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Personalities...

Today I hooked up with my old flatmates from Sheffield in London. Little much has changed between the three of us and it was nice to see them. I think they were a little bit bemused by my penchant for messing about with Tarot cards. It doesn’t quite fit with my overall character and I get tired of trying to explain why I ‘waste time’ on occult nonsense. The readings were with my brand new Crowley tarot cards. Jolly good they are too, but my mates remain to be convinced.

Meeting up with old friends like that is fun but it feels like a form of time travel. By the end of the night I was Nick Margerrison circa ’04 and it felt weird.

There’s a bit of a misunderstanding as regards personalities in our culture at the moment. The word “personality” is derived from the latin root word “persona” which described the mask an actor would wear when performing a character in a Greek play. The persona was shaped like a loud hailer was designed to project the words of the actor and a clear facial expression. In my opinion personalities are like masks, or clothes, and you put the right one on to suit the occasion. Some of them go out of fashion and end up neglected in the back of your mind whereas there are always new ones just around the corner waiting for you to try them on for size. This is, in my opinion, authentic human behaviour. I speak to my Mum about some things I wouldn’t talk to my mates about and visa versa. In my experience this is how most people behave but ironically the more “authentic” amongst us daren’t admit it. It’d make them less “real”.

As I'm sure you're aware, the current orthodoxy is that we only have one true personality buried underneath the fronts and affectations put on in certain situations. This is because most people are supposed to be fakes who don’t “just be themselves”. Usually “just being yourself” is an excuse for rudeness and oafishness. It's exactly the sort of thing a reality TV contestant will say they are doing just before they act badly.

In TV terms the idea that people have only one personality is useful, in reality it makes no sense.

Clearly the above is something I’ve given a little bit too much thought. This probably comes as a result of my job where I am essentially selling my personality to the highest bidder. In radio there’s a lot of this “just be yourself” posturing and it does get on my wick. Rah rah - this rant could last forever.

NM

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