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Mediocrity

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ENTERTAINMENT
May 4, 2002
I agree wholeheartedly with Howard Rosenberg's comments on self-congratulatory TV retrospectives ("Drowning in Self-Serving Toasts," May 3). And I think I can answer his question, "What is the big deal?" The "big deal" is the desperate need to defend the public taste for mediocrity. For decades now, every social, educational and especially artistic effort in popular culture has been ruled by the same unspoken consensus: Excellence is too hard. It takes too much thought, time and trouble.
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SPORTS
January 24, 2014
Richard Sherman, songwriter: "It's a Small World, After All. " Richard Sherman, defensive back: "It's a Gall World, All About Me. " Dave Sanderson La Cañada :: As a lifelong fan of both sports and dignified humility, I resent being labeled as hypocritical [Bill Plaschke, Jan. 21] because I thought Richard Sherman's it's-all-about-me sideline spewing was pathetic. The majority of true fans want to see quality plays made by athletes with class and respect for the game and its traditions.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 2, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
Henry Ford said that "failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. " That's a sentiment shared by some of Hollywood's top directors, including Paul Greengrass ("Captain Phillips"), J.C. Chandor ("All Is Lost") and Nicole Holofcener ("Enough Said"). At the recent  Envelope Directors Round Table , those filmmakers - along with Spike Jonze ("Her"), John Lee Hancock ("Saving Mr. Banks") and Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave") - talked about how and what they've learned from their mistakes.
SPORTS
January 4, 2014 | By Ben Bolch
If the NBA playoffs started Sunday, they would include one team five games below .500, two other teams with losing records at home and a fourth team that has gone 0-5 in its division. In what kind of an insane realm does this mishmash of mediocrity qualify as success, and where do the Lakers sign up? It's called the Eastern Conference, with membership confined to mostly poor, huddled masses yearning to wheeze free. Eleven of the 15 teams have losing records. Toronto's 16-15 record is good enough to lead the awful Atlantic Division, where the second-place team will probably be high in the draft lottery.
OPINION
November 16, 2005
Re "Times Plans New Op-Ed Lineup," Nov. 11 I am disgusted. I am appalled. In fact, I am enraged! Slowly but surely, an interesting and balanced opinion section has been eviscerated. It is not even a shadow of its former, engaging self. Interesting commentary has been replaced by mediocre columnists and a plethora of cartoons. The coup de grace comes with the replacing of columnist Robert Scheer and editorial cartoonist Michael Ramirez. What a sad day for Los Angeles! FRANCES SOLO Los Angeles In your misguided effort to silence the critics and move to the center, you have taken one great step toward mediocrity.
OPINION
December 24, 2004
Re "An Incredible Self-Delusion," editorial, Dec. 17: Your comments about handing out awards for mediocrity or expected performance only reflects what goes on in the worlds of business and government. Executives are rewarded with huge bonuses just for doing what they were hired to do, or get bought off when they get fired for not doing it. In government, we have only to look at the recent awarding of the Medal of Freedom to the Three Stooges of Iraq: Paul Bremer, George Tenet and Tommy Franks.
NEWS
April 20, 1990
Dan Rather says when he is off the tube, "Television news and newspapers are in danger of sinking into a miasma of mediocrity" (Newsmakers, April 10). But only on little-watched PBS would you hear such a thing on air, then only by Bill Moyers. Rather's CBS evening news will never talk about the demise and trivialization of the mass media on prime time or any time. Rather questions pollsters who say, "real people care only about entertainment, sex and cats." But Rather has played a key role in fostering such a mind-set.
SPORTS
November 7, 1987
Eric Dickerson Traded to the Colts! Leroy Irvin Placed on Suspended List! What an incredible display of Ram management's continuing commitment to mediocrity. After 25-plus years as "always a Rams fan," I've had it with an organization that obviously couldn't care less about winning. "Never again a Rams fan!" DENNY STEVENSON Dana Point
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 19, 1991
History will probably label the court of Reagan / Rehnquist as "the Court of Supreme Mediocrity." WILLIAM W. GRAY Altadena
NEWS
December 13, 1987
Please, no more ludicrous, trite offerings such as "The Gambler III." Surely as wealthy as Kenny Rogers is, he needn't lend his presence to such mediocrity. Howard Fitzgerald, Los Angeles
ENTERTAINMENT
January 2, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
Henry Ford said that "failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. " That's a sentiment shared by some of Hollywood's top directors, including Paul Greengrass ("Captain Phillips"), J.C. Chandor ("All Is Lost") and Nicole Holofcener ("Enough Said"). At the recent  Envelope Directors Round Table , those filmmakers - along with Spike Jonze ("Her"), John Lee Hancock ("Saving Mr. Banks") and Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave") - talked about how and what they've learned from their mistakes.
