Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Cultural urban what?

On a couple of occasions recently, I have been presented with the idea of going out on a Friday or Saturday night with the aim of booze, banter and possibly a boogie thrown in for good measure.  This is obviously an excellent way of frittering time and money with people you love, but I have found myself, after a few minutes’ thought, declining the offer of a good time.  I don’t say no for reasons of skintness or on health grounds, but for reasons of extreme misanthropy.

I don’t want to go out and play in town because I know, in my heart of hearts, that Town is chock full of idiots.  I believe the last time this topic was raised, my response was along the lines of:

“Yeah, it’d be great to go out dancing: I really fancy throwing
some epic shapes, but you do forget” said I to my companion, “town is full of idiots, clogging up the bar, knocking your drinks and having many opinions on subjects for which they have little to no clue.  Don’t get me started on their haircuts.  Who the hell gets their hair cut to look like that?  Do not even speak of their clothes. Moreover, do not mention in my presence those stupid slatty sunglasses and every other accessory that they flaunt along with their ill-placed sense of superiority they vaunt whilst and about in Town.  No.  No, I’d rather die a thousand deaths of a thousand flying weasels, than find myself in a bar with the idiots.  Remember what happened in Manchester?”

Companion remembered, and gently let the matter drop.

It is not just because I am getting old and don’t understand the modern way of youf - I know what ROFL and LOL means; I have heard of Tinchy Strider and I do do Facebook and everything – but, to borrow a phrase allegedly coined by Winston Churchill, "This is the kind of tedious nonsense up with which I will not put!"

Let me explain.  The world is peopled with Idiots of varying types. We have the Village Idiot, equally loved and laughed at around the world.  In Germany they would be ‘Dorftrottel’, the inhabitants of Finland call theirs ‘kylähullu’ and even the chilled out Dutch have a name for these people: ‘Dorp idioot.’  We love our village idiot and we’ll take exception to anyone from outside our village tacking the mick.  S/he is ours and ours alone to laugh at.

We also have the eejit.  As part of his set, an Irish comedian said that every group of friends has a feckin’ eejit and if you thought that there wasn’t one in the group then, like as not, you are the feckin’ eejit.  I’m not sure if I completely concur, but have a suspicion that if, on more than one occasion you have found yourself with both feet wedged in one trouser leg, or you notice your friends rolling their eyes and muttering “feckin’ eejit!” then chances are you may be one.   This is ok though, because we all love our feckin’ eejits, we really do.  Unless, that is, they set fire to Aunty Jean’s chair whilst she’s still in it.  We frown upon such things.  Generally the feckin’ eejit is a truly loveable creature and, like the Village Idiot, allows us to feel superior in an extremely benevolent manner:

“Sure, he can’t tie his shoelaces or talk to girls to save his life and there was the incident with the hose, but he’s a good lad really.”

Another strand in the evolution of the idiot is the Chav.  The chav, when viewed from the safety of my middle class haven, is rather entertaining in its monosyllabic, glued-down-hair, Argos-jewellery wearing ways. If you are at a loose end on a Saturday night, you can indulge in a low cost safari through the centre of town where, in the comfort of a cab, you can witness the actual behaviour of the Chav in its natural setting.

Witness the timeless dance of the female wearing tiny shreds of man-made fibres, daubed bright orange and squawking and shrieking to attract a mate.  Marvel at the male of the species, with his oddly-groomed eyebrows, and his use of cut glass that dribbles down his t-shirt like someone has hocked a massive sparkly loogie at him, that signals to the female his ability to build a good nest with a proper flatscreen and everyfin.   One can do the expedition on foot, and really experience the safari first hand, but this is not to be recommended, as only experienced individuals can deal with the overpowering scent of the celebrity-inspired perfumes worn by both the male and the female.  Moreover, only professionals can avoid becoming surrounded – the one time when the chav is at its most dangerous.  Better to go by cab.

The Idiots mentioned above are merely a small sample of the safe Idiot.  I could go on, building a list of cheery or entertaining cretins, but these people do not make me want to poke my eyes out with a stick.   The Idiot that makes me happily opt for a terrifyingly hideous weaselly end is the Scenester.

Noun: A person associated with or immersed in a particular fashionable cultural scene

Everything they do feels like a personal insult.  Phrases such as "The global scenester stays on top of what's cool worldwide by reading such urban culture despatches as The Cool Hunter”
are as a cheese grater to my soul.  The Scenester is the cause of this.

Everything about the Scencester annoys: their unshakeable certainty in their unending coolness which flies in the face of actual evidence: fixie bikes, ironic statement clothes and deck shoes without socks are not cool.  The Scenester accessories are awful – I wouldn’t palm those off to an acquaintance for fear of it looking like an insult.  More dreadful is their painfully coiffed hair and their modern look with a retro twist of Dayglo Twerp meets Geek.  Don’t dress like a Geek if you haven’t got the IQ for it.  You are advertising your stupidity like a crazy old man wearing a “the end of the world is nigh” clapboard and we, mere mortals, are laughing at you just as much.

Their studied indifference to anything is irritating, as are the waves of ennui and sagacity that flow from their very persons.  Listening to them you would think they know everything about everything, ever. That is the magic of their staggering levels of self-assurance, none of which is earned.  They are generally talking a load of rot, in a spectacularly misinformed manner.   It can be quite entertaining listening, as long as you haven’t broken your hands by the clenching of your fists under the table and your eyes haven’t rolled all the way back into your skull and got stuck.

The Scenesters are everywhere now.  They are global and you cannot escape them, but fortunatiely they are easy to spot.  As the old saying goes, if it looks like an idiot and quacks like an idiot and it wears lensless glasses like an idiot…

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