Thoughts on Recent News Stories

I’m sick of writing about myself and I want to write something, so I am writing my reactions to some recent news stories.

Time to cover the news. Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

1) Luxury Fashion Brands Are Already Making Millions in the Metaverse

Morgan Stanley released a research report showing that the NFT market for luxury brands may reach over $50 billion by 2030, with Metaverse increasing demand.

“Owning a piece of immaculately detailed embroidery or stark, angular sunglasses by iconic Italian fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana is an unquestionable statement of taste, luxury, and style.

Morgan Stanley thinks putting them on an avatar of yourself will someday be, too. In fact, as a wave of companies rush to adjust their marketing (often incoherently) to get in on the “meta” craze, analysts at the US bank said Tuesday that demand for fashion and luxury brands in the so-called metaverse could reach $50 billion by 2030.”

https://www.fool.com/investing/2021/11/16/morgan-stanley-thinks-luxury-brands-could-rule-the/

I’m not a luxury brand shopper, but I can understand the mentality of wanting luxury branded physical goods. I’m struggling to understand the mindset of the consumer who wants to buy luxury branded virtual goods in the Metaverse. Call me an old fuddy-duddy, but I thought the appeal of having a designer handbag was having a physical designer handbag.

I didn’t think I’d see the day when “I want an actual designer handbag, not a designer NFT” would be dating myself, but here we are. Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

2) GOP Donor Claims Pope Francis Is Jewish Agent Installed to Distribute Vaccine

The saddest thing about this ridiculous headline is that it doesn’t even shock me. There is so much crazy in the world, so much antisemitism, and so much crazy that people legitimately believe that I’ve lost the capacity to be shocked.

Actually, I take that back a bit. I am surprised by the part where the originator of the email had the self-awareness to recognize that this would sound crazy (bolding is mine):

I write this email knowing that many of you will think I’m crazy after reading it,” Bateman began. “I believe there is a sadistic effort underway to euthanize the American people. It’s obvious now. It’s undeniable, yet no one is doing anything. Everyone is discounting their own judgment and dismissing their intuition. I believe the Jews are behind this.”

https://www.newsweek.com/gop-donor-claims-pope-francis-jewish-agent-installed-distribute-vaccine-1665640

3) Internet Slams Stepdad’s ‘Horrible’ Comments to Wife’s Kids at Their Father’s Funeral

I agree with the internet on this one. If you read the Am I The Asshole Reddit, the Stepdad is clearly the asshole in this story. Who tells children who just lost their father to “stop crying”?! I think the LW should divorce this guy too, to be honest.

I am somewhat surprised that Newsweek considers this a sufficiently news-worthy story to put in their Culture section. In fact, whatever is trending in r/AmItheAsshole appears to be a regular feature. Here’s how Newsweek describes itself:

Newsweek is a premier news magazine and website that has been bringing high-quality journalism to readers around the globe for over 80 years.

https://www.newsweek.com/about-newsweek

4) “No worries,” “circle back” and “you’re on mute” among list of phrases that should be banished, university says

CBS is covering Lake Superior State University’s annual Banished Word List, an annual tradition since 1976, which makes this headline less stupid than it initially sounds. Here are my reactions to some of the selections:

“New normal” is ranked No. 8, and nominators criticized its overuse and questioned the logic behind the phrase.

“After a couple of years, is any of this really ‘new’?” one wrote.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/banished-words-list-2022-no-worries-circle-back-wait-what/?fbclid=IwAR3fc3vNegHEgSQyQIdriYVOqM9Ch57MKJehPdbEoYm1eiFyBaxYV8SeP7s

I 100000% agree.

The phrase “wait, what?” topped Lake Superior State University in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula lighthearted list of 10 winners chosen from among more than 1,250 submissions. “Wait, what?” irritated nominators who felt the phrase intended to show astonishment or disbelief is overused.

“I hate it,” one wrote. Another added: “I don’t want to wait.”

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/banished-words-list-2022-no-worries-circle-back-wait-what/?fbclid=IwAR3fc3vNegHEgSQyQIdriYVOqM9Ch57MKJehPdbEoYm1eiFyBaxYV8SeP7s

Huh? I mean, “Wait, what?” is stupid, but someone is taking this way too literally.

“You’re on mute,” and “supply chain,” rounded out the list — a nod to our continued reliance on virtual meetings and widely reported shortages of consumer products ranging from computer chips to furniture.

“Supply chain issues have become the scapegoat of everything that doesn’t happen or arrive on time and of every shortage,” one nominator said.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/banished-words-list-2022-no-worries-circle-back-wait-what/?fbclid=IwAR3fc3vNegHEgSQyQIdriYVOqM9Ch57MKJehPdbEoYm1eiFyBaxYV8SeP7s

I don’t know what to say here. “You’re on mute” is overused, but it’s also practical. What else are you supposed to say to someone trying to speak in a virtual meeting while they forgot to take themselves off-mute? Invent some other dumb euphemism?

