We’ve been sharing a cold lately and, the other day, I noticed something really disturbing. My cough drop wrappers have motivational sayings on them. I don’t know about you but that really worries me.
Why do my cough drops need motivational sayings? Why is a palliative telling me to “Get back in the game?” or “Buckle down and push forth.” Hey! I’m sick here! We’re lucky enough to both work from home so we always “Buckle down…” and all that other stuff. Writing is not a game for slackers.
This got us thinking about all the other little motivational aphorisms that bombard us. Like those posters that are still way too common in offices across this great country of ours. There’s always someone exhorting us to “go the extra mile” or something like that. Don’t these people realize that going an extra mile makes you miss your destination and waste gas simultaneously?
Anyway, being sick (as in the sense of ill, although you might think differently after this post) my mind wandered off the beaten path and into the weed patch of demotivators.
You are all aware of demotivators, those frequently geeky; wonderfully funny; always irreverent; and all too often tasteless parodies. Their popularity comes from making fun of the saccharin ‘soaring eagle, bright rainbow, strong chromium chain’ illustrated banners emblazoned with sayings designed to make us soar to new heights, keep a bright outlook, or realize that we’re an important link.
Anyway, as I was stumbling through the weeds looking for demotivational posters I stumbled upon another interesting thing. The majority of demotivators are English speakers. Sometimes rabidly so, judging from the number of biting comments on some of the ‘multi-level’ posters I found. But that’s not the interesting thing.
What’s really interesting is that the second largest population of demotivational posters our thoroughly unscientific and hastily conducted survey revealed is (drum roll, please) …Russian! That’s right, those fun loving former Commies are really into demotivational posters.
Well, I think they are. See, the big problem here is that I don’t speak (let alone read) Russian. But, judging from some of the posters I found (which can’t be displayed here on a non-sexist, family oriented blog) some of them are pretty sardonic. Which stands to reason. A friend of mine spent time in Russia back in the bad old days and he said that the Russians used cartoons to make relatively safe negative political comments. Therefore, it makes sense that they would use the format of demotivational posters to make the same types of comments now.
So, I thought it might be a fun romp in the poison ivy to have a look at some of them. If you would really like to know what they are all about, you can find several of them on the EnglishRussian website. The imagery is… well… interesting. To say the least.