Today, I stumbled across a post on social media describing me as "unique and not for everyone". NEVER GOOGLE YOUR OWN NAME.
"The Internet gave, and the Internet hath taken away"; so said The Bible, with a tiny alteration. While on its own, the adjective ‘unique’ sounds impressive and like a compliment, the kindness is soon stripped away when followed by those other four slap-in-the-face words. ‘And not for everyone’ may as well read ‘and not for many’ or ‘and not for you’. They could have just used the word ‘crap’ four times: one in standard font, one in italics, one bold and one underlined. They could even have increased the size of the font for each word in increments of ten; as Ronnie Corbett said in that iconic Frost Report sketch, “I know my place”.
Such is the joy of the World Wide Web; for anyone who likes you, there are a hundred and eleven who’d like to punch you in the stomach. The fictional MP Peter Mannion in Armando Iannucci’s swear-tastic sitcom The Thick of It described searching yourself online as “opening the door to a room where everyone tells you how shit you are” and he pretty much got it right. Literally in my case: I remember someone on the music forum Drowned in Sound describing my old band Big Day Out’s song Pop Nonsense as “shit all over a mic”; I’d never do that to a SM58.
All you can do is forge your own path, without caring what these naysayers might think. Either that, or take out a fatwa on the person who insulted you, though this only works if you have certain beliefs. I’d rather be unique than the pander to the lowest common denominator:I'd hate to be like Keane.