Silent Whispers

Chasing Illusionary Butterflies!

Mediocrity Rules

Posted by Mrityunjay on September 17, 2010

Mediocrity rules, don’t you agree to that? Wherever you go, whomsoever you talk, the only thing that can make you connect to your circumstances/people/things is mediocrity. It’s in our DNA. Words like genius or excellence are so very revered which is also an indication of simple demand-supply mismatch. Just imagine, you being termed genius and how happy and high that makes you feel! All of a sudden, you find yourself elevated above mediocre bunch of people surrounding you!

A sociological study says, mediocre people are programmed to like mediocre stuff and mediocre stuffs are designed in a way that mediocre people have to like them! Confused? Nah, it’s simple actually. Why do you think about phenomenal success of Ghajini, Dabangg, Avatar, Chetan Bhagat etc? Huh, so much for popular choice! No, if you find people proclaiming Dabangg or Ghajini is so full of entertainment or Chetan Bhagat rocks etc, don’t find yourself dismayed. It is just the principle of mediocrity.

Let’s probe further. All humans have a common ancestor about 10,000 years ago and you must be aware of our similarity with bonobos and chimpanzees. Science says, we share about 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees and that makes us a part of biosphere. We were not designed specifically with ample dosage of intellect and blessing from your favorite God or Black Hole or whatever you prefer to call it. We just managed to evolve in a better way. We always assumed that, earth is the centre of universe and everything else rotates around us. But it needed a Galileo or Copernicus to prove this basic truth but before that churches and Pandits and Maulavis etc etc had burned/prisoned and tortured many souls for propagating this blasphemous truth.

So the fact is universe is substantially larger than humans first thought. We also took our own sweet time to realize; Milky Way Galaxy is just one of thousands of galaxies. So the final conclusion according to Copernican principle of Mediocrity was “Earth is a relatively ordinary planet orbiting a relatively ordinary star in a relatively ordinary galaxy which is one of countless others in a giant universe, possibly within an infinite multiverse”. Lest we forget to add, “Inhabited by billions of ordinary animals known as humans”!

So when everything is so mediocre about our existence then why are we so afraid about accepting our mediocrity? Intellect is a romanticized term and almost every one of us, feels like possessing it. Trust me, this is not a self-deprecatory defense mechanism employed by me to hide my own inadequacies or evoke a feeling of brotherhood or a futile attempt to assuage my perpetual self-doubt by praising me. The thought has remained with me for a while. As I mentioned while starting this topic, mediocrity is everywhere.

Some people might frown over this optimistic/pessimistic view (you see that glass half full / half empty crap). But here gain, it’s our myopic view that makes us think and popularise that glass metaphor. It’s so damn cheesy. You can be a realist or a spiritualist or a mix of both also. A realist will say, glass is half full and half empty. No more no less. Whereas a spiritualist will say, it doesn’t really matter. If finding the glass half-full makes you feel good, feel that or you can simply say, there is just a glass and some water. You refuse to bind yourself with limited notion of half full and half empty idiotic rhetoric.

Coming back to the track, I am not trying to propound a grand theory here. I am simply stating the obvious. I also accept, I have got no right to judge what is mediocre and what is not. In fact, mediocre people have got everything. I will be forced to cite examples of Chetan Bhagat, Twilight, Himesh Reshammiya, Ghajini, Shilpa Shetty, Big Boss, Roadies and should I dare to say, George Bush et al. Yes, mediocrity rules and it’s a common trait binding all of us. Else, there would always be a class chasm.

It’s illusive to find genius people. Despite trying hard, concentrating for few minutes, I couldn’t find one single person, I could term as genius, who could inspire me. So where do you look? Facebook, Orkut etc? Well, there also, a large percentage of people are mediocre and narcissists. Just like me. That’s why they connect with me and vice versa.

Honestly, I am not here to champion the cause of mediocrity nor am I asking you to forget the idea of running behind excellence. If you can reach perfection, go for it. I will love to watch your progress but yes, you can go only as far as what your society allows you to. Yes, there is always a possibility of you being the one who redefined norms and conventions but for that, you need to stretch beyond your DNA genesis.

