…and statistics. And statistics about community.
The Revulsion of Community
"Moontribe-Party - Gathering of the Tribes - 2001 *" by Sterneck is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
I was reminded today, yet again, how much I hate community. Now, I know what you’re thinking. We don’t hate. When I was a little boy, and I would emphatically state that I hated something, my mom would purse her lips and lightly shake her head and say, with a drippy saccharin sweetness, “We don’t hate.” And my answer to that is well actually yes mother we actually do hate, and at this particular juncture I’ve actually elected to hate this. And she would shake her head again and stop me in my tracks, because she hated the word “juncture.”
I hate community. It’s something that I utterly despise, because it continues to rear its ugly head every single day of my life in one way or another. And nothing my mother can try to impart to me can assuage that hatred or nullify it down to a mildly enflamed dislike.
I would much rather be away from it, keep my distance, and not even utter the word. Because ultimately, I would much rather say “nougat”. Or “soufflé”. Or “persnickety”. The word “community”, every time it rears its head in a script I’m supposed to read, makes me want to tenderly sock the scriptwriter, whom God created, right in the face, in Jesus’ Name and with His Great Love.
Don’t get me wrong. I love being with people. I’m a people person, and I’m part butterfly. So when I go out, I fold my antennae back under the flaps of my hair, stow my chrysalis, and go out and mingle with the best of them. And I network and commiserate with friends and family like a maniac. But saying the word community, if I have to do that one more time, in one more script, I’m going to squeeze something until it oozes. Hide your pet rabbits.
I love community. I just hate community.
Scripts, Trips & Falls
Some scripts are apparently written by third-graders. At least that’s the way it seems as you’re plowing through them, and there it is yet again: the word community. Or the word statistics. Or specific. Oooooooh that last one makes me want to harm small animals. God help the poor soul who manufactures the sentence “Specific community statistics”, because I’m going to find where he lives and remove the letters from his keyboard that spell such words so that he is only able to type " ".
But like the underdeveloped vocabularies of third-graders, the same word pops up over and over again, as if no one ever thought of giving it the ol’ Shift-F7 treatment. So there it is again, that darn word that I hate, and I am required to say it, lest I forfeit payment.
To complicate things, I’ve been in directed sessions where a word simply doesn’t want to exit my mouth properly. Some words have syllables that appear to have been invented by Mephistopheles. The client is patiently waiting as we enter Take #3,927, but whatever dark sorcery Beelzebub conjured up in order to make these words stay in my mouth, the curse is working, because they just don’t want to come out correctly.
I’ve even tried saying the word over and over and over again in order to diffuse it of its power over me. But that didn’t work, so now I chant naked with sticks in an ancient purging ritual whilst burning 1,000 copies of the troublesome word written on index cards that I hurl into a blazing inferno. I think my neighbors are starting to worry, because they stopped greeting me as Joshua at the communal mailbox, and now simply exclaim, “Hi Naked Index Card Stick Man!” All of the cul-de-sac has followed suit. I don’t appreciate this specific community statistic.
Glottal stops, tongue twisters, flubs, lapsus linguae: they’re all out there, lurking surreptitiously in scripts meant to trip us up and test our mettle. They’re like my wife’s new kitten, Winston. Sure, he’s cute. And he seems innocent enough. But if you peel back his fur you'll see the Cyberdyne Model 101 logo. And you realize that he’s really an android from the future meant to trip me up, sabotage me and terminate any future I have in voiceovers. (Side note: We still like to snuggle: me and my Terminator Kitty.)
It’s my firm belief that all scripts should go through a screening committee to ensure that each and every word therein is comprised of only a single syllable. This will allow us to deliver the script much more seamlessly, and also enable it to be done sooner so that we can return to lounging around and drinking beer, which is another enjoyable monosyllabic word. By the way, why is monosyllabic five syllables??? More dark sorcery. *sigh*
Whether it’s “digital”, “rural”, “regularly”, “specific”, “statistic”, or stupid “community” that I hate despite mom’s best pursed lips, I find that the best way to pronounce things correctly is by getting fully tanked on 100 proof bourbon.
Hear me out here.
By the time you’ve ingested enough, everything is hard to say. And if everything is hard to say, then nothing is hard to say anymore. And when that happens, perhaps I won’t get so upset trying to pronounce community, which will lead to more happiness, which will lead to less naked stick chanting, which will lead to less name-calling at the mailbox.
Scriptwriters need to be vetted. Or flogged. Or vetted through floggings.
Some writers just don’t know how to write scripts that aren’t saturated with trip words. Sure, the word may sound good in their head, but they’re not the brave souls entrusted with the narration, and its those heroic warriors that they need to think of, not your stupid script, which I hate. Quiet down, mom.
Maybe you’ve read my previous blog about poor script writing. It bears repeating here: Rather than narrate such content again, I think I’ll just request to be crucified.
There is always a point to my tirades. I believe that before any aspiring writer becomes an established script writer, there must be official laws enacted that require them to be flogged. This way, it will help them remember the pain. It will give them phrases to think about which are easy to say, like “enormous unflagging trauma” which does not contain any of the words community, specific, or statistics. Better yet, I would prefer that all scripts be instead littered with the words nougat, medula, and oooomph. They are easy words to say, and should deliver quite nicely through all of that bourbon.
If you’re a voice talent, I think you feel me on this one.
Step right up, aspiring script writers, step right up! Floggings here, get your floggings here! Come one, come all, be part of the newest and hippest specific community statistic!
NOTE: This blog is purely for commentary / educational / entertainment purposes. I make no money from these blogs; though I do not refuse large cash gifts if it means I can pretend I'm a church.
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