Yesterday, MinCat and I discovered we had an acquaintance in common and in trying to articulate why this person had always kind of put me off, I had an epiphany about people like him. I realised that he and his ilk are part of a sub-species of the human race that exhibit a distinct set of characteristics that set them apart in subtle (annoying) way.
They exude a slight air of intellectual superiority and general self-confidence in their abilities which on closer examination are revealed to be above average at best. For example, they behave more intelligent than me. But never actually say or do anything that is greatly more intelligent. Nevertheless, their unstated yet obvious belief in their own intelligence marks them as some how a cut above the rest.
They are passionate about something – film, music, theatre, art etc. Again, their actual ability in said passion is often just above average. But they don’t hesitate to wear said passion on their sleeves and this, combined with the above-mentioned self confidence, results in them being noticed, sometimes even hailed as wunderkinds and/or experts in that field. As if passion = expertise.
A characteristic of the media field in India is that if you’re above average, most likely you’ll get promoted quickly. I have often seen people with about a year’s experience being appointed to positions that in other countries they would have had to wait about a decade to attain. Hell, I have been such a position. This particular species, however, occupies the positions allotted to them through a combination of above average ability, good luck, the overstatement of their passion and the good ear of their superiors with no sense of irony whatsoever and just a tad lacking in humility.
And then, they dress the part. Their look, often a carefully constructed nonchalance and the adoption of trendy ethic wear reminds me of Meg Ryan’s famous bed hair – it looks accidental, but it’s actually deliberate. It the pauvre intellectual look bought from Fab India and embellished with red highlights/hair gel.
Finally, they normally move around in packs. They congregate in each other’s houses where they presumably have discussions of stunning intellectualism. This is what one assumes because they tend to be cliquish. When you see them socially, at a suitably trendy buy not mass, pub, they always look like they’re trying to bolt away from you. They say hi while catching the eye of a friend behind you.
Saying all this makes me feel much better because the next time I run into one of these types and get that vague, unsettled, slightly patronised feeling that always accompanies such meetings, I can come back to the post and say ah, this is why. My discussion with MinCat confirmed that I am not the only one annoyed by this very subtle form of snobbishness.
Now to come up with a name for this type for easy reference.