Life or Death: Cliches That Need to Die. Horribly. With Great Vengeance and Furious Anger.

Cliches have been around since Og said ‘hot enough for ya’ to Thag one blistering summer day, way back in the Plio-Pleisticine.

This is an actual recorded conversation. It was on one of those caves in France. (source unconfirmed)

We all use cliches. Saying that we all use cliches is a cliche. Disliking cliches as a writer is a cliche. Write the word cliche without the proper accent above the ‘e’ and it ends up looking like a savoury dessert pie. Slice of cliche with your brandy, sir?

All that being said (cliche warning) I would like to reveal a few of my most loathed cliches, in that most cliched of internet presentations, the list.

1.) It is what it is.
Except when it isn’t. Then it isn’t what it isn’t. This is used when someone is asked a question and they don’t really have an honest answer, or they’ve at least been instructed to not answer in an honest way.
“Why do think you guys lost today?”
HONEST ANSWER: We sucked, we couldn’t pass to save our lives, I tripped on my own shoelaces, and the coach had diarrhea between the second and third periods.
CLICHE ANSWER: It is what it is.
You see? It is what it is.

2.) LOL

Used since the early days of the internet, this indicates that you have enjoyed something so much it has caused you to lol, or Laugh Out Loud. Except most of the time when you’re reading things on the internet or your phone, you’re by yourself. And sitting there actually laughing out loud by yourself at a picture of a cat with a bad attitude is a sure sign of one hundred percent, tactile insanity. Besides, that cat picture really wasn’t that funny, was it? Cute, yes. Amusing even. But so funny that you’re laughing out loud, enough to actually declare that you are indeed Laughing Out Loud? I think not.

3.) Man up, sack up, and any and all forms of taking your current perceived masculinity and somehow dialing it up for the situation at hand.

Because masculinity and bravery are measurable assets that we all possess and can just crank up whenever we feel like it. I don’t know how to change my own brakes. My scrotal sac, and the testicles therein, have nothing to do with my lack of auto-vehicular knowledge. Most studies indicate that cognitive function and knowledge retention have very little to do with the reproductive system. My sports team, my preference in movies and music, and whether or not I feel like hopping onto the back of an all-terrain vehicle and ploughing up the near-vertical face of a gravel pit also have little to no relation to my abilities as a male member of the species.

4.)Keep Calm and ______ On.

‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ was a motivational device never actually used by the British Government. The original intention was to keep everyone’s spirits up while the Luftwaffe flew overhead and bombed the living snot out of the Thames and its surrounding area. Essentially a much more boring way of saying ‘steady on, then’ and ‘stiff upper lip,’ the saying has lived on in a variety of INCREDIBLY annoying t-shirts, posters, and bumper stickers that simply refuse to die.
I honestly wonder how many people with the ‘Keep Calm and ____ On’ plastered to the bumpers of their F-350s (cue the arguments of how one truck is better than the other. Want to know the answer? IT DOESN’T MATTER. YOU HAVE THE TIME, ENERGY, AND FUNDS NECESSARY TO BE ABLE TO SIT AROUND AND DEBATE THE ISSUE. YOU HAVE A PRETTY GOOD LIFE) know where the saying originated.

Ah well. It is what it is. Do you have any cliches that need to die a thousand painful deaths?

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Life or Death: When Is It Time To Do the Dishes?

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The dishwasher is one of the best/most-first-world inventions to ever be birthed from the mind of same lazy entrepreneur. It takes up an inordinate amount of room in the kitchen, sucks water down like it’s hydrating for a double marathon, and has one impossibly annoying habit that makes owners the world round long to bathe themselves in gamma rays to Hulk out and rip the accursed things from their hallowed spots in the halls of food preparation.

They break down.

A lot.

This leaves the operators of the demonic device in the same turbid waters as the rest of their less blessed Earthlings, to face night after night of sinks full of dishes just waiting to be returned to foodsafe standards.

Or at least close enough.

