Archive for November, 2012

“[There’s] not much point ever trying to reach a mass audience with anything interesting and provocative. You just run the risk of being misunderstood on a large scale” – Stewart Lee

I love this quote and I think in many ways it’s relatable to me. Now I’m not claiming I’m in any way particularly interesting or provocative but that’s not to say it isn’t something I strive for. I like to put forward a different point of view and I can seem outspoken in the manner in which I go about it but that doesn’t mean I think I’m superior to anyone or I don’t think anyone else has a right to their own point of view. I often have it said to me or about me that I’m very self-opinionated and “up myself” and consequently I’m disliked by a lot of people. This upsets me because I don’t think it fairly represents who or what I really am and due to the fact I’m actually quite self-deprecating and often in search of the approval of others, I’m taking the time to post my thoughts and feelings on the situation in the hope I can alter people’s perception of me.

The first thing I’d like to say is I’m not particularly smart or clever. I’m always getting people telling me how intelligent I am and I can’t for the life of me see what they’re basing that on. I have very few qualifications due to my expert skills in procrastination and sheer laziness and I would feel immediately out of my depth if ever I was locked in conversation with a group of genuine academics. I think the one thing I do have going for me is I’m reasonably articulate. Being able to articulate something half-decently can certainly make you seem to others as if you’re talking from an intellectual standpoint but in reality that doesn’t mean anything. Just because I like to read books and expand my vocabulary doesn’t mean I’m suddenly intelligent nor does it mean I think I am.

One thing I can’t stress enough is how stuck-up I am not. Sure, I have strong opinions against things such as religion and spirituality, the exploitation of vulnerable wannabees on reality TV shows and obesity, but no more than the people that argue for those things. I do my best to back-up all of opinions with as much information and reasoning as possible so it makes my point as strong as it could be. That’s what an opinion is. I don’t make blank statements or judgments based on no understanding of the subject in hand. Of course I believe my opinions are correct, that’s why they’re my opinions. Everyone has their own opinions and I think that’s a wonderful thing. I love debating certain subjects and I don’t necessarily back down easily but if everyone did do that then what would happen to debates? I certainly don’t think or claim that everything I say is gospel. It’s merely a point of view that I hope may be worth thinking about. One thing I do ensure before saying or writing anything is that I’ve looked at as many points of view as possible before forming my own. I do fear that a lot of people don’t do that.

Another thing I get a lot is that I come across as sneering and condescending. I’m sorry if that’s the case as it’s completely unintentional. I don’t look down on anyone and certainly don’t believe I’m superior to anyone. I don’t discriminate or think differently of anyone regardless of their race, gender or sexuality. I also wouldn’t look down on someone just because they enjoy Mrs Brown’s Boys or Michael McIntyre doing stand-up but what I like to do is try and encourage people to see the things that aren’t spoon-fed through the mainstream, things like The Thick of It and Richard Herring. And it’s fine for people not to enjoy those things but I feel sad if they don’t even consider checking them out. The same way I feel sad when people refuse to read books or embrace the brilliance of many podcasts, but that doesn’t automatically mean I therefore think I’m superior because I immerse myself in these things while someone else is writing a Facebook status about how they can’t believe that someone has been voted off of The X Factor over someone else.

Something else I’d like to point out is I never talk about or judge people’s personal situations and private affairs. I don’t gossip about people or make any effort at all to interfere in people’s personal lives. It isn’t my concern and therefore isn’t of interest to me. A lot of the people who judge and criticise me for being judgmental and critical are all too happy to throw in their 2 bob’s worth when it comes to other people’s affairs. On occasions these people have gone public with what they think about other people and other people’s lives. I never do that and I’d never be that intrusive. Only my very closest friends hear my opinions on their own personal matters and that’s only if they ask. I don’t feel the need or desire to interfere in other people’s business and I think it’s rather vulgar when people do. Isn’t that worse than me feigning anger at the constant misuse of there, their and they’re?

There is a post on this blog that I’d like to take this opportunity to address as I feel it’s related to everything I’ve been talking about. ‘Fat Rant’ is a piece I wrote a few years ago on my old blog and transferred over to this one. It’s always been the thing that has attracted the most visitors to this blog and that’s why I’m reluctant to remove it just yet. It’s also by far and away the most controversial thing I’ve ever written. A lot of people have told me they love it and a lot of people have told me they hope I die and that my mum and sister get raped, etc, etc… My thoughts about it? I hate it. I think it’s a horrible piece of writing. There was serious point I was trying to get across but I undermined it spectacularly with cheap, sneering jokes and an overly-aggressive and ridiculing tone. I would never write something like that now and I sincerely apologise to anyone who’s offended by it. As I mentioned, the sole reason I still have it published on here is because it attracts so many visitors.

To reiterate the key points of this post; I’m not “up myself”, I never mean to sound condescending, I respect everyone’s opinions, I don’t attack anyone on a personal level and I’m ashamed of my ‘Fat Rant’. I do try to be interesting and provocative but I apologise if I’ve come across as a horrible person. I can honestly say that isn’t who or what I am and I will do my best to work on my delivery so not to be misunderstood to such an extent.  I don’t know if any of this is going to alter people’s perception of me but I sincerely hope it does.