Saturday, 10 August 2013

Blasé - The M'eh First Generation

Indifferent, Unimpressed, Bored, Information overload, Cloyed

BLASÉ

Adjective. Early 19th century.
[French.]

Cloyed with or tired of pleasure;
bored or unimpressed by things from having seen or experienced them too often.

While at a circus recently, I became a little bit fidgety during an acrobatic act. Halfway through, I caught myself thinking: "Yeah this is OK, but I've seen a lot better on YouTube." Granted, this wasn't the Cirque du Soleil, but I felt a pang of shock at my thinking. When did I become so blasé? There I was, watching something that I not only couldn't do, but something I could never hope to do, and all I could think was: "M'eh. I've seen better online." This worries me. What else have I become so blasé toward? It was the first time that I really thought about this age of information and social media and its effects on me. Perhaps I am being desensitised, but not just to the typical targets such as violence or profanity. Far more troubling, perhaps I'm being desensitised to the human experience itself.

11 comments:

  1. I often say meh when I consider my own work. "Meh, I've read better theses. Meh, I've seen better drawings. Meh, there are nicer people"

    Truth is, you can be blasé about everything. There's always something better, faster, more beautiful... Doesn't mean you have to comment on it (either internally or to everyone who doesn't want to hear your whining).

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    1. The thing with being blasé is not that something is inherently unimpressive, but that you're unimpressed because of overfamiliarity. So while it's true that there will always be better things, if you've become so used to something that you can't see the value, pleasure or good in it, that's when you've become blasé.

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  2. I utterly agree with bibi. I have been trying very hard to appreciate something in everything recently.

    For example, that word 'cloyed'. I looked up the word and the definition of the verb 'to cloy' is given as:

    1. surfeit, cloy supply or feed to surfeit

    2. cloy, pall cause surfeit through excess though initially pleasing

    ...which subsequently forced me look up 'surfeit', then one thing led to another and, to cut a long story short, I now own most of what's left of Microsoft.

    The moral is never say M'eh.

    -clueless


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    1. You see, C, this is why I've been going on about the need for a good dictionary (actually it's the first time I've mentioned it). The OED's definition is:

      CLOY. Verb. Satiate, weary, or nauseate by richness, sweetness, sameness, or excess, of food, pleasure, attention, etc.

      I have marked it to cover in Lexicolatry when I do the letter 'C', so be patient!

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    2. I'm quite surprised Clueless decided to agree with me - despite me not really interpreting the word properly, as it seems. Thanks man/girl/literate internet cat!

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  3. I'm blase when it comes to restaurants here in the US. They try so hard to make their dishes sound amazing but when the actual food arrives it's usually really bland. Is it the ingredients? Is it that they have a different sense of cooking from Greeks? And then I try not to be snobbish, especially when we have company, and I hear them ooohing and aaahing over tasteless food, but really... something needs to be done.

    Excuse the rant but I miss my pita with chicken souvlaki. :)

    p.s: you should draw more often.

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    1. Thank you Evi! I spent over an hour and a half trying to find a picture to illustrate 'blasé' before thinking: "What the hell am I doing? I'll just draw it!"

      I wonder, Evi, if you really are blasé about American food, or you're just unimpressed or bored with it because you don't like it as much as Greek food. I think very often one is blasé about things they have in their home culture, and it's only when they travel that they really start to appreciate what they have (or had) back home. I've heard that when you move to a new country, one of the biggest adjustments you have to make is to new food and ingredients, etc, and obviously the bigger the difference, the harder the change. There was never too big a change in moving between Britain and Ireland for me, although while in Ireland I do miss my pints of bitter!

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    2. I'm unimpressed, it's too early to be bored. New dishes, just not impressive and mostly raw...
      I remember enjoying more than one pints of Guinness while in Dublin. Which bitter are you referring to (cultutal gap)?

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    3. It's funny because the US has a reputation here as just having the most amazing food, in terms of quality, variety, price and service.

      There are many, many different bitters that I really like. In fact, many pubs have their own house ale, or guest beers, so each time you go out you can have a different one. I do like Guinness, but not all the time, and other than that they just have cheap and nasty (as I see them) lagers such as Stella Artois which (again to me) are just fizzy and tasteless in comparison to real ales.

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  4. I see this cultural phenomena in my classroom far too often. Sadly, it's not just that they are blasé about experiences and knowledge; they are also apathetic.
    Oh the tragedy of modern times!

    I must admit that at times I forget the value of experience and natural, unobtrusive beauty; however, on the whole, I am very grateful for my continued appreciation of the simple things in life. I can take joy in even sometimes repetitive experiences. For one thing, my nieces help me re-experience life, which is priceless. Second, I haven't experienced much in small town, prairie Canada haha. I think that helps.

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    1. The "simple things" - that's true. Maybe more than anything, it's easy to become blasé about those.

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