Here are my top three pet peeves of 2012, in no particular order:
1. The media using any combination of the following words/expressions: twentysomethings, navigating through life, and ups and downs. Can we please find another way to encapsulate the cultural impact of “Girls”? I think twentysomethings is the worst. There’s just something so amazingly annoying about that word, but I can’t quite articulate it. Maybe it’s because I technically belong to the twentysomething category, which infuriates me.
2. Film critics who use the words gritty and raw. I don’t care if the movie really was a “raw, gritty look at the harsh realities of street life in Bogotá.” The presence of those two adjectives automatically makes me not want to see the movie, and–sadly–they also make me less interested in Bogotá.
3. People using revamped versions of I have a _________ friend when they’re being racist/classist/sexist/anything else-ist in order to justify the racism/elitism/sexism/anything else-ism. This expression used to be pretty exclusively I have a black friend, which meant people could follow that preamble with whatever offensive and/or inaccurate statement they wanted (ex. …so I know what the ghetto is like).
Here are two examples of what I’m talking about:
In late 2012, a white caller on the awesome radio show I interned for would occasionally drop a reference to his “black wife” before launching into whatever aggressively traditionalist, conservative rant he’d formulated in response to the day’s on-air topic of choice, as if having a black wife somehow justified all his b.s. (The only reason I knew he was white was because he made his race clear several times.)
And I wish I were making this up, but a guy I dated last year told me he was “more aware of race issues” because of having seen the movie Crash. Okay, sure, because having seen Crash—a Hollywood movie!—is apparently the equivalent of, say, writing your college dissertation on the social construction of race. This, too, falls under the category of I have a _________ friend, 2012 edition.
But, as always, there’s a silver lining, which is now that we’re a good sixteen days into 2013, I’m looking forward to finding new things to annoy me!