Over at Ian’s blog Bogost writes:

When thought of this way, to “meh” is to express the sublime, but not in Kant’s sense of a dominion over us. This sublimity is one of a level playing field, of a flat ontology, to use Levi Bryant’s term. It is a mundane sublime, one that is better characterized by Stephen Shore than by Ansel Adams. Following Harman, meh reminds us of the world’s insatiable ability to be so much and so many, all at once, whether as riverstones, as fur, as Fiat 500s, or as romantic comedies. It is a magnificent blandness that breaks star rating systems entirely. O Netflix, let me slouch and mutter it, without exclamation point, “meh.”!

I wish I could take credit for the term “flat ontology”, but alas it’s borrowed from DeLanda. I do get the sense, however, that we’re employing it in very different ways or that my ontology is a bit more pluralistic and less materialistic in temperament. It saddens me to see that the word “mundane”, such a beautiful word, has fallen so. From the online etymology dictionary:

1475, from M.Fr. mondain (12c.), from L. mundanus “belonging to the world” (as distinct from the Church), from mundus “universe, world,” lit. “clean, elegant”; used as a transl. of Gk. khosmos (see cosmos) in its Pythagorean sense of “the physical universe” (the original sense of the Gk. word was “orderly arrangement”). L. mundus also was used of a woman’s “ornaments, dress,” and is related to the adj. mundus “clean, elegant” (used of women’s dress, etc.).

Lurking behind the mundane is the Greek khosmos both as the physical universe, but also the “cosmopolitan” or the citizen of the world. And therein lies the sublimity of a mundane or a flat ontology… A worldly ontology. A single plane on which all beings are arrayed, whether they be humans, signs, thoughts, objects, animals or so on, rather than a house divided between the side of the subject and the side of nature. We’re we situating this sublime between Kant’s dynamic and mathematical antinomies, both of which underlie the two forms of the sublime, this would be not a sublime dreaming of a transcendence or separation between the world and its Other or the subject in the face of a magnitude it can’t comprehend, but a sublime of imbroglios of human and nonhuman actors where the two can never be clearly distinguished and where freedom and necessity can never be clearly sorted.