The Mick Marston Manifesto 2015 (or, Why I Don’t Fit In With My Friends’ Social Circles) #social #culture #hipster #interactions

I shall no longer hold my tongue in conversation.
One of the main problems that I’ve had in social situations is that I would hold back what I wanted to say because I wasn’t sure of the validity of what I was saying, or I didn’t want to bother getting into a detailed discussion or sometimes I didn’t want to bother offending somebody. At most, my conversational skills resulted in me answering other people’s questions sheepishly as opposed to asserting my views. I always thought I was shy or didn’t have good conversational skills. I’ve come to the conclusion that not conversing is why I don’t have good conversational skills.

If I listen to a mainstream pop song, play a video game or buy an old toy off of eBay I do so without irony, nostalgia or sentiment.
I will enjoy what I enjoy, and I refuse to shame myself for not conforming to other people’s expectations of what an “intellectual” or “adult” is. I like to think of myself as cultured but exposing myself to highbrow art and literature doesn’t have to be to the exclusion of anything else.

I will not allow myself to get hung up on what I do for a living.
Sure, I have a shit job. I also hate when I’m at a social gathering and one of the first questions people ask is “what do you do for a living?” If anything, it’s boring small talk. But I always skirt around the issue because I feel embarrassed about the fact that despite my intelligence and creativity I can’t seem to get unstuck from jobs at department stores. I have recently realized that if people really are going to judge me for my job and not who I am, I don’t care about their opinions of me anyway. For that matter, I really don’t in the first place.

I do not, nor will I ever, own or wear a plaid shirt.
I never cared to before but now that the plaid fad has gotten out of hand I’m sick of even seeing it on others. I would hate for somebody thinking of me as a “hipster.” I don’t care about labels anyway but that’s just an insult.

I also don’t wear polo shirts, or golf shirts or whatever you want to call them. In that case it’s just because they’re butt-ugly.

I won’t grow a beard.
I tried. It just doesn’t look good on me. I also had a goatee for a long time and I do like the look generally, but the mustache doesn’t connect where it should and I end up having to trim it too far out on the sides for it to look right. Again, beards are a fad that have gotten out of hand. Most of the people who I’ve seen with them really shouldn’t have them, either. And guys, beards are not an interesting topic of conversation. That goes for status updates on Facebook.

If you try talking to me about astrology, I will quickly point out that it is bullshit and I wish to pursue another topic. If you press the issue, I will silently turn around and walk away.

The previous rule applies to all religion, party politics, fad diets or any other sort of dogmatic thinking.
As long as you’re not directly hurting others with your beliefs, I don’t care. That doesn’t mean I wish to hear about them.

Simply put, I don’t like the Blue Mermaid.
Okay, this is really specific for friends of mine. Chances are not many of them will read this but I figured this is as good a place as any to include this. I don’t like the atmosphere of the place, there’s very little on the menu that I would eat and when I get some it’s overpriced and in small portions, they rarely have drinks that I like and when they do the drinks are overpriced, it’s often over-crowded with few places to sit and finally the last few times that I’ve been there I didn’t like the particular bartender’s attitude. This isn’t to say that I haven’t had good times there. Who knows? I might give it a chance again in the future. But right now don’t expect me to show up at that place.

To be honest, I’ve become very disillusioned with the bar scene in Portsmouth anyway. There’s very few places now that I would go to. Even then, I find myself enjoying a drink at home with a movie more than spending money on a night out. I do like to go to bars now and then, but I’m getting picky.

I’m interested in other points of view but not debate
Too often I have tried to express an opinion in conversation with somebody who holds an opposing viewpoint, and they turn combative. I don’t mind if somebody wants to say what their opinion is, I state what mine is, and we agree to disagree. But why do so many people want to fight me about it? If anything, that’s going to make me disagree more on principle. I have loads of trivial information in my head that’s of no interest to anybody else. Therefore, I may not have an informed opinion on a topic that somebody might want to discuss. That doesn’t mean they need to try shooting me down with logic if I say the one thing I think I know. See my first point at the beginning of this post.

That’s it for now. I’m sure I’ll come up with more personal rules for now, hence the “2015” in the title. I wanted to (mostly) restrict this to social interactions this time. I’ll post more at a later date if I think of anything.

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