Soapbox

 
 

Vincent O’Boyle examines a condition known as ‘the Smug’

The smug look. The smug snigger. We all know a Smug when we see one – but…are you one?

Well, are you feeling highly self-satisfied? Then you’ve got ‘the Smug!’ Don’t worry too much though, it’s not contagious – in fact, it’s really more of a deflective condition. Think of it as a force field around you, blinding you from criticism, making you ignorant to reason and incapable of proper conversation.

The last point is really important when diagnosing someone with ‘the Smug’. Conversation is dialogue between two or more people: thus, in the case of someone with ‘the Smug’, conversation doesn’t just revolve around you. It is smothered with self-indulgence. ‘The Smug’ overrides all pretence of inclusion. Every time you open your mouth all that will come out is blatant, unashamed self-promotion.

Think along the lines of the Discover Ireland ads on TV, except without the cool song, the roving camera work, the scenes of Ireland’s rugged, majestic landscape and… well, without anything interesting whatsoever. Ok, bad example.

I’ll try again. If you’re sitting in Theatre L while you’re reading this take a glance down to the first couple of rows. See the girl leaning back in her seat slowly flicking through pictures of the party she was at last night? She’s probably a Smug.

The tutorial you attended earlier, in which the guy beside you managed to speak didactically for five minutes and yet somehow didn’t even come close to saying something relevant? He’s a Smug.

Later, if you head up to the student bar you’re almost undoubtedly going to hear at least one Kanye West song. Kanye West is up to his neck in smugness. Expect him to be immortalised any day now – but not, as he wishes, to be known as the genius voice of a generation; instead, as an example of smugness in the Oxford Dictionary. Smugs are everywhere.

I propose free Smug screenings by the SU and a Freshers’ Guide to Smug safety. God help us all.

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