The Theory of Moderation (Or how I learned to rip things)

So there’s this old maxim my brother used to say. I’m pretty sure he didn’t come up with it. At least, I don’t think he did.

But I always think about it whenever I feel guilty about doing something.

The quote, in and of itself, is about moderation. But really, it’s about everything else.

“I live my life by the theory of everything in moderation,” he would say. “But to truly live out this creedo, you also have to exercise moderation in moderation. So, every once and a while, you have to embrace extreme debauchery.” 

I always like these words.

Rationalization! Sweet!

And I was thinking about all this the other day while I jotted down a couple of thoughts running through my head.

These were things that were annoying me. Things I wanted to put on blast – real shock-and-awe-type stuff. Thing is, it’s just not in my nature to complain or whine or rip into things that are stupid and obtuse.

Some people have that cynicism gene. I don’t.

And this is where those thoughts about moderation are so important.

Everything in moderation. Even moderation.

So, skepticism and snark, lace up your skates, you’re going in.

Guess what: This exercise even has a title. We’ll call it: “You know what’s really old…”*

*Now, to be fair, the definition of “what’s really old” has changed dramatically over the last couple years. These days, memes and jokes get beaten into finely grained sawdust in a matter of hours. Things that were funny at noon are no longer funny at happy hour. But these are the times, and this is living. And sometimes you just gotta say…

1. You know what’s really old?

Analogies about relationships. OK. I suppose a lot of this is born out of the neverending and suffocating conference realignment story. And you probably know that college athletic departments have more or less lost their collective minds over the last two years. Money, of course, being a prime reason. As a result, we’ve had a million schools and a million rumors, all flying all over the internet at all hours of the day. And it’s tiring. Really. Really. Tiring.

What’s worse? Every time someone threatens to leave a conference, or a new rumors gets out, someone has to use a ridiculously dumb relationship analogy*.

*You see: The Big 12 is like the wife. But the SEC… that’s the hot chick down the street. That’s the supermodel. And if Brooklyn Decker comes calling, you don’t say no.

Well, sure, if you’re a guy that likes to divorce his wife just for fun, you do.

But that’s beside the point. The real point is this: These analogies never stop.

They are not original. They are not witty. They are tired. Really. Really. Tired.

And now they’re being used all over the place. In sports stories, on Twitter… and in other places, too.

And maybe we all just need to take a break from them for a while. Yes. At least for a while.

2. You know what’s really old?

The old saying… “Come on down!”

Ironically, I’d like to think that people know this saying is pretty old. So maybe I’m actually being cliché myself by pointing this out.

I mean, Bob Barker is eighty-freaking-seven. And he doesn’t even host The Price is Right anymore. But I still cringe when I hear or read these words. I think about the way Rod Roddy could say it perfectly, and how people try to imitate him, and it just sounds so awkward and uncomfortable. So, so… awkward.

3. You know what’s really old?

Magazine covers. So don’t get me wrong. I love magazines… mostly. I love the publishing industry. And I love longform writing. And I love bad magazines, too.

But the covers… oh, the covers. I suppose I can only take so many covers that claim to have the REAL key to losing 10 pounds in 17 minutes. I can only read so many covers that have the 73 best secrets for the perfect life. Why the strange numbers? (I know the numbers sell. But why? I guess people are weird.)

I can only see so many covers of Men’s Fitness or Men’s Health or Men’s Men.

Hey, look: The 37 best workouts on planet earth. Wow, I’m glad they narrowed it down to planet earth. I was really worried I was going to have learn one of those Jupiter workouts. Heard they’re ball-busters.


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