Thursday, April 19, 2018

Blogger 1, Death 0

I'm still alive! And I'm going to refine my point about over-the-top praise. When people hand out unearned praise because their little minds don't let them understand appropriate praise, praise becomes meaningless. As we so often do, let me use the NFL to illustrate:

This is how NFL praise has evolved over the decades.

The smell of clean: Ammonia
Best music: Freedom Rock, man
Best Film: The Great Escape

Praise levels from NFL announcers

One of the best... means... one of the best
Great... means... really good
Solid... means... adequate
No adjective... means... sucks

The smell of clean: Pine
Best music: Progressive Rock
Best Film: Star Wars

Praise levels from NFL announcers

All Star/All Pro... means... one of the best
One of the best... means... really good
Talented... means... adequate
No adjective... means... sucks

The smell of clean: Lemon
Best music: New Wave/Heavy Metal
Best Film: Raiders of the Lost Ark

Praise levels from NFL announcers

All Time Great... means... one of the best
All Pro... means... really good
Underrated... means... adequate
Has potential... means... sucks

The smell of clean: Orange
Best music: Grunge/Pop
Best Film: The Usual Suspects

Praise levels from NFL announcers

Future Hall of Famer... means... one of the best
Potential Hall of Famer... means... really good
Seriously Underrated... means... adequate
Underrated... means... sucks

The smell of clean: Cotton/"Fresh"
Best music: N/A
Best Film: N/A

Praise levels from NFL announcers

Hall of Famer... means... one of the best
Future Hall of Famer... means... really good
One of the Best... means... adequate
Seriously Underrated... means... sucks

The smell of clean: Death By Bleach
Best music: N/A
Best Film: N/A

Praise levels from NFL announcers

First Ballot Hall of Famer... means... one of the best
Hall of Famer... means... really good
Potential Hall of Famer... means... adequate
One of the best... means... sucks

This is what our society does. Some dumb monkey comes along and tries to pull a stronger adjective out of his butt than the last monkey. When he succeeds, the next monkey needs to come up with something to top the prior monkey. In this process, these idiots keep upping the baseline until it becomes impossible to offer a genuine assessment. Economists call this a race to the bottom when you're talking about vice, but here it's a race to hyperbole... a race to idiocy. It's grade inflation of the worst kind. Ever wonder why every fool who leaves Harvard has a 3.98 GPA? why every person who was ever inconvenienced was heroic? why so many people have become narcissist? This is why. It won't stop either.

The smell of clean: Solar Fire
Best music: Lithuanian Rap
Best Film: Tootsie VII

Praise levels from NFL announcers

God of God's God... means... one of the best
God of Gods... means... really good
First Ballot Football God... means... adequate
Football God... means... sucks



tryanmax said...

I’m looking forward to the fresh scent of Solar Fire. Now available as body spray, coffee-mate, and playing in cinemas worldwide!

AndrewPrice said...

Me too actually. LOL!

You know, I recall in the 1980s, a marketing exec telling our class that people associate pine with clean and that will never change. He had missed the growing number of lemon products and he clearly never predicted the next several. But it seems (in hindsight) that each decade wants it's own "clean" smell.

He also showed us a series of 15 second commercials and told us this was too fast for humans and predicted that commercials would never go below 30 seconds. So far, he's partially right on that one.

BevfromNYC said...

The apex of hyperbole is nigh!

That is so true, but I never thought to connect it with cleaning scents. Humans really are devolving, aren't we? Some of it is good like the need to simplify and have less stuff. But unfortunately the need to simplify education is have a bad effect. We've dumbed down college degree programs to the point of being worthless (or maybe they always have been...). When one needs college degree to work at Starbucks, it doesn't have much value and are no longer a marker for advanced skill or intelligence. They are what HS diplomas were in the '50's/60's. One could get a job in a company and work your way up with native intelligence and learning skills on the job.

