In the pet peeve department, this rates pretty high with me.

Don’t use that expression on this blog.  Just don’t.

“I was so lucky to be gifted. . .”

You see this all the time. I don’t know why it has become such a popular usage, but just stop it.  Gift is not a fucking verb. (Before you correct me, I know that it actually can be used that way and it is technically correct.)  The word you’re looking for is give or given.

I gave some thought to this. Why do I hate it so much? Why is it that when somebody begins with “I was gifted XYZ,” I never get past gifted and quit reading what they’ve written, and furthermore, I have a visceral, instinctive lower opinion of that person?  My image of them is of superficiality and a kind of obsession with material things.

Language evolves. I know that.  But what I am describing is how I respond when I see the word used that way. I can’t help it. It probably isn’t rational, but it’s what my knee-jerk response is.

With that usage, the word seems to focus on the gift, the material object, not the giver. Nobody ever says, “I was gifted. . .” and follows that with “some time with my friend” or  “a renewed interest in life.”  It’s always used in reference to some piece of Chinese-made crap.

You can be given talent (meaning you’re born with it). You can be given freedom (meaning that your ancestors somehow obtained it for you).  And using the active voice, you can give an explanation, or you can give someone sympathy or understanding.

You can also give a material thing, some Chinese-made crap.  But consider these two sentences.

I was given a new car.

I was gifted a new car.

The first sentence, at least to me, seems to put the emphasis on the generosity of the giver.  I was given. I was the recipient of some other person’s kindness and love.

The other one seems to focus on the car and somehow conveys the idea that I was special and probably deserved it.  It’s pretentious as hell.

When I was thinking about this, I looked on the Google to see if I was the only weird person on earth to hate this expression, and thankfully I am not.

While the dictionary makes it clear that gift can be used a verb, so it’s not grammatically incorrect, lots of other people think doing so in the way I have illustrated above simply sucks massive amounts of dirt.

Why do I give a damn?

I do not know.




Threat From Joe

This is a threat, you know. Joe is sending a message. He is saying that he is going to kill somebody (or more likely, he is going to incite somebody else to kill) and “somebody” means either Al or Lisa or me or all three of us.

The premise of the movie Eye For An Eye is that Sally Field’s character experiences having her daughter raped and murdered and the murdered got away with it. Ultimately, Field stalks him and lures him to her home where she kills him in supposed self defense.

Joe is threatening to kill us. We notice, Joe.


Cleaning Up

When I was a girl, the highways and back roads everywhere people went were scattered with litter. Unless you grew up during that period, you can’t imagine it, because it pretty much no longer exists. People threw trash out of their car windows without a single thought. It never occurred to anyone that that might be a bad idea.

So there was a government-sponsored campaign to encourage folks to quit doing that. Obviously, it didn’t solve the real problem (which is the sheer mountain of disposable crap that we use), but it certainly cleaned up the highways.

It was kids who learned not to be a “litterbug,” and we kids would chide our parents for doing that. Tossing a soda can out of a car window today is seen as something crass and low.

But for a Monday morning, we get irony. Sheer irony.

Here’s the ink to the piece about Thunder. Stop a moment and go watch the video.

Let me point out a couple of things.

First, that group of high school students isn’t large.  Pretty much all of them are in that photo above.

Second, the trash in that photo isn’t representative of the condition of the entire area. There is a guy with a leaf blower who is blowing all the trash into a pile.

Third, this was Thunder. Does Nicole understand how many people are out there for Thunder?  Just in case she doesn’t, it was about 800,000.

Eight hundred thousand people left behind some trash.  Shame on those who did, but that’s what happens when there is a large crowd.  Often, as was mentioned in the video, the trash cans become full to overflowing.

Hell, Nicole is the chief spokesperson for anarchy and libertarianism run amok.  So let’s see what one of those folks has to say about littering. He doesn’t think it’s “pitiful,” does he?

But here’s the irony.

I have dozens of photographs like this. I could put them up all day long. Nicole doesn’t even see the trash anymore.  It’s always there. Dirt. Trash. Filthy kids. Filthy everything.  It’s visible from the road, just in passing. The property literally looks like a poorly-maintained refugee camp.

Waterfront Park, where Thunder Over Louisville is held, covers 85 acres.  There were 800,000 people crammed into that space, 9412 people per acre.

The Naugler shitstead covers 28 acres. There are 12 people living there. Each person has over two acres of land all to himself.

But the most interesting thing about her statement, to me, is the expression you people.

You people. You 800,ooo people.

You people. You other people. You people who are not my people, my tribe. Other.

Everyone, to Nicole, absolutely everyone is other, unless you happen to be either Joe or one of their offspring. Everyone else is other.  No wonder she and Joe can speak so cavalierly about killing somebody just because they don’t like what we say.  We are all other. Not just her so-called trolls. Everyone. All 800,000 people at that park.  Her clients. People she passes on the street and in stores. The clerk at the bank. The mail carrier.

You people.