Not for nothing do I choose to be an anonymous blogger. When you start ranting about “praying”, you better watch your back…and the “you” I’m talking about here is “me”.
So, kind of like my antipathy for “sweet girl”, which was the catalyst for my post regarding that phrase (making the point that there’s nothing wrong with either being “sweet” or being a “girl”, but there’s a lot wrong with using the phrase “sweet girl” ad nauseum), there’s absolutely nothing WRONG with praying and everything RIGHT with praying, if you are a believer, which I am.
Here’s the problem as I see it, and it usually encompasses all the areas in the post title: poetry, praying, and posturing.
Someone has a real problem in their life, states the problem, and then requests prayers on Facebook (this could spin off into a whole nother rant-post for Mrs. Hate). Or maybe they do a “vague-post” and just say “requesting prayers”…which is certainly problematic for a reader like me (the somewhat suspiciously cynical, yet kindhearted, sort), because then I’m wondering “are they such a dimwit that they’ve dreamed up a horrible problem like “I just don’t know what flowers to plant in the side yard…maybe I better request prayers on Facebook”, or is it a “real” problem??”. Hmmmm…nevertheless, the person is requesting prayers.
Sometimes the poster (for clarity here, the one requesting the prayers) waxes poetic in their request for prayers, but here’s how it usually goes…those who comment on the post now have a wide-open field to either say “praying!!”, “praying now!!”, “prayers going up!!”…which always reminds me of a bunch of jack-in-the-boxes popping up…or they spin like whirling dervishes and go forward into a most poetic rendition of grandiloquent and bombastic sentences. I’m not EVEN going to string together a bunch of what I would consider “grandiloquent and bombastic sentences” because, in all seriousness, I would get dangerously close to taking the Lord’s name and the concept of prayer in almost a vain way, and that is NOT good.
And what if you know the person, they have a real problem, everybody is posting “praying!!” and you DON’T post along with the herd, even if it’s all very legitimate and very sad?? And you are praying great drops of blood and sweat for them anyway, but just don’t care to hop on the Facebook prayer train?? THEN (the dangers of small-town life) “people” might “think” you, the non-poster, are so cold and uncaring. AARGHHHH. BLAHHHH.
When I ask myself what IS it about requesting prayers, using Facebook as the vehicle, that bothers me, I guess it comes down to this…I don’t believe in drawing attention to myself, I don’t believe in putting all (shoot, ANY) of my stuff out there on Facebook, whether good or bad, and I don’t believe in trying to be posturing-poetic.
Then my spiritual mind started rambling, and a BIble verse came to mind: Matthew 6:6.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
I’m no BIblical scholar, and I know it’s easy to take a verse and twist it to suit your own needs, but to me, this verse stresses “don’t pray in a show-offy way”.
I did a little Internet searching on this verse and found comments containing these phrases:
- prayer in public that is motivated by a desire to show off
- prayer promoted by the spirit of ostentation
- a flowery, public prayer might be based in a desire for people to speak well of you and how kind you are instead of letting God reward you
Law, law…and I’m not talking about policemen here. I’m talking “lawzy me” over the disintegration of knowing how to act.
Sadly, Facebook and its narcissistic, stupefying influence has taken over many people’s lives, and sometimes I feel like I’m a voice crying in the wilderness, but, as always, my philosophy is to stay private, avoid fluff, and be your own person. Maybe I’ve missed something, but I’m getting too wore-out with how to write this post without coming off like a complete unfeeling, hardass atheist to think further.
To soothe my brain, I will re-read “Valhalla for the Inarticulate”, a column by Taki Theodoracopulos. Quotes from the column and links below; Taki T. states much more beautifully and incisively than I ever could my feelings about Facebook and modern culture.
“And don’t get me started on Facebook, whose concept has been explained to me by my son and daughter.”
“The urge to blab and spill one’s innermost secrets to strangers is more than weird; it’s sickening. It springs from a navel-gazing culture of narcissism that would have made even poor Narcissus blush.”
“The slovenly emotionalism of Oprah has replaced privacy, good taste, reticence, and other such restraints people of my generation grew up with.”
IF FACEBOOK AMERICA GETS ANY FULLER OF “SWEET GIRLS”, WE’LL BE A NATION OF DIABETICS…FRIDAY RANT, PART 3Posted: May 16, 2014
“sweet girl” this
“sweet girl” that
“mean girl” thinks we need to chat
And I sincerely apologize if this title offends any diabetics, but there is such a strong association between sugar and diabetes that this title seems valid.
