My special interest in mediocracy

“Man, I am bored, you know. I am falling into a routine: getting up, go to work, have a few drinks in a New York bar, go home, wake up tired too late and go to work. Over, and over, and over again.”

“But is it because you are insensitive for the esthetic of the moment? Cause you would be thrilled a year ago, to do exactly that!”

“Yeah, but I done all that now, and it’s a bore now, I am repeating myself, and I am jumping on the the same subway line, from the same stop on the same corner, getting out at the same street, getting the same cup of coffee from the same street vendor around the same damn hour. How about that for a life?”

“You know, there was a time in college that I was so curious about the divine, that is, the total sensation, the completely whole-heartedly felt feeling of mediocracy that for a year almost I tried franticly to behave and dress unsuspiciously.”

“What?! You crack me up, why would you do that for?”

“Because I think there is something intrinsically enjoyable about it.”

“Fuck that.”

“Seriously, why would so many people live happily mediocre lives?”

“You think they choose to live like that, to be anonymous ants by sheer pleasure? I don’t think so, they are out of impotence or worse out of fear!”

“No I disagree, there is something too evident in deviating from the norm for it to be not easily obtainable, to be not accessible. Think about it, it is the most urgent desire to stand out, the most powerful and most innate will to be unique, at least in western culture, and yet, millions of people choose to blend in with the mass.”

“Hm.”

“That is why I like to work at an office. I sit there quietly and work, work only so not to attract suspicion or attention of any sort, so they might think you are looking at them, because there is nothing worse for the average person than to be observed, it is the mediocre sub-urban family man that Sartre head in mind, when he formulated his theory of negation. So I sit quietly, and observe, I listen to their phraseology, I look at their emotional fits, I watch their concerns that form when they frown, how they beat their fingers, drink their soda cans, how they like to talk endlessly talk with each other -‘I will follow up with that’- how they think out strategies to motivate me, how they believe in the importance of their work, their indispensability that forces them to work in the weekends, take only a few days vacation, I watch their civic sense of obligation, their emotional attachment to the organization, their voluntary compliance to their superiors like male chimps offering themselves sexually in a gesture of pacification. Man, seriously, where do you get that on top of Mount Everest?”

“I would climb any mountain and die climbing it, before choosing to live that kind of life.”

“Ah man, how easy to stand out, to think of something no one before you did, to eat a thousand hot dogs, so much easier than to live a quiet live in content.”

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