The Rip Post                                Riposte Archive


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(Sept. 13, 2006)

          The Lingo Czar is so aghast, so ashamed, so horrified at the endless propagandizing by this fiendish administration, and so embarrassed by the country’s continued wallowing in 9/11, that he has been driven out of his summer retreat to issue a new series of rulings.
          Citizens are thereby advised to avoid the following buzz-words, buzz-phrases, and general idiotspeak currently passing for language in this, the tragic early years of the 21st century. They are rated T (trite), A (asinine), P (pretentious), W (whoops), and CP (criminally prosecutable, with a recommended first-offense sentence of one day’s worth of imposed silence.)

GET YOUR SWEAT ON---This sorry utterance was exhaled by one Michaela Pereira, the toothy-goosey TeeVee newsmannequin on KTLA’s morning news. Oh, wait---it’s no longer the morning news. It’s just the morning show now, so perhaps that makes Pereira just a TeeVee mannequin. “Whatever gets your sweat on,” said Perreira in response to some dopey report, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t think the idea of Pereira getting a sweat on is a pretty one. Unless, of course, it is sweating in fear of losing her massively remunerative job, which should have happened after she accepted a free home makeover for a “news report” she did about an interior designer. But KTLA places too much value on the Pereira choppers, knockers, and her ability to regurgitate the latest catch-phrases like “whatever gets your sweat on.” Yes, it’s another in the long line of the “whatever floats your boat”/ “whatever gets you through the night”/ “whatever flies your kite”/ “whatever makes you happy” rejoinder. One suspects this one grew out of trendoid and obscenely expensive gyms where people in Pereira’s income bracket do strange things like “gliding” and “spinning” in order to “get their sweat on.” Funny thing, but when the Czar thinks of sweating, he thinks of those who don’t need to pay $10,000 a year to do it, but accomplish this healthy bodily function without a single high-tech machine---sometimes even reluctantly---by oh, mopping floors, digging ditches, building walls, paving streets. . . Michaela, try “getting your sweat on” with a broom. A.

CORE---Why is everybody suddenly saying “core?” What is the core problem here? Is there a core reason that such words suddenly catch on? What are the core factors that would make people everywhere suddenly replace “basic,” “fundamental,” “essential,” “important,” “central,” “principal,” “main” with “core?” From CNN to Seattle, commentators are writing and speaking “core” faster than you can core an apple. The core process here, of core-s, is the strange core phenomenon of verbal viruses---that is, words that spread through the core population whether the core speakers are aware they are core-infected or not. Core-porations everywhere are indoctrinating employees with “core goals,” politicians are speaking rabidly of “core values” (or if they are from Texas, “core val-yuhs”), TeeVee punditmannequins are hollering about “core reasons.” It’s a full-core press. Please clip and mail this core section of today’s column to any core offenders in hopes that they might indulge some core restraint. Core, blimey! T, A, P.

MANIA---Back in the core days before 24-hour media---oops, I seem to have caught the core virus---“mania” was often employed whimsically. Most famous example, probably: Beatlemania. It has long since become cliché, but even clichés aren’t what they used to be, to employ a cliché. The problem seems to be a lack of cliché vocabulary on the part of the chimpanzees who write the copy for Katie Couric and Mary Hart. Thus have “hot,” “cool,” “hottest,” “coolest” become the mainstay descriptors, and thus have clichés become grating. Every story with a dog in it calls for “gone to the dogs,” and every story with a monkey in it calls for “monkeying around,” and every story about a popular trend, person, or celebrity (many of whom I suspect might actually be gods) calls for “mania.” Yes, it’s a mania mania. Parismania. Oprahmania. Shaniamania (sounds like an exotic disease.) Well, perhaps I am being hard on chimpanzees, as English is not their native language. And there is a sort of silver lining in all this: while “mania” has been leeched of impact by smiling demons offering “Entertainment Tonight,” its broad application strikes me as unwittingly appropriate. People are no longer possessed of whim or trifling obsessions, hobbies, preoccupations, pastimes---they are subject to fits of sheer media-driven dementia. The importance placed on Paris Hilton, “runways,” 9/11, foop-ball, you-name-it, is inadequately quantified with anything less than “mania,” as employed literally. Right, it’s become an actual insanity, not a playful exaggeration. The trouble is, the demons think they are being hyperbolic. Of course, they are all maniacs. T, A.

POLITICAL---Oh, nation of children! Oh, government of dolts! How is it that week after year after decade, The Czar’s poor ears are assailed by “it’s political” and “they’re doing this for political reasons.” As if most anystupidgoddamnidioticstinkingthing done by government officials is not done for political purposes. Gadzooks! Politics is their world, their realm, their métier, their. . .thang. They are. . .politicians! Oh, once in a while one of them comes along with pragmatic, altruistic, compassionate, noble---or even just intelligent---ideas, but they are duly regarded as freaks, and seldom acquire much power. You know, like Adlai Stevenson, Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern. Sen. Russ Feingold, who has long denounced the bogus “war on terror” and decried the phoney pretext for invading Iraq, appears to be such a specimen. True to form, he is tacitly cast by the corporate media as a fringe type, if not a wild-eyed radical, making charges for “political” reasons. The Bush/Cheney/ Rumsfeld/Rice Creature does this routinely---and the Nation of Children nods. Couldn’t possibly be that anyone who disagrees with this administration actually does so on the basis of reason, could it? Nah. T, A, CP.

