Painful that mediocrity has been elevated to an art form

Mediocrity is celebrated, said I. No, admonished an old hack who now earns his keep dotting the i's and crossing the t's for lazy young journalists: "It is a religion."

Mediocrity is celebrated, said I. No, admonished an old hack who now earns his keep dotting the i's and crossing the t's for lazy young journalists: "It is a religion."

The best, these days, are the ordinary - those who do not have to write and recite their poetry like Dennis Brutus or Keorapetse Kgositsile.

The longer the list of their anachronistic political grievances, the easier it is for their pedestrian lines to pass off as poetry. Those who mouth off this claptrap are national heroes.

If you think this is much ado about nothing - a vain attempt at splitting hairs, so to speak - sacrifice your precious time and listen to the news bulletins on any radio station whose target audience is not largely urban and white.

You've been warned: Bring a box of Kleenex along - you are going to weep!

Words are jumbled up as the vindicated becomes vindictive, dearth is made to sound like death and the names of people in the news, sometimes for more than a week at the time of the said bulletin, are pronounced badly. You'd be forgiven for thinking what they are reading had just been translated from Yoruba to English seconds before going on air.

What the little dears have mastered is rolling their Rs.

My heart goes out to those whose mother tongue is English, like the former listeners of SAfm, who have to be subjected to a cacophony of something that remotely resembles their native language, paraded as genuine.

I swear, on my late mother's grave, that I will be the first to eliminate anyone who tells me theirs is Sesotho when it is, by syntax and diction, clearly Yiddish.

Average has been elevated to an art form here.

That is why it is so easy for a South African song of the year to be a Josh Groban effort and not a word is said about the Los Angeles-born singer-songwriter when the swindlers go on stage to accept the award.

Be patriotic, we are told, support local artists.

And what happens? We listen to a George Benson song played by a boy from Eastern Cape!

Have we given up? Are we saying we are just this sort of people? Is it a case of this much and no farther? Or is it, to paraphrase, evil prevailing because good men do nothing?

The guy who drives the sleekest, blackest and shiniest car in the building is a hoax who has yet to explain his MBA as his "Alma Mater" does not have his details on their records.

In the first draft of the drivel you read before most stories get into the paper, the writer has no sense of differentiation between "a" and "the".

And these charlatans are the bright boys (and girls) at the newspapers they work for; they walk with a swagger.

At the height of their careers, Brazil easily dispensed with Bebeto and Romario. We are still holding on to a bench-warmer at an English club that will soon have no use for him. We take his insolence on the chin; grin and bear it. Short of promising to massage his gonads everyday, we'd do our damn best to see him stay on until he's geriatric.

Ordinariness is definitely deity.

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