Flour Tattoos and Hyperbole is the Biggest Danger in the World (That's Hyperbole right there)

September 01, 2020 00:17:43
Flour Tattoos and Hyperbole is the Biggest Danger in the World (That's Hyperbole right there)
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Flour Tattoos and Hyperbole is the Biggest Danger in the World (That's Hyperbole right there)
/

Hosted By

Carrie Jones Shaun Farrar

Show Notes

So, this woman, Aileen Weintraub on the Huffington Post, has an article that’s headline is, “I’m a Grown Woman and I Still Sleep with a Stuffed Animal.”

“George is my deep, dark secret, and I’m sharing our story now in the time of COVID-19 because many of us are quietly struggling.”

Aileen Weintraub

And the article is sweet and lovely, and poor Aileen had COVID-19 and was terribly sick and was even more stressed because George, her stuffed dog has been with her for thirty years and she didn’t know if her stuffed animal would be able to go with her if she had to come to the hospital.

And she was ashamed because stuffed animals are allegedly “transitional objects.”

She wrote,

“I love my family, but this little hound doesn’t take up much room and he doesn’t shift the sheets. I don’t have to explain myself to him. He doesn’t ask questions and he’s always there, a personal touchstone I can depend on. George doesn’t judge. He never complains and I never have to cook for him. He never rummages through the fridge and tells me there is no food in the house. He doesn’t leave towels on the floor. He doesn’t bark while I’m on a conference call. George gets me.

“When I was quarantined for 16 days as the coronavirus ravaged my body, no one in my family could touch me. I communicated with them via text or through a closed door. But George was there. He is so quiet that it would be easy to forget him. I never do.

“George is my deep dark secret, and I’m sharing our story now in the time of COVID-19 because no matter how strong, confident or successful a person may appear, the truth is that many of us are quietly struggling. When everything seems hopeless, when it looks like we will never get out of the hellfire that is 2020, perhaps it’s OK to admit to finding softness and comfort from something as simple and familiar as an old threadbare stuffy.”

Aileen Weintraub

God bless this lady because if George, the stuffed animal in her bed, is her deep dark secret? What a nice life she’s had.

What Is Hyperbole?

Hyperbole is basically defined as an exaggeration that people use to emphasize an effect. It’s extravagant. It’s bullshit. It comes from the Greek word for “excess.”

I’m not sure if this ‘deep dark secret’ is hyperbole, but it sure feels like one.

And the problem with hyperbole? Is that it’s not truth. It’s inauthentic. It’s the tool of politicians and apparently op-ed writers and we’re all freaking too used to it. We don’t examine the extravagant claims of influencers, writers. Headlines and tweets and speeches and email subject lines are full of them.

 In writing fiction especially, hyperbole can be a brilliant tool. Listen to this Monty Python bit about being completely not rich.

You were lucky. We lived for three months in a brown paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six o’clock in the morning, clean the bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down mill for 14 hours a day and when we got home, our Dad would thrash us to sleep with his belt!​

Monty Python people

The Problem

Writers, you can use hyperbole but don’t use it in your nonfiction. Even Aristotle was anti-hyperbole saying it was amateur and childlike and that it was the tool of bad, angry politicians.

Why is it bad?

It’s bad because it’s used to manipulate us and our emotions. It makes normal things suddenly feel over the top, excessive, the deepest and darkest of secrets or the most terrifying moments of existence. It’s when someone yells at you for your opinion or your actions and you call it an ‘attack’ in which you are in fear of your life. It’s when you're pushing for your agenda and twisting truth so that you can be the savior or the victim and it is dangerous AF.

And it’s normal now. We’re used to seeing the exaggeration of truths becoming lies. No, that article is not going to make you instantly a best selling book writer or super fit in three fast weeks. No, that politician isn’t going to save your country. No, that person with an opinion different than yours does not deserve to die.

Hyperbole pulls us away from the truth. In the excess and exaggeration often comes an otherness, an us versus them mentality that prevents us from finding truths, middle roads, and we become so engrossed in it that we see a story about a woman’s deepest, darkest secret being about sleeping with her stuffed animal and we believe it.

We’ve got to return to truth, to discourse, to authenticity.

And we have to do it before it’s too late before that extremism is the norm, exaggeration is the defacto position for all of us, before we forget what truth even is.

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

Write truth. Write things that resonate. Hyperbole is a great tool, but it shouldn't be your go-t0 response.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Don't hyperbolize the simple stuff.

SHOUT OUT

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.