PSSST---HEY!---The Czar has it on reliable authority that fine young Amerrygun males are approaching fine young Amerrygun females in bars and clubs and attempting to introduce themselves, break the ice, and otherwise say how-dya-do by making this noise: “pssst---hey!” Now, The Czar is no master of the pick-up line. The last time he tried such a thing is a story far too tragic to relate here, pre-dating even the disco era. Yet it seems amply clear that addressing a woman as one would address a pet, no matter how beloved, is not likely to encourage romance. Of course, given that mutual appraisal is now based largely on buttocks, much as is the case with pets, perhaps romance is just too much to hope for. Still, despite the average young Amerrygun woman’s often bestial attire and dance-floor behavior---despite the fact that they have about as much femininity and grace as alley cats---“pssst---hey” is just not likely to facilitate getting your sweat on. Pssst---hey! Just try “hello.” A.

YESYES---It has not escaped His Wordliness’s attention that arguably human creatures have taken to responding with this double-positive, this broken record affirmation, this reinforced yowzah! Weird, yes? I mean, yesyes? One wonders if it is a reaction to “no-n-n-n-n-n-no” popularized by Julia Louis-Dreyfuss’s character, Elaine Benes, on “Seinfeld.” Perhaps all the years of implicit n-n-n-n-negativity have driven speakers subconsciously in the other direction. Or perhaps it is merely emphatic. After all, a single “yes” hardly seems enough in these times of the kneejerk “absolutely,” and TeeVee punditmannequins shrieking n-n-n-nonsensically over one another. Perhaps it is unwittingly---well, now, let me start that sentence again. (There are hardly any wits left in the general population anymore.) Perhaps it is a product of at least the perception of being hurried. The more devices people own to save time, the more time they spend using the devices---cell phones, pagers, vibrators, etc.---and the more pressed for time they might feel. Hence a sort of impetuous and mildly dismissive “yesyes,” as in “of course, you idiot.” Or pssst---hey! Maybe it’s just Starbucks. A.

FOOPBALL---Seeing as great brutes are again regularly slamming into one another for the amusement of millions, it is The Czar’s unpleasant, weary duty to once again comment on the word, “football,” and its present common pronunciation. Of course, maybe the royal lingo ears have just missed something. Perhaps there is a portion of the anatomy called the “foop” that has somehow escaped our attention. But the more likely explanation is that some phenomenon known only to linguists and witch-doctors has caused everyone from Jim Rome to George Bush (okay, he doesn’t count, as he can’t pronounce most words) to L.A.’s normally impeccably spoken radio host, Patt Morrison, to say “foop-ball.” (Of course, Patt is a fan, so maybe this is a matter of tribal acceptance.) It’s jockspeak, probably, or began that way, eventually invading general language via TeeVee Jockmannequins. Let’s hope foopball soon uses the shotgun. A. W.

ROBUST ECONOMY---Why is a healthy economy inevitably described as a “robust” economy? Why not a “strong,” “active,” “solid,” “prosperous,” “pecuniarily pleasing” economy? Who started “robust,” and how did it come to be robustly stuck to “economy?" Such are the mysteries of economics, which forever elude the Czar, anyhow. T.

AMERICANS DID NOT ASK FOR THIS WAR---The presidunce loves to get up on his hind legs, look pained and surly, and speak in wounded, resigned, B-movie tones, “Americans did not ask for this war.” For once, he’s right! He asked for this “war.” We didn't. In fact, he and Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Rice, Kristol, and the rest of the nutball Neocons not only asked for this war, they dreamed it all up in the first place---back in the ‘90’s, when they drafted the “Global Pax Americana” thesis of the Project for a New American Century. Yesyes, folks, it was all planned out long before 9/11. Of course, the intended meaning in the "did not ask for" sentence is that “Americans did not ask for crazed evildoer raghead godless sand-niggers to hijack planes and take down the WTC,” to use the words that are actually in the minds of Bush and most Amerryguns. That’s also true---U.S. citizens did not ask for this---the U.S. government did, through decades of arrogant, imperialistic meddling in the Middle East done in the name of controlling oil and defending Israel. Through the U.S. funded and organized training of Osama bin-Laden and his minions, during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. 9/11 was the inevitable result of all this. The U.S. not only asked for it, but knew it was coming, with administration after administration predicting a terrorist attack “at home,” but doing absolutely nothing to deter it. T, A, P, CP.

DE-ICE THE COOL BUS---We began this latest list of lingo laments with a sweaty Michaela Pereira, so it seems only right to give her a chance to cool off here at the end. For it was the fright-wig tooth monster herself who uttered this champion idiocy right on “The KTLA Morning Show.” Pereira, who obviously was hired in order to speedily think up insipid rejoinders to the insipid remarks of her colleagues, and lace them with all the current idiotspeak, really earned her keep with this one. Readers, Your Lingo Highness was so floored and otherwise horizontalized by these words that he can no longer remember to what they referred. Plus Pereira spat them out with such speed and spiffiness that for a moment, it all seemed illusion, hallucination. But say it she did, as a sort of declaration in response to a “report” on some stoopid pop-thing or other. My guess is that this was her attempt to embellish the putrifying “how cool is that?” parrot-squawk with something more um, colorful. In fact, I’m going to go out on a lingo limb here and bet that this TeeVee Mannequin actually made this one up! Yesyes, I’ll bet little Michaela came up with it on her way to work, figuring that well, this is what she was hired to do. I know, I know, it is hard to conceive of a person having the shamelessness and ego to imagine that such a phrase is clever, let alone to imagine a person having the nerve to speak it on the Tube. But hell, when you’re paid massive amounts of money to be a jackass on camera, you might as well peel back those lips and really bray. Hee-haww! A, A, A.
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