And we have supply chain issues. Raw materials, packaging components, labor, trucks, ports, etc. Do people think “supply chain issues” is a euphemism for something else? Would they rather companies outright lie and either blame something else or promise the order is coming soon when it really isn’t? I truly don’t understand people.

Separately, I feel validated in that my least favorite pandemic phrases – “social distancing” and “we are in this together” – made last year’s list.

5) What is ‘flurona?’ Coronavirus and influenza co-infections reported as omicron surges.

I know it’s only January 2022, but I’m nominating “flurona” for Lake Superior State University’s 2023 List of Banished Words. And “twindemic“. Just because you can take two words and make a dumb portmanteau doesn’t mean that you should.

New year, new coronavirus term?

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/what-is-flurona-coronavirus-and-influenza-co-infections-reported-as-omicron-surges/ar-AASsMzp?ocid=msedgntp

I think that is one thing we can all agree that we do not need in 2022. If we cannot eradicate the coronavirus, let us resolve to eradicate this idiotic vocabulary.

If this shit starts making it into the dictionary, I’m done. Image by Наталия Когут from Pixabay

37 comments

  1. I’m only vaguely aware of the metaverse, but this makes me think that, like the early internet and the dotcom bubble, it probably will be important in the long-term, but in the short-term everyone’s going to go crazy and wildly overestimate/misunderstand how it will change things initially, probably involving a massive stock market bubble.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wait? What? I’m on mute? We might as well all be mute these days. Fortunately, I don’t have to zoom often. While there is a lot of word usages that bug, I just don’t let it bug me. There are more important things to be bothered about. We need to figure out how to be considered luxury goods in the metaverse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are not missing anything. I had a Zoom interview in 2019 before it was cool, and it still wasn’t that cool. NewJob loves Zoom meetings and having everyone on camera all the time. That’s not why I don’t like NewJob, but it doesn’t make me feel positive either.
      Great point. How better to capitalize on the $50 billion market opportunity than to get yourself classified as a luxury good in the metaverse? #solidbusinessplan

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That was fun!

    One thing about being a writer is that I keep trying not to reuse the same expressions straight through the same novel. Like, the phrases I tend to use get noticed by readers if you overuse them! It’s also a problem if you have two characters who speak with the same turns of phrase, because usually everyone has a different vernacular. You’ve just hit the tip of the iceberg here! 😀

    Yeah, I don’t like new normal! It rubs me the wrong way for some reason. Hmm… it just sounds like something you’d say to force someone to deal with hardships, like, “Too bad your house burned down. I guess you’ll have to get used to your new normal.” [Facepalm.] It’s like… AAUGH! I want my old normal, thank you very much!

    Like

    • You have a point. Is it that all these phrases on the Banished Word List are inherently awful, or that they’ve just been overused to the point of awful?

      That’s got to be interesting when writing fiction and dialogue between different characters. Do you give them similar vocabulary because they talk to each other, or different to make the characters feel different?

      Yeah, there’s a lot that I hated about “new normal”. The fact that anything that’s lasted almost two years is not new. The fact that it sought to normalize things that ought not be normalized.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ugh, I’m awful at writing dialogue! (At least, i think I am.) The problem is that I’ve been partially deaf my whole life and rarely wear my hearing aids when out and about, so I’ve never overheard how people talk to themselves (unless they’re talking to me and I’m focusing on hearing them)!

        But yeah, I was watching an old television program, and one character entered the room and said, “I’ve got it all figured out! We’ll…” and then a few minutes later a different character entered and said, “I’ve got it all figured out!” And I was like, whoa! Writers! Where are you?

        Another fun dialogue fact is info-dropping. Unrealistic dialogue: “Son, I know you’ve been depressed ever since your twin brother, Gary, was abducted by aliens at summer camp last month under mysterious circumstances while you were making out with his girlfriend behind the rec hall, but life goes on, ya know?” In writing, it’s not necessary to info-dump in dialogue because all that info can be in non-dialogue passages. But if you ever want to see an info dump in action, just watch the beginning of a Hallmark movie. “Dad, I know you’ve been eager to retire ever since Mom died from cancer three months ago, but this is the wrong time to sell your tech business. Golden Industries is at the top of the ap game, so don’t sell!”

        Oh wow, I love your objections to the new normal! 😀 I agree!! Very good points! 😀

        Liked by 2 people

        • Lol, love the info-dropping examples. I’m going to look out for this now!
          That does sound challenging trying to write dialogue with partial hearing. I think fiction in general is hard. Coming up with a plot and characters and a setting, and then figuring out dialogue on top of that! That’s why I write poetry. I feel like poetry is so much easier because you don’t need any of that. But, I am trying to branch out and I’m actually trying my hand at a fiction workshop. I’ll keep you posted!

