There's a widespread epidemic I must address today. I'm sure you've seen it, lamented and wondered what can be done about it. I'm talking about the acceptance of things that are just so-so and calling them excellent. Taking C-level work and calling it A+. It's everywhere - music, movies, schools, work ethics, books, actors, politicians, opinions - people are cosigning and elevating some regular-assed shiggity to legendary status. It must stop.
I have to accept my part of the blame in this. There have definitely been times when I have described things as "epic" or "uber" or "best ever" when they really, truly weren't. They were good, maybe even great but greatest of all time? No. Here are a few pop culture examples of what I'm talking about:
Exhibit one from Facebook: "I think Fantasia is the next Etta James." And someone co-signing! Okay now, Tasia Mae is talented but ur.. uh... Etta James (RIP) level? Stop it. Let Tasia stand on her own and leave Etta out of it. If Tasia belts out classics that stand the test of time for 40+ years, then we'll talk.
Exhibit two from Twitter: Tyrese comparing his contributions to society to those of Martin Luther King. And someone telling him he was "just as inspirational". (You know how angry it makes me me to put those two names in the same sentence?)
Exhibit three from Politics: Newt Gingrich challenging Obama to debates. And a news guy on a channel that shall not be named saying Newt matched up evenly with Obama on intelligence and speech. New-New-G? Obeezy. Will. Slaughter. You. Trust me Gingy. You don't want none.
Exhibit four from a blog: Chick describes herself as a best-selling author and folks congratule her. Someone else asks "Where are you ranked?" and is called a hater. Um... selling 100 books at your church bazaar does not a bestseller make. Unless an accredited outlet awards you with the "bestselling" title, just stay humble and be glad someone bought your ish.
Exhibit five overheard in Target: "Drake is the best rapper ever" Me: "Really tho? Not Pac or Jay or Biggie or Em?" Uninformed dude: "Man, Drake would smoke Tupac." His friend nods. Me: "Oh." That sound you hear is Biggie & Pac backflipping in their graves.
People, I'm sorry. It must be said - a lot of the stuff that we're exposed to right now? C+ at best, yet folks seem determined to assign A's across the board. I don't kid myself, I'm a good writer with a nice career and a decent blog. On a good day I'll grade myself 92, on a so-so day 82. I'm not creating American Classics or dropping life-alerting blog posts but dammit I'm entertaining. I know my niche.
Seriously, take this a level deeper - have we (as a nation) just gotten so used to basic-basic being elevated that we no longer recognize or expect excellence? Let's face it - people are not so smart. And they share their "not so smartness" with us everyday and we just nod because it's easier. People are not so talented and no one tells them that they suck. Folks declare themselves fabulous and we cosign if it's shiny enough. When is enough enough? Are we so happy not to be a nation of F's that we're giddy at a C?
When do we start pushing back on half-baked half-assedness and begin demanding that people try a little harder, dig a little deeper and give a little more? I'm not saying there is not excellence out there, I see it all around. I'm saying,
let's not nominate racist narrow-minded cheating-azz bigots for the Presidency let's keep it real, shall we? Let's stop calling stainless steel platinum.
Does anyone know what I'm talking about or am I dancing with myself (<~~also the title of Billy Idol song which is decent but not epic. See what I did there?)... Bougie out. Ya'll share your thoughts on this...