William Moloney: By Way Of A Formal Introduction
SCOOP EDITOR'S NOTE: Attentive readers will be aware that Scoop's expat London based columnist Malcolm Aitken recently returned home to Wellington. William Moloney, formerly a Scoop reader, has offered to step into Malcolm's shoes and become our new eyes and ears on the streets of London. Welcome to the Scoop Loop William.
By Way Of A Formal Introduction
In past times any introduction would start with my family, my heritage and my lineage. Or you could maybe have guessed from my name where I hail from and what my family’s trade was.
If I were speaking to you, you would know much about me by my accent and my vocabulary. And if you could see me, if you had the chance to look me up and down, you could tell much about my lineage from the colouring of my skin, the shape of my face and features, my height and weight and how my body is put together.
Now in our digital and modern age none of these factors are available to you. You cannot see or hear me. It does not matter what my family have done or currently do, and my name gives nothing away other than a hint of Irish Catholic somewhere in the past. Hence, I am just a name and a collection of what I choose to tell you.
But what I choose to tell you of myself speaks volumes about myself. And that is what I have been agonising about on this sunny Sunday in London. How do you distil 28 years down to some facts that tell the true story? Or even better, how do I spin my story? How do I sex up my dossier to make me more interesting to you, the reader.
I have thought of talking of my formal education, detailing what I have learnt so that what I write carries with it the weight of that. I then remembered the grades I got and realised that the majority of scoop readers would be better educated than me.
I then thought I could take a post-modernist view. That all life is an education, all of life’s experiences shape and educate us. I could talk of the travel I have done, the different careers, the different experiences, the trials and tribulations that I have experienced. I could carry the weight of this experience into what I write. I then remembered other interesting people I have meet, I then remembered what they have done with their lives, mostly while I was reading books and watching TV, and realised that I am not that interesting.
I then thought I could take the every man’s angle. I could emphasis my normality. I could reveal in my mediocrity, the everyday nature of my achievements and take the weight of normality into my writing. But then I thought of this normality and realised it is very much mirage. I remembered that normality, both anyone’s and mine, does not exist at all. I realised that I cannot write for the everyday man, as there is no everyday man.
I then thought I could sell myself as a celebrity might. I could talk of my good looks, my rock-hard body, my style, the brands I wear and where I can be seen and heard. I could carry this brand of unachievable cool into what I am going to write, making it all seem important because you may have glimpsed me in Hello magazine. Of course it did not take me long to realise that I am neither good looking or have I been in Hello magazine. And I have a body that is more reminiscent of a hairy milk bottle than a rock. I wear out-of-date clothes, scruffily and no-one really cares than those that know me, where I am going to be or what I might say.
So what I am left with in way of introduction?
Not much really. I am a
little stuck really.
I am neither wildly and wonderfully educated though I have had some great teachers. I have not had the most inspiring or interesting of lives but it has been pretty good. I am not really representive of the mythical everyman nor am I very stylish or good looking. As a last resort, I could take you through my heritage and my family’s history; even though I said I would not, but if truth is told, it is not really exciting or interesting as family histories go.
All I can think to say is that I will do my darnedest to write interesting and informative pieces for Scoop, from here in London. I will try and cross a range of subjects to give you a feel for life here. I will try and be un-biased but I am sure I will fail. I will show you, through the excitement I have for this city, why so many New Zealanders live here. And why in the end most will come home.
I will try and get you under the skin of the city, just a little.