Layer upon layer, story upon story. Seldom has so much been packed into a conversation as is packed into this one here with Robin Ince.
Occasionally it unravels briefly but mostly it is an exhilarating roller coaster ride of ideas and opinions and tributes to people, who may be famous or otherwise. What they have in common is the individual impression they have made on the impressionable mind of Robin Ince.
He is an ‘open book’, who confesses to having had a ‘noisy head’ all his life. Only in the last three years, since he accepted a diagnosis of ADHD, has the anxiety become more understandable and therefore more acceptable.
Robin’s public persona, as a comedian and as a writer, provides him with permission to express his frequently weird thoughts whenever he wants. He feels under less pressure nowadays to normalise his behaviour than say if he were a civil servant.
He can accept his ‘haywire mind’. He accepts his lack of physical dexterity. He knows he is not ‘socially adept’. He suggests that ‘unbearable social values’ may be the root cause of many people’s feelings of nervousness, insecurity and anxiety.
In days gone by, Robin could be stopped in his tracks by the critical voices in his head and the melancholy they brought with them. Now he recognises them for what they are, he feels safer. He has more energy to appreciate each passing moment.
Robin is shaped and inspired by famous names like Alexei Sayle, Kurt Vonnegut, Barry Crimmins and Paula Rego. But also by people totally unknown to the general public, like Jamie ‘the autistic stranger’ or the 24 year old, who cried at a book-signing but found comfort in what he had to say…
Robin is characterised by curiosity and compassion. His odd-couple relationship with Professor Brian Cox in ‘The Infinite Monkey Cage’, is grounded in mutual respect for their differences in expertise and style, while being held together by their sense of wonder at everything which surrounds them.
Robin admits to being silent when seeing a therapist whose training discouraged her from prompting him. Naturally, he feels he probably talks too fast and too much. He knows he goes off on too many tangents. Robin is hypersensitive as well as hyperactive! He means you no harm.
He just wants you to share his enthusiasm and be glad you crossed each other’s path.
Love and kindness, courtesy and compassion. Joie de vivre!
As Kurt Vonnegut himself once put it, in one of his novels: “Godammit, you’ve got to be kind!”
Then the road to personal peace really can be paved with good intentions.
Tune in next week for more stories of 'Distinction & Genius' from The Good Listening To Show 'Clearing'. If you would like to be my Guest too then you can find out HOW via the different 'series strands' at 'The Good Listening To Show' website.
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