Tuesday, July 30, 2013


You're probably not aware of Mediocrita. It's a little nation bordering a few other nations and nothing much happens there. It's never been invaded or anything. It has no raw materials to covet. It is of no strategic value. Its indigenous population has never left and no one has ever arrived, at least not for long. A few Vikings showed up at one stage but they got bored and split after about fifteen minutes. The people there are pleasant enough but a bit dull. They never really developed any kind of unique culture so when the odd anthropologist does drop by they soon give up on the hope of forming a decent thesis and leave.

The citizens of Mediocrita are proud enough of their unremarkable nation. They find its unremarkability the very thing that makes it remarkable. Nothing making the place unique is what makes the place unique. Mediocritans are a people who value stasis. They are an unambitious and sedentary crowd who do not seek adventure and so never leave their shores. The people of Mediocrita never have anything good to say about each other but they never have anything bad to say about each other either. They think each other are OK and they are united in their OKness.

Mediocrita has a national anthem, the only piece of art of any sort that has ever originated on this land. It goes like this:

It's OK here.

Yes it's OK here.

Nothing really bad happens,

Year after year.

It's OK here.

Yes it's OK here.

There's much worse places,

Or so we hear.

So it's OK here.

Yes it's OK here.

And on the weekends

We might go for a beer.

Coz it's OK here.

Yes it's OK here.

We have no volcanos or mad animals or that

So there's not much to fear.

Sure it's OK here.

Yes it's OK here.

There's not much laughter

but there's rarely a tear.

Coz it's OK here.

Yes it's OK here.

So if you want an OK time

You'll be OK here.

(It is at this point that the anthem ends and the Mediocritans fire their cannon. They have a cannon for defence but they never need it for that reason so it is only put to ceremonial use. Sometimes it doesn't work. No one complains when it doesn't go off. They just shrug.)

What no one knows about Mediocrita is that it has a secret. A big terrible secret. A secret I'm about to share with you now. In the mid-nineteen seventies a spacecraft arrived bearing an extraterrestrial ambassador carrying a message of Universal peace and a cure to all known ills. The citizens of Mediocrita were a bit put out. The status quo that provided them with their valued cultural identity was obviously under threat. New standards would be set by this saviour from outer space and everyone would be expected to up their game. Worse still, it was considered that if the little green man was to make Mediocrita his base then that would attract global attention to the Mediocritan homeland and they'd have loads of visitors and have to be making heaps of sandwiches and that. So, after some modest debate, the citizens of Mediocrita decided to bash the alien in the head with a rock, place his body back on his craft, set the craft on fire, and never speak of what took place again.

Indeed, no Mediocritan ever did mention what took place again. However, the memory of the incident sometimes does come into the heads of Mediocritans but they vanquish it by closing their eyes, clenching their fists into balls, and singing their national anthem to themselves – over and over. When the anniversary of the outer space visitor's arrival occurs no one says a word. They all just gather around the cannon and repeatedly fire the thing which seems to do the trick as long as the cannon works, which it sometimes doesn't but, you know, you can't have everything, so that's OK and you don't get much better than OK. Mediocrita rules OK!

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