Loss of superiority is not less of equality…

Most privileged people don’t think they are privileged.
Everyone thinks they are struggling. It’s probably true, being human with a knowledge of finite existence and an exaggerated, and frankly unnecessary, awareness of other people’s awareness of you does funny things to the mind. We may all be struggling, but it doesn’t mean we all have an equal number of obstacles to face. It can be easy to mock safe spaces if you have lived in one all your life, I know I have. It doesn’t mean people haven’t had a go at me, but that is because of what came out of my mouth, not based on how I came out of the womb. I worked on this for one of my Edinburgh shows, but it never made it in. It should almost have the rhythm of a poem, but I am quite new to all this.

Nobody notices the privilege of nobody noticing you…


I went to check my privilege

the other day

it took longer than I thought

it didn’t seem quite fair

that I had to do it myself

isn’t there someone smaller to do it for me?

but I persevered.

I sweated through my advantages,

wondered how the other half lived.

It’s a big half.


I suppose they’ll blame me

just because of my superiority.

Sat alone in the pub,

no one came to flirt with me

despite my singularity

No one thought, “I know what he wants!”

Unless they were thinking…

“He wishes this pub was a bookshop too”

And I do.

No one thinks “he’s lonely” and…

if they do…

they’ll leave

the grey face man

hand on pint

nose in book

leave him to his solitude

no “cheer up”

no “might never happen”

which is good

because I know it will

that’s many worlds theory for you

not even a “what are you reading?”

Which is a pity

it’s a very good book

(Eimear McBride’s The Lesser Bohemians)

and I’d be happy to recommend.

No small talk

with a hope for sex talk,

safe in the corner

for the lone drinking man.

Solitude is not a presumed cry for attention

a hand on a knee

a messy flash dream

a double duvet fantasy

I have time to check my privilege because

My oddities are brain deep

not on skin show

I Can Hide My self under my knitwear.

No Yarmulke

No Turban

No Bindi

No Breasts

(Well, perhaps slight breast, I have let myself go a little bit)

pinkish in a pinkish world

and so…

I am allowed to be…

a little weird

for I am not attached to any other eccentricity

“we’re all allowed one weird”

that’s what Alice told me

and being pale

and middle class

and male

I can choose my weird to be quite simply

that I am a little weird


Alice is a woman

So she’s weird down from the start

and then, on top of that

her thoughts have a habit

of tilting towards weirdness

and she will not keep them in

she turns them into things

that makes her double weird

too weird for some


My cardigan is a little tight around the top

but no one thinks, “dressing for attention”

Just “silly bugger put it on the hot wash”

when hand in hand with my wife

I never thought of a sudden boot

or a car shouted abuse

boarding the train

I didn’t sense bodies tightening

with fear, suspicion or sense of threat

despite my powerful librarian build.

I rarely read tattoos that have a message

for “someone like me”

The store detective doesn’t bother to take out his brain pen

to make a mental note of me

No food worries as a child

Though pineapple on the gammon was a chore.

I checked my privilege the other day

and it took so long

which seems so unfair

but I stayed strong

it’s the white middle class man’s burden

but i try

and I try

and I try

to smile through it .


The wine helps.

touring my show Pragmatic Insanity from September





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4 Responses to Loss of superiority is not less of equality…

  1. Michele says:

    Love this Robin! 👍 Really says so much in a clever lighthearted way.
    I also really enjoyed your Pragmatic Insanity show the other day too – top value as u spoke so fast I recon there was a 2 for 1 show right there!
    Thanks for the honest Fringe blog, as a first timer here having a little go at some comedy & storytelling open mics, u have made me realise that it’s OK to feel a little overwhelmed at times.
    Are you doing your art talk today or are you away home?

    • robinince says:

      final art show today at 130pm. I am looking forward to talking (a little) slower when I do the longer versions of these shows. Glad you took the risk of edfringe, it is overwhelming and often it is only afterwards you realised what you gained

      • Michele says:

        Thnx Robin,
        Just out from your art show – again incredible & brilliant ending about prioritising Seamus Heany over Twitter! Spot on – thankyou!

      • Michele says:

        Yes, definitely worth the trip from Oz. I’ve learnt so much in such a short time. Even told a story at Scottish Storytelling Centre & realised funny storytelling may be more my forte than stand-up! Thnx once again for your blog & podcasts they really help too.

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