The Top Ten List You were Afraid was Coming–get ready

by genspecial

In a mere Four Days, we will be publishing the one list you knew was coming yet don’t quite know if you’re ready for, the Top Ten “Oops, I’m not that Special” moments of 2011.  And why shouldn’t we feel a little ambivalent.  These people (and one country), who have all been struck by the OINTS revelation in 2011, are easily skewered, mocked, and Schadenfreuded.  And yes, we will provide plenty of that.  But they are also us.  2011 was the year we came to this same shocking conclusion, and we began our own quest to be average; not special, not touched, just ourselves: pathetic, forgetful, huddled naked mole rats.  And that’s on our good days.

Here’s a teaser from the list, a moment that literally says “Oops.”  Where do you think it should fall on the scale, with 1 being the top?  We want to hear from you.  Are there any “Not that Special” moments that you demand to see on this list?  As we fine tune it in the days before Thursday, we look to our Unspecial readers to help cull the greatest worst moments of the year,

Don’t be shy to let us know, and stay tuned for Thursday.  Happy Holidays, and remember that it’s never too late to feel less Special!

Rick Perry: “Oops”
November 2011

While it would be easy to just have a good guffaw over Rick Perry’s Oops moment, we at Nothing Special are also fascinated by the psychology of these public “blanks.”  For those who don’t remember, during the CNBC Republican Presidential Debate, Perry, when attempting to list the three Federal agencies he would eliminate as President, named the Department of Commerce, Education, and then completely, utterly blanked on the third.  So much so that, after turning down Romney’s generous suggestion of the EPA, he was left, naked and helpless before us, to form only the one simple word he remembered from childhood: “Oops.”  How could we not feel sorry for him?  And why do we feel sorry for him?  Because as smart as we like to feel by laughing at him, we know that this could be us.  Perform this simple test on yourself.  In the next 15 seconds, name the five other federal agencies.  Go!  Did you do it?  Oh, so you think you’re special?  Try this.  In the next 15 seconds, name 5 presidents from before 1900 who are not on Mt. Rushmore?  Did a vast wasteland of nothingness pop into your mind?  Or maybe racing thoughts of how badly you’re doing?  Now imagine having to answer these in front of an audience of 5 million people.  From Governor Jan Brewer, to Godfather Herman Cain, to Governor Perry, we love jumping on these public blanks and pointing out how stupid the blankers are.  But are the panicked lapses really indicators of low intelligence?  Or are they examples of times when the mind says “Don’t screw up, don’t screw up, don’t screw up!” so loudly, that we screw up.  Is this something unique to politicians, or could this happen to any of us at any time?