In any artistic medium, patterns begin to emerge stylistically that become a trademark of that particular artist. Oftentimes these signatures become synonymous with the artist’s name so much so that it becomes expected of them to do certain things. You wouldn’t go to a Larry the Cable Guy show because you didn’t want to hear him say “Git-R-Done,” or watch a Keanu Reeves film without expecting him to do that really confused look that he does, and say “Whoa,” right? Exactly. But one has to be very careful to not overexert their particular branding on all of their art, lest it become the dreaded cliché.
Now certainly these two fine examples of entertainers, who are exceptional and highly regarded in their fields, have not worn out their welcomes by any means. However, one sometimes has to take a step back and look at what he’s doing and decide, “Am I Git’n-r-Done? Or am I not whoaing to my full potential?” I’ve been writing this column for a few months now, and naturally I have noticed my pieces tend to adhere to a certain template. I’m not talking about the fact that I don’t decide on a topic until late night Thursday, or that I never finish writing until my lunch break on Friday, but I’m talking about design. I don’t want tempt the fate of repeating my trusted pattern and risking that it become cliché, so I’m gonna switch it up, and try something different.
Usually I spend the first paragraph cracking a couple dry sarcastic remarks, often pointed at celebrities or popular culture, with the final sentence ultimately saying what the actual article will be about. In the second stanza, I will backtrack a little, often repeat myself in a different way, and then begin to explain how the subject relates to myself (comedians can’t go four sentences without talking about themselves). By the third . . . you know what? It’s happening again. Even my explanation of how my writing is structured is coming out how I always structure it. I am not going to be afraid of the cliché, in fact I will now change my routine, and dissect five of the most well-known cliché sayings, and just to switch up my style, I will do them in a top five list method. That’s not cliché yet, right?
- “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” Tell that to any of my college professors. Not a single one of them was willing to accept a beautiful portrait of a sunset in lieu of a term paper. So “a picture has little to no value when compared to words” seems much more appropriate.
- “Curiosity killed the cat.” That’s right, old Mr. Whiskers got run over by a 1993 Buick Curiosity. And old Snickers, boy he was so curious what it would be like to live to be 22, that it killed him. Cats die for the same reason that everything else does, because.
- “Laughter is the best medicine.” Granted, laughter certainly can uplift your spirits and make you feel a lot better, but I doubt that anytime in the near future you will hear the phrase, “I’m sorry Mrs. Johnson, you have cancer, but here’s two tickets to Gallagher, now get out there and live!”
- “You are what you eat.” Whenever someone says you are what you eat, I can only assume that they just ate a really annoying piece of shit.
- “Time is money.” Now this one is just plain foolish. One thing can’t be another thing, that’s just how stuff works. I’d like to see you try to purchase some gold bars with a handful of your time. Time is free dummy. It has no value.
Phew. I feel like I really dodged a bullet there, and my fears of doing something trivial were really unfounded. This was a friendly reminder to create something new and interesting every chance you get, or you’ll just end up spouting nonsensical catch phrases for the rest of your life. Now I can just lay around until next Thursday night. I’d say I’m Whoaing to my full potential.