I spent lunchtime today down at the Mercantile Library with Albert and my fellow board members as we had our regular meeting. After the meeting, I chatted a bit with Albert, and he reminded me of his suggestion of passion as a cliché. I am surprised at myself for not having given the word serious consideration as a cliché; I was going for the showier phrases like cutting edge.
However, I agree with Albert: passion is a cliché. Why so? Because it is no longer valid to have anything but extreme feelings toward someone or something. One cannot merely like a sport or a show; the sport or show or whatever must be a passion. The person who has the passion (oops, sorry — who is consumed by the passion) is therefore allowed, it is assumed, by the listeners to commit huge amounts of time, attention, and resources toward the object of the passion.
This has persisted so long that if one doesn’t feel a passion towards something, one ought not even to bother mentioning it. It’s probably better to avoid mentioning one’s less than passionate feelings, or at least more efficient. People change their passions so often, it appears, that it’s probably not even worthwhile to bother listening to some people’s latest passions. For myself, I’ll stick with a few mildly interesting things. They seem to last longer.