SPORTS
September 30, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
Danica Patrick was heard swearing in frustration at one point during Sunday's NASCAR race in Dover, Del., and who can blame her? The mediocrity that is Patrick's rookie season in the Sprint Cup Series rolls on, the popular driver struggling to place her No. 10 Chevrolet even in the top 20 each week. The AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway was no exception. She finished 29th in the 43-car field, six laps down from winner Jimmie Johnson. With an ill-handling car from the start, "it was just a frustrating day," Patrick said in notes released by her Stewart-Haas Racing team.
SPORTS
August 30, 2013 | By Chris Foster
UCLA is trying to redefine itself. It used to be that keeping the USC drum major from sticking a toy sword in the Rose Bowl turf constituted a victory over the Trojans. Leaning on the Pac-12 Conference to remove from its promotional video the clip of the drum major doing his stick shtick was considered a highlight. Complaining about USC placing quarterback Matt Barkley's smiling face above Westwood was the closest thing the Bruins got to a billboard campaign. What a difference a year made.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 30, 2013 | By Mark Olsen
Right down to the brute functionality of its title, "The Smurfs 2" may be the platonic ideal of a major studio sequel - no markedly better or worse than the first and with just enough difference to lay claim to being something new. Just as with the 2011 film "The Smurfs," the new "The Smurfs 2" is a passable mediocrity. Again mixing live-action with computer animation, the story this time revolves around the bad wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria), who has been performing as a magician in modern-day Paris, kidnapping Smurfette (voiced by Katy Perry)
FOOD
May 31, 2013 | By David Karp
After a month of mediocre early-season apricots, the prime varieties, sweet, juicy and flavorful, are here or will be soon. Beyond the celebrated Blenheim, there are other worthwhile varieties, and a few are even better. Here are the leading apricots and apricot-like hybrids, in order of ripening, rated on a scale of 1 to 10 for flavor. The crop is about a week early this year and looks good in size and quality. • Apache (5 rating). Season typically May 5-25. Introduced by Ledbetter, USDA, 2002; has Royal and Perfection in its pedigree.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 2013 | By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
Since retooling her campaign message last month, mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel has gone on the offensive against City Hall, telling audiences that the place is mired in mediocrity and needs to "return to a time of strong leadership. " "We must change the L.A. that has emerged over these past few years," she said in a recent speech. "Today, paralysis rules. " Yet a review of campaign records shows Greuel has publicly supported much of the current city political leadership. Over the last eight years, nearly two-thirds of the council's 15 members were endorsed by Greuel, who appeared in mailers, fundraising invitations and other campaign materials promoting them.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 8, 1988
Lewis H. Lapham's "Ordinary Isn't Bad for a President" (Op-Ed, Dec. 27) rightly points out that in "American politics mediocrity is the norm, not the exception." In discussing presidential mediocrity, however, he mentions Warren G. Harding and James Garfield to prove his point, perhaps counting on the fact that nobody remembers who they were. Why not bring up John Kennedy or Ronald Reagan each of whom, it may be strongly argued, are clearly in the class "mediocre." Perhaps the "illiterate mob" to which Lapham refers still remembers and makes judgments?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 28, 1998
Re "Practicing Long-Distance Racism," Commentary, May 21: Earl Ofari Hutchinson is complaining about exactly what those of us who are against affirmative action complain about, unfair quotas and promotion of mediocrity. Africans should not be banned from starting positions in a road race. White middle-class Americans should not be banned from the freshman class of college. By placing people who are not as qualified over others who have better qualifications, we promote mediocrity. The best we have to offer should be allowed to compete and achieve at the highest levels their capabilities allow, without regard for race.
SPORTS
March 31, 2013 | By Broderick Turner
The Clippers became an average basketball team in March. They played .500 basketball for the month, going 7-7. "To be really good in this league, individually and team-wise, it takes a lot of concentration," guard Chris Paul said. "It's an 82-game season. It's a long season. And at times, it almost seems like we got bored with the process. Usually when teams are winning they get bored. We've got to get back to the drawing board. " Well, at least the Clippers don't have to worry about playing any more games in March.
BUSINESS
March 5, 2013 | By Don Lee, Los Angeles Times
The stock market is flying high, but much of small business America remains grounded. Unlike the big corporations that have been raking in huge profits and stoking the stock market toward the record close Tuesday for the Dow Jones industrial average, most small firms have yet to enjoy the fruits of the nearly 4-year-old recovery. Even though some small employers are starting to see daylight, particularly with the housing market coming back to life, analysts and business owners paint a picture of companies still hampered by weak sales and pangs of uncertainty, particularly over tax and government policies.
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