Monday, 13 January 2014

Clever and cleverer

I find ‘clever’ people very attractive. If I said “I like big dicks and I cannot lie.”, I’d probably be referring to dictionaries.  People should be proud of their achievements, it’s when it turns to blatant boasting and unsubtle humblebragging that it gets ugly, and frankly highlights those people’s insecurities. And I notice it rarely comes from those standing at the top of the podium.

It’s also insecurity when people have to feel clever by belittling the people on Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and Jeremy Kyle, despite knowing those people may not have the same opportunities as others; one of them being to change channels. 

TV does have its manufactured twits too. I don’t know if Joey Essex genuinely can’t tell the time but he acts like he’s perfectly happy being a fool. He’s like a sexually-aware Forrest Gump.

I’ve always been interested in the nature or nurture argument. Are you born with a particular intelligence level or does it depend on your environment? Or as a friend paraphrased it ‘Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline.’ 
I met a child genius last year. ‘Michael’ was 8 and the rest of the people in his Islington drama class were 12.   The kids had to work in pairs to make up and act out a story with the title ‘Disaster’. I ‘sat in’ with Michael and a 12-year old girl (Lydia).

Lydia: OK, so maybe this space is our house..

Michael: So we’re married.

Lydia: No.

Michael: Why are we living together if we are not married?

Lydia: Ok, we’re married.

Michael: Right, so I come home from work. ..
(pretends to open door) COMMENCE COOKING PLEASE!

Lydia: (mimes stirring saucepan and putting something in bowls and hands it to him)

Michael: Why have you made soup? It’s the summer. It’s too hot. 

Lydia: Ok, don’t have it.

Michael: Oh no, our house is on fire. Now we must go camping.

Lydia: OK.

Michael: We will sleep here.

Lydia: OK.

Michael: Let’s go back to the house. Look, the fire started because you didn’t turn off the cooking. It’s your fault. Now we have no house.

Lydia: (shrugs) (I like Lydia’s style.)

Michael: You’re an idiot . You should have been more careful. 

I found myself wondering about where he got his intelligence from..and his misogyny. Then the teacher joined us; “Michael’s dad is a famous musician, isn’t he Michael? And has taught Michael to play piano, clarinet and flute already. And they are home schooling him, and he speaks a little Italian because they all lived there for a year .”

Michael interjects, “Yeah, my dad was on the radio three times in France last month and I probably will too when I’m older. And I’ll be really rich.”

I hate and admire his self-belief and cockiness. Looking at his notebooks, he clearly is gifted but so are millions of children, it’s just that he’s being nurtured and told he’s amazing more than most and is being given ambition. Admittedly child geniuses sometimes burn out but in his case he’ll just blame Lydia.

The teacher turns to her,  “Your dad is a musician too isn’t he? Tell Juliet what bands he was in, she might have heard of him. I’m not sure I know him though.”

She looks reluctant but eventually says,  “Um…he was in ….”

She only blooming well casually names one of the most successful groups of the past ten years and then mentions her dad also had a solo career.

I ask if her dad is who I think it is. And she nods.


'The humble' win. Albeit it momentarily. 


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