- Education and Science
Mediocrity in the First Degree
Look it up!
1. of only ordinary or moderate quality; neither good nor bad; barely adequate.
2. rather poor or inferior.
Ordinariness as a consequence of being average and not outstanding
There are two types of mediocrity in my opinion, the one that can't be helped, and the one achieved on purpose. I dislike the first and despise the later. I can't help the dislike, although sometimes it's mixed with a very thin veil of compassion, since I suppose some IQs don't really allow for anything less (nor more) than pure mediocrity, hence my thinking, oh well, they were born that way, what can they do.
If you think this is acid and incendiary, you should get the f*ck out of here right now, because it only gets worse.
So, every time I stumble upon mediocrity, the question that comes to mind is, was this mediocre on purpose? If I suspect, have the slightest shadow of doubt that it may be so, I'm done with it.
One could argue that mediocrity in the first degree is not quite like murder one, though. One could argue that folks don't generally set out to be mediocre on purpose. One doesn't wake up and think, "Hey, I'll be super mediocre today". I disagree. Maybe one does not set out to be mediocre, but in general one knows they are being so. Mediocrity in the first degree is so because the culprit could have avoided it, could have done better, could have aspired to more, but they refuse, they simply take the easy way out and stick to the beaten, mediocre, path.
Quotes on Mediocrity
Only a mediocre person is always at his best.
Ridicule is the tribute paid to the genius by the mediocrities.
Mediocrity is excellent to the eyes of mediocre people.
In the republic of mediocrity, genius is dangerous.
Robert G Ingersoll
Not doing more than the average is what keeps the average down.
William M. Winans
"Mediocrity" doesn't mean average intelligence, it means an average intelligence that resents and envies its betters.
What I despise about mediocrity one
First and foremost, I despise the attitude against people who aspire to do better. Ironically, more often than not mediocrity is NOT defined by one's own deeds, but by the lack of them, and more to the point, by critiquing, blaming and even verbally abusing every single effort done by others who seek to raise the bar.
Mediocre mentality needs numbers to feel justified. Rarely mediocre individuals put blame on their laziness or acceptance of the status quo as the consequence of all the bad or not too good feedback they get. It's always someone else's fault. If they could write up a law forbidding anyone from making an extra effort, they would. Let's all be stupid, idiotic, mediocre individuals, so that we don't feel bad by being just 90% of the population. Let's all be mediocre, for pete's sake!
Mediocrity in the first degree, unlike being gay, is a choice. As a choice, it's punctuated and characterized by complete lack of self criticism. Sometimes, lack of self criticism is born of laziness, but more often than not it's born of absolute refusal to acknowledge what we know about ourselves. Then again, knowing ourselves requires some level of effort, of looking within, of comparing ourselves to others who are unarguably good at this or that.
In general, I observe mediocre individuals refusing to do just that on the basis of their being themselves, with their unique identities, so it wouldn't be good to compare themselves with anybody else, because clearly, there isn't anybody else with their so very special skills, or personality or... Excuse me while I laugh. Or puke. Or both.
Mediocrity is probably one of the highest forms of self denial. One knows one is being mediocre, but has no will and certainly no drive to be any different. On the contrary, one justifies that they are that way because the rest is too much effort, plus if nobody else tries, why should they. Like I said, if they could actually forbid any friggin' soul from even trying, they most certainly would. If nobody tries or achieves a measure of differentiating success, then everyone is equally mediocre and nobody needs to feel bad about their own inadequacies, about their zero ambitions, about their multiple lies to themselves that they are OK. As a matter of fact, they are probably OK, and OK is all they'll ever be.
The ultimate insult (that insult that is usually added to injury) are the groups, or rather gangs, of mediocre individuals all striving together to maintain the mediocre status quo. I've seen this in so many cyber venues that I simply stopped counting. I don't suppose I need to give any examples of this behavior, being so abundant as it is right here, but just for the spite of it let me paint an image for you:
Have you ever read a poem that seems written by a 5 year old, with as much substance (never mind poetry) as the brand printed in your dishwasher, but still read a bunch of comments on it saying how wonderful it is, how unique and, oh, dramatic? Have you even felt compelled to say so yourself? The same goes for an article with as much depth as a drop of water, and as many spelling mistakes as ... You get my drift.
Well, that is what gang mediocrity is all about. One either follows because they don't want to spoil the status quo by going against the flow (fear of retribution), or maybe they do it because they don't have a clue and will rather say what everybody else says because being friendly is easier than being honest (safety in numbers, and yes, fear of retribution), or it could be that they didn't even read the poem but if the gang is in favor, I'm with the gang (all of the above, plus having a pea sized brain and as much personality as a lamp post). Could there be a forth possibility, that it in fact is a great poem? Excuse me while I laugh again. Or puke, you know the drill.
Gang mediocrity, that's what it all is. Validating through others that one is mediocre and righteously so. I mean, if enough mediocre folks like me tell me I'm gooooood, then how can it not be so.
You see a lot, Doctor...
But are you strong enough to point that high-powered perception at yourself? What about it? Why don't you - why don't you look at yourself and write down what you see? Or maybe you're afraid to. - Clarice Starling, Silence of the Lambs, 1991
Yeah, well. I'm sure I'm at fault as well. So what. Two wrongs don't make a right.
Let me wrap up with a most malevolent parting line: Chances are I'm speaking about you, and you, and you. Not that you'll feel identified with anything you read in here. Don't forget to rate me down before leaving the premises! TA!
© 2010 Elena.