Saturday, 9 October 2010

Thursday 7th October 2010: Birds and Verbal Self-Defence

I started writing this blog on the day itself (note: serious procrastination issues need to be resolved!) and I quite liked the beginning, so that's not going to waste anytime soon: There's either a lady with a high voice or a very repetitive cat saying Hello 47 times in a row just outside my window (48), as I'm sitting here (49), writing this. Pretty annoying as well (…). Don't know why. (49. It stopped).

In the afternoon, after dropping off some postcards in a letterbox (and yes, I did use my rubbishy accent with the lady in the post-office. People do think you're essentially nice but a bit thick if you have a slight foreign accent, whereas with my learnt, studied and grafted accent I wouldn't have gotten away with being the total shambles that I am in official places); I had my third seminar of the week, about Modern & Postmodern Drama.

It was very enjoyable. We were talking mainly about Ibsen's A Doll's House and the feminist implications of it. In a group of four people I was the only man, and soon the conversation turned to the oppression of women through the ages. I agreed with everything but one of us got really in to it and when speaking, she couldn't constrain the intense longing to point her finger in my direction. As everyone who knows me knows, I am the first to apologise for the serious crimes me and other men
inflicted on women (and continue to inflict) since the dawn of time. We are shits and we know it.

But after a while she caught herself and started apologising. I then (very unprofessionally) acted like I was offended (the ability of my face to convey no emotion whatsoever has been noted, but very close to that face is my: mildly indignant + exasperated-face. That was the one I was using. No good idea) because I thought that was funny. So she might still have thought that I was shocked, if I didn't go for a coffee with her afterwards, to explain. Still, a belated sorry.

Occasions like this happen possibly because I am, to all intents and purposes, foreign. So whenever I say anything offensive for a laugh (ironically, always. I'm too twee to ever really believe the horrible things I say), people go: Are you really like that? That is a bit racist of them, admittedly; but since they (non-racistly) believe that everyone is different, they might think that against all odds and impressions, I might be a bigoted dick. I'm very much anti-that. So it's my responsibility to move my jokes into very much non-bigoted areas. The thing is, a lot of people are bigots and believe horrible things (and are convinced that everything they believe is somehow noble) that when you joke about them, they can be taken at face value as well. Horrible. How can we ever defeat these dicks? Oh, I just called all bigots dicks. That makes me a dick too. Yes it does. But not as much as them.

Now, I've talked myself out of this conundrum (and, as Stewart Lee wrote in his brilliant book; 'And in a single bound I am free' which might have been a Spiderman reference. Ah well. That's another google knol, there) so where was I? Oh yeah. Coffee. Weirdly enough, there was no hot water available on all the campus. Also, kettles were out. There was absolutely no coffee or tea available. Glad to live here, glad to live here.

I finished the day by making fried rice that would last me another day. That's how I roll people. It's a good time.


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