What’s wrong with being sweet? What’s wrong with being a girl? Absolutely nothing…both delightful states of being.
But “sweet girl”??
Now we’re entering into a cotton candy world full of fluffy pink clouds, vanilla ice cream cones, bakery birthday cupcakes, and cloying candle scents, a world where many of the female sex feel compelled to glorify other females with sugary, syrupy salutations.
We’re also entering the abhorrent world of lack of imagination, linguistic triteness, paucity of expression, and the “pigs rushing off the cliff in the Bible” scenario (also known as…if everybody else stuck their head in the oven does that mean you have to, too?).
Thus begins Part 3 of how Facebook encourages, advances, subliminally promotes, whatever you want to call it, paucity of expression.
If you take as a given that “sweet girl” could be improved upon, here are some alternate suggestions from Mrs. Hate for overwrought verbal sugar:
- You are so sweet
- You are some more sweet
- You are the sweetest thing
- You’re just too sweet for words
- If you got any sweeter you’d be a Baby Ruth bar
You may still be yapping on about how “sweet” this “girl” is, but at least it’s phrased in a little more original way.
And not EVEN going to get off on the tangent of…”her?? sweet?? everybody knows she’d stick a knife in you before the sun comes up!!” But NO…in the cotton candy world, every girl is sweet and floats around in some alternate universe of fluff.
Once again, with this “sweet girl” thing, I’m boggled—and masochistically fascinated—at how a phrase comes out of nowhere and enters the public domain. Phrases like:
- it is what it is
- reach out
- whatever floats your boat
get on my nerves in varying degrees of irritation (mainly a high degree), but there’s just something about phrases having to do with people that go beyond the pale for me. (See prior posts on “DH” (Part 1) and “strongest woman” (Part 2) )
It just seems like you’re not respecting the person’s individuality by referring to them with a phrase that you refer to…everrrrybody with.
Please, people…don’t you see that whatever sweetness a girl has is being diminished by repetition? That the phrase “sweet girl” is something that even the most witless person will eventually begin to stare at blank-eyed when scrolling through Facebook?
I don’t predict any monumental changes in folks’ thought processes and their subsequent written expressions, but this “mean girl” feels like, once again, she has a duty to call attention to and call out linguistic triteness.
Otherwise, two hundred years from now, Earth’s inhabitants will say “my gosh, was everybody that sweet except that foaming-at-the-mouth Mrs. Hate?”
“I’m the strongest woman I know!!”
“No, I’M the strongest woman I know!!”
“The hell you say…y’all are weaklings…I’M the strongest woman I know because I just had a root canal…or changed a dirty diaper…or worked on Valentine’s Day in a flower shop…or chaperoned a class of first-graders on a field trip!!”
Get the ridiculousness of where this phrase could go???
So what’s up here??
This is what’s up with all this “strongest woman” stuff…you can’t read hardly one Facebook post without reading this phrase in the comments, or maybe in the post itself…”she’s the strongest woman I know”.
Oh, really?? REALLY????
I personally think I’m a strong enough person and have had some trying times that have strengthened my character, but I could throw a rock and hit any number of people that I know and say they are all strong. Is there a PARTICULAR “strongest woman I know”???
I definitively say NO, and for these reasons:
- You devalue all others and their strengths in the face of their trials by elevating one person to the status of “strongest woman I know”.
- And why is there never a reference to “the strongest MAN I know”??? Shouldn’t men be given the respect that they, too, might have awfully hard times that they persevere through??
- And not to mention this phrase is so overworked, so trite, so sappy, that it just shuts me down ASAP and puts me in a very Mrs. Hate mood over the inanity of many people’s communication skills and thought processes.
Did people go around saying “she’s the strongest woman I know” a hundred years ago, even fifty years ago??
I doubt it. The most one might have said would be “now that’s a strong woman” when she carried on after her husband was, say, electrocuted while working on the farm and she was left with five or six children and how was she going to feed and clothe them (this would be at a time when most women did not work “outside the home” and before the days of massive government assistance).
But flowering it up and gussying it up and hyperbole-ing it up with “the phrase I’m sick of hearing” would just not happen, in my opinion.
You took what life threw at you…it might not be fun, it might not seem fair, it might not be pretty, but you didn’t expect to be lauded and praised and made much of.
