“Making the Connection”

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Why do we have to feel so connected with everything?

Have we really become so touchy-feely?

If there was a category of words and/or phrases from the English language that makes me want to throw myself in front of oncoming traffic, I’m pretty sure that “making a strong connection” would be up there with “great for entertaining”, which is a phrase that has come to be considered a classy way to define your backyard.

Everyone is making a connection these days. From people trying to find love with complete strangers on television, to people acquiring long distance phone service, to non-profit groups that want to spread the word on their cause. It is no longer enough to know someone or something, you have to have a connection with it to truly understand its onion like layers.

And that is fine if you are trying to inform people with the growing rate of child autism, but certainly isn’t necessary with let’s say, purchasing Girl Scout cookies.

No one needs to be making any sort of connection with young girls. That’s just creepy, and downright illegal in most states.

I would like to “Make a Connection” and understand why amusement parks gets tax breaks in this town and not other businesses. Are the keys to a tax break a carousel and a tilt-a-whirl, because if that’s the case, I’m getting one installed in my front yard. That way, kids can come over and spend their Spino bucks, which is a higher denominated point system rather than actual money to ease the sting of paying $3 for nine rotations on a wooden horse that was crafted over 40 years ago.

To say that when words or phrases become overused they become clichéd and lose a bit of their meaning is a huge understatement in my book. The English language that we cling to so strongly in our “why do we have to press 1 for English” mentalities is so often disregarded in the ridiculous things that come out of our mouths and the downright horrific evils that we do to the language with our horrible grammar.

Sometimes things are said for so long, that no one has any idea what the hell they are supposed to mean in the first place. For instance, when was the last time you were ever literally “in the spotlight, or taking center stage?” I’m pretty sure that thespians and musicians are the only people that do that anymore, and with the rapid rate that those two crafts are being removed from school curriculums, it’s pretty apparent that Americans think that being in the spotlight and/or taking center stage is circus freak-ish.

Therefore, the clichéd term must never be allowed to describe a featured “double wide of the month” in the real estate section of the newspaper.

It doesn’t just stop there either.

For instance, the “campaign trail” that these candidates have been embarking on throughout the past several years almost sounds like there are covered wagons that the candidates are riding in, perhaps being led by their Armani-suited PR spinsters playing the part of Sacagawea.

Journo-jargon is another one of my favorites. I had this professor in college that was so fed up with the proper-speak of “journos” in their written prose and their onscreen copypoints that she spent many a lectures venting about it.

I literally have notebooks full of her wordsmithing-type pet peeves.

There are certain phrases that are written into news stories that no one really ever uses, and it goes far beyond the old reliable phrase of “allegedly.”

Like cop talk for instance.

With the exception of people that sit around in their house listening to the police scanner hoping that they will hear when the big attack is coming on their city block for them to be justified in breaking out their arsenal of Smith and Wessons; no one really uses police jargon in real conversation.

Yet, watch the news and you will hear on any given evening phrases like “fled on foot”, “gunned down”, “pursued the vehicle for six city blocks”, and “following up on unanswered questions.”

Surely, you can see the madness that this would cause some folks who have some sort of regard for the English language. Journalists like to sound intelligent almost as much as they like to look intelligent on camera, so it is not surprising why they would choose “police speak” instead of the simple terms like “ran away”, “shot”, “chased the car”, and “asked questions” (because all questions are unanswered until the are in fact answered ones.)

What is maddening to me concerning this whole “making a connection” business is that we are a country that prides itself on looking out for number one and fluffing our own best interests in pretty brutal way. Behind closed doors, we only care about our neighbors after we are sure that we are okay.

Yet, it is funny to me how we want so badly to feel like the person that we are choosing for President or even whom we are voting for on a reality television show for that matter is “one of us.”

The small town Pennsyltucky natives that got so “agro” over Barrack Obama’s comments about bitterness, religion and guns, seem more interested in whether or not they would feel like they could invite him over to play horseshoes rather than if he would be a good at helping unemployed folks find jobs or getting their kids some affordable healthcare.

I think it all comes back to the “making the connection malarkey.”

Subconsciously, we connect with people only if we relate to them. With this thought process, however, we will always be a divided people. Politicians aren’t your pal, and you will never have them over for a heated game of bocce ball with you and your six uncles named Tony.

This is why trying to “make a connection” with someone that you would vote for that you only see on television and hear snippets of their speeches is just as absurd as some lonely bastard that is trying to fall in love with a complete stranger on television in the presence of a camera crew over a two and half week period.

It just isn’t realistic, and proves that no matter how touchy-feely we have become as Americans, many of us are still grossly out of touch.

Email me at domspino@yahoo.com.

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