This first post is going to be more a way for me to get a handle on how to work with WordPress rather than an attempt at any meaningful communication. To wit –
What am I? After all, I have re-introduced myself to the cybernetic world with the seemingly shameful title of “pseudo-intellectual.” But is it really something to be ashamed of? I have never felt anything other than happy to identify myself as such a person. An intellectual, after all, is a rare bird indeed. Intellectuals should know at least one other language, they should be capable of intelligent comment when questioned about translations and they should read widely… More specifically, they must read widely in non-fiction, in history and philosophy, not forgetting poetry. They should have an excellent grasp of current affairs as filtered through a lifetime’s reading and understanding of the historical precedents involved. Preferably, they should be able to quote in Latin or French. The true intellectual is also a Luddite who will not watch television unless someone else turns it on.
So what is involved in being something else? Below are a few alternative terms that caught my fancy. If you disagree with anything here (definitions are always tricky), feel free to argue with me.
The Pseudo-Intellectual. According to UrbanDictionary, a Pseudo-Intellectual is a person “of average intelligence” who is “enchanted with highly intellectual topics and discussions such as philosophy, socioeconomics, destiny of humanity, etc. Unlike a genuine academic, a pseudo-intellectual’s main reason for being interested in these topics is because it makes him feel intellectually superior to his peers.” This definition does not point out that an academic’s main interest in these topics is because it’s his job. Perhaps there’s a middle ground here….
The Hipster. According to UrbanDictionary (and I’ll paraphrase here) they are primarily young, affect an anti-corporate, anti-materialist stance that they may in fact uphold but probably don’t, listen to bands most people have never heard of, scorn the successful and are political reactionaries who never kick-start revolutions. They don’t care to smooth down their rough edges and eyewitness accounts say they dress androgynously.
The Bohemian. Essentially artists, unlike the consumer-hipster. Are generally not political. They like the weird in art both high and low. Are surprisingly unpretentious. Unlike the Pseudo-Intellectual, the Pseudo-Bohemian is a truly shameful concept, buying the Complete Rimbaud and the George Sand novels only to set them on the shelf and read Stieg Larsson instead.
The Snob. Any person who believes their taste, be it in food, books, wine or decorative plates, is superior to all others. It is no use to argue with them; they shall not be cowed. The more polite among snobs may offer a tip of the hat to those rare people they feel have out-done them in snobbery, a rare occurrence than should be taken as an honour. Snobs tend to tote their status as snobs around like a badge, viewing their highly cultivated tastes as defining who they are as people. They gather in groups online, usually after being driven out of other groups first.
The Dandy. Loves clothes. They view their image as a manipulable form of art and take great care of their appearance whether or not their job or social life requires it. Moreover, the true Dandy wishes to behave in a manner fitting to the bygone aristocracy, urbane, well-mannered and witty. The true Dandy takes as much care with their living quarters as they do with their body, and they often own inexpressibly lovely items of clothing, furniture or bric-a-brac without spending very much money on them. It is a common myth that Dandies are bisexual or out-and-out queer. See also: Oscar Wilde. David Bowie.
There you have it then. I’d parse it 55% Pseudo-Intellectual, 20% Dandy, 12% Snob, 10% Bohemian, 3% Hipster. I view myself essentially as an amateur enthusiast of all things artistic. I hope to get the hang of writing well enough to make this site something of an archive for the sort of literature and art I especially enjoy. Who does this serve? I can’t answer that. I am too used to writing for myself to believe this site is going to be followed by anyone else. I shall only try to write to the best of my ability, and make this place as pleasing to my eyes as possible. If you see as I do then you may see something of promise here.
So I shall return later with a proper game plan for what this blog is meant to do. Meanwhile, you have been alerted. I am a pseudo-intellectual. I’ve got Djuna Barnes and Solita Solano on my blog banner. I aim to join the New School of Pretension, and I aim to enjoy myself as I go. What does that make me? Well-read? Well-versed? Well-grounded?