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Archive for January, 2014

Literally

There are a lot of small things that piss me off, but nothing pisses me off more than misuse of the word “literally”. Beside genocide. And racism. And some other things. It’s all on the list.

“Literally”: in the literal, strict, non-figurative sense, i.e. without exaggeration.

The whole point of the word “literally” is to show that something did NOT happen figuratively.

So when you write this: “I literally died”. It means you are dead and somehow your ghost is posting a status update to Facebook. “I died” = legitimate figure of speech. “I literally died” = a fucking paradox.

ghost2

Similarly, when you write “I literally peed myself,” you’re not communicating laughter. You’re reporting urination. It’s a declaration of incontinence. Instead of telling everyone, why don’t you change your pants? What are your priorities?!

pee2

You

And when you tell someone they should “literally” go and fuck themselves, what you’re actually telling them is to go and masturbate. “Hey . . . you . . . stupid person . . . go and stimulate your genital region!” Yeah. Take that. Is that meant to be a punishment? I was probably going to do that anyway. To make this insult functional you have to add something like “while thinking about Rob Ford.” Otherwise it’s really more of a super weird invitation:

unnamed (1) unnamed (2) unnamed (3) unnamed (4) unnamed (5)

“I literally laughed my ass off.” Your bottom separated and fell onto the floor. “I will literally kill you.” You are plotting a murder. “It was literally the worst thing ever.” Forgetting your keys this morning was worse than the Holocaust. These expressions are already hyperbole – what is the point of adding “literally”?

The other day I read this: “the company literally works hand in hand with experts.” So the members of the company and the consultants sit around in a circle and hold hands in meetings. That doesn’t sound creepy at all.

"One of us . . ."

“One of us . . .”

“Literally” = actually happened. I.e. not a figure of speech.

“Figuratively” = what you actually mean when you say “literally”, i.e. the EXACT OPPOSITE THING!

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5 Things I Hate

The last year of earthly things is about doing what you love, but also about not doing what you hate. Here are five things I hate that can bugger off.

1. Crowded supermarkets

I hate shopping. Crowded supermarkets fill me with rage. On the outside, I’m just a regular shopper. Inside I want to do this:

Bart

RUN DOWN THE AISLE WITH WINDMILL ARMS JUST KNOCKING EVERYONE DOWN LIKE HUMAN BOWLING PINS. I don’t care if you’re holding a baby with Down’s syndrome and no arms or legs, I will knock you down. So my resolution is: that’s what I’m going to do.

Or I could just figure out when the supermarket is like, less busy.

An alternative to murder

An alternative to murder

2. Small talk

I don’t care about you. I care about me. I’m sure that deep down, that’s true for you too, and that’s OK. I want to talk about what I like talking about and exactly nothing else. “How about them Habs?” How about them go fuck yourself?

No more small talk.

unnamed

3. Not chocolate

God I love chocolate. I was allergic to chocolate from age like eight to twenty-eight. That’s twenty years. Lindt is crack to me. Ferrero Rocher is my heroine. Toblerone is my whiskey. Whiskey is also my whiskey. I have two whiskies. I’m a lucky man. I want to eat chocolate all the time and not . . . not chocolate . . . and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

homer

4. My cat

Just kidding. My cat is my favourite person in the world. He’s the Han Solo of cats, a loveable rogue who is aloof and independent, but you know he would swoop out of nowhere to shoot down a TIE fighter for you at the eleventh hour in a rusty bucket of bolts with his trusty ape-man sidekick . . . My metaphor is confusing. I like my cat.

han

This picture further confuses the issue. Because now in the metaphor I’m Princess Leia and my cat is talking to me

5. Not going for it

One thing I learned in my first last year of earthly things is that I was wrong about something. I thought: at the end, we only regret our unkindnesses. When I imagined it was the end . . . what I regretted was just any time I didn’t go for it. Not going for it is shitty.

This kid goes for it

This kid knows

Small talk . . . supermarket . . . Bad.

Chocolate . . . cat . . . going for it. Good.

Let’s go.

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scumbag-brain-meme-template-blank“GO BACK TO SLEEP.”

“We already went to sleep! Now we’re awake!”

“It’s three in the morning, brain.”

“OK, but we’ve been asleep for a while now. Clearly, it’s time to lie in the dark peering into the gloom and pondering our life.”

“Fuck. I’m just going to play Bioshock Infinite for an hour until I get sleepy.”

FOUR HOURS LATER

“I can’t believe that didn’t work.”

Welcome to 2014. I like the sound of that. It makes me sound like this year’s host. Come, please, sit down, mi año es tu año. I can’t sleep and I need to talk to you.

So. We’re not dead . . . again. The end of the world was nigh – but not that nigh. The original Last Year of Earthly Things was supposed to be 2012. But we survived. Then it was supposed to be 2013. And here we are again – and we have been given one more year. So sit down with me for a moment and chew on this.

matrixImagine that you had one year to live. Suppose that scientists have discovered that an asteroid is going to destroy all life on Earth. Or a supervolcano. Or a world-shattering earthquake. Then again, it might not be a natural disaster. It might be war, or disease, or a kaiju. It might be a driver in the middle of the night, headlights blinding as you step off the curb. But imagine that you somehow know this is going to happen.

What do you do with that year?

This question makes me think about everything I like doing. Writing, reading, laughing with friends, going to the gym, seeing my family and travelling. Last year, I rushed to the Amazon and Angel Falls, and finished my EP (which will be released soon). But then in the last few months I sort of lost my way . . . treading water as I tried to keep up with grad school. Now that we have one more year, we can’t take it for granted.

On December 21st, 2014, the world is going to end. This is IT. Every single day counts.

Welcome to the Last Year of Earthly Things.

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