Monday, 07 February 2011
This is post that celebrates not just your typical, everyday mediocrity, but mediocrity that exceeds all of our wildest expectations. In honor of those individuals, artsts, entertainers, and even politicians, who bring the art of mediocrity to a whole new level.
Avatar: This movie was incredible to sit through in 3D and in the movie theaters. Unfortunately, it came out about twenty years after Dances With Wolves and about fifteen years after Pocahontas. The plot wasn't bad, just a bit trite and completely unoriginal. Also, it apparently is nearly indistinguishable from a 1950's sci-fi novel, Call Me Joe, about a paraplegic who explores the surface of a planet and connects with locals in an artificial body.
Way to go, Cameron, for creating the most hyped film of the past several years, perhaps decades, and the most successful film at the box office of all time, with a completely recycled plot. Now THAT is exceptionally mediocre.
Alfonso Soriano: As a Cubs fan this kills me. But, Alfonsie has definitely not delivered since signing his eight year/$136 million contract in 2007. Since then, he has been on the disabled list way too much. He has yet to reach a .300 batting average, steal more than 20 bases, hit more than 80 RBIs, or score 100 runs. He's also struck out over 100 times each season since he came to the north side of Chi-town. Not to mention the fact that he is a tremendous liability in the field. Soriano, I love you, and hope you prove me wrong in 2011.
Brett Favre: Sure he set tons of records, but one of those was for most interceptions. If Brett had called it quits three years ago, when the Packers didn't want him back, we'd all be remembering him quite positively. Instead, he became one of, if not the most, hated players in the NFL, ranked near the bottom of fantasy rankings, and didn't play the last few games of 2010. Oh yeah, and his became that name we are sick of seeing on the ESPN news feed every year as he pondered whether to play or call it quits. I almost hope the NFL doesn't reach an agreement next year, just so that we can know for sure that Favre won't be playing.
Anyone can put up good numbers if they keep at it for as long as Brett did. Cheers Brett, your tenacity and refusal to quit makes you one of the MOST mediocre achievers we've ever seen.
The series Friends: The "Brett Favre" of television shows. The most successful member of that cast has been Jenifer Aniston...need I say more?
U2: Some of their music is alright, I guess, but some people talk about them like they are the second coming of the Beatles. They do have SOME catchy songs, but they never do anything complex instrumentally, and their songs are not too musically sophisticated. And as arrogant as Bono is, he is really just the world's biggest piece of crap. "Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!"
Coldplay: Or should I say U2-2. Just like U2, their songs might be good if there was a little more to them, but instead they're nothing but simple and repetitive, albeit a little catchy. Know how I know you're gay?
Travis Barker: Everyone and their friend knows that the other two members of Blink-182 aren't worth shit, and that Barker is the only member of that band with an ounce of talent. I think this is why he's hailed as if he is the next Buddy Rich; we are unable to cope with the fact that that band we loved in middle school is really not that good. Barker is a pretty good drummer, I'll give him that. I will also concede that the man has some damned fine chops. But that's really all he's good at, playing fast, yet straightforward and unoriginal, fills and patterns. Any drummer who tells you that Travis Barker is their favorite drummer probably sucks. To be honest, you need to step outside the punk genre if you wanna find the real drumming talent.
Mark Wahlberg's career: His baby, The Fighter, has been getting great reviews. But mostly for Christian Bale's performance. He produced Entourage and a couple episodes of Boardwalk Empire, along with We Own the Night, which I enjoyed. And he's acted in some good-to-great films: The Departed, Three Kings, We Own the Night, and The Perfect Storm. But he was surrounded by acting champs in all of these, and we can't forget his work in The Happening, Invincible, and Max Payne. Some "Payne"-full reminders of what happens when an actor who is decent (at best) takes center stage.
Ronald Reagan's Presidency: He's hailed by conservatives as one of the best presidents of all time, but, frankly, he didn't really do anything. Yes, the Berlin Wall came down and the USSR collapsed (although this became official under Bush). But this was because the Soviet system was doomed to fail anyway. I mean, honestly, was there EVER a chance that the Soviet Union could sustain itself when they were neglecting the well-being of their citizenry to keep up with America in the arms race and space race?
Reagan was so uninvolved and unaware as a president that his cabinet secretly dealt weapons to Iran in exchange for the release of hostages, and used the proceeds to fund an anti-communist guerrilla group in Nicaragua (which was specifically prohibited by an act of Congress). "A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not." What...? Your heart and your best intentions...totally relevant....
As Pres, Reagan also saw the national debt increase nearly threefold, spent way too much money on a missile defense system that was unrealistic (it was nicknamed "Star Wars"), took a more militant stance in the "War on Drugs," and idly watched members of his administration decide to trade positions during his second term. Is this really the best you got, Republicans?
Barack Obama's Presidency: All that "hope" and "change" is starting to seem like empty rhetoric. I don't necessarily think it was Obama's fault; he's had to deal with some intense and hostile opposition that has used deceitful and dirty politics, but that's America! What did you think you were getting into?
The gap between rich and poor is still enormous, the country is still in tremendous debt, unemployment is still through the roof, and our defense budget is still absurdly high. And several of Obama's economic advisers either used to be or still are connected to the banks and corporations that most benefited from TARP (or the "bailouts" as they are known), which he continued, even though it was initiated by Bush.
But don't worry! The stock market is doing better, and the rich still have their tax cuts!
Who do you think has been exceptional in their deliverance of mediocrity?