I wanna kill ‘dead’.
Not in all contexts. The word has its moments.
For instance, I might need to mention that “Gandhi is dead'” or my “Grandfather is dead”. The word is also useful when ominous signs appear on the horizon, such as “Oh no, a grizzly bear, we’re fucking dead!”
But I am sick and tired of people telling me things are “dead” before they really are.
Chris Anderson, in the latest issue of Folio, has a piece on the web being dead. He’s also been trumpeting the “death” of print for years. (Others have created cute little infographics on this latter point)
Whatever the merits of any of the aforementioned arguments – and Anderson is obviously right about the rise of apps and the decline of the browser – “dead” is overused and wrongly employed.
Some other examples help illustrate the point:
I LOVE hip hop. Idiots have been declaring it “dead” for years. Yes, much of what is made now is crap I can’t stand, but people continue to make ridiculously good music that holds true to the core/original elements of the genre. This means it ain’t dead
The NFL is another passion. I spend a lot of time on Sundays in the Fall straining my marriage and widening my ass by watching this game. For years, folks have been yelling about how “The running game is dead”. Yet still Adrien Peterson, a running back who’s success is largely due to his ability to play a bruising “wear you down” classic running game, manages to be the most impactful player in the league. Clearly the ground game matters.
You get it.
Calling something “dead” in the Chris Anderson do-it-early way is easy. It allows one to look like a soothsayer.
Sometime the web may “die”. Sometime the sky may fall. Sometime humans may go the way of dinosaurs. But these occurences are likely awhile away.
For now, most of us still use the web. A whole bunch of us read print every day, despite the fact the numbers are declining. Hip hop – good hip hop – continues to be made. Having a marquee tailback is still almost essential to success in the NFL.
Yelling about the early “death” of something does not a genius make.