Sunday, 14 November 2010


Okay. This is the curse of the gobby, opinionated columnist. Occasionally (perhaps frequently) we put our feet in it. This is perhaps why we're perfect as columnists. We don't mind saying whatever we want to say. But unfortunately, it will ultimately be our downfall.

Gossips like me can't help but gossip. It's not necessarily about malice (although, when people get angry, we all say things we shouldn't). It's usually because it's expected of you. The columnist is a gossip with the privilege of getting their words in print. When you're out and about, people expect you to regale them with interesting stories, shocking statements and outlandish acts. So you do. Society probably needs it, because without these morsels of salacious interest life would be a hell of a lot more boring. If we can't show people how outrageous and morally dubious we are, how can your Average Joe measure himself against us? How can everyone else know they're not that bad if they don't allow us to be bad instead?

Indeed, there does seem to be a recognition of this. Gossips seem to get away with gossiping, because most people just roll their eyes and say, 'Beyonce's at it again!'. It's kind of our licence to thrill. And in a way, they want us to be naughty. They want us to be bad. It reminds people that even though they abide all the rules and act with perhaps too much obedience, they do have the option of rebelling against social etiquette and being an iconoclast—simply because we gossips do.

However sometimes we cross the mark. It can be easier than you'd think. Especially because we're expected to be controversial anyway and each individual has differing levels of acceptability when it comes to just how controversial they want us to be. Some friends will forgive you for headbutting them during drunken New Year's Eve parties, whilst some will get frosty with you for tugging on their hair. I guess in these cases you have to ride it out. Gossips do get a lot of leeway, and often people will take a while to cool down before coming round anyway, and chalking it up to 'one of those things'.

I'd say, though, that rather than being nasty people, most gossips are the opposite. They are overly social. They flit from crowd to crowd, entertaining as they go along, and usually cock up mainly because they're trying to please too many people at once. Tip: you can't. If you piss someone off, let them cool down and get on with their own lives, and don't stoop to getting petty. After a while they'll realise you have no problem with them and it was just an innocent mistake, and then will feel guilty for holding a grudge themselves, before relenting.

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