Ernest Also Said

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Thursday’s Theme Music

Reading the news yesterday and today, I was shaking my head, partially laughing while crying. You know, it was the same old story.

That led to me streaming Aerosmith.

It’s the same old story
Same old song and dance, my friend
It’s the same old story
Same old story
Same old song and dance

It was an easy song to identify with when I was a teenager and the song was released. When you asked questions, you often heard, “That’s just how it is. That’s how it goes.” It was always the same old song and dance, no matter what you were asked.

It’s a song and dance I’m getting tired of now with politics. It’s always one thing or another. Back in the military world, you tired of hearing you must do more with less — same old song and dance. Hurry up and wait — same old song and dance. In the corporate world, it became doing more with less, and then cut expenses and increase profits, or we can’t give you a bonus or pay raise, little boy, while they spread some B.S. about us being a family, or a team, and how much they care. Same old song and dance.

“Same Old Song and Dance”. Only the voices change.

 

A Bullshit Free Day

I’d like to declare a national day free of bullshit. We can call it National No Bullshit Day. NNBD. Although bullshit is spelled as one word, some call it as BS, or more colloquially, B.S.. So we could do NNBSD. Naturally, I like my idea better. We can have shirts and tee shirts, and raise money, or some other bullshit.

You know BS when you hear it and you call it by your expression. Mularky. Bull. Bullshit. B.S. Garbage. Crap.

We were used to it in the military. Bullshit inundated us, which, if you think about it, which I try not to do, is actually a lot of B.S. We had our bullshit meters. Hearing something that we knew as bullshit, we’d say, in a sort of laconic way, “That just pegged my bullshit meter.” That statement meant that the needle went all the way to the right. Another expression used was, “That buried the needle on my bullshit meter.” Buried the needle was an old expression referencing tachometers and opening throttles to the point where the needles entered the red zone or went as far as it could. Of course, the ultimate bullshit expression was, “My bullshit meter just broke.”

Most bullshit meters used to go to ten. Mine, of course, went to eleven. It was the Spinal Tap Special. (rim shot)

I suppose, in this precise digital age, that bullshit meters are way more accurate. They’re probably on a scale of one to a thousand, enabling the ability to assign a more accurate bullshit value to a given statement, action or news. There are probably apps that can be downloaded and installed on your smart phones, iPhones, iPads and tablets. Being sixty, I don’t need a bullshit meter, and will tell you, with a sniff, “I don’t need a meter to tell me when something’s bullshit. I’ve experienced enough bullshit to know bullshit when bullshit is around.”

But many naive and gullibles do not recognize bullshit. They believe you can get something for nothing. I, of course, believe that’s bullshit. Of course, the problem with bullshit is, once it’s in your system, you can’t get it out, debilitating your immunity to bullshit. You soon can’t even detect it.

Still, there times when my bullshit meter gets broke. For example, when a car manufacturer, like Ford, declares they’ve completely re-invented a car, I think, that’s bullshit.

When they announced literally no longer means literally, I shook my head and said, “What bullshit.”

When I see the price of my quad shot mocha is five dollars, I think, that’s outrageous bullshit, even though it’s not, really. Bullshit often depends upon your frame of reference. I have some years behind me so my frame of reference has gotten pretty damn big. First, I would tell you, “Nobody sold mochas when I was a kid. We didn’t have a Starbucks or coffee house on every corner. Coffee houses were part of the beat generation. Only artists and poets went there, not people.”

And then I will tell you, “I remember when a cup of coffee cost less than a dollar.” Someone with a bigger frame of reference will naturally top that and declare, “I remember when it cost ten cents a cup,” and another will say, “I remember when it was free.” I’m not sure if coffee was ever free, so that moves my old bullshit meter needle a little bit, but that’s okay, because they’re old, and it’s honest bullshit.

The Internet doesn’t help. I mean, come on, there is so much bullshit on it that it seems possible that the bullshit will take it down. Which would be a pretty good news lead: “In today’s top story, bullshit broke the worldwide web. More coming up, after this word from your sponsors.” Which is bullshit in its own right, to need to wait to hear about this important news until you’ve heard someone try to sell you something.

I may be showing my age there.

You’d think some tech company could design an application that not only detects bullshit but blocks it, just as intrusion detection and prevention software works. Then, as you’re downloading a page, a little popup arrives on your screen and says, “Warning. Bullshit was detected and blocked.”

We could even assign the bullshit levels of threat: faint, mild, average, serious, dangerous, and OMGWTF infuriating.

I dream of a time when television commercials could contain the disclaimer, “This commercial contains no bullshit,” and you can sit back and listen and know, you’re not hearing any bullshit. Because if they were spreading bullshit when they made the commercial, some great Bullshit God would zap them with a laser and declare in a thunderous voice, “No bullshit allowed. Not on my watch.”

But, yes, that’s a fantasy. For now, I’ll dream of a bullshit free day, or even just, like an hour when I don’t read something and say to the cats, “Can you believe this bullshit?”

I don’t think it’s going to be until after November 8th.

 

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