El 26 de mayo de 2014. Revisiting this article with an e-mail I received from someone in Europe:
“Hello to you. My friend and I visited the States recently and one of our stops was San Francisco. The natural scenery is very beautiful there but, not to offend, we weren’t very impressed with San Francisco or the rest of the US on our trip. Most of the people we approached asking directions and information were very nice to us. My friend and I are gay and we went to the castro and were disappointed. It seemed so different from what we had seen in films and documentaries. We talked with some people in the castro but had trouble understanding them. A speech impediment? They talked so fast and slurred and kept saying the word “like” which for us made them very difficult to understand since our first language is not English. Have you thrown out all of your schools? But not to offend, there didn’t seem to be anything in the castro but bars and coffee stores. Is there anything else there? We did not see any culture. Not to offend, but we left unimpressed with San Francisco and the same for other cities we visited in the States. Forgive my English mistakes. Thank you.”
My response: Hola y gracias. No need to apologise for your English. There’s no problem with your English and in fact it’s better than most of what passes for “US-English” here in The Cesspool/the US. You say you and your friend were not impressed with the States. No surprise there! Why do you think I and others call this place The Cesspool? We can’t stand the place either! As for that obnoxious and stupid-sounding speech habit of using the word “like” every-other-word, I’ve written about that below. It sounds uneducated, tongue-tied, stupid, illiterate and dumb, doesn’t it? But I think that’s the intent. As some people say, “stupid is in” in the US and with “US culture” and it’s only getting worse with every passing day. Even for those of us who are fluent in US-English,” these “like” people are difficult to understand. They sound like complete idiots. I hear them all the time too: like, like, like, like, like, like, like. jesus fucking christ, learn some other words, idiots! Do you not realise how goddamned stupid and uneducated you sound or is that the intent?! People who are not secure with themselves use “like” repeatedly to “fit in” with their (insecure) friends who also use “like.” It’s one of the dumbest fads around, other than walking across the street right into traffic staring at your fucking smartphone. More Idiots! And now I’m seeing some male cyclists absorbed in their smartphone with their head down while riding their bike. I guess they like to be “doored” or have a car pull out in front of them. Idiots! Today, San Francisco is a city of idiots! with only some exceptions to that. With all respect to you, you should not have expected the Castro to look as you’ve seen it in documentaries and films. It looks nothing like that today, as you now know. I read a description about the Castro online the other night and said to myself: well, most of that is not true today. That’s outdated. Today, the Castro is mainly a place for people to come and get drunk, throw up on the sidewalk and/or drink coffee, and in some bars scream and grunt at televisions showing corporate sports team. We are awash in coffee and the drug alcohol. Most of the restaurants in The Castro are mediocre and many Castro residents say that. The best sex store is Rock Hard (and I’m not being paid to say that) and I suspect they at Rock Hard are fed-up with having to sanitise their window displays because of the conservative prudes with body-image issues who have moved into the barrio and who can’t bear to see pictures of the human being. Other publications who receive corporate advertisement dollars from the Real Estate Industrial Complex and their Corrupt Liars (and other corporations) routinely serve as hacks and shills for The Castro and always describe The Castro as “rich and vibrant.” It’s become predictable; that’s the language they use. Just hyped bull shit. Question: Being among drunks and alcoholics is your idea of “rich and vibrant?” (Some people just hype and say anything to promote their agenda). It’s also a place where “straights” come to cheat on someone, thinking they won’t get caught over here. There’s not much to the Castro these days. Nothing like during the Gay Mecca days. The Castro has been very sanitised by The Oligarchy-Corporatocracy/Establishment including conservative Politician Cocks who is a self-appointed authority on all matters/subjects. There used to be signs of culture in the Castro. For example, I used to see muchachos walking down Castro and around the barrio with their “San Francisco Symphony Chorus” T-shirts on as some gay guys around the Castro were in the San Francisco Symphony Chorus (which is superb by the way). I never see those shirts today. The only clothing I see with writing on it is for major league corporate sports teams or the logos of major corporations (some of which use child labour, which is no longer a concern here in The New San Francisco. It was a major concern in the former Alternative San Francisco though.) As for culture in the Castro, the closest thing would be the GLBTQ Museum which will show you the Alternative San Francisco of the past, and the movie/film theatre near Castro/Market. I no longer support that theatre because they have been part of the concerted effort to sanitise the Castro (they supported the conservative “Home for Halloween” nonsense (ugh) and they opposed the few nudists we had). So I no longer go to that theatre. All they seem to be doing now are “Sing-Alongs” of musicals on the weekends. It appears they’re going to go through the entire catalogue of musicals to bring lots of children with their parents/guardian (who can relive their childhood) with them to make the Castro even more sanitised and “family-friendly” so that the Castro looks like every place else. Ugh. And the last I heard the theatre is losing the Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ. The guy who owns it—I thought it belonged to the theatre but apparently not—is leaving the Bay Area and is taking part of the organ with him. I won’t be surprised when the theatre is replaced with stacked glass-boxes called Luxury Designer Condos (Dahling) at some point in the future and the same for the lot where that hardware store is down the street, which I also no longer support for various reasons. At the rate things are going around here with the conservative corporatists, I expect to see major national corporate chain stores (including so-called “fast-food”) in the Castro in the future. Arrogant politician Cocks seems to live under the illusion that he’s el alcalde/the mayor or assistant mayor. And before he’s done ruining this city and before pursuing his other political aspirations at the state/federal levels, I fully expect politician Cocks—seen by his sheeple conservative redneck disciples as The Second Coming/The Holy Trinity—to see to it that any laws banning such corporate chain stores are removed in The Oligarchy’s ongoing attempt to make San Francisco and particularly The Castro look like every place else in The Cesspool. We’re well on the way already. Again, gracias for your e-mail. Chau.—rosa barrio
El 4 de octubre de 2013. Hola. I would call the obsession with the word “like” a new language but I don’t think it’s particularly new and I don’t think that the overuse/beating-to-death of one word can be considered a language.
