I am not the one who uses harsh language, neither in verbal nor in written communication. Although I am not at ease with the title that I have given because of the second word, but the amount of disgust that I have for certain platitudes is too much for me to be civil in this written discourse. I could have easily titled this post as, in keeping up with lessons from Robert Louis Stevenson, as “Busting Blather” but I am letting that title go. I hate platitudes. Hate. Hate is a strong word. Being an amateur linguist, I use my words carefully. So when I say “hate”, it is not a teenage hatred for an older version of Sony PlayStation, or a wife telling her husband: “I hate you”, while making love or in intimate moments; for me it is always a hate that, for example, two political rivals may carry, say, the one between Pozzo di Borgo and Napoleon or the one between Lalu Prasad Yadav and bovine animals.
Few of the platitudes that I often hear, from the people around, are the different versions of “Life is short“, in which this statement is often appended with another equally obnoxious and linguistically criminal platitude such as “Live it fully”, “Drink XYZ”, “So Work Hard”, “So fall in love” etc. etc. For the record, Life is not short. It really is not. It seems to pass in a blink of an eye, but you know that, and I know that it is not short. And when you attach the other set of words to shamelessly bask in the glory of having committed an assault on fine art of aphorism, please excuse me from killing me with another of your platitudes, I do not find the above seemingly “deep” statements any different from say: Life is short, so brush your teeth, hairs and shoes simultaneously [this actually makes sense].
“Such is Life” – Yet, another cliche from the mouth of non-originals, the ersatz. Whenever they (or others) fail in a venture or embarrass themselves, they console themselves (or others) by “Such is Life”. You farted in a place full of people and then smirk while saying Such is Life! No Sir! Such is not life, such is your food or your intestine. Your computer or laptop is taking time to shut down, or has started taking random updates while you are getting late for a meeting, and you say, “Whenever I have to go somewhere early, always something trite comes up, such is life” No, Ma’m! such is not life, such is your Windows 2000, Vista, Windows 7 and 8 PC or laptop. [Note: This is not an advertisement of Apple products. Disclaimer: I own Apple’s ipad Air, Macbook Air and iPhone 5s]
Patience is a virtue: Often heard from slow and slithering decision makers or slow chess-piece movers or from the obdurate pot-bellied man sitting in a public service office in India. Once I called a snail, moving across a Mumbai pavement, to come to me, even snail didn’t utter these words to cover up his famous virtue by implying a virtue on me. Not that I lack patience. I have immense patience, but I have patience for things like my junior staff making mistakes in work, or my brother unable to grasp a mathematical problem despite my repeated attempts, or my mother unable to learn to handle a touch screen smartphone despite breaking two phones [I am against Dr Sheldon Cooper on this, he favours public flogging of senior citizens for not being able to use modern gadgets, to set an example to other citizens]. But I do not have patience for your jackassery dripping from your toothed smile, nor do I have it for waiting in line for something which could be done without waiting in line, or for my mother’s long shopping hours which also almost always end up in buying NOTHING!
Just think positive: This trite philosophy is like a nail in the coffin when I am thinking all negative. How the hell do you think I can think positive, if all the empirical data on certain issue is against it? Are you implying Orwell’s doublethink? Sorry, I have no Winston Smith or Big Brother to brainwash me into that. Wait! Are you Winston Smith? or Big Brother? When you think negative, in face of adverse empirical data, you gloss over multiple practical solutions, and arrive at best; when you think positive, in face of adverse empirical data, you are just fooling yourself, you are being escapist, you are trying to hang on to the first solution that comes to you. In short, you are pusillanimous.
This too shall pass: Of course, like everything, everything shall pass. Then why screw my brains with such cliche? Because you think your cliche too shall pass? Yes Sir! your cliche has indeed been passed, from left ear through right into the air where other things uttered by you have been passed to save the humanity. And also this mostly reminds me of my bowel moments, which too shall pass, for me to live peacefully.
I have got a bone to pick up with many of such cliches, but it’s for your own good that I let it move on and take those other cliches in subsequent posts in future.