There is a tiny secret we dishdoers share. We all have a number, a level to which we are willing to sink where the dishes can be put off for another day. It is not something we are proud of, nor is it something we freely admit. For some, it would take a team of enraged rhinos dragging them across a field of broken glass and sulphuric acid before they divulged their shame.

We all have this level. Even the most attentive and meticulous of household kitchen operators will overlook a soiled plate or half-rinsed mug from time to time.

What is your secret number? When do you take a look at the sink and say ‘eff it, I’ll do them tomorrow?’

Finding Relevance With Irrelevance

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Much like everyone, the passing of Robin Williams has left me with a sense of loss, even though I never met the man, and likely would never have met the man.

That does not lessen the loss in any way.

Mental illness and depression are stigmatized, maligned, and misunderstood diseases that more people deal with every year. Will Robin Williams’s untimely death finally be the key that unlocks the door to real conversation and open discussion between the sufferers and the ones that have always wondered why or how those suffering can’t just ‘suck it up?’

Reams have already been written about Williams’s devotion to comedy, and it goes without saying that he had a wholly unique gift to make others laugh. He played harder than anyone, finding that magical spark in a room that got everyone giggling. He always looked like he was having the time of his life up on stage, wriggling around with a delighted grin and a spark in his eye that got everyone going.

I grew up longing to be one of the greats of comedy. I watched Jim Carrey, Eddie Murphy, Jerry Seinfeld, but the one that never ceased to amaze me was Robin Williams. His shows always seemed like they were strung together on the loosest of skeletons; a rip through the inner demonic Narnia that was Williams’s mind, and I wondered if I had any chance of ever finding that freedom, that verbal will to make my words do exactly what I wanted them to do.

The price Williams paid, the eternal battle with those same demons that allowed him to explode with ferocious energy with every performance, is beyond my capabilities. I can only thank the universe that it afforded this twisted spark of a man 63 years on this Earth to help us all forget our own internal wars, if even for just a little while.

Thank you, Mr. Williams. Yours was a special light, and may it burn beyond for all eternity.

Life or Death: Let Us Eat Cake

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We’ve all been there.

Maybe not all of us. I don’t know the birthday rituals of almost every culture outside of my fairly limited scope. Most of the birthday parties I’ve experienced have involved arriving, running, playing, consumption of foodstuffs and saccharine indulgence, and leaving in a pool of one’s own vomit and effluents. Some parties involved getting covered in the effluents of others, but those are best left for another day.

One of the pinnacles of the Standard North American Birthday Celebration is the birthday cake. A confection of both delectability and sensory pleasantries, the cake is lit ablaze and exhaled on by a potentially plague-ridden tot. A massive blade is swept in, and the cake is hacked to pieces and served to the slavering masses on brightly-coloured platters.

All of this is a wonderful, delicious, and most triumphant end to the festivities. That being said, I was always left wanting after the final bite.

This is a truly horrifying plight I found myself in on more than one occasion. Suffice it to say that I did not address this crushing oppression until much later in life.

Birthday cake only ever comes in two flavours: chocolate or vanilla.

It is the height of rarity to see a cake of another ilk. Is it dessert-based racism, or have our palates been so dulled that we no longer have the ability to recognize another hue of gateau?

How did lemon fall by the wayside? Where was Che when strawberry fell under the thumb of the mighty cakemakers and their cocoa-fed tyranny? Why did vanilla turn a blind eye to the demise of blueberry, saskatoon berry, and coffee?

These questions and others may never have answers. History may look back on these dark times and wonder how we ever survived. Until then, we must ask ourselves one question: can we tolerate other flavours of birthday cake, or can there be only two? What would the Cakelander do?

Life or Death: What if the Jedi ‘religion’ becomes the next big one?

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Here at Intelligent Irrelevance, we don’t aim to offend.

I guarantee someone will be offended by today’s query.

Jediism is a real thing. See here: http://www.templeofthejediorder.org/

For people that have somehow missed the Star Wars ubiquity of the past thirty-five years, the Jedi are an order that has sworn to uphold the laws and peace of the Old Republic. They fail miserably, but redeem themselves, to a point, by the end of the whole mess.