You got through your trials, or maybe your trials were never exactly over, but continued on, and you gritted your teeth and endured. You didn’t expect praise; all you might want is a little empathy now and then, or a home-cooked meal or an offer to do a chore, but that would be about it.
To repeat a statement from Part 1 in this rant series (see last Friday’s post): Our brains are in danger of turning into mush. Looks like it to me, anyway, from reading Facebook and blogs.
Coming up next Friday: Part 3, featuring “sweet girl”.
Now, how could Mrs. Hate find fault with calling a girl sweet????
Something very subliminal and insidious is happening.
And, instead of ranting and raving about a half-dozen or so examples of these “happenings”, I think I’ll just spread them out over several posts, thus “Part 1”.
Let’s start with “DH”.
- designated hitter?
- darling honey?
- dreadful harridan?
- delicious hunk?
- dumbass human?
Of course, being Mrs. Hate, my personal favorite is “dumbass human”. It cuts to the chase in a way nothing else can do.
But that’s not what’s happening here. What’s HAPPENING here is that you can skim through almost any blog, Facebook page, Twitter, or some such and see DH DH DH DH.
It took me a little while to figure out what DH meant. Then one day, the earth shook, the sky parted, and Eureka! it was as plain as the nose on your face!! DEAR HUSBAND!!!
Obviously, I’m all for anonymity, and I can understand why, if you’re writing about your family, you might not want to refer to them by their given names. Shoot, I may have five husbands and twenty children, but you’re never going to know it from anything I write, much less know their names.
But, “DH”??? That sounds like you’re addressing a letter…sort of. And you’re not calling your husband “Bob” or “Joe” or whatever, so…my goodness!! we must be in Victorian times when ladies were very circumspect in their forms of address, even with the person they cohabited with (with whom they cohabited?? whatever).
Once again, and I’ll beat this subject to death until the last word I write, “DH” over and over and over everybody saying it so quaintly and titteringly (word invention) is UNIMAGINATIVE, meaning TRITE!!!
And, ALSO once again, where are the men writing blogs and such?? Are they referring to their wives as “DW”??
- damn witch?
- disgusting woman?
- dazzling wench?
- demanding whiner?
- delightful wild thing (a little extra here)?
I’m just not sure if I’ve ever read a blog written by a male referring to his sig/other as “DW”. Again, as I’ve stated in a previous post, I’m not getting into a gender-based discussion here…and I wouldn’t want to be a man for anything in the world…but ladies—HAVE SOME UNIQUENESS OR ORIGINALITY ABOUT YOU!!!
So what’s insidious about all this?? I would repeat the title here and say “I just can’t quite put my finger on it”, but actually, my finger points to and lands on a dumbing-down of thought, a lack of curiosity or energy, a fear of thinking for oneself.
Our brains are in danger of turning into mush. Looks like it to me, anyway, from reading Facebook and blogs.
Coming up next Friday: Part 2, featuring “She’s the strongest woman I know.”
Mrs. Hate can’t wait!!
DISCLAIMER: MRS. HATE LOVES DOGS
I love to cuddle them and scratch their ears and all those affectionate things that come naturally if you love animals. I grieve when they get hit by a car and die or when they age and their bodies fail them, just as we humans age and die.
However, what I DON’T love and what bothers me is when people put grieving for a pet right up there with grieving for a human.
And again, this opinion is coming from an animal lover.
There are way too many scenarios to expound upon, but here’s a few, with a compassionate viewpoint filtered through the lens of perspective.
You’re old and housebound, your family has all died out, even your children have pre-deceased you, and all you have left to love is a cat or a dog. Is this a sad situation? Yes. When that pet dies, will it be sad for the owner? Yes…very.
You’re a child, and you love your pet. A snake bites your pet, or maybe a car runs over your pet, and pet dies. Is this a sad, traumatic time for the child? Yes. Will the child always remember this first pet death and the void that followed? Probably.
So what’s the problem here? Why the hate, Mrs. Hate??
Look at these situations:
You’ve just been told your child…let’s say he or she is around eight…has cancer, and the prognosis for healing is not good. This eight year-old is old enough to know that death means death and leaving loved ones and leaving playing with friends and leaving a future. You, the parent, get the agony of explaining sickness and death to your precious child. How would you feel if you overheard someone talking about how sad they were that their dog or cat had died?
