Don’t quote me on that

Inspirational quotes do my head in, official.

I might make an exception for Marx, Mahatma and Mother (Teresa). I bow down before the bountiful brainpower of Einstein, Steinbeck, Hemingway, Dorothy Parker et al. Sage utterances which have tripped from the lips (and pens) of the mighty are well worthy of consideration. We’ve all got a thing or two to learn from the colossi of thought leadership.

But, and you can quote me on this, the digisphere is drowning in half-baked, cod philosophy which spouts forth from the ‘B’ team, pearls of woeful wisdom dressed up as examples of profound inspiration. Profound, my arse.

Being brought up to value the sanctity of the written word, maybe I’m simply an insufferable snob. Perhaps my value judgements are just as bogus as the inspirational quotes from the likes of Bono or Kim Kardashian littering the world web web. But I can’t help it, this guff gets right on my wick.

As a 70s child, brought up in the loving embrace of popular culture, I’m no one-dimensional Jane Eyre and Dickens devotee. I find greatness in the words of Lennon and McCartney as well as those of Lenin and McCarthy (Cormac). I’ll take inspiration from wherever I find it, but gonnae please gie’s a break from codswallop quotes.

There’s only so much inspirational quotage a girl can consume, and that point was passed long, long time ago. The humble quote – potted pearls of wisdom which were meant to stick in the mind as signposts for ways you want to lead your life – have all but lost their meaning. Words which were designed to inspire, motivate and call us to arms, are now little more than a prolific pestilence. There is simply screeds of this stuff. And far from being inspirational, it’s instantly forgettable. It’s all so much verbiage chaff – blown away by the ever-moving restless winds of social media.

For me, it takes something really special to stand out from the quote crowd, something stunning enough to avoid being instantly relegated to the overflowing rubbish bin of inspirational insipidness. And as is so often the way of words, something stunning, shimmering and memorable is something simple.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Iggy Pop. Veteran songsmith and muso, sporter of improbably blond beach bum locks paired with not-very-natty old man’s specs, legendary performer and deliverer of the finest Sunday afternoon music radio show in the world, ever. A man who’s been round the block, and then some. A guy who’s usually got something to say worth listening to. So listen I did, when Iggy stepped up to the podium to deliver this year’s John Peel Lecture over the airwaves this week.

Here’s a man who’s never really played by the rules, but who still made it as a global rock’n’roll icon, one who’s carved his own path, and lived by his own rules. A man to be admired greatly by a wee wordsmith with a penchant for a non-conventional approach to making a living. So I roared “yeah, man!” when listening in to Iggy’s advice to those who want to make money from music, from a creative career, and I quote…

“Hang onto your hopes. You know what they are. They’re private. Because that’s who you really are and if you can hang around long enough you should get paid.”

Amen, Iggy.