It’s Time to Stop Writing That ‘You Have Wronged Me’ Email

(This article originally appeared in the Huffington Post)

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It starts something like this.

Dear friend who I care for so deeply I feel I owe it you to spell out how I feel about a recent turn of events. I feel confident you will admire the way I’m controlling my anger and think me brave for being upfront about this. Furthermore, to prove to you this is not a matter I take lightly at all, I offer you this detailed analysis of the situation, carefully worded to show I fully appreciate your side of the story, while helping you to re-evaluate your grasp on the unjustness I suffered and shed new light on where you unknowingly went wrong in all this…

What follows is read like this.

You’re shit. What you did was shit. Anything you have to say on the matter is bound to be shit. Continue reading “It’s Time to Stop Writing That ‘You Have Wronged Me’ Email”

A Little Internet Knowledge Can Be a Dangerous Thing

(This post was originally published in the Huffington Post)

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“Whenever I listen to her, underneath that softness, I get the feeling the emotional topography of her life is all jagged, do you know what I mean?”

This sentence, believe it or not, got me laid. I was online dating, the keyboard banter was smooth but by no means sure, when she mentioned she liked Shawn Colvin and that was my fairly instant response. From thereon, a date was inevitable. She’d just found someone who not only knew Shawn Colvin, I actually felt her.

Except up until that minute, I’d never heard of Shawn Colvin. A quick scan on the Internet had given me all I needed to show I was in the know, baby.

It makes a mockery of genuine passion. Worse, it makes us suspect everyone’s on the blag. Continue reading “A Little Internet Knowledge Can Be a Dangerous Thing”

Why Do People Pretend to be Passionate About Things When They’re Not?

(This post was originally published in the Huffington Post)

2014-06-18-realfake.jpgThis is a story about being cool.

It starts, preposterously enough, with The Police. (For the record: I could’ve gone with the always cool The Pixies to spin this yarn, seeing as they were involved in a similar issue a few years later, but this article is about placing truth over appearing cool, and I can’t imagine a better way to exonerate myself from any pretence of cool than to begin with Sting.)

The band had reformed in 2007. Much hype, much hoopla, much gripe on my part for failing to bagsy a ticket that wasn’t way out (or rather, tout) of my budget, certainly not enough to warrant seeing a band I used to love as a kid but then forgot about because of, well, Sting.

But that’s when I first noticed it, the phenomenon of Facebook Fan Fakery, since updated as Forum Falsities, Twitter Tall Tales, Blogger Bollocks and all-round Social Media Mendacity. Continue reading “Why Do People Pretend to be Passionate About Things When They’re Not?”