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Tales of Incredible and Horrifying Mediocrity!!!!!

03/26/2015 01:46 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2015

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The sublime and fantastic have a hold on the imagination. Paranormal phenomena like bending spoons and spirits of the dead being channeled are the stuff of bestsellers and big grossing movies. But little credence is given to terminally inane events, those phenomena that evince a tawdry indifference to meaningfulness, the ones that cause you to yawn right in the face of a speaker. Have you ever had the experience of falling asleep right in the middle of a deadly cultural event or conversation? It really makes you appreciate sleep because it was what you have had to stave off throughout the dreadful activity in question.

Think about the time you went into the department store to buy a belt. Belts are not high up on anyone's list. No belt is going to change anything. It's a utilitarian item. You simply buy a belt so your pants won't fall down. Even sales people whose job it is to sell belts often have to work to stay awake as they go about their thankless job. You go to the belt area, sliding yours off and trying new belts on to make sure they're the right size and have the necessary holes. The belt specialist comes by with the most bored look that you have ever witnessed in all of your years of buying things in a store. He or she is not going to become a retail star by selling you that belt. No fantasies of fame or fortune attach themselves to the buyers or sellers of belts. Nevertheless, you almost can't believe your ears when you hear the words "it's a very happening belt," intoned behind you as you walk towards the mirror. The phrase is even worse than the belt itself since the false promise created by its haunting vapidity makes you want to totally give up. Yes, you feel like sitting down right on the floor of the men's or women's clothing department and staging a sit in, a protest which will call attention to the utter absurdity of your predicament.

photo: Evan-Amos

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}