Friday, April 6, 2012

"Commented" vs. "Said"

Dramatic people say "she commented" instead of "she said". This is because they take everything someone other than them says as hostile and "commented" is their way of expressing and amplifying the (usually) nonexistent hostility.


I would say: "She told me that he was short."

Dramatics would say: "She made the comment that he was short."

If you don't see the difference, you're probably dramatic.

To further illustrate the point...

I would say: "He said it was kind of lame."

They would say: "He commented that it was kind of lame."

Why "commented"?

It's to agitate you. "Said" and "told" are very blah words. We use them all the time and we see them in books like there's no tomorrow. (Especially books at a third grade reading level where those are the only two ways to convey that the characters said something.) But "commented" is different. Comment is less natural than saying. Comment implies effort and even thought. So, when the result is something hurtful a la ("He commented that she was fat.") It implies that "he" -- whoever he was -- put a lot of thought into that insult. More thought than if he just randomly "said" it. And the dramatic purposely inflates that notion by relaying the message in the way they do.

The difference between saying "said" and saying "commented"

When you say "he said", you're just telling someone what somebody said. It's the intentions that are behind why you're telling people that all that determine whether or not it's gossipy or something else stupid. But when you said "he commented", "commented" becomes the codeword to let people know that you ARE gossiping, you think this is some juicy shit, and you want everyone to know about it.

To bring the message home, I give you two pics of Marie Antoinette: 

This is "she commented". Notice the dress, how it's not so much a dress as a thing of architecture. Seriously. The designer had an egineering degree. And that's not draping on the dress -- it's drapery. "She commented" is elaborate, thought out, calculated and, most importantly: ridiculous and unnecessary.

This dress is "she said". Simple, effective, and to the point. You don't have to have a map to navigate the truth. There's no buttresses holding the damn thing up. It just is what it is. And that's all anything ever should be.

(And, for the record, in dear Maria Antonia's case, "she said' got her in enough trouble as it was -- and she didn't even say it!)

P.S. These paintings are both by the same artist, my favorite of the period (and Marie Antoinette's too!), Élisabeth Vigée-le Brun. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Reasons Why Humans are Superscary

1. According exhaustive studies done by UC Berkeley and Yale universities, humans are fucking nasty. Each time a human walks into a room, it releases like 55 bajillion bacteria into the atmosphere. The gaggle of bacteria then waits, patiently, to infect a new host. And thus, the circle of life continues all thanks to your unwitting contribution.

2a. This was popular:

2b. This is popular:

3. 6000 American teenagers lose their virginity every day. Most of them don't know how to use condoms. Half of those get pregnant and then a quarter of those have twins. I JUST SOLVED THE POPULATION MYSTERY. (All by using hastily rounded-off facts/numbers and inventing some when need be. You're welcome.)

 4. According to Katie Melua, there are 9 million bicycles in Beijing. And Beijing is actually having a bicycle shortage. Another population tidbit, but usefully useless all the same. And it comes with a song:

5. According to the National Weather Service, most humans believe themselves to be impervious to tornadoes. This has necessitated the need for new, more alarming tornado warnings with phrases like "not survivable" coming to a tornado outbreak near you.

(And I am not making a joke out of tornadoes or their victims. I do find the whole thing of not seeking shelter alarming, however. But if a false sense of invincibility DOES turn out to be nature's form of population control...see 3 and 4.)

6. This exists:

Yes, your eyes are working properly, and yes, that is bondage champagne

I have nothing against alcohol. As long as you're not driving, I don't give a shit. 

But the thing is, one human, the one they call Jean Paul Gaultier, not only fetishised it, but successfully marketed it to the fashion sheeple of the world. One might say, "Oh, you can market anything to anyone who'll wear paper bag pants with a scarf as a necklace", and while that's generally true, the fact he pulled it off just goes to show you how scary humans with power and money can be. 

7. This was another human with power and money:

Anything that has happened before can happen again. I'm just saying. He's like the prime example of why humans are scary: they elect fascists. Don't make the same mistake, humans.

8. Squirrels know more than most humans:

Foamy's right. Lying down in traffic isn't a valid form of entertainment. And if you've done it, then you're an idiot. Like, an actual idiot. Congratulations. What's superscary is the amount of humans who enjoy this pursuit. It's -- like -- the new croquet or something -- I dunno. (My frame of reference for leisure activities is  admittedly anachronistic.)

9. Bullies sucked when we were kids. But, now that they are backed by the supercrazy power of social media, they're pretty much a nightmare. Humans have actually tried to stop their innocent offspring from seeing the Bully Movie. So, kids are committing suicide and a lot of people are ignorant, and here's a project that's actually trying to make a difference and the door is being slammed in its face. Humans are superscary because they want to make the small weak and make the weak frightened. Nothing is scarier than that bullshit.

And FYI, Foamy perfectly illustrates how to deal with bullies:

"Never throw the first punch, always have a witness, and AIM FOR THE BALLS! Seriously -- AIM FOR THE BALLS!"

Self-defense, damn it.

 10. A lot of humans actually think the world is ending this December just because the ancient Mayans didn't bother to calculate their calendar past the year 2012. What's superscary is the obsession with it. When they start doing things about said obsession -- then it's a supercrisis.