You’re pregnant, getting close to delivery time, and you find out that your highly-anticipated child has died in utero. Do you want to hear about someone grieving over their dead pet?
Your only child has been born with multiple birth defects and his life will be spent twisted and contorted in a wheelchair, with catheters and such attached, and his measured intellect will remain at a two-year age level. Do you really want to hear about your neighbor’s ongoing sadness over her dog who just had its leg amputated?
You’re a loving family, and the full-of-life daughter and sister has been kidnapped, tortured, and killed. Her body is found desecrated and rotting in a garbage dumpster. Can you empathize with the person who’s talking about how much they miss their dog or cat who just died of old age?
People, put all this into perspective. Love your pet, be thankful for the joy and happiness it brings, but please don’t over-dramatize pet tragedies vs. human tragedies.
And, if you lack the insight to see the difference between grieving for a pet vs. grieving for a human and putting that grief IN PERSPECTIVE, at least don’t go on and on about your pet sadness in the presence of people who have human sadness going on in their lives.
I know if I had one of the human tragedies listed above, or anything of a comparable nature, it would be hard for me to keep a civil tongue in my head if I heard someone going on and on about their pet’s health problems.
Arise! O ye capturers with Nikons and Canons of life’s special moments …and stone and shun the infidel writing this rant.
A picture of Mrs. Hate at this “special life moment” (that would be writing this post) would capture her with an irritated, sour look on her face, because she’s thinking about the state of modern-day photography.
And what is that state, might you ask? Let’s crank it up.
How many pictures does one have to see of a model (usually female…in fact, HECK, I’ve never seen a male model pose this way) with her feet and her toes-ies pointed inward, all kind of knock-kneed? All it looks like to me is there better be a bathroom close at hand, or else that model is fixing to wet her pants.
I don’t get it!! What’s up with the pigeon-toed look? And, almost as bad as looking as if you have a bladder problem, is it supposed to look DEMURE??? What’s so special about a female looking demure??? Oh-my-gosh…I feel the irritation building.
Another “foot look” is the wham-mo picture of feet. The first “foot look” that came to mind is the shot where the camera is pointing down towards the feet/shoes (ADMISSION HERE: MRS. HATE IS PRETTY MUCH TECHNICALLY FEARFUL OF CAMERAS AND HOW TO WORK THEM…but she knows what kind of photographs she likes) and voila, a bee-you-ti-ful picture of feet in shoes. And..bonus!!…lots of times these shoes are peep-toe shoes, which gets into the whole “toe cleavage is so sexy” area. Blah. BUT WAIT!! there’s another type of foot photography…THE BAREFOOT foot photograph. Another oh-my-gosh. Mrs. Hate loves going barefoot, that’s not the problem, but WHY is it all of a sudden the trend to photograph people all dressed up (or shoot, just dressed in jeans/whatever) and their feet are naked?? Boring. Trite. Not original.
But wait again!! There’s more!! And this is where Mrs. Hate is thankful she’s anonymous, because the following photography “look” is all around her in her neck of the woods, and the local photographers might band together and put a bounty on her hateful little head…which would actually make a pretty good photo shoot—a covey of squawking photographers (again, probably female) twittering around in righteous indignation that a big bad meanie-head “attacked” them. HA!! But only if the photo shoot “captured” the covey positioned in front of an old rusted truck or some old rusted railroad tracks or an old weathered (with a rusted roof) barn.
And that’s what bothers me—and it ALWAYS boils down to originality with Mrs. Hate…always.
The first time someone took a picture of a happy couple or a beautifully dressed man or woman in front of an old rusted truck…fine…the photographer had a nice juxtaposition of rough and smooth, plain and fancy, however the artistic eye views it.
The second time?? Danger…ask yourself “might this become trite?”
After the ba-jillionth time, you don’t have to THINK about it becoming trite…it’s been trite six ways to Sunday and deserves to be given a merciful death.
Maybe the only way posing with an old rusted truck would be justifiable would be if that truck belonged to your family and had meaning for you. And it wouldn’t matter if the truck was five years old or fifty, so long as it was a REALLY important part of your memory life.
Railroad tracks?? Did you play on the tracks…did a family member work for the railroad…do you have a “thing” for creosote-treated railroad ties?? Again, I just don’t see the fascination with railroad tracks.
