Tuesday, May 19, 2009

hyberbole: the way we express ourselves now

Hyperbole has become a common form of expression.  How often do you capitalize, italicize, over-emphasize, state something is all one thing or another?  How often do you describe something as insane, wild or crazy?    How often is something absurd, atrocious, fantastic, awesome?  How many times is someone a disaster or a rock star?  It's actually rather fun.  It allows us to be deliberately silly, slightly off-kilter.  Many sub-cultures have hyperbole: african americans, gays, the chinese, paula dean.

But what fascinates me is how much hyperbole drives the way we communicate today.  Our media emphasizes that characters who speak in hyperbole are fun, cool, hilarious.  You want to watch Tracy Morgan as Will Fellows or the dude on 30-Rock.  Is it ridiculous that Will Fellows talks to chickens?  Sure.  Should Nancy Grace be allowed on TV?  Eh.  Probably not.

Here's what I think, though.  Hyperbole is very closely tied to reality-based entertainment and user-generated content.  See, the deal is, you can't completely deny reality anymore.  You can't deny it.  And by simply being a part of it you too can be a writer, journalist, musician, film maker and actor.  I mean - when was the last time you even thought - that show is a reality show (as opposed to a real show) or that picture is "user-generated" (as opposed to just a picture).  

So work with me here.  If everything is reality based, and there's user-gen content, then that means anyone can be an entertainer, and therefore we all play into the dominant them of entertaining via heightening reality in some way.   I once read  a quote written by two guys who build video games and they said something to the effect of: we take down all the boring stuff, heighten all the crazy stuff, and create a world a little faster, brighter and more intense.  and i think it holds. 

Think about it and you'll agree.  

1 comment:

Lilac - Like The Flower said...

Agreed. Completely. Excessively.