Something struck me today and though I’ve always felt this way, I’ve never consciously been aware that it was anything more than another unlabelled facet of my set of morals and values. I prize sincerity in people almost as much as anything else. As much as I may be one of the most sarcastic people I know, I am also sickeningly honest and sincere and I demand this of the people around me. In almost all cases, honesty seems to be the best policy above all else. If you tell the truth, then you don’t have to lie further to maintain the original lie, you don’t have to remember that you lied in the first place and as much as they may not appreciate it initially, most people will come to value you for your honesty and trust you as a result. If you lie, it will probably come out eventually and in the worst possible way.
I like old people. I’m a pretty impatient guy these days and as much as I may foam with frustration when trapped behind somebody who consistently does 10 or 20 mph less than the speed limit when I have to be somewhere, so much so that I can almost feel my skin blister with irritation and despite the fact that I may rage inwardly, a la ‘Falling Down’, at our bewildered looking, slow moving, bestactacled, wheely-basket carrying, tortoise-necked, supermarket-aisle blocking elders, I do in fact like old people. I have met many that I didn’t know that were so sincere that it melted my heart. I remember an old lady on a tram-stop bench in the Prague suburbs, next to a supermarket that offered my friend Dan and I, on a hungover morning after, some strawberries she had picked herself, despite the fact that we were a pair of groggy looking youths and I had blue hair at the time, which most Czechs assumed meant I was a heroin addict (this was in the first post-communist years and looking ‘different’ marked you out). Only a year and half ago, I was offered a Hammond organ by someone whose father was due to come out of hospital and had to have a bed in their front room, which meant the Hammond had to go. When I collected it, I met his elderly mother who thanked me dearly for doing them a favour by coming to collect it at such short notice. I somewhat cheekily replied that I was there as there was something in for me too. While my tongue had been firmly in cheek and the assembled helpers laughed appreciatively, I still feel a hint of shame that this sweet old lady offered me such heartfelt, emotional sincerity for taking away a prized family possession to enable their ill patriarch to return home and I reflexively shrugged it off whith a cheap gag.
Today I decided that I liked the man who works in my local Chinese retaurant. While be-suited, managerial in position and of course obligated to be polite to the customers, he has a honest face and isn’t over-friendly with the farewells. The restaurant is in a pretty low-market part of town and only half an hour earlier we watched as one departing guest offered an entire table of 12 out for a fight. Although the man who works there only smiled and said goodbye as we left, I think he appreciated our good manners when we thanked him. I might be on a different planet here as it’s an everyday thing, but I liked his genuine smile and his sincerity.
So anyway, the point of all of this flowery word arranging is that, at LugRadio Live, it never fails to amaze me how many people travel from all over the UK to be there and to be part of it all. The atmosphere was great this year and so while it sounded cheesy even to me when I said during the closing segment that we wanted to thank you all for being there, that you’re the reason we hold the event and why we decided at the Friday night party that this couldn’t be the last year, I genuinely meant it. You’re an amazing bunch of people, all of you and I’m glad to know you.
To conclude this misguided, scrambled stream of things everybody else takes for granted anyway; in the most eloquent of way possible:
Be excellent to each other.
I’ll see you next year for LugRadio Live UK 2009.