Language shift is a hilarious thing. It can turn labor into a robot, it can make important words into mundane meaningless drivel.
For example, it can take the balls off of epic.
You know what I’m talking about. Suddenly getting a free size upgrade on your coffee is EPIC, or saying something clever about your friend’s mom. Something like “We told her that drinks were ‘on the house’ and she grabbed a ladder.” It doesn’t matter. I hate your mom.
Epic used to mean something. Now it’s ruined by overuse. $10 off the Starcraft Battlechest is NOT epic. OWNING a life-size model of a Protoss is. Having an extra fiver is not epic. Getting attacked by a shark–and living–is. Going bowling with your stupid friends is not epic. Bowling a 300 game is.
In the old days, when someone wanted to get your fucking attention, it was an effort of will to present you with something so out there, so absolutely in-your-face that you had to give pause. Your only recourse: awe.
Those were the days when you could tell an alien was bad-ass because it could pick up Lt. Worf and hurl him across the bridge of the Enterprise. You paid attention. That was not regular shit. Regular shit like “Blah, blah, blah, we’re going to blow up the Enterprise” did not even get your brain on vibrate. You see that all the time.
Is this a reflection of lowering standards? Do you find excellence in mundanity? Or are you forgetting there’s a spectrum of things between “meh” and “epic” you’re just not using because you’re lazy? Let’s try a few examples.
“My horse just leaped over my little brother!”
This is an example of “Sweet, dude!!” One where something has occurred to get your attention, and is unusual for sure! But it’s lacking a certain awesome-du-jour that becomes truly impressive. It’s pretty cool, but not gosu.
“I have a foil Masticore!!”
This is an example of no one gives a shit. Please go share your pointless story with someone else. Unless…
“I only need one Oath of Druids in order to complete my M:tG deck for this tournament, I need to submit my deck in five minutes, and no one will trade with me for anything but a Masticore. This one jackass has extra Oaths and won’t even let me borrow one with collateral. This is the worst! Hmmm, I have just enough money to buy ONE booster pack of Urza’s Destiny–what the heck, it’s the newest expansion right now.” [rip open pack] “SHIT! I just got a foil Masticore!!”
THAT sir, is pretty darned amazing.
All the douches: “Hey, can I trade you for that? I’ll give you this Oath of Druids”
Now here’s what Epic is.
[Player opens his mouth, and inserts foil Masticore.]
“Nom, Nom, Nom. Fuck you, assholes!”