Friday, February 24, 2012

The incomparable whatever

I'm tired of the use of the word "incomparable". It's nearly always used to describe a person, typically a celebrity of some sort, and I've never understood it for a second. To me, everyone is comparable, every single person on the planet, no matter how unique they may be.

Now I'm not totally unaware of expressions. People often speak in hyperbole to magnify the relative importance of a person. But incomparable? The definition of incomparable is a subject for which comparison is impossible.

So...when is it impossible to compare a celebrity to another person? We all have similar qualities in some respect. Nobody is totally different from someone else, just like nobody is exactly the same as someone else. Which is why I say we can compare anyone to anyone.

Is Hitler incomparable? I'd compare other genocidal lunatics with him probably. Now, is his genocide of the Jewish people incomparable? Possibly since I can't think of anyone else who tried such a venture. But in general, killing people is typically comparable.

Is Michael Jordan incomparable? Not at all. But that's sports, and if you play the same sport as someone else, you can be compared to them. I could compare my basketball abilities to Jordan's, and while my abilities are dwarfed (And would be even if I stayed 24 forever and played against a 75 yr old Jordan).

So all I'm saying is everyone is essentially comparable. Even the greatest comic to ever live, George Carlin, is comparable. But I wouldn't recommend comparing yourself to him since it may result in a feeling of crippling ineptitude.

So the next time I talk about a person that is greater than everyone else, I will say "The preposterously talented Louis CK!" Go ahead and use that at your leisure.

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