Taste and the man, or small things that make you like people

This post is perhaps a bit off topic, since it deals neither with gardening nor with food. It’s really just a bit of a mind dump, but read below if you are interested :)

Generally I am someone who believes that first impressions are not reliable. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt initially. Occasionally though there are cultural preferences that make me almost unconditionally like people. When a new co-worker joined the gang at work I noticed that he was wearing a Radiohead T-shirt. Immediately I reckoned that he had to be a reasonable oak. After all, I’ve never met a right bastard who was into Radiohead.

More recently, I have been reading Journey of a thousand miles, an autobiography of the Chinese child prodigy pianist Lang Lang. It was lent to me by someone who knew that I have an amateur interest in playing the piano. While the autobiography is no literary masterpiece and I have never heard Lang Lang play, I have nonetheless been inspired by it to practice a bit harder. A good thing surely.

What really struck me though, is a chapter near the end where he mentions The Old Man and the Sea by Earnest Hemmingway as a story he loved. While I had been touched by the description of music’s power to move people and also the years of hard work and dedication Lang Lang applied to reach his musical goals, that was the first time I really identified with and found myself liking him. Seriously, have you ever met a right bastard that was into The Old Man and the Sea?