Friday August 2nd 2013
I’ve been blocked by someone on Twitter. I know, I was shocked too. I wondered out loud if they weren’t a boring miserable f*cker for moaning about Glastonbury. Ironically instead of just ignoring me they proved my accusation to be spot on. The odd bit is I don’t even follow the person. They were just retweeted into my timeline. I wouldn’t have seen anything of theirs again, let alone commented on it, so I fail to see the victory in this case. They have however found out what ‘pyrrhic’ means.
I mention this because the idea of a 24 hour mass withdrawal from Twitter (a #trolliday) has been mooted, in response to the disgusting and disturbing threats received by an MP and a feminist journalist. I won’t be joining in; it just seems prurient and already any man not joining the boycott is being accused of condoning the abuse, which is of course palpable nonsense. Let’s be honest, unless you’re some kind of sociopath you’d struggle to find the kinds of things tweeted as anything other than horrifying. Let’s be honest again, the day after the #trolliday Twitter will look exactly the same.
Plus the new Doctor Who is announced on Sunday, so essentially the nerds will knacker any boycott.
There’s no apology big enough to take back threats of rape really, and I’m pretty sure only an idiot would compare it to the now infamous Twitter ‘joke’ about blowing up Robin Hood airport (I don’t see what’s funny about that either, but that’s for another time). The main thing is the people sending the threats are unrepentant, persistent (accounts are blocked and another one opened like some freakish cyber Whack-A-Mole), and really really desperate for you to notice them. You normally find that these freaks are friendless socially inept flotsam. Their views on women are a window into a brain that seethes with rage at a world that doesn’t care what they think. About anything. They consider women to be blow up dolls that can cook, certainly not allowed to have opinions or disagree with them, by cry w*nking themselves to sleep (they’re w*nking over all the things they’re going to do to you; they’re crying because in their heart of hearts they know it will never happen because it would involve talking to a real live woman). The trouble is if you ignore them they don’t go away. They just try harder to outrage, to provoke. If you have a Report Abuse button they will be back. There’s one specimen who has been trying to annoy me and some friends of mine for the best part of a decade. He creates an account, hurls some personal abuse, gets ignored, and goes quiet again. He’s dormant now, but he’ll be back. That’s what they do.
The response of Twitter has been shocking, but to be honest it’s par for the course. Search a term like ‘Obama’ and see the kind of spittle flecked racist vitriol aimed at him. You can imagine I’m sure. if they can’t deal with that there’s nothing to suggest rape threats will be any different. In both cases it’s the throes of a tragic, hate filled life being played out in public, and seemingly given free reign by the administrators. The thing is leaving them to it for a day won’t cure it, in fact they’ll take succour from it. Any attention will do.
As a dear departed friend of mine (a hopeless alcoholic but one of the smartest men I’ve ever come across) told me as I wondered aloud what was to be done about Nick Griffin, some people are just f*cking c*nts, and there’s no changing them. Your only comfort is that slowly but surely they’re dying out.
Not much help if you’re being told in graphic gynaecological detail how you’re going to be violated, but a truism nonetheless.
Speaking of pyrrhic victories, for Spurs fans still not over 1987 the fact that Coventry City have been forced into liquidation would seem on the surface to be the very definition of the phrase. However, a couple of questions. Firstly, the only creditors to refuse the CVA proposal were Arena Coventry and our old chums HMRC, who are almost always heavily involved in football insolvencies. If, as we’re always being told, football clubs are a special case because they’re contributors to the fabric of the community, why don’t they make a material contribution and pay their f*cking taxes? And secondly, how monumentally incompetent can the people who ran that club be to let it get into this kind of financial mess in the first place? Clubs with that level of fanbase must be terrified.
To me that’s not a bad thing though. It might mean they stop listening to the fans, because let’s be honest 98% of football fans are f*cking idiots.
Trawl the internet, search the forums. Fans boasting, (BOASTING!) about how expensive their tickets are, or how much matchday revenue their club can generate by charging more than a tenner for fish and chips. They’re getting turned upside down and having their pockets shaken out, and they’re happy because it means they can ‘compete’. The advocation of wild spending sprees that they can’t possibly finance, or conversely the preaching of austere budgeting for fear of ‘doing a Leeds’ (I mean, Seth Johnson on £37k a week looks positively frugal in hindsight compared to some of the toilet out there stealing a living now). Chairman should keep the beer, pies, and match tickets cheap. Fans can all agree on those actions. When it comes to budget control for a multi million pound business on balance I’d trust an experienced degree educated businessman over a plasterer who works cash in hand *wink*. No offence to plasterers of course, but it’s true.
