False Bravado

One of the songs I used to own on 45 rpm record was Baby Come Back by the late 1970s soft pop group Player. Part of the lyrics:

All day long, wearing a mask of false bravado
Trying to keep up a smile that hides a tear
In true “ripped up like a douche, another runner in the night” fashion, I originally thought they were singing “vosbrevado”. Some sort of exotic mask-making material, I guess (“I’ll take 2 yards of fushia vosbrevado please”).

It was only later that I learned about the true nature of false bravado — defined by the dictionary as “defiant or swaggering behavior” but meaning ever so much more.

Which is where my thoughts turned when I came across the front page of Tumbleweed Communications which says:

Within 5 years all Internet communications will be secure and Tumbleweed® Secure Guardian™ will be the industry standard for securing every channel of Internet communication, for every enterprise, everywhere.
Do the people who write this bullshit hope that simply by writing something down you can make it magically come true? Closer to home you can find:
By combining industry-leading expertise from across the group of companies, Aliant utilizes the Aliant PremiumTM Model to deliver unique, end-to-end solutions to customers.
…right on the front page of Aliant’s website.

I think my New Year’s Resolution for 2002 is to avoid doing business with companies that don’t know how to accurately and honestly describe what they do. Avoid false bravdo, in other words. Here’s my suggestion for Aliant in this regard:

Aliant is a bunch of old telephone companies, plus a bunch of other companies we bought to go with them, all joined together so we can save money and try to appear more powerful. We pretend we’re fuzzy and eastern, but we’re really just a branch plant of BCE, which also owns the Globe and Mail and CTV. We’re trying to get all these companies to work together, but it’s really hard and so far we’ve had a few successes but otherwise generally mediocre results. It seems it’s harder than we thought to move beyond thinking like a monopoly: it’s buried really, really deep in our DNA.
No charge.


Alan's picture
Alan on January 4, 2002 - 15:40 Permalink

Maybe they are being honest…it would all depend on the contextual definition of “unique” and “end-to-end”!

Rob MacD's picture
Rob MacD on January 4, 2002 - 15:46 Permalink

Re: misheard lyrics, here’s a link to a site that compiles misheard lyrics. Some pretty funny stuff and fairly easy to browse around.

Pat's picture
Pat on July 9, 2009 - 13:58 Permalink

Men able to deceive other men because men are not well trained in challenging false bravado is one of the hard assets of having women in the workplace.

While many women are known to be easily seduced, familiar breeds contempt because through familiarity, women are easily able to discern false bravado in men, and are usually not impressed by it.

Hence, women are nurturing, not competitive in attitudes men traditionally display for survival with other men.

The result is that men are able to be, and can be held to be, more honest, more legitimate, and it removes a huge burden from them in having to maintain a facade of false bravado rather than meet life receptively, rather than subjectively.