Jeremiah's School of Levitation


Monday, October 02, 2006

On Mediocrity

Mediocrity. Long being used to not being much. That’s a sneaky thing, not wanting more, but wanting more. Wanting to be something unique, but not accomplishing anything unique. Getting praise without being praiseworthy. Mediocrity. Forgetting the smallest things, remembering great things, but repeating them for different audiences so that you can sound like you know a lot, but should those different audiences ever decide to converse among each other, they’ll find that you have an uncanny sense of repeating yourself with grandeur, and offering nothing new except an amazing ability to go into reruns.

Mediocrity. Seeing the potential, then avoiding it out of fear that someone might criticize. Watching people falter all around you, silently calling them on it, or, if they are large enough in the public eye, making broad, sweeping jokes at their expense and then, in the quiet of your bathroom shower, you reflect on the fact that you never even took the stage to even know what it was like to get booed off.

Mediocrity. Telling the world how good you are, grinning and exploding onto the scene, then riding their first impression until you can’t remember what they liked about you in the first place, so you lose your place, and then you are firing wildly, betraying the cool that you introduced yourself with.

You know a few chords on the guitar, you’ve read all the Hemingway novels, but none of Jane Austen’s. You can wax on the life of Virginia Woolf, but can’t remember which Bronte sister wrote which book. You have traveled just enough to say you’ve traveled, but nowhere near enough to say you have been a traveler, yet you think you are.

Music! Ah, do you make a big deal about how you love Ben Harper and Jack Johnson, and when someone asks you what you think of Bob Dylan and Woodie Guthrie, you stammer, trying to remember something other than “Serve Somebody” from Dylan and trying to remember anything from Guthrie.

Ah, sweet mediocrity. The Iraq war sucks! Bush is a moron! Oh, the order of sucession in the United States presidency? Um, let me Google that!

But, hey, the nearest three liquor stores are firmly etched in memory.

Jeremiah, 11:49 PM

8 Back at me:

I admit, I only got turned on fer reals to Woody Guthrie when Billy Bragg and Wilco did the "Mermaid Avenue" cd. "This machine kills fascists"...Woody is da bomb!

(I admit though to not 'getting' Dylan...the only song I like is that one with the video of him flipping cards over with the lyrics on 'em...I'm simple that way.)
Blogger Mona Buonanotte, at 4:02 AM  
well, jebediah, you've helped me see here that i dont know hardly anything. i guess i don't like faking it, so i keep my mouth shut and let the jaw flappers do the talking. and did you just post twice in one day? you ROCK..see, i just celebrated your mediocrity in true celebratory style, of one who regularly celebrates normal things, because that of the upper regulatory does not happen very much around bouts my parts, and i've made no sense here, so good day to you jerrymariah.
Blogger Susiebadoozie, at 6:41 AM  
One day I know someone will find out that I *am* a broken record and they will blog about mediocrity. oh wait....

Sounds as if you have someone in mind?

In other music news, Woodie Guthrie, didn't he sing Alice's Restaurant? Maybe not...thank you Arlo
Blogger EmmaSometimes, at 1:09 PM  
Mona: I'll need ta study up. I'm just now getting into The Doors, so I'll need a little time, though.

Soozie: Jebediah?! I'm tellin' my momma you called me that!

Emma: I was just talking about myself, actually. I excel at being normal, am an expert at predictablity, and a PhD in "whatever."
Blogger Jeremiah, at 11:56 PM  
So, if I've read all of Austen but not Hemingway, and I can tell you not only the Bronte books but probably most of at least Emily's poems, and I know at least one song by ARLO Guthrie.... What does that mean, exactly?

I'll confess to being very lazy, though.
Blogger JuBlue, at 7:51 PM  
You bring to light a humanism. We're all guilty to some degree, aren't we? What does it take to be "on" and "sharp" seemingly all the time?
Blogger Turtle Guy, at 10:12 AM  
I'm #3,253 in the line-up of Presidential successors. I thought you ought to know.

You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant. But if you get busted for litterin (because the judge can't see the 27 8X10 color glossies with the circles and arrows and paragraph on the back of each one), they'll send you straight to the Group W bench. But you already knew that. ;-)

Okay, seriously, that was a good post. We're all just mediocre in our own minds, but nobody else needs to know that. ;-)
Blogger Gwynne, at 9:09 PM  
To be Mediocre, is to be "average", "ordinary" or "inferior" per the definition in my Webster's English Dictionary.

If this truly is the definition, why would anyone aspire to Mediocrity?

I do not believe that you have to be a master of everything in order to avoid being mediocre. I believe that if you embrace your own unique gifts, excel at your strengths and acknowledge and work toward minimizing or extinguishing your weaknesses, then you succeed in not being Mediocre.

To want and do nothing to achieve it, would likely be Mediocrity.
Blogger Misty, at 8:19 PM  

Say sump-tun