One of the effects of the ubiquity of always-on media and always-on communications and the always-on bullshit machine whose thumb we are living under, is that the number of phrases, statements and even words we hear seems to have been winnowed down to a dozen or so.
About 19 times a day I sit in a meeting and hear about some marvel of new technology. I hear about it all in a language I don't understand. I don't think anybody does. I ask for further explanations, and like linguistic head cheese being diced up by a hyper-active Hibachi chef, those same dozen words are served over and again.
Thomas Friedman, three-time Pulitzer winner over at my sister publication, "The New York Times," talked about our bland, meaningless ubiquity in his column yesterday, saying "I don’t recall a time when more people were running for president and fewer of them offered anything more than poll-tested generalities designed to rally their own bases. No one surprises you with any daring. If we could tax their clichés, we’d balance the budget."
I think that's the state of our world, and unfortunately, our industry.
Just now, for instance, I received this product of Big Data in my email box.
Tell me about the magic of technology again. This time with a real-world example.
Here's a statement I just read from the newly appointed creative head of a global agency network.
"____________has a global culture of collaboration and I've experienced this first-hand, working on many of our major, global clients over the past year or so," said Mr. _____. "I can't wait to dive into the most highly charged, competitive, creative market around. I am really looking forward to pushing and flexing our creative product, drawing upon our already broad scope and scale."
What in god's name does that statement do, except give you a chance to win at buzzword Bingo.
Couldn't he have said, "I'll work everywhere in our network to produce great work that moves people and helps brands succeed. New York is the center of the creative universe and I'll lead from here."
That's English, or something like that.
But apparently, it's a dying language.
Replaced by drivel.