Originally posted on Facebook 7/11/12
OK Friends, (I think I know most of you well enough to call you friends now) I’d like to talk a little bit about bigotry.
Not the piddly little types of bigotry that you can easily sweep under the carpet, like racial bigotry – I mean, when it comes down to it, does it really matter what colo(u)r the President of the World is? Do we have to cry ‘it’s only because all the minorities voted for him’? – If that’s the case, it should make the 2024 Presidential Election interesting as I believe that’s the one where, according to recent figures, Americans of white, Anglo-Saxon descent become the minority in what they still insist on calling ‘their own country’.
Nor do I refer to bigotry about sexual orientation. I mean some of my dearest friends have nommed more Axminster than I could ever possibly hope to buy knocked off Chinese DVDs of, it doesn’t make their opinion any less valid than those who enjoy their sausage with a side order of hot fish yoghurt does it?
Religious bigotry? Nope, not talking about that either. Despite not being what anyone in possession of all of their marbles would describe as a Christian, I go to Church every Sunday, and whilst I freely admit that there are people there who I would not trust to look after a straightened out paperclip, This has nothing to do with their religious beliefs, it’s just that they’re as mad as badgers!
No, I’m talking about that most insidious of bigotries… Musical bigotry! (there, I said it!) I know that I’m not an expert; I don’t have a GCSE in ‘Musical Appreciation’ and I don’t sing or play an instrument with any degree of skill or finesse but, as the Pope said when Michelangelo presented him with the painting of the Penultimate Supper (You know, the one with the kangaroo and the jellies and the three Christs) ‘Look, I’m the bloody Pope, I may not know much about art, but I know what I like!’… Obviously I’m not the Pope, I’ve never worn a brown shirt, but you get the idea.
Can you think of a time when you’ve looked down on someone because they like Dubstep, or made assumptions about the intelligence of people who like any kind of music where the ‘artist’ has to mention their own name repeatedly in the body of the song so they don’t forget who they’re listening to? – I know I have, and I thought that that made me a bad person, a bigot of the highest order. But then I looked at my own musical tastes and realised that I was a victim too. In the past people had laughed at me for quite liking Duran Duran and Adam & the Ants and this was bad enough until I said something during a discussion about popular music that has subsequently caused me to be treated like a leper. I remember it was a Thursday, and quite sunny, and we were all sat in Starbucks drinking Venti iced X 2 H O WC CRFL’s when I uttered the fateful words ‘You know, some of the stuff by Maroon 5 and Nickleback isn’t that bad’
There are some things you can never take back… All the people at the table instantly took out their Non-generic smartphones and unfriended me from Facebook and I was given real Paddington hard stares from over the tops of their hipster glasses until I felt so uncomfortable that I had to put on my hemp flip-flops, get back on my leopard-print Schwinn Stingray and cycle all the way home.
I have never spoken to any of them again.
Remember kids, bigotry is bad, especially when it’s directed at me.