Taking extreme to extremes...

By: Michael Cooper exĢtreme ( k-str m ) adj. 1. Most remote in any direction; outermost or farthest: the extreme edge of the field. 2. Being in or attaining the greatest or highest degree; very intense: extreme pleasure; extreme pain. 3. Extending far beyond the norm: an extreme conservative. See Synonyms at excessive. 4. Of the greatest severity; drastic: took extreme measures to conserve fuel. 5. Sports. a. Very dangerous or difficult: extreme rafting. b. Participating or tending to participate in a very dangerous or difficult sport: an extreme skier. 6. Archaic. Final; last. The other day, I was driving in my car through Cleveland, and I noticed a license plate in front of me, EXTRM SP. It was on a Pontiac Grand Prix GT. Now, granted this is the sportiest car of the Grand Prix models, but what makes anything extreme? Maybe Im missing the point, but hasnt this all gone to the extreme? I can understand using extreme for distance (see definition #1 above), like the extreme reaches of space. Honestly, human minds cant comprehend the distances in space. I can understand extreme feelings (see definition #2). Extreme temperature (definition #3) is something else I can comprehend. Even definition #4 can be understood, but when we get into extreme sports, I just dont understand. By definition, an extreme sport involves danger and difficulty, but wouldnt that describe all sports? If youve never played a sport, wouldnt you find it difficult? And isnt physical activity by nature, dangerous? Hell, getting in your car is dangerous, but casual driving isnt referred to as extreme. Instead, jumping a mass amount of objects in a car is extreme. Okay, maybe you can say one thing is more dangerous than the next, therefore, it would be an extreme sport. But why dont you talk to ex-NFL players who are paralyzed, or Christopher Reeves, who was paralyzed while riding a horse. Now, I know there is no such thing as extreme horseback riding! Maybe a bucking bronco at the rodeoĶ Weve had extreme BMX, extreme motorcross, extreme skateboarding, extremeĶ the list goes on. I can live with extreme sports, Ill get over it. What about the XFL or the Extreme Challenge on SPIKE TV? Are they really extreme? What makes these things so extreme? Extreme stupidity? But, where I draw the line are extreme products. We now have extreme deodorant. How does that become extreme? Is it dangerous? No. Is it beyond the norm? No. Is it at its highest point? Definitely not. Is it intense? No. (And would you really want an intense deodorant? What would it do?) Now, there is extreme perfume or cologne. Ever get in the elevator with someone wearing too much perfume? Or how about walk into an elevator and still smell the perfume from the person who was in the elevator lastĶ even though they are no longer there? But deodorant? Isnt that supposed to take away odor? So why is it extreme? But I think the most creative, and the winner of my Extremely Stupid Uses for Extreme Award goes to Jell-O. We now have Extreme Jell-O! If I eat it will I die because it is so dangerous? Will it do death-defying tricks? Or does it just sit there and jiggle like normal Jell-O? And can Jell-O really be intense? I dont think so, although Ive never tried it. What makes this Jell-O any different from its predecessors? I mean, you still eat it, right? It still jiggles, right? I just dont understand. Whats next? Extreme cooking? Oh, waitĶwe have that already, too. Extreme sleeping? How about extreme breast feeing? What will they come up with next? America is born and raised on taking things to extremes to the point that we become desensitized to just about anything. Take violence and sex for example. These things have become so mainstream in the media, movies, TV, news, etc., that our younger generations are not phased by it anymore. So, in order to attracted the young generations as they grow older, we have to push the envelope even more, cross that line one more time and draw a new one in front. Its gotten to the point that even the politicians are realizing its a problem, but it took Janet Jacksons wardrobe malfunction to make people realize what was really going on in American culture. Who was more upset by the whole halftime show? I dont know about you, but all I heard were 40-somethings complaining. The younger generations were like, Oh, lookĶ.theres a boobĶ.what else is on TV? So, now the U.S. government wants to try to tighten the reigns, and innocent people are being persecuted, but dont get me started on the FCC, thats a rant for another time. Wake up, America! The more you push the envelope now, the further you have to push it six months from now, and even further a year from now. The more you expose us to something the more likely we are to become desensitized, and therefore, it no longer has its desired affect, and then, what are you going to come up with? Reaching for extremes I am extremely confusedĶ

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