take one woman with low self esteem, but quite good hair
add one moronic illness
stir in some medication which causes hair to fall out
mix it all up and this is what you get...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Snob or Purist? 

I hate snobbery. Well, let's face it, no-one would really admit to loving it, would they? Unless they were some kind of overly-honest sociopath.

If there's one thing guaranteed to make me very angry, it's wine snobbery. Not so much people getting on and being snobbish about it in private. If they wish to spend their time gushing on about a beverage for which they pay a fortune, only to piss or vomit it back out again shortly afterwards, who am I to stop them? But when they bring their snobbery to bear on others and use it to belittle them, I cannot bear it.

I have a friend who likes drinking a particular type of German wine which has not been fashionable for some time (if it ever was in the first place). He does not try to make other people drink it, he does not spout on about it endlessly, claiming that it is "better" than any other wine, he just goes to the supermarket, buys it, drinks it and enjoys it. How can this be wrong? Yet there are people who purport to be his friend who cannot resist the temptation to bait him about his choice of wine, both in front of him and behind his back. Whereas I am more inclined to admire him for going against the flow of Sunday supplements which try to tell him how to behave.

Something I find to be absolutely rife is music snobbery - particularly in Blogland. Once again, if people wish to spend hours of their life ensuring that any music they mention in their little corner of the internet is of the utmost trendiness or obscurity, that's fine by me. But whenever some poor blogger mentions in a post that they listened to Coldplay or Stereophonics (for example) I just know before opening the comment box that someone will not have been able to resist the urge to pounce on them and and take them to task for their listening choice, albeit in a pseudo-light-hearted way.

Music is a very personal thing. The way we respond to it cannot be dictated by someone else and is often influenced by many factors. It may have a particular association in someone's life and evoke certain special memories or it may have a lyric which is especially resonant with them. If someone enjoys listening to a piece of music in their own home or via their own set of earphones, who on earth am I to argue with that?

It's fine for someone to say: "Hey, here's some new music I've discovered, I think it's really good - see what you think." But to tell someone that they should not listen to a certain band or genre because it has been decreed naff by some self-appointed know-it-all is just unbelievably arrogant.

I can of course recognise my own snobbery in certain areas.

I will not drink instant coffee, for example. For me, it must be freshly ground and preferably so strong that it almost makes you wince. I will politely refuse coffee, or ask for tea, if I am offered it in a situation where I cannot be sure of its *ahem* provenance - and thus my enjoyment of it. But if someone wants to drink instant coffee, I will not stand in their way, nor will I attempt to belittle them for doing so.

Similarly, I will not accept any substitute for butter. Given the choice of "milk which has been swilled about a bit" and "oil which has been through a strange, unnatural, chemical process, the consequences of which are not fully known", I choose the former. Quietly and, I hope, without preaching.

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