Cornball: (n) person who indulges in clichés or sentimentality.
“I am just so blessed to write to you every single day. You are such terrific people.”
You see, this passage I just wrote is considered “cornball.” Another word is “cloying.” How about “maudlin?”
And then there’s the classic: sappy.
Somewhere along the line we became so frightened of being insincere that we became sincerely mean.
It doesn’t take more than half an hour of watching old television to realize that the producers of nearly every show were determined to leave the watcher tingly with goodness.
Nowadays, it would be impossible to market a show called “Breaking Good” or to suggest that a life of gentleness and kindness could make you anything but a victim waiting around to be victimized.
How much cornball do we need? Do we need any?
When I grew up, people walked around and said things to each other like, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”
Or, “Honk your horn if you love Jesus!”
But somewhere along the line, the bumper stickers and slogans filled with such cornball notions of “peace on Earth” were suddenly replaced with apocalyptic concepts of doom and gloom.
Maybe it happened when the first person affixed, on the tail end of his or her car, the thought, “Shit happens.”
But even in our modern world, “shit happens” would be considered cornball—because it maintains an attitude of being patient with the shit instead of twittering about it.
That’s interesting. When I was younger, if you felt good, excited and full of great hopes for the ‘morrow, you would say to people that you were “all a’twitter!”
Now, when people are “a’twitter,” they are merely considering better ways to destroy one another.
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