Now More Than Ever, CB West Needs ‘Mediocrity’

Cat Both spoke to the people behind West’s other beloved and reputable source of journalism.


Illustration done by Lydea Sophy

Catherine Both, Editor


“Fake News, Real CB West”, reads the bio of cbwest_mediocrity, a satirical Instagram page run by Central Bucks West upperclassmen. The page surfaced March of 2019, and is quickly regaining traction after the end of a subsequent hiatus.

Mediocrity is not unlike satire pages Clickhole and The Onion, except it has its own twist — its humor often depends on presenting mundane, everyday West news as significant, surreal, or alarming, such as “Café Adamantly Remains Closed At Times When Students Can Actually Go There.”

The Instagram page began as a parody of another popular CB West Instagram page, Humans of CBW. But Mediocrity soon accumulated a devoted audience of over a thousand followers.

“When I first created the account, I didn’t expect people to follow it…but the response was overwhelmingly positive. I remember being shocked when the account first cracked 100 likes on a post and at that point I thought it would be a good idea to get more writers involved,” says Roman Doyle, CB West ‘19 alumni and Mediocrity founder.

Mediocrity makes its points by ratcheting up the absurdity. The post, “Before West was a school, it was actually a really big PF Chang’s”, claims that CB West was not only a PF Chang’s, but also the first Asian-fusion restaurant and was built by Quakers in the mid-1800s. The writing is convincing.

But it also precisely imitates headlines that prey on naïve West readers. They veer between coy teasing (“Pop Star P!nk Caught Breaking Into West Library Trying to Cut and Paste Yearbook Photo into Random Philly School’s Yearbook”) and cutting jabs (“Student Constantly Wearing Hood Up Swears Listening to Juice WRLD Not His Only Personality Trait”).

“Satire is kinda hit or miss, so between last year and this year, [writing] has been an interesting experience. You have to put more thought into it than you realize, like the stories need to have relevance to current events to be funny,” said Ani Nangunoori, a West Senior and seasoned ideas-man for Mediocrity

Despite being well-loved among students and faculty, the number of Mediocrity posts waned after March of 2020. Nangunoori attributes this dormancy to the lockdown that closed West.

“People just interact less, so there’s less things that the whole school hears about. That means that there’s less relevant ideas that apply to the whole school as an audience,” says Nangunoori.

Clearly, this pandemic has created a pressing need for comic relief. Mediocrity ended their hiatus with a post reading “Hybrid 1 & 2 Students Debate Over Who Got it Worse While Sole Hybrid 3 Student Continues to Wait for Teams Call to Begin,” and shed a humorous light on the sobering reality that school may never feel quite the same again.

“One of the great things about Mediocrity is that there’s no rules: if you think something is funny, you should go for it,” Doyle said. 

“It doesn’t matter if it’s never been done before, the purpose is to bring West together.”