Sunday, 1 August 2021

Include me out

Oops.  I was just about to start this post with the words, “Don’t you just hate it when…?” but that would have been exactly the kind of generalisation which irks me enough to actually write something today.

It’s just that lately I've noticed more and more prevalence of the type of statement which begins “Because we all like… “ or  “Everybody needs…”  or "We all want...", etc.  And I don't like it!

It frequently crops up - on TV, in ads, in written articles, etc.  For example, “We all love a picnic, don’t we?” some annoyingly merry voice will announce at the start of an inane magazine show segment about strawberries, or wasps, or wet-wipes…   Sure, I don’t mind a picnic or two as it happens; you know, a bottle of wine and a crusty baguette will do very nicely thank you, and don’t forget the Brie, but I really do dislike the assumption that the entire population will feel the same way…

A little while back I was waiting at the dentists and a receptionist, a woman around the same age as me, announced to her colleague “Ooh, I can’t wait to get home and listen to some Michael Bublé!”  

“Mmm, yes!” her colleague replied as she printed out my next appointment card. “Everybody needs a bit of Michael Bublé in their life, don’t they?”  and with this she looked up at me expectantly.  Oh god, how could she even begin to think I might like Michael Bublé?  Oh please!  Did the 666 tattoo on my forehead not tell her otherwise?  (It’s at times like this that I do have a hanker for one).  I know it was a bid to include me but oh, I wish she hadn’t, because all I could hear was my naughty inner voice echoing around the chambers of my mind:

“No! I can’t fucking stand Michael Bublé!”   

 And all I could do was to be grateful that my facemask hid my involuntary grimace whilst hoping she thought I hadn’t heard.  Everybody needs a bit of Michael Bublé in their life?!  I would love to know what Iggy Pop might have said in response, although I appreciate that his presence at my dental surgery is unlikely. Even then, I can't assume that Iggy doesn't like a bit of Michael Bublé in his life and for all I know he might be a huge fan, but it would've been fun to hear either way...

Of course I was far too polite to suggest that I’d rather listen to some ‘60s psych or the Sid Presley Experience or King Tubby or any number of other artists/genres that I realise could have come across as being wilfully obscure. Confrontational, even.  I guess you could say I didn’t want to burst her bublé…

Anyway. I’m very glad we don’t all like or love or need the same things and it would just be fine if we could all stop being categorised as if we do.  Or is that me being presumptuous too?

Not Michael Bublé.  Instead, some great early '70s psych from Peru... !

We All Together: It's A Sin To Go Away



16 comments:

  1. So true C, there are a lot of assumptions made about what people like and don't like, but quite erroneous - Very restrained of you not to pipe up about Michael Bublé though.

    There is something within us (a little devil) that can make us disagree in such circumstances, but then you see the look of hurt on the person's face and immediately regret it. Probably best to just let it go as you did. Hope the dental treatment went well after your lockdown woes last year.

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    1. I always find these situations hard - it just isn't in me to say what I really think for fear of seeming unkind, when it's easier just to let it go as you say, after all it doesn't matter to the other person whether I agree or not and most of the time it's just a throwaway comment. At least I can have a little moan about it here, though! The bigger generalisations, on TV and in articles etc. are perhaps more insidious...

      Yes, dental stuff all sorted thanks! Hope your various appointments all went smoothly too.

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  2. Just remembered that a good few years ago when my mum was still living independently, she took a shine to Westlife after watching them on telly! We had to visit our local HMV to see if they had any of their CDs. My mum is the master of closed questions so when we went to the counter to pay she said to the assistants, "They're very good... aren't they." I could tell no-one behind he counter was a fan, but they very kindly just said, "A lot of people like them". Very respectful.

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    1. Ah, your mum a Westlife fan! Oh yes, that was a very tactful and, at the same time, perfectly honest reply from the HMV staff. Must remember that one, could prove useful - thanks!

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  3. As an English teacher, I could tell you that this kind of inclusive language is a major feature of persuasive writing... but we all know that, don't we?

    I don't mind a bit of Mickey Bubbles though.

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    1. I realise, of course, that I'm being very selective and a hypocritical... I mean, if she'd said, "Everybody needs a bit of Bowie in their life" I'd have been fine with that.

      Persuasive writing - yes that's the key, especially with advertising... say no more!

      If you don't mind a bit of Mr Bubbles then I say fill yer boots. I might just worry a little if you said you needed him...

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  4. Nobody needs a bit of Buble in their life. Nobody.

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  5. I try, oh, how I try to not get too judgy about someone's taste, especially in music, but I admit I'm a complete failure. I should take the tact of the clerks behind the counter at HMV in Alyson's comment. I guess I must have done that often when I was a clerk behind the counter at a record shop, but that kind of diplomacy has sailed in my old age.

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    1. I know what you mean about judgy - must admit, those receptionists looked and sounded to me like just the kind of women of a certain age who would love Michael Buble, and they were! I'm sure they're very nice too, but...
      What I really like is those surprise moments, when you come across someone who looks/seems nothing out of the ordinary buying begonias at the garden centre and it turns out that they in their youth they were the vocalist in a 1970s underground prog rock band who played gigs all over Europe, took a lot of drugs and had a wild time... They're all out there somewhere!

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  6. Kath & Kim did a great skit on Bublé on one of their shows many moons ago; we still quote it many years later at Medd Towers. Don't you just hate it when people do that..?

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    1. I don't know that, will have to see if I can find it. Of course, now I'm tempted to say "because we all like a good skit"... Aargh.

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  7. However, I can confidently say that everyone needs some SDS in their blog-reading life... :)

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    1. Oh Martin, you're far too kind. But thank you.

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  8. The only thing nice I can say is that Buble sometimes wears nice shoes - but also appreciate not everyone is as shoe fixated as me. There are some advantages of people using the ‘we all need/like…don’t we’ gambit - it stops me from telling them how awful x or y are and then finding out how much they love them - usually Queen to be fair (both the band and the monarch).

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    1. Oh now you have me searching for pictures of Michael Buble's shoes, of all things! (He is very dapper). I'll have to remember your comment - thanks - in the event that I'm ever drawn into a conversation about him again...

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