‘Pictures Of Matchstick Men’ – Status Quo
At College, my ego came under scrutiny in a conversation with Peter Conti. We were originally talking about Gemma Winchester and I asked him whether or not it’s feasible that she still fancies me. He pointed out that she does, after all, spend much of her break time staring at me across the Common Room. Peter then said that she had, to counter this, often made remarks about my ego being too big for my own good. He then said it wasn’t just Gemma that had said this, but also a number of others.
I think I need to iron this out once and for all.
Ever since the beginning of 1989, I – and my work – have been described by fellow college students as ‘egotistical’, ‘arrogant’ and ‘self-indulgent’.
All I can really say to that is: well, why not?
They’d all do far better work if they were more self-aware, more self-analytical. I’m not saying they should be self-absorbed, but everyone needs to look after Number One. If you don’t, who will? The responsibility is your own. That’s not to say we should do this at the expense of others – no way; we should all be helping each other along where we can and where that help is required: co-operating and forming alliances, but who you are is up to you. Self-definition is up to you – and if you can’t define yourself individually, using your own unique abilities, faults, whatever, then you’re going to disappear into blandness, surely? I can’t be anything other than I am, so I’d better find out who I am and work hard at being the most me, the best me I can be and carve out my own individuality in every aspect of my existence. I have always been open and friendly to people, so it disappoints me when people come at me with this rubbish. I never hurt others intentionally (though many often seem to deserve it…) I’m pretty sure when someone describes another’s work as ‘self-indulgent’ means they either want the ‘self’ to be negated/repressed or, quite frankly, they wish they had the guts to have done something like that themselves. Be honest about your envy; I am. Hello, Alan Moore. Hello, Patrick McGoohan. And if I’m arrogant, well, maybe I am; I have no idea, you know? But my accusers are probably missing the wood for the trees. I make it my duty to explore my own self-awareness. I am fully aware of my faults, thanks; aware of my limitations, aspirations, ideals and ambitions. I am continually exploring what it is I want and how best to get it. Those who criticize me are clearly just obviously insecure about themselves, and fair enough; but be kinder if you can, eh?
‘Think’ – Aretha Franklin
So where did my obviously huge ego come from? Well, once upon a time – perhaps when this diary first began – I was a down-hearted, lazy teenager. I’d been pushed around at school (of which I went to very, very many) and, in some ways, at home. By the fourth year of school (I was 14), I decided to stand up to others and define myself as a personality. When College came, I was still dossing like bugger. I was lazy; no work done and days spent in town. It sounds cocky, but it was really only wit, charm and natural, innate intelligence that got me through ‘O’ levels and ‘A’ levels. So when I was given the second chance – first really – of the BTEC, I vowed to work like hell and be an achiever for the first time in my life. I grabbed this opportunity by the horns. I worked hard and did what I could. I learnt about myself; what I wanted; what worked. And my record of DISTINCTION at college is evidence of how I turned my education around and made something of myself creatively at last. And because of this commitment to thinking, creating and achieving, I have found myself being criticised more harshly than ever in my life so far. It now seems to me that a lot of people really couldn’t take it when they realised that I actually knew what I wanted out of life. Thing is, when people tell you you’ve got a big ego, you tend to play to that and I think I did a bit. I shouldn’t have, but it felt cool for about 5 minutes. But knowing yourself (and I only barely do!) can be a real problem for the truly insecure, can’t it? I never knew that before this course. Donna Davidson used to have a problem with it, but she understands me now; she suffers from being accused of her own ‘ego problem’ these days, which is comforting. I think many others – Peter included – either accept it or just about tolerate it. But you’d be surprised at how lazy the people on these courses can be. I am VERY lazy by my own measure, so don’t ask me for an in-depth assessment on my peers! I guess you just develop a ‘standard’ after a while… And I like collaborators. I love them and have great fun with them. But I never welcome the lazy to my bosom. And it’s often lazy or dull or undeveloped imaginations that seem ‘threatened’ by me.
‘Two Tribes (Keep The Peace)’ – Frankie Goes To Hollywood
WAR AND REMEMBRANCE is back and it’s brilliant. Such a great cast:
I’m still ill.
Flash’s letter, card ‘n’ tape arrived today. Cheers, Flasher.
‘Hot Love’ – T Rex
Getting back to Flash, that’s a rather good tape he’s sent me for my birthday!
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Next time: ‘Hello, Dolly!’