Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Is "Good" Good Enough?

Chris Hayes, a political commentator created a firestorm of sorts last week when he opined something to the effect that the word "hero" is being somewhat loosely applied these days. Perhaps as a conversation starter or merely as a hypothetical statement, Hayes implied that merely signing up for the military did not make one a hero. The opprobrium came fast and furious, and Hayes was forced to backtrack on the statement. I'm not taking a position here on the issue or what he said, but it seems to me that just about everything we say these days is incendiary. Back in the day, the "Greatest" meant something, but now we apply superlatives to just about anything. If a person, an item or a feat is one of the "all-time greatest," there is little room for maneuvering. Any Top Ten list is only as good as the time frame in which it occurs, and with the state of telecommunications, these days, it's a nanosecond or so usually! That means any example that's better-than-average gets short shrift: dropping into the "good but not great" category. Thus, this would mean that 1. While the Bible is the Good Book, it's not a GREAT book, and the Good Samaritan is just doing his job, worthy of no special plaudits. 2. Pearl Buck wrote a book about the "good" earth, but never wrote anything about the "great" earth. How come? 3. That ice cream I get from the jingling truck is merely designed to put me in a "good" humor, but not a state of rapture. 4. When I donate my clothes to others who are somewhat needy, they go to the Goodwill store, but is it as satisfying as a Greatwill store? 5. The Beach Boys (touring again, it seems) could only drum up some "good" vibrations but nothing too exciting. Why not? So, you see, we have become a people who bestows superlatives on what could best be described as "better-than-average." Let me repeat: this is NOT about Hayes' statement concerning the military. It is merely an observation concerning our tendency to choose our words less carefully than Webster might have wanted us to. As such, I'm good to go...but not necessarily great to go.


Post a Comment

<< Home