Monday, June 25, 2007

What is Meatballism?

Meatballism is a term coined by Jean Shepherd (of radio, PBS, and A Christmas Story fame). It can be defined as the loss of individuality by uncritical acceptance of statements, designations, and claims of fact.

As an example, Shepherd used the noxious substitution by businesses of the the word "employee" with "associate" - which apparently plagued America as early as 1957. This habit continues, where Wal-Mart has "associates", Starbucks has "baristas", other businesses use "partners", "team members", "hosts", etc. Where in the heck does the word "barista" even come from? It's Italian, and supposedly it designates an expert at expresso making. This term is a sop to the English major whose pushing the buttons on the coffee machine at Starbucks (no offense intended, it's honest work) as if the guy has been endowed by the Starbucks elders with The Secret Coffee Wisdom. And it's supposed to make the rest of us feel truly blessed and honored to pay $3.50 for some expresso, milk, and froth: my Barista made it just for me!

Meatballism is the tap root of political correctness, fear mongering (e.g. cancerous BBQ), and the hemlock of modern life - euphemizing evil.

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