Fated to pretend

A couple of summers ago, I spent the entire summer listening to this album. Couldn’t tear it off my CD player in the car, I loved it that much.

It’s from MGMT who are a lot of fun. They’re fun because they sued Sarkozy’s UMP party when they used ‘Kids’ as part of a conference without paying royalties. Sarkozy with his holier-than-thou attitude to illegal downloads. Hmmm. They won as well. Also, any band who can take on the cynical life of a music star and put it to such a cute summertime squeaky beat deserve some kudos. It’s a trippy little take on the music business. My favourite lyric is this one: “I’ll move to Paris, shoot some heroin and fuck with the stars… you man the island and the cocaine and the elegant cars.” I think I like the idea of manning an island. It’s pre-recession joy.

Anyway, this Much Love Monday was almost a Forgot About It Tuesday. Or less a Forgot About It, more a Got Carried Away with Other Things Yesterday Tuesday post. This is because I’ve got two things going on – one is the inevitable marking, due to start on Wednesday, and the script I’m translating, which is very, very good. I love it when I get something really, really interesting to do – my fingers can’t go fast enough on this script. It’s true that you get ‘translator blues’ as much as you get ‘writer’s block’ – I get bored and think, ‘really? can I really be bothered to finish this?’ and then I start working backwards which seems to make the end a little nearer. I kind of kid myself I’ll revive my flagging interest that way. I can’t just write about shoes all day. And I did do some translation and content creation for a Monaco company about shoes. And believe me, it’s not interesting when you are writing ‘leather uppers’ fifteen times and trying to make up different ways of saying ‘this is a nice shoe and will look good on your foot’ when you have 100 shoes to do it for. ‘A glamorous evening shoe’ only works once.

Anyway, again, another busy week. Not only the collision of the polar ends of my work life: functional and dull compared to fabulous and so exciting I’d work on it all day, but also a couple of days out. Social life and work life collide and sleep takes a hit. I don’t really mind. Better busy than not.

However, it does make me a little grumpy and not have much love. It makes me crabby. But I like being crabby and cross. I enjoy it. I like having little mini-rants about things.

Like, why do people say they went to the ‘University of Life’? Is it because they a) didn’t go to University and somehow think that their life is empty because of it so they have to be ‘sarcastic’ about it, or do they think that I scorn them because I have University experience? Both are wrong. I know lots of wonderful non-academics just as I know many fab academics. And I don’t scorn anyone who hasn’t got a University education, though I scorn people who publish their writing and can’t use ‘you’re’ and ‘your’ correctly. That’s just simple grammar that six-year-olds learn. Some of the cleverest people I know left school at 14 or barely went at all. And some of the dullest have PhDs and other letters after their name.

What irks me about it is that they’re implying ‘life has taught them a lesson’ – and that perhaps, in contrast, I haven’t learned that lesson. Usually, the lesson has to be taught by Bad Stuff happening, as if you can only be wise and experienced if you’ve had cancer or someone has died or you’ve had a messy divorce. The University of Life seems to end up with a Degree of Bitterness and a Post-Graduate qualification in Feeling Hard Done To.

I feel the same about ‘The School of Hard-Knocks’. Oh really? Usually, the people who say they’ve been to ‘The School of Hard Knocks’ are middle-class white women who have the luxury of an education – something two thirds of the world don’t have access to beyond the age of 11, and something our ancestors of only four or five generations didn’t have either. School is a luxury, a bonus, a privilege, something most people take for granted who have it freely available to them. Maybe it should be taken away every generation or four just so we can remember that being able to read and write and moan about it on Facebook is a privilege that only landed upon us in the last few decades and in the select few countries. Now I feel a bit like the Yorkshire men from Monty Python, but it’s true that those who would so bitterly say they went to the School of Hard Knocks are usually the over-privileged minority who have the luxury of living in a G8 country, where school is a right and Hard Knocks usually means most of the people you know will live to their 70s, rather than school being something a few children have if they’re lucky and water and food aren’t a certainty from one hour to the next.

That’s a bit angry and grumpy for a Monday, so I’ll give you another clip:

That should remind you how lucky you are. School? Luxury.

p.s. if you have seen the Four Yorkshiremen before a hundred times, it’ll still make you laugh. It’s genuinely one of the funniest things ever written.

As for today’s poem, it is one that reminds me of the majesty of life:

The Eagle

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

Alfred Lord Tennyson
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5 thoughts on “Fated to pretend

  1. I get crabby when dealing with the sort of tedious anti-intellectual, anti-elitist attitude that I found in Britain that envies and resents everyone else. It is the single most disappointing thing about the British. I found my neighbours were convinced that everyone else around them was better off financially and didn’t deserve to be so. There is a patently ridiculous insistence on styling oneself ‘working class’ and never admitting to being middle class. Fortunately I worked in an environment where this didn’t apply, but it was still very apparent in the media and in social situations.

    1. It’s definitely a bizarre thing – nobody wants to admit to being middle class, and yet very few people are anything but. Funnily, that exact attitude was discussed today – there’s a real nastiness from some people regarding anything others are good at.

  2. Well at least thanks to say that for the script. I just did what I could, with what I have! 😉
    Hope you still enjoy it and won’t get bored! :))

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