Right let’s just get this out there, I don’t like tea. I don’t like the look of it. I don’t like the smell of it and I don’t like the taste of it.
I like green tea and peppermint and all that jazz but as for that revolting devil’s juice which people insist on drinking in vast quantities, I can’t stand the stuff. I hate that the margin for error is so narrow, it’s too strong, not strong enough, the milk should go in first or should go in last or should go in after it’s been boiled under a harvest moon. Don’t get me started on warming the cup first.
The worst thing is that I can feel people recoiling as I write this. People take it so personally if you say you don’t like tea, as if you are taking their access rights away. Don’t worry people, I have no beef with you ingesting, hell I’ll even make you an extremely sub-standard cup of the stuff but don’t try and drag me down with you.
However it is like a party I feel like I haven’t been invited to, a tea party if you will. I love coffee, can’t get enough of the stuff but there seems to be a clique of tea drinkers, those knowing exclamations of joy upon the first sip.
It got me to thinking about how we are members of so many “clubs” in our lives. First there’s the obvious family, friendships but then it goes deeper, for me I’m in the LGBT team, I’m in a male club of sorts, British, Northern. Then it goes more specific, Star Wars fan, Drag Race fan, Madonna fan. But each one of these is supposed to define the way you behave in a certain way. If I say that Madonna has had too much face work done, someone will say “Call yourself a fan?”. Erm…yes. If I say “The shopping is better down South” the world ends and I get called a traitor to my northern roots.
I remember years ago I worked with someone who couldn’t understand that I wasn’t having fits of excitement because Kylie was touring, “But you’re gay” she said. Imagine her distress when I explained I’d rather go to Old Trafford.
It’s never more prevalent than on social media and I guess quite fascinating. Here we are, in Andy Warhol’s vision of the future yet we have more than 15 minutes of fame, we have as much fame or infamy as we like, all beamed live from our mobile phones. But what do we do? We resort to pack mentality because we can’t cope with that level of freedom. You’re either Left or Right, Liberal or Conservative. Pick your team and stick to it.
But is this really using things to our advantage?
If you look at anyone who has truly excelled in the last 100 years, they have been far more focussed on their individual behaviours rather than belonging to a group. We are born with a tribal mentality and I understand the need to protect your kin. But do you have to go into battle with someone just because they prefer white over brown bread? Do you have to persuade them over to the brown side? What is your goal? To destroy white bread forever and live in a world of only brown bread? Can’t we just agree that brown toast is best but bacon sandwiches are nicer on white and be done with it?
I’m by no means perfect at this. If I see someone being vocal on Twitter with views different to my own, the red mist descends and I want to go in for the debate but I’d be very surprised if the number of people whose opinions were changed on Twitter was high. I try and keep out of Twitter spats, not because I’m not opinionated, ask anyone who knows me, I am very opinionated. But because it’s like screaming into a hurricane when everyone else is screaming at the same time.
So what’s the point of this post? None really except I’m going to try and use Twitter to get a better education so that I can make my own mind up about things and you can join me or not. I won’t argue either way. Oh and if you do see me engaging in Twitter arguments, feel free to tell me to stop screaming because in Twitter, no-one can hear you scream.