It used to really annoy me when people made incorrect assumptions about me. I used to feel slihgted when people made assumptions that were wrong. I thought it is high time that I put a few to bed.
1. That I am intelligent. I am not thick, but I'm not particularly intelligent either. At school I had learnung difficulties and until the age of 11 had 'remedial reading lessons'. I didn't read a book until I was 12. I couldn't do long divisions. I couldn't spell or understand the rules of grammar (I still can't). When I was 33 I was diagnosed as dyslexic and many things made sense. For me, intelligence is the ability to assimilate information quickly and make sound decisions based on that information. I assimilate information slowly, which is why I was very poor at exams as a child. Once it is assimilated, I think I make sound decisions, but people I consider intelligent get there far quicker and are on to the next problem.
2. That I am lazy. I was always being told I was lazy at school. This was completely wrong. I simply couldn't process the information and was easily distracted. What I learned in my teens is that if I work three times as hard as more intelligent people, I can compete with them. If I did my homework on an issuem I could outperform them. This didn't really work at school as I never had enough time, but in work and blogging, I would take my time and get my head around issues. I was often shocked by the fact that more intelligent people don't do their homework, try and blag things and fall on their face. If you do your homework you don't.
3. That I like Jazz. I don't hate Jazz, but I have no more than a passing interest. Many people irritate me by referring to the Mill Hill Music Festival as "The Local Jazz Festival". It is not and never has been. The festival encompasses a wide range of genres, of which Jazz is just one and one that I don't choose the bands for. Any Jazz that I do enjoy is easy to listen to and more verging on R&B, Funk or Soul.
4. That I am English. My Dad was Australian, my Mum was of Irish & very mixed stock. I never have felt English, although I pass the Tebbit test and cheer for England in Football and Cricket. I feel like a Londoner if anything. I aways tick the White English box, but don't feel I am being 100% honest. My Irish grandfather always said he was simply a citizen of the world. I wouldn't feel 100% comfortable saying I'm anything except London.
5. That I 'know about computers'. I worked as a Freelance IT consultant for many a year, but it was on massive commercial mainframe systems. I know next to nothing about PC's and ow they work and have no interest in them. I leave that to the youngsters. I started in 1983 when no such thing existed and soon realised I'd make more money working on the old crap no one wanted to touch with a barge pole, but was the core of Blue Chip companies business.
6. That I'm a drunkard. I can forgive anyone who has spent a raucous night in the pub or at a gig with me. On such nights, I do drink more than I should. But I never drink on my own, I have 3-4 nights a week off alcohol completely and often will only have a glass with dinner. From 1995-2004, I was on call 24 x 7 x 365 as an IT support person for Streamline (the credit card company), as we were investing heavily in the studio and it paid the mortgage, and I simply couldn't be bladdered as the pager was going off regularly in the middle of the night.
7. That I received a large inheritance. When my Mum died, she left all of her money to charity. The week after she passed away, the then council leader, now Mike Freer MP, made a jibe in a newspaper about "Armchair critics who get fat on family inheritences", clearly aimed at me, when I was grieving. Although I am thick skinned, I was absolutely lived. When my Dad died in 1987, my mum was keen to sell the family property business as se didn't want the hassle. With my eldest brother and sister, we persuaded her to retain the business and took over much of the running of it, with her stepping away from most of the day to day aspects. Withing three years, we trebled the turnover. She stepped away from it completely in 2003, divesting all interest to a family trust. The business is still run by the family and yes I benefit, but I am effectively a 1/6th shareholder as I've 5 brothers and sisters. We have kept the family legacy going and massively improved it. I am proud of that.
8. That I lead a wild life. I've been married for 27 years. My missus is a sensible grown up. We rarely have a cross word and our no 1 priority is our children, family and dogs.
9. That I'm argumentative. Nothing could be further from the truth. If people are spouting rubbish, unless it will cause problems (or I don't like them), I'll let it go. If people start having a go on Twitter, I simply block them. I can't be bothered to argue. However if people are saying things that will cause other people real life problems, are bullies, racists or any other of the myriad of ther obnoxion's that frequent social media, and they are acting in a way that hurts people (as opposed to spouting in an eco chamber), I will have a pop.
10. That they can wind me up. When people have a go at you, out of the blue, for no reason, their starting point is always their own insecurities. If they are people that I am, shall we say, keeping an eye on, I may well engage as you can very work out all of their weaknesses and insecurities, which can be stored up for a later date, when I might actually need it. Generally, I just block as it is far easier. When Mike Freer made the jibe about my mum passing, it hurt because I knew I was vulnerable and he was taking advantage of the situation, which infuriated me. All he succeeded in doing was making very sure that I would be a constant critic, as I believe he is unfit for public office. Anyone who I've blocked, I simply have concluded that they are simply not worth a millisecond of effort on. Occasionally I change my mind. There is one local who massively irriated me, with his extremely patronising tone towards me on Twitter, but having blocked and after a period of reflection, I concluded that just because he talks to me like the village idiot, his output is still worth the effort. I also realised that this is because he is on the spectrum and genuinely believes I am an idiot, which intellectually and if we discount musical knowledge, I probably am compared to him.
Oh and I really don't mind people criticising my music. I always work on the basis that if I like it and a few other people do, then it is successful. Even the Ramones, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, The Dickies, The Specials and Dr John had their critics. Music is wonderful because it is diverse and we don't all like the same thing.