See, this has been annoying me for a while, and in specific cases I knew why. But how many specific cases does it take to be a general rule? Let’s say more than two and leave it at that. As usual, I’ll start this post again, now I have an opening few lines.

I would say I’m sorry
If I thought that it would change your mind
But I know that this time
I have said too much
Been too unkind

I have always been surrounded by pedants, always. These days, on that there intertubes thing, they get the epithet Nazi. You know all the usual variants: grammar-, code-, bus-, and on and on and on. I am not going to say the programming community has more of them than any other, as that would make me some sort of community Nazi, and some sort of elitist, but it doesn’t. (And I don’t mind the latter label there, as long as I get the chance to expound on that. What you mean by it and what I mean by it may differ. Everything comes down to cultural contextivity.)

I try to laugh about it
Cover it all up with lies
I try and laugh about it
Hiding the tears in my eyes
Because boys don’t cry
Boys don’t cry

And you know what? It doesn’t matter. If you get an apostrophe wrong here or there, what odds? Yes, good grammar is great, but you know something else? Their English is better than my Polish, their writing is more understandable than your haughty mannerisms. For you and your vapid friends to stand around and tut, laugh, and ridicule others is, well, odious. CD’s for sale? I know, you know, we all know what message they were trying to get across. And they did. So for you to belittle someone really just makes you that bit less tolerable. Oh, if only we all had your level of education, wouldn’t the world just be a better place?

I would break down at your feet
And beg forgiveness
Plead with you
But I know that it’s too late
And now there’s nothing I can do

But that is only tangential to why I wrote this. During my usual sparring session (literal, not verbal), a piece of music was playing, to which the chap beside me said ‘wow, that is a bit old skool’. I smiled, nodded, and said, yeah, I always thought it an odd choice of sample, but worked reasonably well. He looked at me oddly, so to save me a few sentences here, I explained it was originally from ‘Valerie’ by Stevie Winwood. (The tune also has an interesting video, of almost Benny Benassi proportions.)

So I try to laugh about it
Cover it all up with lies
I try to laugh about it
Hiding the tears in my eyes
Because boys don’t cry

Which reminded me of an argument I got into a while ago, of someone complaining their children were amazed that ‘some old dudes were doing those songs from Glee’. He was agog at this. When I wondered why this mattered, he was furious. I asked if he ever played those old dudes’ versions to his kids, and he said maybe, when they were very little. So how were they supposed to know they were covers? Sure, older types might realise Glee was built on covers (I think…I have never seen it, I am going on inferred intelligence here), but what of just standard chart hits these days that are covers? Would they know? Would you expect them to know? I wouldn’t. Would you expect them to hear a song, like it, then head to their favourite search engine to see who did it originally? Maybe they might find out it was originally recorded by someone else, maybe not.

I would tell you
That I loved you
If I thought that you would stay
But I know that it’s no use
That you’ve already
Gone away

But the sneering, superior sorts on the internet sneer in their superior way. ‘Look at those ignorant dullards, they can’t even tell that that was originally sang by insert some group that probably broke up before they were born here’. It doesn’t matter if it is grammar, or music, there is a constant, belligerent, sneering, and looking down the nose at people. And that always annoys me. Sure, I don’t make concessions when I am in agruments with my peers, but there is a way and a means in different situations. And to belittle people because you had the good fortune to have the genetic capability to retain a set of rules, well, good for you, but not everyone can.

Misjudged your limit
Pushed you too far
Took you for granted
I thought that you needed me more

A little civility, people. So others on the internet know less that you. Good for you to point it out to them. But someone doesn’t know how to use a comma? Don’t laugh, deriding their maternal line. Some never heard an original T-Rex song twenty years before they were born? Don’t deirde this generation for not knowing ‘good’ music. When all is scored and settled, it really, really doesn’t matter.

Now I would do most anything
To get you back by my side
But I just keep on laughing
Hiding the tears in my eyes
Because boys don’t cry
Boys don’t cry
Boys don’t cry

Just chill people. Your misplaced vitriol amounts to nothing. Educate if you must, but don’t fuss over it. No need to get your kicks by planting your size tens on their neck. Relax. Life is short, don’t make it harder for others to have any sense of self-worth. Just be excellent to one another.

  1. Very well said. I shall also do less sneering in my private life today with your words in mind.

    Mon 16 Apr, 8:25AM

  2. Typo in your post you bucking numpty.
    ‘Don’t deirde this generation’
    Sheesh, edukation system in the Mena is shot to shit.

    Mon 16 Apr, 9:18AM

  3. I have a sister called Deirde, or something close to it, and if we are going to start using her name as a verb then the definition must surely be - to take absolutely no nonsense from anyone, anytime, anywhere.

    Thu 19 Apr, 1:42PM

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