The Jedi follow a rather strict code, and fans of the films (or maybe they’re not fans, they just like the whole Jedi thing) have taken that code and turned it into a nontheistic religion of sorts.

Now, here’s where things could get me in trouble.

What if Christianity was started much the same way? What if the George Lucas of a few thousand years ago was sitting around the stewpot and started cracking off stories about a dude that could heal with his bare hands and make miracles happen without even really trying? And then what if all of that guy’s friends thought his story was pretty cool? And then what if all his friends’ friends started LINING UP AROUND THE BLOCK FOR DAYS WAITING TO HEAR THIS DUDE TELL MORE STORIES?

BOOM.

It could work for nearly every religion. Someone started telling some stories, based in truth or not, and other people started liking those stories.

People like Star Wars. Not everybody. But there is a fairly large chunk of the population that enjoys these films, and a good-sized morsel of those people that follow this new movement of Jediism.

Who’s to say that in one thousand years we won’t be celebrating Life Day and reciting the 21 maxims of the Jedi Council? What say you? Is Jediism the next big thing in organized religion?

Life or Death: Do You Actually Eat the Red Ones Last?

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If you were aware of anything in the 1980s, or know anyone that was, then you know about Smarties’ advertising campaign that begged the question ‘do you eat the red ones last?’

I am still psychologically scarred from that ad campaign. I cannot open a box of Smarties without thinking twice about whether or not I should save the red ones until the end.

Do the red ones taste better? Not remotely. Smarties, unlike their fruity and delicious confectionary cousin Skittles, do not differentiate flavour between the colours of the rainbow. Green tastes like red tastes like yellow tastes like blue. Is it a multi-cultural statement on Nestle’s dream of a world that truly understands we are all the same inside?

Unfortunately, Nestle has made some iffy choices as of late, so I can no longer enjoy a box of Smarties without worrying whether or not the profits are going toward draining more water out of an already drought-stricken town’s limited supply.

However, until I am breathing my last breath, I shall always wonder whether if I should have saved the red ones until last. How about you? Do you eat the red ones last?

Life or Death: KD With or Without Ketchup?

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Welcome, all, to the deepest, most revered, and hallowed blog the world has ever seen.

Actually, if you’re looking for THAT blog, I suggest starting with a Google search of the above terms. I guarantee, without a shred of doubt, that this blog will not show up on your results.

This is not that kind of blog.

This is a place to discuss things, in depth and with great consideration, that do not matter to the world at large in any way. You want to feed the underprivileged? I suggest UNICEF or Amnesty International. Save the animals? PETA might be a good place to start. Discuss whether or not the way milk turns brown after eating Count Chocula is disgusting or a miracle of food engineering?

Welcome to Intelligent Irrelevance.

I will present an essay of sorts, written in a cocky and off-putting tone (if I am feeling cocky and off-putting that day. There will be plenty of days when I’m feeling humble and welcoming. The essay those days will be presented in an according fashion.) Then, the phone lines are open. Discuss, rant, bitch, rave, and wonder about how I have the time and mental energy to worry about matters of such dubious import. Suggest new topics for future discourse.

With all that now under our collective belts, let battle commence.

Today’s issue: ketchup on Kraft Dinner(or knockoff brand of your choice): repugnant bowl of sugary tomato death or subtle dish of citrus-hued elbows with a delicate undertone of near-cheddar and just a dash of Sicilian dreams?

Kraft Dinner is a phood (we can’t call it food, now, can we?) that many will swear they have never eaten, or only tried once.

They are all lying. No one only eats Kraft Dinner once. The cheese is cheddar-based methamphetamines, and once you’ve had one bowl you will wander the Earth a desperate wraith, selling your soul for even a sniff of that genetically modified perfection.

The only way one can improve upon the wonder that is KD (as the kids, or everyone since it first came out call it) is to add a healthy squeeze of ketchup. Squeeze it in, swirl it around, and watch the neon orange turn the delicious wild of a sunset. Then enjoy.

I pose this question to you. Do you put ketchup on your Kraft Dinner?