Most industries would kill for the customer base football clubs have. Pliant drones who just turn up when they’re told, and pay whatever they’re asked. Protest is tolerated, mainly because they know that the only sanction that actually works is stopping the cash gravy train by not going, and that’s exactly the one thing they won’t do. It’s soul destroying to watch the amount of passion and commitment people put into ‘their’ clubs, only to get shafted at every turn. And then come back for more. The 39th game will happen in our lifetimes. They got shouted down the first time, but Scudamore or someone just like him will be back. If making a financial case won’t do it they’ll make up some drivel about it being good for developing players for England, which is the argument they used to launch the Sky revolution and the Premier League in the first place. (How’s that working out by the way?) And the fans will shuffle off to watch in the pub at a ridiculous hour, because it’s vital to the good of the national side that they get up and watch a game they can no longer afford to actually go to, going on three miles from their house, at a time that suits viewers who have absolutely no natural affinity with the clubs they’re watching. You know, like the NFL changes kick off times to accommodate UK viewers. What’s that? Get away, really?
Like I said, 98%
Having said all that, a winter world cup, which on the face of it seems like a barmy idea, might actually give England half a chance of not stinking out yet another international tournament. Think about it. How many times have you watched dumbfounded as players in the wonderfully poorly named ‘golden generation’ bumbled about in 90 degree heat at the end of a season looking like they’re towing a caravan because they don’t have the technique to keep the ball for more than 3 passes? At least this way it will be mid season and the task of charging around like a dog chasing a balloon twice a week in the Premier League won’t have taken its toll yet. And Wayne Rooney might still be f*cking interested. As Spain hoover up the trophies, using their deceptively simple tactic of not getting knackered chasing the ball about by keeping it until they want to score (which they only labelled Tiki Taka to give it an air of mystery that frankly it doesn’t deserve), England fret about how to improve the side. Here’s some suggestions.
1 Get a system and pick players who fit into it naturally. Playing Paul Scholes on the left wing because you’re hopelessly wedded to 4-4-2 is simply wrong, and I will have anyone who disagrees outside.
2 There is no such thing as a big game player. If there was Steven Gerrard would have turned up to one tournament by now. There are just good players. Pick them.
3 Get a piece of paper. Write down 5 things that make Gareth Barry and James Milner international footballers. If the words ‘skill’, ‘ability’, or ‘quality’ aren’t on the list then pick someone else.
4 Ignore the fans. The kind of football they like doesn’t cut it at international level. Just for fun try out the Spanish way. Tippy Tappy Shite may just be the way forward. Well, it can’t get any worse can it?
5 It won’t make you play any better, but please get rid of that f*cking band. Please.
Finally, George Osborne, a man who you’d think twice about trusting to collect your Sunday morning football subs properly, has announced, nay boasted, of the biggest tax breaks for shale gas fracking companies in the world. As is usual with this kind of flannel, it was couched in terms suggesting it was a leg up to enterprise and entrepreneurial spirit, rather than a handout to his mates. I only mention it because usually when this government comments on members of society receiving government help it’s suggested that the recipients don’t deserve it somehow.
You see to George and his chums if you work hard, pay your taxes, and fall on hard times or get injured in an accident and can no longer work you’re a sponger and need to be patronised and marginalised and frankly bullied back to work even if you’re too unwell to do so without risking long term harm to yourself. But if you want to blow the fuck out of the earth’s crust and sell the proceeds for a packet you’re some kind of hero, bravely leading us out of the recession into some earthquake laden nirvana of house prices inflated by clouds of bullsh*t (which worked oh so perfectly up until 2008), and vans touring inner London bus stations looking for darkies to round up and chuck in a van because they look foreign and/or up to something.
Remember, we’re in it together. Well, they’re not. They’re fine. Like a gay porn star they’re making money hand over fist. You’re in it together. Yeah.
If you’ve enjoyed this please join me at @BAHAB2012 for more sweary opinionated crap. Or don’t, whatever.