When Extreme Sold His MeaningPosted: May 25, 2012
Extreme is the second most over used word in the American vernacular. Awesome is first, totally.
Once, Extreme was a proud word. He had a job that he did well. He spent his work days describing things that were outliers, far beyond what one would normally encounter. Political thought, angles, degrees of difficulty, risk… Extreme made them all, well, so much more of whatever they already were.
Extreme And The Cool Kids
A few years ago, certain higher risk sports became popular. They brought with them a need for a word that could effectively describe their difficulty and danger. When they offered him the job, Extreme jumped at the chance. The extreme sports movement was born.
Extreme found himself traveling with folks he never used to hang around with – skateboarders, sky divers, rock climbers and the like. He was with the cool kids.
Cool kids really dug Extreme because they thought he made them something more than the were. Deep down, he knew that he was just a word that was rapidly becoming overused. He understood that skydiving and extreme skydiving were not different from one another. Both are just falling out of an airplane. Extreme played the game. He gave the people what they wanted.
Extreme Cashes In
Business and marketing people took notice of Extreme. They saw how the cool kids valued the label that he provided. They started urging him to add his mark all sorts of things. Soon, Extreme was pushed so hard by his marketers that he started to become less powerful as he grew in popularity.
Extreme wanted to pull back from the spotlight a little. He tried to find a way to rebuild his image, but temptation overwhelmed him. When his handlers pointed out that the cool kids would pay ten percent more for extreme bowling or an extreme sports drink, Extreme got on board with the idea. He knew that he wasn’t doing anything to make bowling better, just more expensive. He knew he was just a word on a drink bottle’s label. He was going to get paid, and that’s all that mattered to Extreme.
Maybe I should clarify. That’s all that mattered to Extreme at that time. I saw him just the other day. He did not look well.
Extreme Goes Midget Wrestling
Extreme was hanging around outside a bar. He was letting everyone know that there was to be a midget wrestling match. An Extreme Midget Wrestling match. I told him I wasn’t sure if he was saying the midgets were extreme, or their wrestling was. The way he looked at me gave away that it bothered him that I’d asked.
When he turned away, he ran his hand thru his hair in the manner of one who knew he had some thinking to do.
He wasn’t certain if the midgets were extreme or not. I think he started to realize he’d given away his significance when he sold his meaning.