The Myth Of The Perfect 10

Like everyone else in the world, Americans cherish their national myths. The Wild West and The Victory of the Underdog are two of our enduring favorites. Then at this time of year, Ratings are another myth. We somehow seem to be in control of our big brawly world if we can take the measure of all that’s in it.

Every yearend we’re busy rating our barrage of holiday gifts and gadgets. Not to mention our last 12 months of headlines. The ratings range from 1 to the mythical 10. [Personally, the 10 that I gave Joan and our 3 children pretty much exhausted my supply.]

But that still leaves some fairly large areas to rate. Our media love to do that during these yearend days. Like our movies, our teams, our celebrities, our innovators, and our politicians. Among the possible 10’s this year, the early voting suggests: “Lincoln”….”San Francisco Giants”….George Clooney… Apple ….and if Time Magazine is right, “President Obama.”

That leaves us — you and me.

In this little fury of Ratings, how do we rate ourselves? Surveys suggest most of us would give ourselves no more than a modest 4 to 6. Except for that almighty Mirror Rating….! You know, that studied effort every morning to examine our reflection in the mirror. Ask any behavioral scientist, better yet any dermatologist or cosmologist, and they’ll tell you most of us give ourselves between a lowly 0 to 4.

Why such a scummy score? We just don’t like all those imperfections we see staring back at us. We had dreamed of better and have work furiously to upgrade, but damn if most of us simply don’t approve of all we see. Even though few others will ever see all we see.

Now here’s the secret to the plot. The reason they don’t see all we see is, well frankly, because they really don’t care! Take comfort because, they’re too busy rating themselves….

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