Under the bus, argutainments, & chef races

Seth got thrown under the bus tonight. Michael C gets thrown under the bus almost every week. For sure several get thrown under the bus every week on The Apprentice. (See, they even made a video package about it.) A cruise around the TV channels and I promise you’ll hear someone either throw or get thrown, under the bus. I heard the phrase used in the grocery store the other day and yesterday someone used it in a meeting. Is this a new phrase, something particular to eastern states, or has this been around for a while and I’m just not hip enough?

I did a little research and it turns out it became popularized in the 1990’s. But I really don’t think I heard it much if at all in polite conversation in Texas. With a college-age (Texas A&M) daughter then seems like it might have stood out. But, I also think I worked way too many hours so it’s not likely I was out in the mainstream much to notice. The tricky thing is I don’t think it means what people thinks it means.

According to the February 2008 issue of The Word Detective it means “the sudden, brutal sacrifice of a stalwart and loyal teammate for a temporary and often minor advantage.” I hear it more related to getting rid of someone by pointing out their faults, their poor work, casting blame, whining, and behaving without grace in other words. In my opinion, I think it’s not a useful phrase, especially when other more encouraging words could be used and acted upon. But if a bus is to be used, I hope it’s one like that Swedish bus pictured up there. It’s very efficient and much better for the environment.

Speaking of throwing someone under the bus, I’ve also noted how many television shows use arguments as entertainment. It seems to be all kinds of shows, not just reality, and not just junky talk shows or court room shows.  Full out fights with arms flailing, gestures flaring, even knock down hair pulling, mean and nasty and often, stupid, arguments are popping up as argutainment.  Arguments are not interesting, not entertaining, and especially if no logic skill or debate is involved. It’s just mean spirited word sparring that show a person’s crass side. And, in the words of my dad, often, just talking to hear themselves talk. I VERY do not like this trend either and won’t spend time watching a program that resorts to argutainment.

Out here in the country, we used to get several PBS stations on a regular antennae, and on basic cable too. With the new and so called improved digital channel world, they’ve moved to numbers we are not allowed to see. You have to pay extra for the public stations. The ones that regularly have fund raising drives. I wonder if PBS knows I’d have to pay extra? I wonder if they get any of that extra cable money? I miss PBS. I miss PBS cooking shows the most. You can actually learn something on a PBS cooking show. Cooking is not a race against time and competitors and glamorous prizes are not awarded at the end of a show or series. You don’t watch chefs sweat into the soup on PBS or use swears. I think Julia Child would be disappointed. I miss Julia Child.

Gee, I’m focused on TV this week it seems. I guess because it’s still newer for me. I haven’t watched much TV since the late 90’s to begin with. We always only had network TV too, so we never got used to the offerings of cable. When I moved to Virginia, I went nearly a year without TV at all. These first months of cable have been like overdosing on sugar. I’m a little sick to my stomach, but I still want to watch, but it’s not as delicious and I realize how fat I’ve gotten…I’m dieting from TV now.


This post is part of Pleasantly Disturbed Thursdays. Go read more at Duane’s!


About Robin Arnold

Reader, writer, gardener, geek, maker of homes in several states, now settled in Virginia with husband Bob, and Hazel and Wilson the tabby cats.
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6 Responses to Under the bus, argutainments, & chef races

  1. jasonS says:

    Isn't that funny how we aren't aware of a phrase or word then after we learn it, we can hear it everywhere? I've known 'thrown under a bus' for a while but I guarantee it's not because I'm hip!I also don't like all the arguing on TV…

  2. Helen says:

    I don't like to watch arguments or fights on television either. I could go to a village board meeting if I wanted to see that sort of thing…

  3. Duane Scott says:

    Oh… I love me a good fight. I used to have slumber parties when I was a kid with my cousins and they'd end up punching each other. I'd sit back and laugh. Now… I've grown up a little since then and I doubt I would. If you throw me under a bus, just make sure it's big enough to actually kill me. I don't want to have to fight you in court. 🙂

  4. Robin Arnold says:

    Oh I love a good word spar, Duane, but with finesse. We seem to be seeing such rudeness and a bunch of potty mouths.Helen, you made me giggle. Public meetings can be brutal, and then there's the hard chairs. Jason there's other words I've been noticing so I think you are right. It's a matter of awareness. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. The only arguments I watch any more are between player and umpire.I've never watched the Apprentice either. I could get lost in the History Channel if I wanted.I wish someone would come up with the Writing Channel. Now that would be cool.

  6. Jerry says:

    I think there should be a show about who fights the hardest for the remote control. Maybe call it Couching Drag Down, Hidden Trigger.I guess I am out of the loop on the Under The Bus Thing…I thought the luggage went there.

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