I don't think I will be around for the New Enlightened Age of the Post-Solar Fire.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Soon we will have hyperboled ourselves into a bind where there is simply no hire praise left and we will be reduced to inventing new idiot-words like supergianormous to express ourselves. 'tis a sad future.

The New Enlightened Age of the Post-Solar Fire will be supergiamazing! I'm looking forward to it. And for the record, I have no idea why I connected the smell of clean to that except that it seemed like something to add to a generational discussion.

We definitely have a problem of intellectual creep. Unfortunately, we seem to respond by dumbing down rather than lifting up.

Tennessee Jed said...

One of the reasons Raiders knocked my socks off was it came out under the radar ... at least mine. I had heard literally nothing about it, then noted a relatively small ad in the movie section of the Philly Inquirer saying starts Friday at the following theaters. It had The famous drawing of Harrison Ford fresh off his Star Wars notorietyso my wife and I took our 11 year old to the Sunday matinee. It was an old time matinee popcorn movie with State of the Art effects. Corny dialog is perfect for that kind of movie. It suffered from no impossible built up expectations.

A long way to get to your real point. Our society's culture has to devolve for just the reasons you make. People, be it writers, film makers or "journalists" have to constantly try to surpass what has come before. Thus language becomes courser, politics dirtier, superlatives greater. Maybe their is that desire to put something happening now in its "proper" place in the context of history. Hence this is the most heroic act or the biggest scandal since .....

Anthony said...

Not a sports guy but I disagree with your wider point (contain your shock :)). I say that due to technological changes there is a lot more competition in every sphere due to lower barriers to entry and/or costs of production.

Thousands of things compete for the attention of individuals at any given moment and many of those things are from people very good at what they do and who have a strong grasp of what their audience is looking for.

In crowded markets promotion is important but in my experience generally speaking commercial art takes the 'If you love X, Y is a modern variant!' line rather than 'this is the best thing ever!'.

Culture is not becoming coarser across the board. That is a choice some creators make because that is what some audiences demand but generally speaking those that win the biggest audiences avoid the most extreme content. Notably kids entertainment is as sweet and high quality as ever (just watched the lovely Coco with my daughters last weekend). It's far tougher to preserve innocence than ever but that is the downside of modern tech.

Rustbelt said...

I should've posted this yesterday, but in his busy week, the Grim Reaper has struck again. And this time, for me, it's a little more personal.
Yesterday, former Ohio State HC Earle Bruce passed away at 87 after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's last year.
I met him a few times when I was a student at OSU. The first time was when he was signing his (then) new book. Always smiling, always easy to talk to. He told me how Coach Hayes always loved to fire up the team by recounting military strategy- especially with examples of Gettysburg and D-Day. (And as a guy studying military history at the time, it was great!) He truly embraced his role as former-HC-turned-program-patriarch.

Bruce only won 2 outright conference titles and 2 co-titles during his tenure- 1979- 1987- and had the unenviable task of succeeding the legendary Woody Hayes.
But success isn't always defined by titles. Look at a few HC members of his coaching tree:

Fmr. Player: Bo Pelini (Safety)
Fmr. Graduate Assistants: Mark Dantonio, Urban Meyer,
Fmr. Position Coaches: Nick Saban (DB's), Dom Capers (DB's), Glen Mason (LB's/OL), Jim Tressel (QB's/WR's/RB's)
Fmr. Coordinators: Pete Carroll (Secondary), Glen Mason (Offense)

He also had what counts the most: a winning record (5-4) against That Team Up North. (He's also the last OSU HC to win B10 Coach of the Year- 1979.)

R.I.P. Coach. I know you're in Heaven and reunited with your wife now, but you will be missed.

EPorvaznik said...

A sad loss indeed, and my heart goes out to the Bruce family and Buckeye Nation. Had the opportunity to meet Earle at my dad's Elk's Club shortly after he took the head coaching position, and nothing but a gentleman. RIP, Coach.

Rustbelt said...

Thanks, man.

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