Being Clever

These are the idiots who will praise the Fall for being Important, without ever troubling to listen to them, or the idiots who persistently buy glossy magazines, or the IDIOTS who like Tapas

Being clever.

 

Everyone who reads this article will doubtless recall their parents pleading with them to work harder at school. Everyone will therefore be aware that the idea of learning (and profiting from learning in the wider world) is, quite rightly, promoted by our leaders as a Good Thing. And far be it from me to attack the idea acquiring knowledge, especially if that acquisition can in practice lead to positive fiscal and social change for the person concerned. But it really must be said, indeed at this point I shall grab most forcibly the chance to say, that there is a surfeit, nay a glut of clever buggers around; a tribe who delight in wasting all right minded people's time with their incessant (and usually very smug) whining and showing off.

 

Yes, yes, I know article this is being issued in a magazine devoted to music, not the Oldie, or the Telegraaf, or the Spectator. You may already feel inclined to switch away to more pressing matters. But bear with me, dear reader, and you will find references to music within, I promise you that much, just allow me to digress a little further at this point.

 

In his excellent book, "The King's English", the late Sir Kingsley Amis categorized these awful people (albeit in a grouping applied to a strictly literary argument) in a chapter entitled "Berks and Wankers". I quote, pretty much in full.

 

'Berks are careless, coarse, crass, gross and of what anybody would agree is a lower social class than one's own. They speak in a slipshod way with dropped Hs, intruded glottal stops and many mistakes in grammar...

Wankers are prissy, fussy, priggish, prim and of what they would probably misrepresent as a higher social class than one's own. They speak in an over-precise way with much pedantic insistence on letters not generally sounded, especially Hs...'

 

Now, far be it from me to embellish this excellent reasoning any further, but anyone can see that nowadays, especially in the World of Entertainment, (which includes the substrata of Music and Media), the wankers have adopted the berks' insolence (in both manner of speaking and their general behaviour) whilst retaining their original, essential snobbery in matters of social standing. For, in the World of Entertainment, it is de rigeur to pretend you were born on a council estate/victim of a drug riddled family life/persecuted at school/into alternative music whilst everyone else liked Wham!/a child genius in the creative (or warm) arts. Yes, yes, yes.

 

The problem is, working as I do in this industry (albeit on a part time basis, betwixt and between my factory job and my studio), I find myself talking with depressing regularity to people who, on first impression, have both the manners of swine in the field and talk with accents so thick and unwieldy, you cut cut them up and spread them with butter. Usually they communicate in grunts and sniggers, allowing themselves a certain freedom in actions such as the rolling of their eyes (when untrendy bands are mentioned) or non commital grunting (when trendy ones are brought up for discussion). Later you find that they are a marketing manager on a record label, or an influential journalist. You also find that they have held your vocation (lowly factory hand) against you, usually (I suspect) on the grounds of jealousy (for being a member of the working class, however temporarily, is cool, right?)

 

To take matters further, these people are the ones who fill our lives up with Godawful clutter, usually churned out in the name of Creative Marketing, or Warm Arts, or Media Guerilla Activites... you could add to this depressing list, I am sure.

 

Take this piece of UTTER NONSENSE I found on a label attached to a pair of jeans I bought the other day. I nearly choked on my peanuts (ready salted, not cashew or that other rubbish, I'll have you know), whilst carousing at the bar.  I have changed the brand name for comic effect and some light relief...

 

"Martholmroyd Jeans is not only a product but it's also a new way of living and thinking.

 

Being with a renewed philosophy and direction that will lead you with us;

 

Slurp freely

Breathe deeply

See clearly

Think globally

Act locally

Take chances

Be gentle with the earth

Simplify the things

Walk more

Travel light

Take your time

Break the cycle

Define the future

Find your future

Be open-minded

Generate a fresh perspective

Shared experience reaps new rewards

 

Follow your instincts, you don't need to look ordinary. Just be yourself with Martholmroyd Jeans".

 

Written by an absolute idiot, or a wanker in berk's clothing.

 

These are the idiots who will praise the Fall for being Important, without ever troubling to listen to them, or the idiots who persistently buy glossy magazines, or the IDIOTS who like Tapas...

 

More importantly, these are the idiots who are all around us. In the old days, we could have contented ourselves with handing out a sound thrashing to them, using our canes with wild abandon. Nowadays, we are expected, not only to listen to them, but to give credence to their views, to allow them to exercise their democratic right to talk piss, usually loudly, and without mercy. I could go on, but I will become profoundly depressed.

 

All I ask of you, dear reader, is to refrain from joining this group, even if it does mean a pay rise spurned. For, when they die, they shall go to a peculiarly terrible hell prepared for them, a soft focus hell, adorned with pictures of day time TV presenters and pie charts from focus groups; a hell whose soundtrack is Salsa music (played low so as not to infringe on their caring conversations about Third World Debt or Fishing Quotas).

Think of that and be warned...

 

Words: Richard Foster.