Hate Or Rate?

In my wild, misspent youth[1] a friend and I used to talk about the future sometimes, and he would say he saw himself in radio down the track, working perhaps with another guy we knew who was a funny but odd teenaged boy, and they were very funny together and it didn’t seem incredible that this could indeed happen to the pair of them one day. Then he would say, mate, we’d have you on the show, of course. It could be a weekly segment. “Good,” I would say. “I can come on and talk about all the things I hate.”

It seemed a comment in keeping with my personality at the time, and in fact it still is. The opportunity for this regular rant never presented itself. My friend gave away his art and became a journalist – radio never presented itself – and he is doing quite well at that, and his mate has found his vocation as a primary school teacher, via a number of dark alleys within the adolescent soul. Some wondered if he would see his thirtieth birthday. Reports suggest he is happy and fulfilled.

I’m not altogether fulfilled (although reasonably happy), and I sometimes wonder if that rant that I was never allowed to launch would have made things better for me. Would I be calmer and more centred? Probably not.

On Melbourne radio MMM there used to be a show about AFL called ‘The Gospel’, which was also broadcast on Pay TV. I became a watcher a few years ago. Now I’m not an Aussie Rules fan, not a proper one who has passion (a degree of insanity), I’m just mildly interested. And this show wasn’t really about the game anyway – my favourite segment was called People And Things I Hate, where a player at that time Peter ‘Spida’ Everitt would unload about what was on his mind. It was enjoyable to watch, but I possibly felt a bit envious of his opportunity. He memorably had a go at the Queen once, not from memory because she had even done anything; it was just a she just shits me kind of comment.

So who or what do I hate? Maybe this is part of my problem. Not enough hate is inside me, I fear. What I seem to have replaced hate with is people and things I don’t rate and that I would not mind at all if there were none of them.

Most of all I don’t rate people who are up themselves to the degree that they are happy to talk about themselves at length to strangers. This could help to explain several large holes in my personal life over the years, as you need to behave this way when getting to know someone – but there’s also a bit of an obstacle in being shy and lazy: you don’t meet people and you don’t care.

DJs. Why are we supposed to be impressed with them? I find it difficult to get excited about musicians, as somehow inherently sexy, but people who stand at a mixing desk – how sexy is that? I respect what they do, which can be impressive, and takes a great deal of skill. I think my stance is more that I reject people who think they can do the thinking for me: “Meet Darren, he’s a DJ!” – well frankly if Darren is a dickhead or wants to talk about himself for hours then I don’t really care if he’s a chicken sexer of empties the wank bucket at an adult movie house. I don’t have any vacancies in my circle of friends at present, and I certainly wouldn’t want someone in my life purely because he called himself DJ Scruffy[2].

As a kid I could put good skaters in a similar category. You aren’t intrinsically cool. You are good at doing one thing. Why do people suck your appendage (perhaps even literally) like this?

Footy players too. Not very impressive. You have one skill, and possibly no others. Why would I want to be mates with you? Why do some women want to sleep with a footy player purely because he plays footy? I’ll watch the games on TV, and enjoy them, but it ends when the final whistle sounds.

I’ve encountered the occasional famous person and they are like the rest of us mostly. Some are more likely to be so self-absorbed that they can barely interact with others, I’ve heard. So, normal or weird – not special. The whole celebrity culture leaves me a bit cold, I must confess. Until the gory facts about Tom and Nicole’s marriage emerge to be placed alongside what Phil Spector used to get up to with his lady friends (a kind of Russian Roulette where Phil was holding the gun, but was never in danger) or Michael Jackson’s hair being held onto his bald scalp with a clip then I’m not really interested. Why punters look up to these bozos is beyond me.

Things I don’t rate include crowds, oppressively humid weather, and wanton stupidity. Thongs, worn with normal work clothes repel me, and I’m not a fan of noise.

My teenaged future is happening right now. I couldn’t have predicted where I am and what I’m doing, and I hope improvement in my circumstances is soon to come, but at least I’m alone in a room with a reasonable temperature, the roof is not leaking, and there’s classical music playing.

[1] Joking. I was actually quite a sensible lad.

[2] A real DJ. I accidentally became one of his biggest fans when he performed at Sydney Uni in the mid-1990s. I was there for beer and heard his stuff. Left no impression on me.

Published in: on March 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

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