Going Future

The truth is that our language has been taken over by the worst empty phrases and words to ever come from hacks in a corporate PR shop. "Now more than ever" is particularly bad and representative. It doesn't mean anything other than 'this is important' but it is consumed by a shallow attempt to create the appearance of newness where none exists. "This blog, now more than ever, is composed of words."

Since 9/11, we've had to endure the phrase 'times like these'. This is especially prevalent, now more than ever, in ads targeting the elderly. "In times like these, it's hard to get a good night's sleep..." This makes it sound like 9/11 events were a daily occurence. Is the world ending? Is it 1935, or 1106, or 1863? In times like these, life is actually pretty good by any objective measure. Unless you're a senior citizen that is under the impression that whenever you were young things were better, in which case, you are kinda delusional, now more than ever, and in this country.

The worst hack phrase, in times like these and now more than ever, is the phrase 'going forward.' Used to be that when people meant some time later, they would say 'later' or 'in the future' or better yet, the decree-like "from now on". Now we here crap like "Going forward, the government is going to improve it's ability to pretend to do something about the prescription drug program." If they wanted to say that they would continue doing something despite opposition or setbacks, they would say 'I will not stop' or say they were 'resolute' or 'undeterred'. Now it's "we continue to go forward." Can you imagine the civil rights movement succeeding with a wimpy-ass theme song titled 'We Shall Keep Going Forward'?

The only use of this phrase is to describe physical movement, as in "he put the car in reverse, but it continued going forward." Programs, movements and plans, none of them can go forward. They can advance, happen, continue, overcome obstacles, and persist.

I think the rise of the going forward stupidity is because of fear of the future. We used to embrace the future in this country but now we fear it, perhaps now more than ever. Maybe it's because we live in times like these and people think that the future can only be worse. These people need to wake up and smell the color cell phone and the longer life spans. We shouldn't shape our language around these cowering fools.

Or maybe an aging society is more nostalgic than forward-looking. So the hacks figured that we should just avoid talking about the future. It's not PC, meaning polite. The Trackball will have to post about this irritating trend some time in the future. You're either forward looking or backward looking and the entire society really depends upon us keeping ours forward.

Or maybe the future is so bright, we have to wear shades. My meaning is that the future promises so much more change and uncertainty and possibility that the hacks have figured people have to be focused on little steps or you'll scare them into catatonia. And steps are like movement, hence the use of going forward. I say stick the future in their face, because I want to live there and it's a nicer place than this.

Don't put the future into the hands of the hacks and the fearful. Going into the future is the only way to go.

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