Hyperbole is literally the biggest problem in modern communication, and it’s destroying our culture.
Take, for example, book reviews on Amazon. Some of them are useful, accurate accounts of someone’s experience with a text. But many of them are wildly divergent from reality along the lines of “This book actually really changed my life” or “I hated it so much I sent it back for a full refund and then I murdered the author’s children.”
Unless you’re 6 and experiencing things for the first time in your life, everything isn’t “so amazing” or “the worst thing ever.” Once people turn 18, we should start charging them for every unnecessary adverb they use. Seriously, if your life were describable in such extremes, you wouldn’t be reading this because you’d either be too busy starring in sports drink commercials, dead, in prison, or ascended to a higher plane of existence.
I was reminded of this while cleaning up the shop a while ago when I ran across a crack baggie that had blown in from the street. This isn’t an unusual situation; because of the way we are situated to Metropolitan Parkway, all kinds of random crap blows into our space. If some dude eats a Big Mac a mile away and, in local custom, throws the wrapper on the ground, it will end up in our space.
What was notable about this piece of migrating ephemera was that it was plastered with the word BEST. Like the guy selling it had the best crack you could buy and the packaging to prove it. I’m a skeptic by nature, but I doubt he had the best crack available in Atlanta or even the West End.
Nevertheless, it’s an interesting comment on the state of hype and commercialism in our society when even the local street slingers are using it to sell their goods, as if it’s necessary to persuasively market a product that scumbags will shoot you in the face to obtain.
Co-founder of Danger Press in 2004, J’s background is in corporate identity design, photography, calligraphy, illustration and marketing. He enjoys solving problems, negative space, brevity, black cats, and the color gray.