Write About What Makes you Angry

Okay, so this really doesn't make me angry, it just happens to be part of the book I am writing. Its fairly lengthy... but I hope people will read it and comment. Tell me what you think, do you agree or disagree, why? I want to get different viewpoints. Also, I want you to tell me if you think its boring, or if I need to work on my writing skillz, because I don't want to write a lame book. :)

In an era when excelling should be increasingly important, we are seeing a trend of accepting mediocrity not only as the norm, but also as most desired. In little league baseball, teams don’t “win” anymore; we can’t foster competition. Americans don’t want to vote for a presidential candidate who seems “elitist” or rather, highly educated. In a country that values individuality, emphasis is increasingly placed on sameness. Truly, setting a goal to become exceptional in a certain skill or field can seem daunting, and rationalizing ourselves into doing just enough to get by can be appealing as we strive onward in those goals, but what does it merit us in the end to not really be good at anything?

Don’t misunderstand me; I'm not saying everyone ought to be perfect at everything they enjoy doing every time they do it. We are all blessed with different gifts and talents, and we can develop those over time. I also find it important to strive to learn new skills and abilities beyond the ones we discover we have a natural ability for. I don’t think we should over exert ourselves to become “the best” at everything, but we should always be striving to be our best in whatever task we perform.

I have named this problem “Disneyfication,” because I began noticing the prevalence of this issue first on Disney Channel television shows. Each season Disney parades out a new grouping of shows with young actors typically between the ages of 10-15, in shows with the same general subjects, and performing the same acting style, similar to that popularized by Hilary Duff in her own Disney Channel show, bad acting. Disney’s main emphasis seems to be, “anyone can do this if they really want to.” While this sentiment is a nice one to express to the Disney channels target audience, wouldn’t it also be nice to convey the message that anyone can follow their dreams and even excel in what they want to do? It may be true that many of these young actors will move on to other projects that would require more of them each time, and they would prove themselves capable of exceptional acting, but since Disney does not seem to have that qualification a slew of sameness bombards viewers of their channel.

However, even in this attack by the Disney channel, Disney still brought me a bright shining light of hope in the form of the movie, “The Incredibles.” One of my favorite scenes in this film is when Mrs. Incredible is telling her son why he can’t play sports in school, he would beat the other kids all the time, it just wouldn’t be fair. The dialog at this point goes as follows,

' I thought you said we should never be ashamed of being special!
Everyone is special Dash.
Which is another way of saying no one is.'

Would it really be so awful for the other children to recognize Dash’s special talents and abilities? By quelling the exceptional skills of others not only do we endeavor to create this mentality of not wanting to stand out and be different, but also not giving others the opportunity to strive to improve themselves. Wouldn’t the other students become more skilled in the sports they were competing in if they were striving to be a successful competitor against the Incredible they were up against?

Another great moment in this film is when the parents are discussing Mr. Incredible’s desire to avoid his son’s fourth grade graduation. He states,

' It’s psychotic, it’s not a graduation, he is moving from the fourth grade to the fifth. This is just another way people have come up with to reward mediocrity!'

In accordance with this statement, I further submit that rewarding mediocrity stops us from improving poor situations. If we worked towards becoming exceptional, I think more solutions to problems could be found and perfection would perhaps not seem to be such an unattainable goal.

Comments

trentathon said…
The writing here is a little bit too good. Why don't you dumb it down a little so we can all relate to it.
Bukran said…
I agree with your underpinning concept wholeheartedly, but there was a bit of a disconnect for me in your juxtaposition of Hillary Duff-esque cable acting vs. the philosophy of The Incredibles regarding mediocrity and superiority.

Me be literary critic? That's unpossible!
trb48 said…
I have discovered that people don't question what is happening around them. They do what they are told, and go about their business. Which shocks me honestly.

When we are teenagers we try so hard to break away from rules, but when we become adults we fall right in line.

I have had people tell me that they didn't want to ask their boss questions because they didn't want to come across as questioning their authority. I am not sure how a simple question like "When do you want this done by?" or "Is this more important than what I am working on right now?" can cause problems.

I think that the problem is that in school we don't focus on the whys of life, we focus on the whats. We learn dates, how to spell, and math formulas but we don't know why we are learning them.

People also don't like feedback. Somehow receiving feedback is like getting an appendage cut off. So, instead of giving feedback we complain about how stupid other people are, or we decide that they actually lazy.

People don't ask questions, they don't listen, they don't know why they do what they do, and they learn facts. These things cause us to become mediocre.

Mediocrity is my nemesis.
Aaron said…
It sounds good, but if you are going to slam the Disney Channel you should make sure and clear the legal for using a trademarked name.
alirara said…
AAron's right you wouldn't want to lose money on your book. But I like it. When you told me you were writing a book I thought you meant fiction. But this is good.
Docface/Wilbur said…
Also, do your research because in the minor league and major leagues of little league, the teams still win and lose and get trophies. (Jacob's team took 2nd place in the play offs.) Actually, in team sports that is one area in which good personal performance is still rewarded without having to tear down those who try. It is only in the younger ages, t-ball and farm teams, that they do not win or lose. I think it is because the little kids do not really understand the concept of doing their best but still losing. The remarkable thing is that now that these 8 & 9 year olds are in minors, they have so much fun in spite of winning or losing. The fun is in the learning and the doing.
Anyway, make sure your research is sound. The point you are making is good.
Docface/Wilbur said…
im good with all that (about Disney) and this probably doesn't have anything to do anything but im always like this sooo...
i just don't like some of the disney movies cuz thyre all aout how the paret wants the kid to do one thing, but the kid wants to do another thing. and that doesn't bother me as much as the fact that in every single one of those movies the following line will always appear
"That's your dream Mom/Dad, not mine."
sooo, maybe that has to do with disney and finding yourself and ya, ya, ya. but that has just been bothering me for a long time >:-{[

like my face? it has a mustache and fangs and eyebrows and a nose.

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