Maybe a photo shoot with the girl tied on the tracks as a damsel-in-distress, with the heroic man-boy saving her in the nick of time before the thundering train cuts her into bloody giblets, would be a little more creative. Photographers, if you use that idea, I’d appreciate a small commission 🙂 Just kidding, kids.
Old weathered barn?? Well, I admit, I have a fondness for the barns on the farm here, BUT ONLY because I GREW UP with them. I could almost throw a bone to those wanting their pictures taken in front of a barn, in that maybe they lived in an urban setting all their life and just wanted a taste of the rural life, but my feelings on that are still pretty much anti-barn pictures, unless a barn was your playhouse growing up.
So what would Mrs. Hate’s idea of a perfect picture be?
1. for individuals, a studio headshot, interestingly lit
2. for couples or groups, formal poses using chairs, divans, or the like…maybe some seasonally-appropriate props (Christmas tree, Easter baskets, dining table set for Thanksgiving dinner, such as that)
3. for that way-different look, get the book I Missed You by Francois-Marie Banier…ordinary everyday people living ordinary everyday life captured precisement
A studio headshot sure would be nice right now. It’s 5:30 in the morning, and this wore-out terrycloth bathrobe is comfy, but not how I envision myself. I am barefoot, however, and there are some old barns and a 1954 Ford truck all rusted out in the backyard…and have I mentioned I’m knock-kneed and pigeon-toed thanks to a full bladder??
“I’m passionate about anything chocolate.”
“She is passionate about her children.”
“If there’s one show I’m passionate about, it’s “New Girl”.
“I have a passion for knitting.”
“I believe that my passion for working with the homeless qualifies me for this job.”
“Your passion for learning is impressive.”
Can anybody tell where Mrs. Hate is going with this???
TRITE, TRITE, and MORE TRITE.
Oh-my-gosh…don’t people realize how tired and overworked the words “passion” or “passionate” have become? Look at the following scenario:
Maybe you’re interviewing for a job. Maybe you have a little anxiety bubbling up in your breast (although there are some people who loooove to insist that “no, I’m so great and self-assured that there’s no way I could be anxious”). BUSTED. Here’s what psychologist Tamar Chansky has to say about nerves before a job interview:
“When we perceive that we are in a high stakes situation, the brain doesn’t distinguish the high stakes of a job interview–where it would help to be calm, cool and collected–from the high stakes of being under threat from attack (say, from a tiger),” says Dr. Tamar Chansky, author of Freeing Yourself from Anxiety. “The body responds the same way–gearing up to run or fight for our lives. We experience a myriad of highly inconvenient and uncomfortable reactions which would make complete sense if there really were a tiger there.”
But I digress. Back to the words in question.
What if you’re in the interview, a little anxious or nervous, and the interviewer says something along the lines of “why are you interested in this position?” or “what do you feel your qualifications are for this position?”.
Well, Mrs. Hate feels this way…the words “passion” or “passionate” are thrown around so much these days that people don’t have the originality God gave a goat and continue using those words like pigs rushing over the cliff in the Bible. Next thing you know, the interviewee starts yammering on about how “passionate” they are about exceeding their sales goals or what “passion” they have for coming in early to work or the “passionate” feeling of satisfaction they have when a client compliments their work.
Surely the interviewer’s eyes are glazing over at this point. Maybe he or she starts scribbling a little in the corner of a notepad. And what might be the words being scribbled? “Do not hire this person…they are boring me to death with their stupid “passion” words, and I’m afraid that every day I will be subjected to how $%^&*!!! passionate they are about one thing or another…including swatting that fly that just won’t go away.”
Meanwhile, the interviewee might be thinking “Wow!! I’m nailing this!! Bet the interviewer is scribbling down all sorts of nice things about me on that notepad!! I’m feeling passionate about my chances of getting this job!!”
How about saying “it’s very important to me to exceed my sales goals” or “honestly, I get so excited about my work that I might come in early some days” or “I love being complimented by clients”. If you feel you just HAVE to gild the lily, how about using the words “fervent” or “zealous”?? The interviewer may still think you’re a little full of yourself, you passionate thing you, but at least you’re mixing it up a little and stepping out of that trite zone by using a comparable synonym.
Mrs. Hate has gotten so passionately tired with all this passionate thinking and passionate writing that she will wrap up this little post by saying…
Read the Lake Superior State University 2013 List of Banished Words…I do believe you will find “passion/passionate” made the list.