Back in the 80s, sometimes (in marketing circles) one heard the admonition, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak.” And, you’ll recall, Walter Mondale-riffing off of the popular commercial of that era, asked of challenger Gary Hart, “Where’s the beef?” Hart supporters were quick to say that Gary had “new ideas.” But there wasn’t much elaboration beyond that.
BS-ing has had quite a run of late. One guy who obviously doesn’t know much BS-ed his way into the presidency. (Admittedly, his opponent turned in an anemic campaign performance.)
A recently elected legislator BS-ed big time on his resume. And, now, that BS is…well..hitting the fan.
I know a couple of folks who BS about their capabilities with such regularity that they have trouble finding a single person who takes them at all seriously.
Vladimir Putin’s braggadocio predictions about what would occur for Russia in the Ukraine invasion have turned out to be BS. As the late Don Imus would often say, “How’s that workin’ out for ya?”
A very wealthy (and admittedly imaginative) fellow BS-ed (and paid) his way into owning a popular social media platform.
FTX turned out to be the mother of all BS-ing.
Let’s finally call BS on BS.
My prediction is that the pendulum will, in the coming year, swing the other way.
An understated, modest competence based on learning and experience will again become fashionable. Rising sea levels, for example, have a way of discouraging BS.
Ok. I admit. We can all fall into the trap at times. I can remember looking at an exam question or two when I was in college. Say this was one for which I was (ahem) underprepared. I’d try to repress my slight smile and proceed to crank up the old BS machine. With luck that would get me what was then called a “gentleman’s C.” (I never understood why it was called that. It was hardly a gentlemanly thing to do.) Though I never tried to get away with anything resembling “alternative facts.” That would have been a bridge too far.
Again, the recent phase has had a great run. As is the case with bull markets, they often have a longer lifespan than deserved.
Let’s welcome a return to earth. Should make for a more pleasant 2023.