Bloody amazing and honest words from the incomparably brilliant Hayley Webster there. If you´re on twitter, give her a follow. You won´t regret it. I had an ace chat with her the other day about beauty, being superficial, and ´guilty pleasures´. So if you think this post is a load of tosh, blame her. She put ideas in my head... About the type of people who say the following kind of thing:
'It's a bit of a guilty pleasure, really, I mean, my taste is much better than that. I'd hate for people to think I'm that kind of person. I'm not. Really. I feel guilty for liking something so superficial. Hmm. Have I convinced you that I think deeply about things? That I'm quite clever? Only special people feel guilty for liking things that don't have a deeper meaning.´
Oh do fuck off dear. If you like something, you like it. Simple as that. If it gives you pleasure, take that pleasure, run with it, embrace it, nibble it's shoulders, and fondle it's flanks. Just enjoy it. Christ alive, this life is, for the most part, a sunken-eyed vista of hell and beige bleakness. When you find something you love, when you find something you enjoy, scream it from the guttering.
Oh dear. It's not clever? It's not worthy? People might think you're a bit lowbrow? Bit common, maybe? Fuck 'em. Why the hell should you need to impress them with the things you like? Why does their opinion matter? I love Crazy Horses by The Osmonds. I don´t give a toss if you think I should feel guilty for KITCHEN DISCOING to it when sober. It's fun. Doesn't mean I don´t burst into tears when I listen to Liebestod (orchestral version only). I sodding love playing the shove 2p machines in Sheringham, and winning armfuls of plastic tat. Doesn't mean I don´t read poetry too. Chips from Norwich market, eaten at the top of the war memorial is one of life's great pleasures. Doesn't mean I don't eat every kind of wanky artisan cheese I can wrap my gob around. Pleasure is pleasure. Why deny yourself pleasure? Why feel guilty about it? Why even PRETEND to feel guilty about it?
Well, dur, obviously, because you worry about people thinking less of you. People thinking you're superficial.
There is nothing wrong with being superficial. Nothing. Some things are just simple, unadorned, beauty. A face. A sunset. A flower. Naturally beautiful. There's no need to justify it, or try to pretend it has a significance it doesn't. It's just beautiful.
The church not made with hands
Not contained by man
That precious place
Unmade by man
It's not just the fact of beauty. It's that, in it's purest form, diluted down to the very essence, beauty serves no purpose, other than to please aesthetically. That's it. That's all. There's no shame in it. Don't feel you have to fake a guilt you don't feel for seeing things as they are, and appreciating that sometimes, raw, natural beauty is a rarity. You don't need to ascribe anything to it.
And anyway, you can save the pretentious wankery for the beauty of things that have been made by people. Seeing things that have been thought about, planned, created. Be as precious, pseudo-intellectual, and pretentious about that stuff as you like. Just be prepared for me to rip the piss
a lot a bit. And in any case, that's a whole other blogpost...