I have a tendency, like all writers, to exaggerate. (See, I did it there.) I am hopeless – just not quite that hopeless. Everything I tell you is true – except the stuff to do with cats – but, as Spike Milligan said of his war memoirs, I might have jazzed it up a bit for comic effect. (If you are a regular reader and this is the first time that you have been made aware that this blog is not meant to be wholly ‘documentary’, please forgive me. The cheque is in the post.) I am exactly as I appear – except maybe not quite so much so.
I suppose what you get from me is a little like a caricature, perhaps the nose is a little larger, the eyes a little baggier, but the prat in the drawing is undeniably me. If you have been with me for a while and you feel like you know me, then you probably do (even if that puts you one up on me). Honestly, there isn’t that much to know. I do not exaggerate what I say, but I do exaggerate the way in which I say it. I might tell you that I am socially inept, when, in fact, I am probably better described as ‘awkward’. Not a total social misfit. Neither a physical nor a mental train-crash, just, I think, normal – albeit it a little odd at times. You see, I think that most people (with the notable exception of politicians) talk themselves down. I actually keep an odd blog ‘in hand’ in case I talk myself too far down sometimes and end up sounding like a total moron. When I say that I don’t understand, however, it is normally because I actually do not understand; when I sound exasperated, it is because I am. I hope that it is obvious when I am being ironic, but it is possible that I overestimate my writing skill. I’m not certain what I can do about that: to drop the irony would, on occasions, leave me mute. I could ‘signpost’ it somehow, but that would make me look like a smartarse (and how ironic that would be). What finds its way into this corner of the ether in the evening has generally bubbled up through my head in the course of the day. If it wasn’t for the japes it would be nothing more than a terminal whine.
Anyway, there is always more than one truth, isn’t there? History, they say, is written by the victors. I’m sure we’ve all been in the position where we have had to listen to two completely different, but genuinely-held versions of the same ‘truth’. You only have to speak to both sets of fans after a football match to know that seeing the same thing does not necessarily equate to seeing the same thing. Think of almost any current event covered by U.K./U.S/China/Russia media. Even with modern ‘proof’ the story differs. The police know that witnesses to any traumatic event will all have a slightly different story to tell, will have seen events unfolding in slightly different ways. Nobody is lying (except, perhaps, for the man with the stocking on his head) but there are a range of ‘truths’ to be told.
Bearing in mind that in addition to any number of honestly-held truths, there will probably be a similar number of downright lies, it is often up to you to decide where the truth lies. (Irony, paradox, oxymoron? You decide.) Generally, it will be somewhere close to your own perception of where the truth should be – which is why, with complete conviction, I can tell you (should you want to know) that at the time of writing (from the sun deck of my ocean-bound yacht) I am looking fit, bronzed, tall, dark and very, very handsome…
I never know how much of what I say is true. Bette Midler
Don’t believe me if I tell you
Not a word of this is true…
‘Don’t Believe A Word’ – Thin Lizzy (P. Lynott)
P.S. I seriously think that ‘Don’t Believe A Word’ could be the greatest POP single ever: two minutes eighteen seconds, straight in, straight out, not a single note wasted. If it is not the perfect pop record, I would like to know what is. Let me know what you think…
P.P.S ‘This is my truth…’ is an album by Manic Street Preachers