BRAVE THING I’M DOING

Pretty soon, I’m going to have a Teachable class all about the scene. It’s going to be pretty cheap and hopefully you’ll sign up and like it.


COME WRITE WITH ME! 

I coach, have a group class that involves coaching and edit, and I straight-up edit things. Find out more here. 

CHECK OUT MY PATREON!

Creating stories and reading them via podcasts and sharing them, my writing wisdom, and my art is a dream. I love doing it. With your help, I can bring stories into the world more often AND pay my health insurance, which is a big deal to me because I have epilepsy. 

You can find out more here or here.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is My-Post-3-copy-1.jpg

WHERE TO FIND OUR PODCAST, DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

The podcast link if you don’t see it above. Plus, it’s everywhere like Apple Music, iTunesStitcherSpotify, and more. Just google, “DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE” then like and subscribe.

Join the 252,000 people who have downloaded episodes and marveled at our raw weirdness. You can subscribe pretty much anywhere.


Last week’s episode about poop, dentists, surgery, flavored alcohol and Jung. 

Last week’s episode! Five Writing Quotes to Make You Feel Better About Things!

A bonus podcast with Jessica Burkhart! 

A link to our podcast about fatal errors, scenes, and ghost reaper sauce

Other Episodes

Episode

February 10, 2018 NaN
Episode Cover

Bonus Podcast - Embrace Your Weird

Carrie is sadly solo in this podcast where she discusses how one of the weirdest book ideas ever came from Maine’s Common Ground Fair and a man who had a tail. He also smelled like dead mice, but who is judging? The book series made the New York Times bestseller’s list and was a best seller abroad, so weird ideas? Those are good ideas. Share this if you want!Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) ...

Listen

Episode

June 22, 2021 00:20:45
Episode Cover

Getting High With Dolphins and Making Meaning

How do you make meaning in your life? That’s a big questions we’ve been struggling with here. Success is defined for us: It’s having a kid who graduates high school. It’s having your own home, your own car. It’s looking like a Kardasian. It’s being strong like the Rock. But when you were a little kid was that what you thought? Let’s say you’re two. Success is going on the potty, honestly, and not the floor. Success is not wearing a diaper. Success and happiness came from immediate things. It was a piggyback ride on your sister’s shoulders. It was twirling around in circles until you fell down dizzy. It was an ice cream cone that made it into your mouth and not the sidewalk. It wasn’t a million-dollar book contract or celebrity endorsements. Or a McMansion. It wasn’t 8,000 likes on your TikTok video. It was what made you happy inside. You. Not anyone else. And somehow along the way, a lot of us have forgotten what makes us happy. Us. Not society. Not Twitter. Not TikTok. Or YouTube or politicians or gurus who charge $390 for a class. Us. When we’re little, we often don’t get to see people from all different demographics exploring, explaining, existing. We live in pretty big bubbles sometimes. But witnessing diversity in thought and life and experience especially from a young age allow us to grow and not fall into the traps of strict notions of “what it means to be successful.” We could give a crap about what John Patrick Dorsey or Mark Zuckerberg or our senators or presidents define as ‘successful.’ And when we chase other people’s definitions? That’s when we ...

Listen

Episode

February 02, 2021 00:23:03
Episode Cover

Florida Man and the semicolon is too sexy for its own good

Okay, recently I’ve been working on a lot of people’s stories that are fantastic except for one thing—one easily fixable thing—they have semicolons everywhere. The semicolon is that little bit of punctuation that looks like there’s a comma on the bottom and a period topping it. And judging from people’s use of it? It’s an addictive, sexy beast. Most people think they understand the semicolon. It’s a period topping a comma, right? You use it to do something or um … yeah …? Here’s the thing, a semicolon is a divider. It’s like a comma and a period that way, but it’s not. It creates a different length of the pause for the reader between the words that it divides. Yes! There are different levels of pause. Here check it out. We’ll do it with three sentences. The first is a comma, but it will be a minimal pause. Shaun wanted to talk about naughty things, but Carrie was not going to let him do that today. Here is that same sentiment but with a medium-weight pause. Shaun wanted to talk about naughty things; Carrie was not going to let him do that today. Here is the same sentiment with the pause heavyweight fighter, the period. Shaun wanted to talk about naughty things. Carrie was not going to let him do that today. Your punctuation choice controls the pacing of your paragraph and sentence and if you put 18 of them in one paragraph? You’re going to slow down the pace of your story and also make readers get crinkly noses and hate you. So how do you use semicolons? There are three major ways to use this sexy beast. One. To connect a certain kind of thing. Semicolons connect two independent ...

Listen