The Hall of Mediocrity


You really want to know what makes most people tick? Its that all-consuming fear of mediocrity, of knowing that, yes, you are an individual, but one of millions of individuals with the same hopes, dreams, sexual fantasies, prejudices, and probably worst of all, the same memories. Yes, those same memories and shared experiences that make us into who we are, well, are all the same aren't they?

What we lack in talent, we make up for with reckless abandon.

We try to dilute our perception of this by thinking of these shared experiences and memories as traditions that, as they happen to each generation, become a foundation for stronger relationships with our parents and older siblings, etc. For example, making out in the back seat of a LeSabre is a story that Bobby and Rosie did in high school that Bobby (now grown and going by Robert) one day relates to his teenage son Jason over a beer in the den when they swap a few stories man to man (only in Jason’s version it was Ashley in the back of a Honda Civic). You’re doomed, Jason, to live your father’s life just as he lived your grandfather’s, and one day when you and Ashley are in the silver years of a stagnating marriage, you’ll swap the same story with your teenage son Colby, or Carter, or whatever God-awful trendy name is in vogue.

That, of course, is just one example of all the things you’ve already done or will do tomorrow. Go to kindergarten, graduate to High School and choose a pigeonhole that you’ll trap yourself in for five years until you enter the workforce with no idea who you really are, learn to drive, get married, have a kid, get a mortgage, drink, live your failed dreams through the kid, get divorced, get old like your mom and dad, and end up in palliative care with a dopey drug-induced grin on your face and a diaper full of prunes and butterscotch.

But the funny thing is that despite destiny, some few people, namely the young one’s who think the world belongs to them, choose to believe otherwise. Instead of rolling over and accepting their fate by becoming plumber or beautician apprentices, they always say loud and cheerfully, “not me, I’m going places in life, I’m going to be a famous [actor, singer, writer, dancer] it’s always one of those four when you ask them. Well, three actually, fuck the dancer; I can’t name any famous dancers off the top of my head.

But there are plenty of famous actors and singers, damn rich ones too. So you, being one of these pseudo-enlightened brats, work hard to gain notoriety in your selected field by working hard everyday and pouring your heart and soul into it but no matter what you try, you never seem to get too far.

You may very well have an incredible success at the city talent show and even end up on some talent scouts bill, become popular locally for a while then fall off the radar, having reached your peek in life before getting your high school diploma. You were good, damn good; hell you were a genius! But somehow you just weren’t genius enough. You weren’t quite original enough. Despite all your best efforts, you just couldn’t keep on that streak long enough to get some real attention. The simple truth is that someone who really deserved it got what you wanted…and they probably didn’t try half as hard as you did.

Mozart wrote a concerto when he was 4 years old, laid down the hook for Party Rock Anthem by 7.

I know how cynical I must seem but as anyone who has ever had the misfortune of working with people who think they’re “going places” knows, these gifted individuals are the most pretentious pack of conniving, self-centered survived abortions you could ever run into. They float in their own carefully maintained bubbles with extremely delicate ecosystems. They're just one branch of society that grows out of refusing to roll over take what has been dealt them.

Another are the hardcore criminals, individuals who understand the law enough to hate it and act against it in order to fulfil the destiny they invent for themselves. Crime is the desperate expression made by someone who is painfully aware of their mediocrity, someone who never realized what alternative to mom and dad’s life was meant for them. What’s really fun is when the two lives meet and someone famous shoplifts from a department store, or molests some kids or best of all, hires someone to club the better [singer, actor, writer…skater] in the back of the throat, head, wrist…leg.

"Mediocrities everywhere, I absolve you..."

I guess fear of one’s inadequacies and average abilities cannot be conquered but instead grows stronger with every victory and eventually builds to the point where it must be unleashed like a rabid wolf upon your older brother the football star, your older sister the scholarship winner, the other actors on the stage, the girls on the catwalk, or the dumbass in the cubicle next to yours. Quit daydreaming you monkey, and pickup that headset – life insurance doesn't sell itself, y'know.

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