Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Annoyance of Ubiquity

While reading a message board the other day, I saw a thread about New Year's resolutions and rolled my eyes. My first thought was that nearly everyone would resolve to "lose weight" in 2010, as that particular resolution is typical and ubiquitous. There's absolutely no originality about it at all.

Sure enough, I was right. Every person who had posted on the thread put weight loss on their list. I seriously doubt that every person who posts on that large message board is in need of weight loss, hence my rolling of eyes. But no one ever wants to gain weight or just doesn't care one way (weigh?) or the other how much they weigh. No,everyone resolved to lose weight, even if they were underweight.

And what annoyed me most about this is not so much the desire to lose weight, but rather the ubiquity of this resolution and the total lack of originality in coming up with a list of resolutions, not to mention the ubiquity of New Years' resolutions themselves.

I got to thinking and I realized that it was ubiquity in general -- the ever-present, the predictable, and the typical -- that is at the heart of my annoyance. It connotes a lack of original or creative thinking and reeks of a lemming-like ordinariness. Thinking further, I thought of other examples of ubiquity that irritate me.

One example is the fact that nearly every rock band, without question, contains only two types of instruments: guitars and drums. Why do we not see wind instruments on a more regular basis? Why not pianos? There's nothing wrong with guitars and drums, per se, but the ubiquity of the guitar-and-drums-only bands annoys the crap out of me. I can't help but think of how much more opportunity for creative music is lost because most rock musicians just stick to the same ol' thing, instrument wise.

One petty example of ubiquity is that whenever you see a couple sharing a motorcycle, the woman is always the one on the back. What? Is this a freaking law or something? You think they'd want to switch up now and then for a little variety. A funny example of ubiquity is that whenever you are driving behind construction workers in a pickup, they always have a yellow plastic water dispenser with a red lid on top. Never any other colors.

Feel free to list other example of ubiquity in the comment box, particularly the kinds that irritate you..

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