Being Different

Some see the world as it is while others see it as it could be and I reside, firmly, in the latter camp. So I am fascinated by those who see things, from a different perspective than the conventional one. When they live that life as well, I’m doubly impressed. There are, however, those I’m in awe of; something I don’t admit to lightly. Top of this list, in my lifetime, was Nelson Mandela who is reported to have said, “The struggle is my life.” If more of us behaved in this way, the world really would be a better place.

However, those who really fascinate me are those who exhibit “otherworldliness”, something that is easy to recognise but quite difficult to describe. David Bowie, for example, in “The Man Who Fell to Earth” encapsulates it. It’s a pattern or a way of behaving that doesn’t seem quite human. The body is but the persona isn’t. It’s also, I think, not about acting but just what is; which is what makes it authentic.  I, as you may have gathered, am a great believer in that particular quality. It can’t be manufactured although many in the public eye try to do so, unfortunately.

Well, Gaynor and I went to a gig on Saturday evening which, while not otherworldly, was very “different”. Jack L was like nothing I’d ever heard before. Part revivalist, part showman with an amazing voice. I’m still trying to work out what planet we were on for two hours. Indeed, when we left the Irish Centre at the end of the evening, I kept looking around to see if we were still in Camden. It was wonderful, somewhat surreal and different and I’m still not sure whether I enjoyed it or not. It was, however, a magnificent demonstration of being different to that degree where you do ask the question “how can this be so?” So, on balance, it was worth living on that other planet for a while even if it was an alien, musical landscape for me. Then, again, I’ve always liked a challenge.

So, keep going, Mr L. We need more demonstrations of difference and quality; a powerful combination. You may never get auditioned for any of Simon Cowell’s programmes, although I suspect that you wouldn’t want to be. You will, however, be remembered for being different.

 

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