Saturday, June 04, 2005
British humour which entails sarcasm to the extent described as ‘cocky’ is a deeply engrained cultural disposition and difficult to acquire. I’ve learnt two things about the importance of cockiness for the British species:
1. For each and every cocky remark, there is an equal and opposite cocky reply.
2. Cockiness is essential if u want to make it in a white-male dominated world. It is actually a yardstick for success.
There is a deeper reason behind this that reveals an important trait in the cocky-minded. Sarcasm requires a certain amount of sharpness, wit and quick judgment. Possessing this skill means that you can engage Brits in a conversation they find meaningful and entertaining. Even if it is a pile of tosh, the important thing is the ‘ability to converse’ in this manner. The epitomy of British cockiness was personified in the form of George Galloway a couple of weeks back whilst testifying in front of US senators, but programs like Have I Got News For You or even Prime-Ministers Question Time in Parliament would underpin the perfect course on how to improve your ‘cockiness in conversation’. Cockiness and its underpinning sarcasm is another British institution (other than penny-pinching). To be cocky or not to be cocky, that is the question.
Cockiness however, is considered an extremely undesirable characteristics in eastern cultures in general (except
(As an side, isn’t it ironic, I don’t know the Arabic translation of cockiness/sarcasm or the English translation of mojamalaat..a cultural clash for sure, someone plz help out!)
You maybe thinking why I’ve brought this topic up. Last week, in a coffee shop with some friends, to my left was seated an English patrician. Excusing himself to the bathroom he asked me to kindly look after his belongings. I naturally agreed. When he came back he decided to start a conversation. Although I rarely talk to strangers, this guy seemed a bit of a character, in his 60s, redevelops properties in the French riviera, with absolutely nothing in common with a twenty-something veiled arab woman. It was a bit of an effort to make idle chatter, but "min baab almojamala" as we say in arabic, or for the sake of common courtesy I made the effort. In the end out of no where he said this:
“I can tell you’re not going to be very rich, but you will have a very interesting life full of experiences ahead of you”
Although this remark isn’t cocky in itself, it was the way in which it was said. How the hell does he have the audacity to prophecy my life!!! So I asked him, “ and how did u reach that conclusion, by reading my eyes?”
“No, I do lips”
“Hmmmm” I thought to myself…how the hell do u read lips…bloody English cocky twat. Dismissing this remark and bidding him farewell, I left the place, but two weeks on, im still wondering why he consciously decided to make a point of the fact im not going to be rich. I don't think it was the ripped jeans or the old trainers that did it. Im not actually worried that i'll live in poverty my whole life and if it was an issue for me, there isnt a shortage of affluent men on bended knee. It really did feel like I was in a movie and the guy was some sort of messenger. Then again, its probably another cartload of cocky tosh I'm thinking too much into.