Sometimes you’ve got to laugh…Columns, columns, endless columns.

I don’t know if it’s just my twitter feed that I need to shake up, but it seems to me that my world has been filled with the opinions of columnists of late. I’m sure they’re making valid points about something, but it’s all becoming point-scoring white noise in my head. Sometimes I wonder if anything is about anything any more other than being heard the loudest. Or using the right phrase. Or being ripped apart for using the slightly wrong phrase regardless of context. 

 Sometimes it all makes me laugh so hard I want to cry. People so keen to ascertain their ‘working class credentials’ (what does that mean anyway? So someone born into one set of circumstances has an immediate validity over someone born into another set of circumstances regardless of personal intelligence/emotional intelligence/personality? Oh fuck off..)  while coming across as so middle-class smug. As I grit my teeth and read I’m reminded of my own middle-class smugness and I hate them all the more for that and their endless battles of semantics. 

Like anyone real actually cares.

I love words. Words are my business. Yet I hate the acid reflux of words that seem to fill my feed. The importance so many people attach to these weekly outpouring of words – then the twitter reactions that sometimes makes me imagine these women – nearly menopausal in their expensively bohemian cardigans and clutching wine at three in the afternoon and despairing of how they were simply trying to point out the ‘right’ way to the rest of us – when really, in the most part, it’s just whimsy. It doesn’t matter. It’s here and gone. A puff of hot air. 

Most people do not browse columns on the web all day. Most people are juggling families and jobs and shopping and marriages and keeping their heads above water. Some are out there (very few- most of us are filled with the 21st century ennuie that thinks that if we talk/write/bitch about the world’s problems for long enough then we’ll solve them) are out there doing something about making other people’s lives better.

But mainly, the people who think they’re changing things are actually sitting at home writing columns and getting paid to voice an opinion. Good luck to them. Sometimes they’re entertaining. Occasionally they make a valid point. But man, am I bored of the smug self-importance that comes with clicking so many of the links.

There are a thousand types of feminist – each of my female friends has a different view to me on the subject, and I to them. That’s as it should be. There’s no one way to be a woman. You just have to be happy in your way of doing it. Each to her own. That’s my view anyway. It bothers me that my instinct to rebel makes me read so many many column inches and think – you know nothing of my feminism. And stop sounding so goddamn self-righteous. I know girls who had babies at 15 while trying to do their GCSE’s and sharing rooms with several siblings.  I’d take advice from them. Middle-class, middle-aged liberals-and-dont-you-forget-it-cos-they’ll-fight-you-over-the-unintentional-use-of word-if-you-let-them. Not so much.

I guess I just need to vent an irrational anger I have.  Even as I write I’m trying to figure out what it is that makes me grit my teeth and make me want to laugh or cry. Maybe it’s because my heart is in the gutter. Where you can taste the earth, gritty and real. Maybe it’s just the sense of the over-importance of words. I love words. I love the shape of them. I love reading them. I love the sound of them from the mouth of someone I love.

But they’re just words. Breaths of air. Here. Gone. Skimmed. Deleted. Sometimes I wish everyone would shut the fuck up and get out there and do something if they care so much.

And then sometimes I remember, you’ve just got to laugh…

SP x

About sarah

Writer of supernatural and crime fiction for Gollancz in the UK. I've written six horror novels and my first thriller, A Matter of Blood, wa View all posts by sarah

7 responses to “Sometimes you’ve got to laugh…Columns, columns, endless columns.

  • Dave Reeder

    You nailed it. And now “the acid reflux of words” is in my writer’s toolbox for ever…

  • Cathy

    Yes! Right! Bravo! ( I know I think I’m supposed to say “Brava” but fuck it! )

  • Alex Bardy (@mangozoid)

    I love this woman… her words… they’re always sincere, and usually make me smile… and often make me laugh as well of course. They are just words, but she uses them beautifully. In the words of Gerry Anderson, she is F.A.B

  • scriptadvice

    hey sarah, i feel your pain. i spend time on twitter cos it’s a work thing and i also enjoy it. but i learned really early on, to ignore 90% of what ppl bang on about on there and only take interest in a twee if it’s a/funny b/about writing/work related c/is written by some1 i like or rate – can’t you just hear the wind howling behind most of these opinionister’s tweets ‘validate me, pls god do that now’ – ? i for one and not going to give them that treat. you’re an original – you know what’s right. this blog proves that. 🙂

  • Nicola Vincent-Abnett

    As someone with far too many opinions, who is far too ready to share them, I say thee Brava, Sarah Pinborough! Worthy point, beautifully made!

    I shall now shut the fuck up.

  • Richard L Wiseman

    “…man, am I bored of the smug self-importance that comes with clicking so many of the links.” ‘nough said and well said.

  • Peter

    That was a good post! I spend more time on the internet than it deserves (given that most of it is dross). I do believe I’m going to buy a couple of your books and see how I get on with them. Probably buy them on the internet (sigh)

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