(Never) Get Over Urself
“Now I know I’m not so special/Cause I’m all dressed up/And you think that I’m beautiful/But it’s not enough”
At what age, on average, do you think your average adult comprehends that they’re not at all special? At what age would you expect a human would generally accept that their life is generally inconsequential to the universe’s relentless expansion and eventual disintegration?
Some scientists (bloody boffins! With their freaking glasses on and tweed sweaters! With their copies of the freakin’ Guardian tucked under their puny arms! Neeeeeeeeerds!!) suggest that this realisation comes when a young child looks into a mirror and first comprehends their own reflection, putting themselves for the first time as a small cog in the much wider spectacle of life, shattering the illusion that they were an omnipresent God overseeing random images flash by and gratefully being offered food and cleansing as thanks for God’s benevolent goodness. This is why, after first glimpsing themselves in the mirror, children immediately become calm, restrained and selfless members of the household, recognising how much more the family could achieve if they worked as a team. They’ll often start helping out with the dishes, and leaving positive Amazon reviews for baby wipes you purchased, believing that it’s the least they could do in 2018 to recognise such good value for money and outstandingly reliable delivery.
Bol- of course- locks: at the most the first comprehension of your human existence is like coming down off the greatest acid trip ever, that lasted more than a freakin’ year and was blowing your mind. It’s the recognition that you’re not God– which is an extremely cruel trick to play on your own child, the reason that children should never look at mirrors and the reason adults should always take LSD- but you still believe you’re special and deserve at least slightly better treatment than anyone else
Do you first realise that you’re not special at some point throughout primary school/secondary school/college/university? When you’re increasingly socialised in groups of different people* each with their own origin stories, adversaries, privileges, hopes and fears? Some always far better at you in some things, far worse in others? In your last year of schooling does it finally dawn on you quite how unremarkable you are and how insignificant your existence is comparitively? I mean, look at Casper (‘C-Dog’): he lost all of his limbs as a toddler when his father attempted to slowly murder the whole family with a samurai sword. He managed to escape, roll down the road and dial 99 with his tongue in the corner telephone box. On top of all this, he was diagnosed with, like, the spazziest mental illness while he was at secondary school**, and while at university was shot through the heart with a crossbow as a gang stole his wheelchair outside a McDonald’s, and had to finish his degree via Skype while on life support. He got a 2:1. Doesn’t his story make your life feel just that little bit unspecial*** in comparison?
Nah: you’re still special, you just haven’t had the chance to show off your particular specialness in such an obvious way. Your time will come, soon everyone will recognise your inherent specialness. Perhaps not in the same way as that lucky prick C-Dog, but they’ll see…
It must, however, come at some point between leaving education and the age of 34, after you’ve been treated to a pretty exhaustive exhibition of your life’s lumbering negligibility****, crippled after a failed suicide attempt- because killing yourself would have been far too notable an act and wouldn’t really suit the wider narrative of your life’s inconsequentiality*****- and now no more special than you’ve ever been with an added freakin’ limp meaning you’re not even as good at being unremarkable as you once were! Now you realise you’re not special, surely? As you talk to an impossibly cute and funny Rwandan woman at a Immigration Advisor workshop, can you imagine the kind of exceptional struggles she must have had to confront in her life, to be born in one of the most unstable countries on Earth and ending up at a Manchester charity catering for vulnerable children? Standing next to her, it must surely overwhelmingly sink in just how crushingly prosaic you in fact are?
Nah, you’re special. Give her your number, she’ll want to find out more about just how special you are*****
The actual age that it finally starts to seep into your brain that you are not at all special, and will spend your whole life exerting next to no influence on actual reality is:
You never accept you’re not special, and next to nobody ever has.
There have been actual scientists who have compiled lengthy studies on quite how meaningless each human’s existence is, but they believe that the fact that they did the study actually marks them out as special. Lots of people will read about these studies, and heartily agree with all of its findings, but consider themselves very special for comprehending the fact that human’s aren’t special. I mean, other human’s don’t comprehend that, do they?
David McCullough Jr, writer of ‘You Are Not Special: And Other Encouragements‘, you think he doesn’t think he’s special? He wrote a frickin’ book!! How special is that!
I’ve written four books. Just so you know, Hilda*******
There have been people in the past who have properly comprehended and accepted their inherent insignificance in the wider cosmic reality. But they’re all dead. Because of course they are: it’s impossible to garner the motivation to continue living once you understand how pointless you are: thinking your special is the only reason you even bother to exiist
What is special, though, is MUNA’s debut album ‘About U’:
I often try to mention it, but I really like pop music, and it’s actually much rarer than you might think to find it done really well. Much of the music classified as ‘pop’ released these days is far too often sanitised and uninspired autotuned dirges cynically aimed at capturing the attention of children (who are- and pay attention to this- fucking idiots), but MUNA understand pop’s inherent power and combine gorgeous melodies, crunching production and a singer capable of voicing some of the more unique inflexions and pronunciations you’re likely to hear
Average Age: 23.3333333 (-10.6666667)
Album Length: 48 minutes (-2)
Very Good Songs: 5 (+10)
Brilliant Songs: 6 (+30)
% of Album Worthwhile: 91.6666667
The fuck are you doing to that poor boy?
Previous Entries: None
Meta Critic: n/a
Yes! I was worried that this year there wouldn’t be any albums so cool that even Metacritic hadn’t heard of them! This wins bonus points:
Asterisks: 7 (+70)
There have been a lot of them, haven’t there? Must be a sign of a good album
*Unfortunately, depending on where you were born this might just be groups of rich white people or poor black people
**You can’t remember the name right now, but it was one of those ones where you slowly go proper ‘nerrrrr’ spazzy, y’know?
***Fuck you that’s not a word!
****Fuck you that’s not a word!!
***** FUCK YOU that’s not a word!!!
******True story. After I handed her my number, with God sent timing my phone rang, so I could immediately remove myself from the reverberating aftershocks of the social earthquake I’d just unleashed with my nuclear bomb of awkwardness. I enthusiastically answered, and although it was a good friend (thank you so much, Kamal) I would have quite happily engage in a deep and thoughtful conversation about me possibly being mis-sold credit card insurance in the past if only to escape any potential follow up questions. She smiled at me and waved goodbye while I spoke on the phone. Perhaps I’d never see her again, but at least I let her know that I think she’s cute, I think she’s cu-u-oo-ooo-oo-oo-u-u-u-ute. She missed her fucking train, and so was at the train station when my two collegues and I got there. The awkward air near choked the air from my lungs, as my two friends attempted small talk with the scandalously beautiful Rwandan that I had earlier poured my heart out to assuming that I’d never see again and I burned red with an inelegant foot still in my mouth. She looked absolutely stunning, and it started to sink in how comprehensively out of my league she actually was. She and me struggled to work out if there was anything we could possibly say to each other at that point.
She hasn’t phoned yet. I’ll keep you informed
*******She introduced herself as ‘Hilda, as in ‘Hilda Ogden”. A Rwandan woman introducing herself by referencing a 1970s Coronation Street character. I was immediately smitten
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