Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Blog like you mean... to express a unique insight... ok sorry, like you mean it.

Some people are upset that Wisconsin has selected "live like you mean it" as their new State tourism campaign slogan. Some authors and companies currently use or have used "live like you mean it" as their titles, trademarks, whatever and they fear that someone might confuse their identities with Wisconsin. And cows.
[story here]

Wisconsin's new branding shows the state name with some figure above it that's supposed to be doing a cartwheel. When I first saw it, I thought maybe the state had adopted upside-down crucifixion as its new means of capital punishment. I don't get what the cartwheel represents. It doesn't appear to be a child, but an adult male turning over on his hands.

Maybe if they had asked me, I would have suggested an image of two people throwing their hands in the air to form a W,... but then people might think of synchronized swimming or a couple being robbed at gunpoint.

The "like you mean it" slogan is one of my least favorites. I hate it slightly more than "I'm loving it" only because one of Maxwell Smart's catchphrases has, "...and loving it" as an addendum to some comment about near-death experiences or fighting KAOS.

"Like you mean it" is one of those phrases that I don't know what the hell it's supposed to mean. There's a retail store that uses "shop like you mean it," and the perky female voice-over says it like it's a challenge, like just regular shopping sucks, like I shouldn't go into their store to buy anything unless I really really mean to buy something, like if I just try something on and then
leave, some clerk will follow me into the parking lot and kick my ass. So I try to comply with their suggested enthusiasm and when I purchase something there, I take out my credit card and slap it onto the counter in a triumphant display, as if to say, "Hell, yeah, I'm buying this thing!"

This is like the kind of thing a crazy person asks just before he flips a coin and makes you pick heads or tails, where a losing guess means he will chop you up into little pieces with an axe. "Do you live like you mean it? Just tell me the truth. I promise I won't kill you with this axe."

Live like you mean it; all I can think is, "My body is converting food and air into useful components which keep me alive, so obviously, I mean to be alive. What the hell are you talking about?"

I guess they mean, "live like you mean to be living" or "live like you mean to be living a full and productive life." But that means that we all need to have a universal understanding of the subject, it this case, life. But we don't. Is life about doing cartwheels? What if I do a cartwheel and lose my wallet? Is Wisconsin going to help me get that back? And you, with those gigantic fake boobs: should you be standing on your head like that? (If you are, can I watch?)

I can see from a quick googly that there are a couple of blogs that use the "blog like you mean it" as a title and many more posts and presentations using it. Good for them. But like I say, I don't understand what message I'm supposed to get from that string of words.

If you get more specific, as in "spank my ass like you mean it," then by all means, say that because the message is very clear to me on how and what I should be spanking. But don't just hang a single verb out there and expect me to know what you're talking about. Live like you mean it? Man, I'd be in jail.