Love Your Haters

Love the haters - Pt 2.Going back a blog piece or two I mentioned about having to love your haters ( These are the people of course who are generally your biggest fans, but live in denial.

There are basically three reasons why you would attract these rather sad people into your life: albeit from a distance.

1) Their deeper insecurities recognise you as being a threat to them.

  1. You mirror something in them which they haven’t come to terms with in themselves. So it’s far easier to dump blame on you and live in denial than accept their own shortcomings.

  2. They secretly want to be you in one way or another.

Actor Will Smith summed it up rather perfectly when he said, “Haters are the people who will broadcast your failures and whisper your success”.

How true.

Now it may seem rather odd on the surface of it. However I am absolutely proud of the fact that I appear to piss-off so many ‘industry’ types. It’s taken a while plus time and effort to get under peoples skin in the way that I apparently have, and will continue to do so.

It’s a constant source of both amusement and further motivation to me when I receive feedback, as I did earlier today on one of my social media accounts, when someone posted: “ so you don’t live in a shit tip uploading videos in a coffee shop because your in the bones of your arse then?”

The longer I continue in this business the funnier the stories and feedback I hear, because others will always make it seem like they know more about me than I even do. But it makes interesting, and most times hysterical reading.

It reminds me of a military story I heard many years ago about front line soldiers in the first world war, if I remember correctly. Back then there wasn’t the sophisticated means of electronic communication which modern soldiers have at their disposal, and so a series of human runners were used to convey messages between the front line and those in command in the fastest time possible.

The story goes that a soldier runner was told the following message to convey to the next runner, who would then pass it on to the next, and the next to the one after, and so forth until the message was finally given to those running the battle at the other end .

The message being, “Send reinforcements, we’re going to advance”.

When the final runner reached his destination, all he could mutter in between breaths to the bemused and confused commanding officers was, “Send three and four pence, we’re going to a dance”.

Which just goes to prove how even the smallest piece of information can be distorted out of context as it passes from one person to another along the chain until it becomes more and more ridiculous, and about as far from the original (which may be quite harmless) as possible.

So. In the case of me supposedly “living in a shit tip and uploading videos in a coffee shop because” I’m in “the bones of my arse”, which, of course, really does bear out the above quite succinctly.

Where I live is a two level flat/maisonette in a block. The floor space downstairs, although large, is kept minimal for shooting purposes. In fairness the only real let down is the kitchen. But this is only due to the fact that it has been stripped back to be slowly refurbished. So yes, there are bare walls. Though having only recently having had the time to replace the work surface and do some reconfiguration of cupboard space, there is still the process of tiling and repainting to go.

The fact that I go to a coffee shop is yet again a very creative extension of the truth.

I spend a lot of time here shooting, filming and editing. So much time in fact that if I didn’t make the effort to get out I never would. Away from the filming I am not a socially interactive person and enjoy something of a reclusive life with my lodger and two cats. Therefore I make a purpose of going out in the morning to take advantage of some ‘me’ time before my day begins after lunch. Yes. I take the laptop with me and respond to emails and such. And yes, in the past I have been known to be a cheapskate and take advantage of free WiFi to upload material before broadband was connected to the flat, rather than use my much slower and more expensive to run dongle. But hey, that’s what free WiFi is for.

By going out in the morning and travelling into the city, the process of doing that actually freshens my mind and gives me a sense of purpose to begin my day. Because the one danger of actually working from home is that I am always finding other things to distract me;like odd jobs for instance, My concentration span is actually quite short. So for me it’s actually very important to focus my mind, and if I am away from home for the morning then it’s actually quite nice to be able to relax in a coffee shop, enjoy some me time and keep an eye on emails before I come home and make a real start. Which then invariably keeps me well and truly occupied into the wee small hours of the following morning.

Therefore when people comment about me they do so in a kind of parallel universe to what is actually reality. No one is ever here to see that my days are more often than not between sixteen and twenty two hours long, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty five days a year: because I take no holidays, and rarely take days off.

In effect I am married to what I do. This is my passion and what I wake up for in the mornings. To me there is absolutely nothing else to compare with it. I am not that much into relationships, and my friends I keep to an absolute minimum. In essence I am very much a self-contained individual, obsessive compulsive and a bugger for attention to detail. I don’t suffer fools and I like things to be done in a certain way, and yet I am also one of the easiest people to get along with. A quiet, reserved, harmless, peaceful, laid back kind of guy, with a killer dry sense of humour for the the absurd. In fact suffering from OCD nearly drove me to kill myself. Fortunately, I could never write a suicide note I was entirely happy with.

I have absolutely no interest at all in kiss-assing the industry and being a component of that clique. I am the maverick I am. Voluntarily indifferent to conventional reality. Yet while I thoroughly enjoy sticking two fingers up at it: using both hands, and in suitably anarchistic fashion, each to their own and live and let live is my fundamental belief.

So it makes absolutely no difference to me what the back biters say. Their issues are for them to accept and work through. But while they insist on talking away about me I am flattered that they choose to invest their time in making me their point of discussion, as it’s a sure sign of my importance and the fact that they clearly have far too much time on their hands and little else to fill it with.

I deliberately distance myself from the hub of the industry because I really can not be bothered whatsoever in colluding with the type of childish mentality, whereby you give people a sentence and before you know it they’ve created a work of melodrama based on creative supposition and misguided beliefs on a foundation of extraneous rumour and gossip, which they seem to feed and thrive on.

They’re not really my cup of tea as I am quite self-contained and happy to be so, but I have nothing against groups per se. They provide a useful means of social interaction between people of like mind and interest in the sense of creating community. The problems arise when those with underlying destructive intentions ingratiate themselves to a particular group with pernicious agendas which infringe upon the legal rights of those outwith the group to go about their business.

Sadly groups will always attract those, who with malicious intent manipulate circumstances by creating melodrama to take on a certain importance within that group, which compensates for their otherwise independent lower level of self-esteem and assertiveness, and will judicially seek to join or create bandwagons to jump on in order to feel a greater sense of self-importance and power.

They are sad and deeply lonely people who, in reality live in denial of their condition, and the only persons to be able to do something about it is themselves. And I have no wish to be the bearer of someone else’s baggage I stay well clear. I have learned that stoicism is key. Stoicism originally emerged at quite a volatile period in Greek history, when Athenian city-states were being conquered by foreign empires. It developed as a way of staying sane amid all that chaos. An important part of the therapy of Stoicism was to remind yourself at all times of what you can control and what you can’t. We can’t control geopolitics, we can’t control the weather, we can’t control the economy, we can’t control other people, we can’t even control our own bodies, not entirely anyway. The world is beyond our control. It’s a rough and unpredictable environment that is constantly changing. The only thing we can really control are our own thoughts and beliefs. If we remind ourselves of that, and focus our energy and attention on our own beliefs and opinions, then we can learn to cope wisely with whatever the world throws at us and regardless, love the world for it.

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Trust me. You really do ‘have’ to love your haters, because they are by far the biggest asset you can ever possibly have. So love them for it. Because I know that while they continue to talk about me it keeps my name alive and gives me greater oxygen. It’s when they stop taking about me that I’ll be forgotten.

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