          Liked by 2 people

          • Oooh, have you considered entering NYC Midnight? Registration is now open for their main event: short story. It’s great for beginners, because round 1 gives you eight whole days to write your assigned story. (They tell you what to include in the story, and then you’re off and running.) If you do it, you and I can beta read for each other, and it will be fun!! https://www.nycmidnight.com/ssc No pressure!! YAY!

            Liked by 2 people

          • I appreciate the encouragement but I am so not ready for a fiction contest. I need to learn the basics of writing a plot first! And characters other than myself. And setting, and dialogue, etc. All the stuff I don’t know how to do because I mainly write self-centered poetry. But appreciate the vote of encouragement!

            Liked by 2 people

  4. Fun post! For two years now, companies have blamed any instance of crappy service and missed deliveries on Covid or the “supply chain” and I’m sick of hearing about it! Get the job done without excuses, grrrr

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting. I work for a company that makes consumer products. We did run into a number of actual supply chain challenges. If your raw material supplier is out of the material you need, it’s not necessarily easy or feasible to switch to another. We had facilities in China and Thailand that shut down during outbreaks (and again, switching locations isn’t necessarily feasible). There were audits that were delayed due to COVID facility closures. Our warehouse has a staffing shortage. There are ports that are shut down and massive delays with unloading at the ports that are open. These all speak to underlying systemic issues with supply chain and capitalism, for sure. But the creation and movement of goods is a lot more complex than meets the eye.

      There’s plenty of poor service that shouldn’t be blamed on supply chain. Like my sibling is dealing with horrible customer service from AT&T; that has nothing to do with supply chain. And Amazon, FedEx, etc. should pay drivers more money to recruit more drivers. But there were actual supply chain issues that caused a lot of ripple effects.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Masterfully said!

    I’m with you, amongst other things, on the “you’re on mute”. It would be great not to have to say that 8 times a meeting, just like would be great not to have to know what a “chin diaper” is, but, sadly (more for the latter than for the former) we live in a world where both are necessary/exist. But, on the more cheerful (?) note, at least the mute/meeting business has been going on… for years, well before zoom became a “thing”. A cute parody on it from several years pre-pandemic (remember those days? 🙂 )

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Now I know why I turn of the talking heads and quit reading the internet feed! So much meaningless commercialism and hyped up drama, repeated over and over and over! No wonder people do crazy things!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I don’t think all of the banished words are horrible. There are worse. “No worries” irritates me when used in a context that implies the receiver of the favor could have annoyed you but you in your magnanimity forgave them, but it’s not something you’d have a right to get annoyed about anyway.

    NFTs: many smart people have tried to explain what these are to me and have failed. I just don’t understand what they are, not even a glimmer of understanding. Maybe you can try.

    That pope thing is just ridiculous on so many levels. First of all, I hate antisemitism. Second, I don’t even like this pope but what they’re suggesting is absurd (that’s not to say I don’t buy into other conspiracy theories about him) and obscures the real issues with him using hateful nonsense.

    I am not interested in the metaverse, but as an Internet addict, I wonder if I’d become interested in it, so I’d best stay away.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I felt pretty neutral about most of the phrases on the banished word list for this year myself. I don’t have any strong feelings one way or the other about “that being said”, “deep dive”, or “at the end of the day”. Actually, that’s not quite true. “At the end of the day” makes me think of Les Mis and I feel like breaking out into depressing song (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQ2b4Jj5L5U)

      You’re going to have to find an actual smart person for NFTs. I cannot help with this in any way because I don’t understand this either.

      I don’t know much about the Pope. Or Catholicism. But I do know the Pope is not Jewish. That’s like Religion 101.

      Kidding aside, the tendency to report on the most sensational and ridiculous obscures real issues that normal non-crazy people actually think and care about.

      I find I am a late adopter to trends. Like at first, I thought skinny jeans were the dumbest trend ever and then I finally got into them and now I live in them, except during times of quarantine when it is pointless to put on jeans of any form. If I ever get on the crop tops bandwagon though, I will not forgive myself. I probably would get into the metaverse well after it stopped being cool and everyone else had already made their millions in the luxury NFTs market, and then I would get addicted to it too.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Well written post JYP. I was snickering as I was reading. As I read stuff online nowadays, it amazes me how the creators of these inane articles can call it ‘news’. So, here are my inane opinions:

    #1 ‘…Italian fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana’
    Since I never heard of them, my tastes are obviously too upscale to bother buying their product.
    🙂

    #2 ‘…Pope Francis Is Jewish Agent Installed to Distribute Vaccine’
    They say there was a Jewish pope way back in history. You never know.
    🙂

    #3 ‘…stop crying’
    Well, was it crying, or whining? There’s a difference.
    🙂

    #4 No worries, the English language has died long ago.
    🙂

    #5 If I don’t know what it is, I can’t get sick, right ?
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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