Saturday, August 31, 2013

Modern Deadly Sins

Someone posted a photo of brightly colored wristbands on Facebook. At first glance, they looked like the charity bands you see: yellow Live Strong, pink Komen Breast Cancer, red AIDS awareness. On closer inspection, they had the names of the seven deadly sins etched into them. My friend was wearing Lust, Sloth and Gluttony. My first thought was: there should be one that reads “Facebooking,” which in turn led to this post.

Just as the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World were updated to the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, we should have Ten Modern Deadly Sins. There will be more than seven, because from a retiree’s perspective, many things should send people straight to hell today. I give them to you here, starting, of course, with Facebooking.

Facebooking per se is not a deadly sin, but Obsessive Facebooking is, and many Facebookers are obsessive about it. Deadly sins are often about excess, and FB can be addictive, which leads to damnable excess. Some of my FB friends post so many tidbits that it takes hours to scroll through my news feed. Since these morsels can often be interesting or funny or informative, I’m afraid to skip over them. Go ahead, charge me with FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out,) but please don’t do it on my Facebook news feed.

People who are obsessed with FB are sometimes also guilty of the deadly sin of Emoticonstipation. This occurs when you over-stuff electronic messages with emoticons (those yellow smiley faces and such). If you’re going to use emoticons, at least download a variety of styles. Like the cartoon cats. Cats are never sinful.

The modern version of the original deadly sin Gluttony is Gluteny, which emerged from the explosive growth of folks following gluten-free diets. Not everyone who avoids gluten is guilty of Gluteny. The ones bound for hell are those who insist on gluten-free food even when they’re not gluten-intolerant. They drive everyone around them crazy just because they have a FOMO on this food trend.

Closely related to Gluteny is Veganizing. There are many good reasons why people become vegans. Bill Clinton did it because even after his bypass operation, his arteries were building up cholesterol. Being a vegan is not a sin. But trying to convert carnivores to vegans (especially without passing through a vegetarian phase) is a deadly no-no. Let people decide on their own to cut out red meat, cheese and everything tasty known to modern man.

I’ll bet many of you will agree that Apostrophornication is one of the worst transgressions. People apostrophornicate when they misuse (or more likely, fail to use) apostrophes. The two most common examples are using “your” instead of “you’re” and “there” (or “their”) instead of “they’re”. This makes those who respect punctuation and grammar very angry. Since anger is an original deadly sin, that one gets charged to the 'phornicator, too.

Speaking of grammar, Substitupidity (the use of “I” instead of “me,” “she” instead of “her,” etc.) is also a cardinal offense. I’m especially irked when I hear a newscaster commit it. It’s bad enough when local media personalities do this; they’re—notice correct use of apostrophe here—lower down in the network food chain. But national talking heads are frequently guilty, as well. “Send Tom and I a message on FB.” On second thought, don’t.

A truly modern deadly sin is Moblastphemy—talking loud on a mobile phone in public. It’s deadly no matter where you do it, but if it’s in a restaurant or a theater, you should go straight to hell, IMHO.

We must also list Peeping Thongery—it’s as deadly as they come. No explanation needed, but it’s especially lethal for women of a certain age. In the interest of gender-fairness, let’s include Plumbersbuttitis. I know both sexes can be guilty of each of these, but we see Thongery mostly in women and Buttitis in men. In medicine, “-itis” signals the inflammation of something. Plumbers’ butts always look fatter than average, and they inflame our gag reflex. Enough said.

Finally, we have the newest modern deadly sin: Air Humping, a combination of two recent news items. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was videotaped “chair humping” the back of a folding chair at the Taste of Chicago event. Singer Miley Cyrus (in an effort to leave Hannah Montana in her rearview) burned “twerking” into the media mainstream with her gyrations on the VMA show. Gag and double gag.

These visuals sent me straight to my stash of vino. Fortunately, moderate imbibing is not on the list of deadly sins, original or modern. Praise the Lord and pass the chianti.

No comments: