Pretentious? Moi?

I don’t think I’m pretentious, but some may disagree. Some DO disagree. Okay, perhaps I was pretentious when I was a child. Not many 13-year-olds ask for a copy of War and Peace when required to choose a school prize.  (In my defence, I did actually read it. All of it.) I really can’t remember what motivated me at the time, but I was going through a phase of reading a lot of Russian literature.

See,  now I’m thinking, aaaargh, I really AM pretentious. Then, my second thought is, why should anyone be ashamed of reading classic literature.

I recall that one of my (unkindly-meant) nicknames was Swotty. Maybe I could regard that as a badge of honour?

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This position of self-respect is not helped by people like musician Moby, who freely admits, “When I was growing up, I was the most pretentious person I have ever met. I only read obscure books and watched obscure movies and only listened to obscure music.” 

THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. Don’t call yourself pretentious.

Pete Townshend had more of an idea. He couldn’t believe that, “30 years later we’re still looking at people who are supposed to write little 2-minute pop songs and when they actually try to do something that’s a little bit more, they regard it as pretentious.”

He is so right. Why shouldn’t people move on and be proud of it? Let’s praise this evolution, not sneer at it.

So what has brought about this sudden self-examination about my so-called pretensions? I’ll tell you, shall I? For my Creative and Critical Writing MA, we were advised to watch Melancholia, the Lars von Trier film. I rented it online, but loved it so much I ordered a DVD from Amazon. Not new, admittedly,  but I thought, what could possibly go wrong? I bravely fended off the comment from nearest and dearest – ‘You’re so ****ing pretentious!’ Everyone’s at it.

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Beautiful, yes?

So it arrived. I couldn’t wait to open it and watch it again.

Inside…a DVD of…

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Oh, how I laughed! Actually I DID laugh. A lot. I was thinking, ‘Serves me right for being so pretentious…’

Then I stopped myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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