3.31.2005

Overrated things

Installment #2

4. Ryan Seacrest. Honestly, Rod Stewart is the only person I can think of who has gotten more out of so little actual talent.

5. Prolificity. This is a tricky one, and might slip by unnoticed by many an overrated lister. (Also, it might be useful to note that the overrated value placed on one’s being prolific is related to overrated thing #3.) The best explanation I can give for this one is as follows: everyone knows that Mozart, in his 35 short years, composed a mind-boggling amount of music, everyone knows that Shakespeare wrote a ridonkulous (see thing #6) number of sonnets and plays, and everyone knows that DaVinci was prolific in multiple fields. What I struggle to understand is the phantasmal relationship between prolificity and quality in the minds of my contemporaries. Taking blogs as a current source especially rife with examples, I pose a question: does the size of one’s blog correlate in any real way to the worthiness of its subject-matter?

The answer, I think, is no. The two are not mutually exclusive, of course, but I must take this opportunity to plead with the world: create all you can, but do not let the quantity of your work speak for its quality. It is true that for every masterpiece, there are untold numbers of works that preceded it in preparation. Let us not, however discard the truth, that preparatory work is often for our own growth, and is as such unfit for public consumption; divulge at your own risk.

6. Clever Lingo. “As if!” “You are the weakest link!” “Don’t go there!” We all know these phrases, and we are all able to pinpoint somewhat specific time periods during which they were exceedingly popular and, consequently, beaten to death. It should be noted that lesser-known phrases, having sprung up in minute localities (a lone high school, a church, or even a group of 5 or 10 friends) can have a similarly strong affect on the few individuals with knowledge of them.


I must admit, I have no viable explanation for this phenomenon, save the notion that such phrases, given the power of language, may provide us with a certain sense of continuity with our society, contemporary or past. Again, I pose a question (though a largely self-directed inquiry it may be): why can’t I stop saying “ridonkulous”?

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