From a philosophical perspective, nothingness is pretty profound. Imagine our complex, vibrant, dynamic universe originating from… nothing. Does nothingness really exist? I’m hardly qualified to give you an opinion either way. If it does though, it probably deserves more consideration than casually using it in conversations like, “Nothing is better than Wendy’s chicken nuggets.” Sure, they are good. But, “nothing” is better? Stop it. Perhaps we should get in the habit of using the phrase “game-changer.” Game-changer is, well, a game-changer in the way we express admiration for something. Had someone told me, “Friend, these chicken nuggets are a game-changer,” I’d be intrigued. To verify the validity of this statement, I’d need to do a quick Wiki search on the history of chicken nuggets, analyze the current state of the chicken nugget industry, and predict how Wendy’s chicken nuggets will dictate the course of the future of chicken nuggets. This takes time. But, by using the word “gamechanger,” I’ll have to take your word for it that you know all of these variables. I’ll leave our conversation respecting both your intellect and preference of mechanically separated chicken. Listen, whenever the universe gives you a chance to drop “game-changer” into a conversation, grab it. Just like I have in this paragraph.
Millions (or Billions or Zillions)
Interested in describing all the ways your significant other sucks? Fire away. But if you’re really going to convince me there are one million ways why they suck, at least let me get a drink first. Now, had you said “There are 22 reasons my girlfriend sucks,” I would still have little interest in hearing them. But, I’d be more inclined to believe that you actually took the time to count out the ways, and that they totaled 22. Of course, after reaching about 17, you probably should have figured you aren’t dating Mr. or Mrs. Wonderful.
Why do we have such a need to be different? Let’s be honest. In a world of a few billion, you probably aren’t the only person who imagines having sex with Alex Trebek. Especially in the Western world, people really aren’t that different. We all grew up watching the same shows, idolizing the same celebrities and longing for the same snacks in our lunch boxes. Being different is admirable. But don’t be so fast to give yourself that much credit.
Thankfully, the Matrix of 21st century life has given us a window to view just how connected we truly are. It’s called Twitter. The beautiful thing about the social networking site is that whatever thought you have or thing you’ve seen, someone else has tweeted about it. Regardless of whether you search “Girl Jeopardy lisp” or “Lebron Hairline sucks” or “Chris Bachelorette weird,” there are already tweets from dozens of others who’ve noticed the same thing you did. In this way, Twitter is an oracle of mundane observations that are shared by the masses. The next time you think you are the only person seeing what you’re seeing or feeling what you’re feeling, log onto Twitter and reconnect to the hive. You’re not going anywhere.
One of the fastest ways someone can annoy me is by using the phrase “always.” As a decent-to-good but situationally sucky boyfriend, this word is lobbed at me way more than I’d like to admit. Here’s a common complaint. “Robert, why do you ALWAYS ignore me?” I usally first turn down the volume on my iPod and ask said accuser to repeat her question. Then I’ll instantly protest. First, dropping “always” makes everyone instantly defensive. That’s unproductive. But the mind-boggling part of the word is that it’s almost always unnecessary. I don’t have to do something wrong all the time for it to be a problem. Eighteen percent of the time is plenty bad. So just say that. Or simply ask, “Should I give you and Fiona Apple some time alone?” I’d say “Actually, that’d be great.” If they decide to stick around after said admission, that’d be great too.
In our politically correct world where everything lives in a shade of grey and everyone looks for ways in which everyone else will agree with them, I don’t mind people making definite statements. For example, I believe Lea Michele is the best singer of our generation. While I think it’s accurate, it’s a statement that really means nothing. I’ve taken her subjective art and evaluated it on a subjective standard no one can ever truly disprove. The standard by which you disagree is equally as subjective and thus equally impossible to refute, keeping us at square one. Some people enjoy this kind of endless squabbling with no conceptual end. I don’t. It’s silly. Embrace your ability to have a preference without needing to justify it to others while putting something else down. Feel free to like Jennifer Hudson. Feel free to like Adam Lambert. Are they the best singers? Maybe. Maybe not. That label is relatively worthless. Unless, you agree with me. In that case, you’ve got great taste.