I still remember the time that another boy at my school called me a fat ginger (I was and am neither, sideburns excepted). I recounted this to others many times.
On a music forum once - OK, we’ve done this already, on the official Coldplay Message Board - someone called me a ‘generic indie kid’. I added those words to my signature and kept them there for weeks.
One early proud moment of my Stylus career was a post on ilx about the score given to White Rose Movement, in which the reviewer (me) was called a ‘no-name jabroni’. If I still had a signature anywhere then I probably would have put that in it too.
All of which is to say that I know the impulse to react to slights and inaccuracies by wearing them as a badge of honour. It can be in the hope that others will agree that you’ve been wronged and support righteous indignation or it can be in the hope that they know it will be useless to say anything against you because you got there first, but it ends up in the same place.
I just wish that I could have done something with that impulse as great as “Your Early Stuff” on Pet Shop Boys’ new album, whose lyrics supposedly consist of words spoken by taxi drivers. “Suppose you’re more or less retired now”, “amazing that you lot come back for more”, “what’s in it for you now, need the money?” and of course “I still quite like some of your early stuff”. It has one of the best beats on the album but it’s Neil Tennant’s bitter reading of each of the slights, fuelled by that perverse desire to present all of these wrongs as large as possible, that makes it the funniest and liveliest song by far. Every line drips with wounded pride.