TRYING to sound clever is a dodgy business, I’ve found.
Quoting old Willy Shakes once or twice might impress a certain crowd of people, but drop Macbeth-bombs into conversation on a daily basis and you’ll end up sounding like a bit of a moron.
(“Do you want a brew?”
“Well as my old friend Hamlet said – to be quenched or not to be quenched! That is the question!”)
Unfortunately this seems to happen a lot – and culture snobs are the worst bunch.
They’ll deny being judgmental and claim your opinion is just as valid as theirs, but then look at you like you’ve grown a second head if you admit you like the Spice Girls, have the Kardashians on series link and, quite frankly, thought Donnie Darko was a load of old cobblers.
(At that point they’ll probably start panic-quoting Nietzsche at you, to prove they’re nothing like you.)
The reason I say all this is because last week I overheard a gem of a conversation on the train which was so pretentious even Gwyneth Paltrow (she of the ‘conscious uncoupling’) would have cringed.
“Yeah, they were amazing,” said one man to another, about a band he’d been to see the night before.
“They’re the epitome of postpunk shoegaze with real elements of darkwave gothcore about them.”
The other man replied: “Oh…right… I’m not familiar with that, to be honest.”
The first man adopted a slightly patronising tone and said: “I’m not surprised. To be honest, not everybody Gets Them. I think they’re just TOO progressive for some people.”
I sniggered and went back to reading Heat magazine.
Later on, when I recounted this tale to Smithy, we agreed how sad it is that some people seem to feel a great need to be more knowledgable than others.
My husband, a man who likes to call a spade a spade, pondered this for a few minutes before adding: “It sounds to me that they feel insecure.
“Or they could just be irritating douchebags who need to be hit over the head with their 80s synth punk vinyls.”
Or maybe these people are just too progressive for the likes of us.
Article first published in The Westmorland Gazette on July 16, 2015