If mediocrity rules, so be it. And if you are still reading this post, you have already made your stand clear.

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3 Responses to “Mediocrity Rules”

  1. Pankti said

    a thought provoking post – well written!
    Mediocrity in itself is a word that is clear for what it stands for – moderate, average etc
    But mediocrity in people is a subjective decision that one makes depending on the level of his or her own mediocrity/inferior/superior intellect

    From the examples that you have sited it proves that movies like Ghajini and Dabangg are complete mass mediocre entertainers and because the maximum population is mediocre, such movies work! I personally did not like both but I do enjoy Chetan Bhagat!

    Moreso, people who consider themselves intellectual, above the mediocre population will make choices of disliking the above states examples simply because they have positioned themselves above the rest! so what the whole world loves, they will have to dislike it even if they secretly like it! I think it is the positioning that people want to fir themselves into!

    While I do agree with you, I wonder if we should really discuss the whole mediocrity topic or should we end it to a simple fact that each individual makes a choice and is happy with it!

    But your thoughts and its presentation do leave a mark and some food for thought for me! 😛 Thanks

  2. I agree, thought provoking.

    I think that people get scared by being different, standing out from the crowd, grabbing the limelight. So consequently they sit back and support mediocrity.

    Consequently to stand out you just need to be a bit better than the next person, next business, next blog. You don’t have to be great.

    Which is a shame.

    I personally strive for greatness and seek to repel mediocrity whenever I see it!

  3. Good, elaborate comment.

    Yes, I agree mediocrity is a subjective decision. Perhaps a rational person would argue that mediocrity, intellect, superiority etc are not absolutes, but can be determined by each individual. These terms can always be altered from one situation, person or circumstance to the next. My post might instigate a ‘subjective relativist’ or ‘moral relativist’ against my views on the notions of mediocrity. It is an obvious conclusion but definitely not the only to be drawn from the views expressed in the article.

    I sincerely believe, there is greater ambivalence to subject of mediocrity in our side of world. Considering the diversity found in humans, it is almost impossible to judge or even act according to a one-size-fits-all mediocrity code. But what is worrisome here is that there is an acceptable standard for mediocre behavior in our culture. Ys, the topic is subjective but there has to be a defined norm. You agree with Ghajini and Dabangg being mediocre films liked by mediocre people. While on their part, makers of these two crappy movies were not mediocre at all. One ran on unique promotional strategies and its ability to create illusionary perception about quality and selection of its leading actor whereas other, Dabangg’s success lay in its clever ability to promote itself as a mindless movies. Now, why the hell would people actually pay money to watch a seriously pathetic movie? So, the movies were ordinary but its makers were not. How would you actually view educated and supposedly intelligent persons saying ‘movie was all crap but good entertainment? Crap and yet good timepass? And I heard this from more than 10-15 people and that’s kind of weird for me. Promotion is the only thing that matters and sadly even best of people fall for it. Once in a while we all indulge in guilty pleasures but if liking these stuffs have become a habit then..well….! next time, will know you never have to take recommendations of those people seriously!

    We are slave to self-created perceptions. Chetan bhagat is a damn smart person and he writes all those bakwas simply because not many people can fathom camus, kafka or kundera. In the name of entertainment, if people can like his literature, Govinda’s acting and chulbul pandey then something is seriously screwed up with definition of entertainment and subsequently our claim of being intelligent and educated.

    Many supposedly intellectuals may have positioned themselves but it is not an obvious conclusion. Sometimes, it just comes to you.

    I guess…I can go on and on..your point was so valid..perhaps it will be safe to say we all have our choice and as long as we are happy with it..mediocrity or genius or whatever doesn’t really matter…

    Disclaimer- all the points expressed here confirm my standing as a mediocre person and I have no problem with it. But my problem is with people who pretend to be something else..with those hypocrite wannabes… : – )

    Thanks for making me think…ponder and blabber…;)

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