Mediocrity is the watchword


mediocre.jpgKids, don’t be the best at anything. It’s too much work.

But don’t be the worst at anything either. It’s not worth the catcalls and humiliation. Even on reality TV.

Be mediocre. Be average. Blend in.

Everything you needed to know about mediocrity you learned in junior high and high school.

Think back to those seemingly-carefree-but-actually-shark-infested teenage days. You had but one mission: Be unique, like everyone else. To stand out would’ve been suicide. Only a few could be the star athletes and cheerleaders and class leaders, while a few more were the perennial losers who hadn’t dropped out yet.

Why excel now? Everyday life is teeming with the mediocre, from the service you get at a restaurant to the politicians who want your vote.

Most of the music you hear on the radio is average, inoffensive, unchallenging. Most of the TV you watch is forgettable, derivative and popular. You don’t read because it takes time and effort, but you do skim. And what you do read … enh.

Movies are especially designed to uphold and protect mediocrity. If it’s too good and life-changing, your next viewing will be a letdown. If it’s lousy, you won’t buy the DVD. Aim straight down the fat middle and reap the rewards of mainstream success. How many romantic comedies can you have about a mismatched pair, or an action flick where everything explodes, or an instant horror “classic” that never lets up? Always room for 10 more.

You read pedantic ramblings of bloggers posing as writers. You consume wraps and fingers lovingly prepared by chain kitchens striving for the perfection of consistency. You actually keep up with the Jones. You validate through external reinforcement.

You troll the malls. You follow the trends and the gossip. You are fat and “happy” and blissfully unaware of the world.

It is a utopia of limits. Stray too far and you’ll accidentally veer into reality. Don’t tempt fate, don’t take chances.

It’s fairly easy to become and remain mediocre. If you somehow buy the wrong clothes or the wrong car or follow the wrong god, your peers will let you know in no uncertain terms. Conform, and you shall be rewarded by being left alone.

Failure to comply could result in, well, we shouldn’t discuss such unpleasantness.

Your mediocrity keeps this nation strong, this society on course. You are noble in your herd instinct.

Bland is your brand. Mediocre is your messiah.


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