. Yes, they are actually calling this breaking the space/time continuum. Talk about a severe inferiority complex. Maybe the internet isn't such a threat to the current entertainment industry after all. They just have a faster, less disciplined (and even though I never thought it possible), more grandiose variety of bullshit. Ooh, aren't we all lucky? Those folks out there waiting patiently for the internet to save humanity and turn the world into a Utopia have obviously missed some details. Apparently, the internet media industry is subconsciously trying to destroy the universe instead. I guess there's some possibility the Christian Right has been correct all along, The American Entertainment Complex just might be a tool of Satan.

Does anyone remember the big hoo ha over ebonics a while back? It was at some point in the nineties. There was a whole controversy over ebonics. If you are of the tender age to have never heard of the term ebonics, it basically meant urban slang. Should we have classrooms for ebonics, like classrooms for kids who are learning english as a second language, but haven't quite gotten to the point to be able to understand it at the level of classroom interaction? Should we provide ebonics interpreters in government agencies? On the other side of the discussion, ebonics was going to whittle away the foundation for Western civilization, and needed to be crushed. Yes, this was an actual issue at one point. I know, I know, don't yell at me, I didn't come up with it. But, if you weren't around at the time, the explosion of hip-hop into mainstream culture scared the living daylights out of white folks everywhere, and this was one of the things they came up with in response to their terror. It was ridiculous, and it still is. Now, every five or ten years we also go back through the argument about whether or not to make English the "official language" of The United States. You know, the whole "this is America, learn to speak the language" thing. Here's my question: how the hell is this any different from the current variety of language we're making up? Personally, on a day to day level, it's never seemed to cause me any trouble if someone has a hard time speaking English. Mathematics, on the other hand, seem extremely important. I've never had someone who wasn't proficient in the English language hand me the wrong change for a twenty, and this is important to me. On the other hand, if someone is speaking what I recognize is somehow strongly akin to English, and they're using a whole variety of words which have either developed some completely new meaning or are using a bunch of words which sound very much as if they're based in the English language but aren't quite English, I seem to believe I can communicate with them effectively. Maybe that's my mistake. Maybe just calling someone a pretentious asshole instead of trying to communicate any more complicated concept is where those interactions really need to start. Now, as I write this down and look at it, I realize that these are two things which I also equate with severe, debilitating mental illness. "Oh, you are obviously unable to process the fact that the rest of the English speaking world doesn't recognize the word you're using in the context you're using it, and you have none of the signs that you don't actually understand the meaning of the word. You are convinced, utterly of your understanding. You are probably mentally ill, and it's in all of our best interest for me to not bring that up right now. I'm going to nod and try to find a way to get out of this conversation." Or in another situation, "I understand the phonetic assemblage you just produced as letters and sounds in the English language, but that, was not a word whose origin is based in the English language or even a vernacular I've ever encountered. I have not in any way conveyed the idea to you that I speak any other languages or English based vernacular. You seem to be completely unable to understand that this is not a word. I'm going to assume you are developing this language with a variety of other persons, whom I probably can't see, and I'm going to back away, slowly."

I'm just wondering who it is that comes up with this stuff? Does every industry have it's own set of brain trusts sitting around in some little room trying to come up with words or phrases that sound more important than the actual words describing the idea they're trying to get across? Is this what they do when they're not playing World Of Warcraft? Is this how they make money to support their Second Life? Or is it a bunch of deusche bags sitting around eating a piece of arugula with a red onion draped over it (and paying $75 a plate for it) and just making shit up in order to seem superior to the other idiot sitting across the table? Does the other idiot think to himself "My God, I don't know what that means, but I can't ask either, because then, it'll seem like he knows more than me. I'll just figure it out later and use it on someone else." Is this where all this is coming from? Is it all coming from something that finds it's origins in the subconscious of teenage boys? If this is the case, we are really in trouble, because let us not forget, when confronted with a pair of boobs, teenage boys lose the ability to speak, use reason, solve even simple problems or do simple mathematics. I'm not making fun, I was a teenage boy once, so I understand, but you do have to evolve some. I can actually string together four or five words when confronted with a pair of boobs now............... if I concentrate. They are usually along the lines of "Wow. This is fucking awesome". I can count two. I have progressed.

But maybe that's the whole thing. Maybe this is a bunch of guys coming up with all of this crap in order to out do each other, and in a subconscious effort to keep the women away from the board room, because let's face it, it's not a game women play. They just don't get it. Maybe this is what's really behind the disparity in the number of female executives compared to males. It's like they're terrified of women discovering their own secret weapon. They're not actually afraid of the women, they're just afraid of what a pair of boobs in a low cut top is going to do to their ability to stay on top. If a magnificent example of feminine beauty and grace were to make it into their brain storming sessions, they might be able to come up with the kinds of ideas that have led our economy to the heights we're experiencing today. For fucks sake, we're still cave men. That's it, isn't it? We just have clubs with microchips and wireless access now.


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