Weird reading & winding folks up

I have two things to talk about this morning. Firstly, I will give you a progress report on my Random Page Number approach to reading a novel. It does feel very strange. In terms of pages read, I am about a third of the way through the book. So far, I have read (in order of reading): 225-251; 96-108; 345-to-The End; 87-89 (supermarket queueing); 37-68.

The experiment is a bit of a failure in terms of my original plan. I had intended to put this to the test with books that I had already read; it turns out that I have not read this current book. I think I must have bought it with a few others and put it on my fiction shelf intending to get around to it at some point but then forgot to do so. I have to say that the novel I have chosen is definitely not a ‘feel-good’ read. If anything it is a ‘feel-pretty-depressed’ read. I don’t think this has anything to do with randomness, and the author can write good English. It is probably written for a younger reading audience. Folks who have recently left university might be the target, especially women. Oh, and they will ideally have been on a ‘gap’ year travelling the globe to Thailand or wherever. I can’t stand the concept of ‘gap’ years and I hate travelling. So, I am undergoing a bit of light-reading torture.

Moving on, I watched Graham Norton’s chat show at the weekend on British TV (BBC1). The music towards the end of the show was provided by Noel Gallagher and his band (I believe he was once famous in another band called Oasis). Anyway, Graham Norton had brought him (Gallagher) over to the sofa for a short chat, in the course of which he enthused about the fact that he liked to ‘wind people up’.

I found it a little difficult to understand why he (Gallagher) should enjoy doing this. The Concise OED defines the verb to wind up as: irritate or provoke a person to the point of anger. Why might anyone wish to do that? I can think of a few possible reasons:

  1. The Winder-Upper may actually enjoy the other person’s discomfort
  2. The act may make the Winder-Upper feel powerful or superior
  3. The Winder-Upper can use the event as a way of grabbing the Windee’s attention

I think the most likely explanation is that the Winder-Upper lacks the minimal social skills needed to gain the attention of the other folk(s) in any constructive or meaningful fashion. I think this is rather unfortunate. When all is said and done, the Winder-Upper is likely to end up being regarded a something of a sad, attention-seeking asshole. I would never seek to be voluntarily exposed to the company of anyone whom I regarded as an asshole. Indeed, I would avoid them like the plague.

Of course, winding someone up might be a not-so-distant relation of the German phenomenon of Schadenfreude: the malicious enjoyment of another’s misfortunes. One might be forgiven for thinking that this might be the sort of thing a bully might be good at. Being a skilled bully could be a useful prerequisite for anyone who actively seeks to irritate or anger other people for their own enjoyment!

I’m sorry to have drifted into such a negative topic. I am generally feeling a bit off-colour with a head cold. Having a cold does not sit well with my style of singing and I have a lot of music that I want to get done. Talk to you later, my dear blogophiles.


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