Gaslighting and crush

TRAVERSE CITY — Reporters lately are in love with the term “gaslighting.” And yet how many people know what it means? Not many, I’ll bet. I didn’t. I knew it meant something not good because it’s usually used in reference to the president. But I wasn’t sure what until I got so disgusted with hearing it so often that I finally looked it up. According to Psychology Today, it means: “a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality. It works much better than you may think. Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting, and it is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders.” OK, but why gaslighting? What the heck does a gas light have to do with making stuff up? I suppose I could look that up, too, but instead I think I’ll grouse about professional communicators who don’t do the most basic job of a communicator, which is to communicate clearly.

– And can we please, pretty please, remove the term “crush” from the public lexicon? (Lexicon: the vocabulary of a person, language, or branch of knowledge.) I am sick of people saying they’re going to “crush” something when what they mean is they want to do something very well. You don’t “crush” tasks. You accomplish them. Crush means to “deform, pulverize, or force inwards by compressing forcefully.” That’s not what you’re doing when you take out the trash. You’re just taking out the trash. So stop thinking it’s funny to intentionally use a word that grossly overstates what it is, in fact, that you are doing. Thank you.

– Clearly, I’m in a lousy mood today. I blame the cloudy, cold weather lately, which puts me in mind of another long Michigan winter, which always makes me want to — literally — crush something.

– So is Trump intentionally trying to tick off every single woman in the United States or is it just accidental?

– Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek was booed at a gubernatorial debate he was hosting in Pennsylvania this week. The crowd didn’t like the fact that he talked more than the candidates. I’d have booed him just because I hate the smug way he pronounces foreign words on the show. But that’s just me.

– This is not good. General Motors has been tracking the radio listening habits of drivers in Chicago and L.A. to see if they can use the data to better target them with ads. God, what a horrible idea. We’re already tracked to death. I’m already afraid to search for anything online because the second I do, my page fills up with ads for whatever it is I just searched for, which is damned creepy.

– By the way, I listen to a lot of ’70s songs by the Eagles, James Taylor, Tom Petty and the like. So what ads would GM recommend I be bombarded with … fiber supplements, life insurance, suspenders?

– Some men are upset about a new California law requiring women on corporate boards. Relax, guys, things will be fine. This isn’t the Little Rascals and the He-Man Woman Hater’s Club. The ladies won’t make you have tea parties once they get in.

“Change before you have to.” – Jack Welch.