My occasional enthusiasms often begin when I am surprised at the mediocrity of some new hot item or idea that really seems quite awful. “Heck,” I think, “I could do better than that.”
But, of course, mediocre novelty succeeds not because it is better but because it is new. Entertainment requires an element of surprise. By the time anyone starts to do it better that validity has passed.
In our crowded world of eight billion there is no way to think something highly original, no thought that hasn’t been turned into an essay. No clever aphorism that is not already on the internet. Trying to be the all-time best at anything is a fool’s pursuit.
America is famous for being the land of “keeping up with the Joneses.” Lately, that has also been brutally difficult, not to mention expensive. Any given next door Jones can tear down the house and build a palace. A new coat of paint on mine isn’t going to help much.
Perhaps that ethos has become stretched to fatigue. I’m not sure that in the current social framework being better than others has any real meaning.