Ever since I was in high school and up to today, I can’t think of any word that I was required to say (repeatedly) or felt I must say because of peer pressure in order to fit in with the sheeple the way the word “like” is today. And that is why people say “like.” To fit in with the herd/sheep. It’s a damn stupid thing to do in order to fit in. I suspect people saying “like” nearly every-other-word can be heard in most US major cities. One can certainly hear it in mainstream San Francisco. Like, like, like, like, like. Every other fucking word is “like.” I’ve noticed that some people say, “lick.” I heard someone the other day tell the person he was “liking” to: “If you go lick 3.00pm…” Translation: “If you go like or about 3.00pm.” But he was saying “lick” in a staccato/short detached manner but I think he thought he was saying, “like.” I mainly hear this brain-dead sounding “language,” so to speak among the drinking/bar crowds and those mindlessly addicted to their toys (gadgets/phones). The age of the person doesn’t seem to have much to do with this “like” addiction. I just have to ask: why would anyone with a brain deliberately change their way of speaking so that they have the word “like” placed nearly every-other-word throughout their speech? It sounds stupid. But perhaps that’s the intent, and The Cesspool (also known as The Empire, los Estados Unidos, the US) is certainly well on the way to holding the record for international stupidity. We’re not known for having the brightest people here in general. Why do you think tech companies bring in workers for their companies from outside of The Cesspool/US? Why do you think they outsource? Because they can’t find suitable candidates—anyone with an operative brain and who sounds literate—for their company inside the Estados Unidos. That’s why!
I was wondering: Is there any international language where one word of that language is obsessed over in this same context as the word “like” is obsessed over in US-English by a certain group of people (who seem proud in sounding stupid)?
I should also mention the “uptalking.” That often accompanies the obsession with “like.” What is uptalking? Uptalking is when all sentences sound like a question instead of sounding like a statement, so with uptalking the end of a statement is intoned “up.” It too really sounds stupid and makes the person speaking sound insecure.
Here’s an example of “uptalking”:
Armando (says to me): I paid a bill online today?
Me: I don’t know, did you? Did you pay a bill online today?
Armando: My name is Armando?
Me: You don’t know your name? Are you asking me your name?
Then I did hear this stupid conversation recently (I’ll put it in first person):
Me: It’s warm out today.
Person 2: Yeah, it’s warm out today, right?
Me: Well, yeah, I just said it was, didn’t you hear me? (Thinking to myself: Damn. Are you in there?)
So reviewing (for some of the US readers; the international readers have already gotten it): In order to fit in and be accepted because there are tons of insecure people out there, the sheeple have changed their speech and speech patterns so that they say the word “like” every other word or every two words. The word “like” is said in a staccato/sharp manner or a barked/clipped manner. Of course this new language is not new but it does seem to have gotten worse to the point where one can hardly go anywhere anymore that one doesn’t hear someone barking out “like.” The brain-dead-sounding conversations I hear sound similar to this:
“I was like talking with like Tom, and he’s like totally pissed like, that I’m like not like listening to his like music. I’m like, I like have my own like music, so we like had this like heart-to-heart like talk like, and he’s totally like whatever, and I’m like…”
Well I guess you get the drift and that’s a pretty accurate sample of what I and others hear every day. Do you hear it where you are too? You can’t miss it if you live here in The Cesspool. It sounds completely illiterate as if the people speaking can’t possibly form complete sentences and when they speak it sounds as though their tongue in wrapped in a knot.
Curiously, I don’t see this style of speech on message forums meaning that people don’t type the word “like” every other word in a comment on a message forum. I went on one of those so-called “social networks” and didn’t see it there either. So I suspect people don’t text “like” on their toy when they engaged in their texting addiction as that would take up a lot more time to insert “like” as often as they say it, (unless they have a button or macro type thing on their toy/gadget that enters “like” automatically).
I can’t imagine that this language would be used in a business setting (a corporate law firm, for example) so do people who say the word “like” thousands a times a day turn it off at work? And are people able to turn it off? If so, does that result in a person going through symptoms of withdrawals from not saying “like”? If they’re able to turn it off, why don’t they leave it turned off permanently unless one enjoys sounding completely illiterate and like, like, like one of the dumbest people on the planet. I’m like curious like if like can like be like turned like off like. I’m like chau like.—rosa barrio