Mediocrity is All Relative (In Which I Share My Favorite Analogy)

The holidays are over, New Year’s Eve has come and gone, Christmas parties are in the bag.  All we are left with is the cold reality of winter, which in Chicago can last until mid-May.  My North Face puffy coat will be working double-time for the foreseeable future. Literally, on January 2nd, I walked out into a 6-degree wind chill, could barely take a step against the gusts, and thought I might have no recourse other than to lie down on the sidewalk and freeze to death.

So I’m a little melodramatic.

But I’m not here to talk about the weather or proper cold-weather wear (which, ladies, is not flats with no socks). I thought it as good a time as any to share one of my favorite analogies, courtesy of my pal Andy. Andy is a hella smart, wryly funny, deeply cynical music and film snob aficionado who keeps me around as a friend despite my appreciation for Kelly Clarkson music and refusal to watch The Empire Strikes Back.  

Back when we worked together, we would IM about important topics such as the death of Corey Haim (which I still can’t reference without tearing up) and the monotony of Beyonce lyrics.

One day I asked him: “Who is worse, Collective Soul or Creed?”


His response, which I wish I’d saved verbatim, was something to the effect of: “Creed is worse, but that’s like saying 60 degrees below zero is worse than 40 degrees below zero. One is slightly less bad, but either one’ll kill you.”


Of course, I agreed with him.  Creed is totally worse, if only because of Scott Stapp’s vaguely faux-religious pretentions and blistering arrogance. Also, ‘The World I Know’ and ‘Gel’ and maybe even ‘Shine’ are all better than the best thing  Creed ever did (‘My Sacrifice.’)

I’d put Collective Soul at about 15 degrees above zero, in fact.

This analogy can be used for a number of scenarios, as I have already demonstrated here previously. Any debate of what’s bad versus what’s even worse – Two and a Half Men versus Rules of Engagement?  Jack and Jill versus any other later-era Adam Sandler flick? A McDonald’s Filet o’ Fish versus Burger King French fries? The freezing-to-death analogy works like a charm.

What’s your favorite (or least favorite, as it were) bad-versus-really bad debate?


One thought on “Mediocrity is All Relative (In Which I Share My Favorite Analogy)

  1. Pingback: FFWding to the Best Part: “Jumper,” Third Eye Blind (1998) | Neurotic City

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s