We’re all twats…

3 Feb

The late existentialist philosopher, Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre famously once said:  “Hell is other people.”  He is right. However he was French, so take that with a pinch of salt.  Basically, he was talking about the concept of others, effectively, anything that wasn’t the self.

I have discovered through my 28 tumultuous years on this planet that most problems or annoyances in my life are caused by forces external to me.  That’s not to say that I don’t create some calamitous situations or exacerbate existing ones, because, I do.  It’s more that it is hard to be a functioning member of a society without allowing others to throw giant spanners in your works, so to speak.

To function in a society we can’t avoid social interaction on all levels.  Phatic communion is part of our daily lives, however recognising that has already set you apart in my eyes.   I find being socially convivial a strain.  People’s opinions annoy me.   I easily get irritated by the things that certain people say and do.  I wait with an ambivalent joy for conversational clangers to drop then get annoyed when they do.  This is an incredibly solipsistic blog post, as they all are; it is intrinsic in all self-generated content.

To start with, cultural reference points matter to me.  In Nick Hornby’s, High Fidelity, the troubled muso man-child, Rob explains:  “… what really matters is what you like, not what you are like… Books, records, films — these things matter. Call me shallow but it’s the fuckin’ truth…”  It is the truth.  I genuinely care about what books you read, as soon as anyone mentions Dan Brown or Harry Potter, I automatically subtract one imaginary point from your personality.  Keep talking and mention any televised talent show and I will start to chain point deductions together, and your points will quickly tick down and down and down. Music is of massive importance to me, it is a big part of my personality, I don’t deny this, it helps define who I am and I am proud of it.  You can replace any of these things with something that is important to you and I guarantee you can relate.

Conversely if I meet you and you informed me your favourite film was Predator and you loved listening to Death From Above 1979 I would immediately insinuate you into my life until we were life-long friends.  Shallow?  Yeah.   Awesome?  Defo laaa!

Ultimately, situations of communal interaction with new people or people who aren’t genuine friends cause me to baulk in terror of the inevitable verbal diarrhoea I will be forced to be showered with.  The situation is universal just more common in social and professional captivity.  An example of this is the lunch dilemma at work.  There are three choices available to you:

1- Eat bland odourless food at your desk whilst working, thus effectively reducing your free lunch hour to only the moments where you don’t have food in your mouth.

2- Stubbornly stalk the streets around your office, cramming your lunch into your face whilst religiously listening to new and challenging music on your iPod/generic MP3 device, everyday forever, no matter how cold or wet it is, for your allotted hour of freedom.

3- OR, eat in the communal space, swallow your pride and force yourself to laugh through painfully gritted teeth at their idiotic and frankly facile opinions about Michael McIntyre’s incessant observations about nothing and having to say things like: “Did you see *Insert popular TV program* the other night?  It was *Insertopinion that is in line with the alpha office mammal’s view* wasn’t it?!”

For your information, I obviously do a combination of one and two like some sort* of office sociopath (*read as actual).  I cram food into my face as fast as I can at my desk whilst cueing up my iPod, putting on my coat and ignoring all work related questions, finish then fire out of the building to walk the streets alone trying to avoid any unwarranted social interactions for exactly one hour.

Basically I resent having to portion out my time to people whom I feel don’t warrant it.  I have a small amount of time for fun and frolics and I want to spend that with the people I have vetted and given a social pat-down.

Essentially, the Scotch genius and raconteur, Armando Iannucci put this in terms we can all understand: “We’re all twats!”

Of course we’re all twats, you’re a twat, that person you met at the weekend who talked to you about his holiday plans, he’s a twat, and obviously, I’m the biggest twat of all!  It’s natural, it’s unavoidable, twat.


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