52% intelligent. 9% modest. More monkey than bear.
Friday, 14 April 2006
my life is brilliant
I'm suffering from superlative fatigue.
It's like an arms race as everyone tries to go one up on everyone else. A goal isn't just a goal anymore. It's a fantastic goal. A brilliant goal. Bands don't just release new albums; they release 'outstanding' albums, 'amazing' albums, 'breathtaking' albums. It's even possible to now to hail an album as a 'classic' when it's barely been recorded. The Arctic Monkeys are undoubtedly an exciting new band, but have they really just produced one of the top 10 greatest British albums of all time? That's what the NME trumpeted about "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not" on the week of its release.... Estate Agents are famous for this of course. I had to laugh when I walked into our local supermarket the other day and saw that they had put a billboard up next to the flats they are building next door saying that it was a "exceptional" location. That's high praise indeed for some prefab appartments built on the canal next to Sainsburys and overlooking a KwikFit and a Tile Warehouse. Where can you go once you've played the "exceptional" card? They've painted themselves into a corner there. Once you've reached for the superlative for something that is clearly less than superlative, where do you go next? How on earth would that Estate Agent describe a house in a genuinely nice location?
Overuse is rendering the superlative meaningless. They're just empty words.
Maybe these people should go and talk to some teenagers. When I was a teenager and someone asked me what I thought of something, no matter how brilliant I thought it was, no matter how much fun I was having, regardless of how amazing it was.... I would always grunt that I thought it was "alright". That's pretty much as good as it gets from a teenager. That's high praise indeed. That's the adolescent superlative.
Whatever happened to understatement? I quite like a bit of understatement.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to put down my amazing laptop, leave my outstandingly beautiful home with my exquisite girlfriend and head off to a fantastic deli and have an astonishingly awe-inspiring sandwich.
Not everything can be brilliant. And you know what? That's okay.