#19: The Emperor’s New Tweets
Before we start, the Cribbins count is 4 this week. Add in the fact that someone got here by Googling ‘Fern Britton Sex Pics’ and you’ll understand why I’m leaving Ian Watkins the fuck alone.
So light was let in on tragic this week when detailed allegations by Charles Saatchi emerged about Nigella’s drug use. The tenor of the rumours was that she was so off her conkers on coke she let two Italian sisters spend what they liked on the company credit card as long as they didn’t tell her then husband what she was hiding in the icing sugar. While it’s tempting to have a grudging respect for someone who can spend all day getting spangled and still have dinner on the table at six a serious issue did actually emerge.
As the drug allegations seemed to provide an alternative explanation for Saatchi’s actions in those infamous photos (checking for signs of cocaine use rather than just your general douchebaggery domestic abuse, the usual suspects started the hashtag #teamnigella, as if there was actually a reason to take sides about it. Here’s the simple explanation to illustrate this.
Women aren’t subject to domestic abuse or rape because of lifestyle, dress, being drunk/high or any of the other myriad reasons people use as excuses.
These things happen because some men are cunts.
Given that backdrop is there really any reason to go online and align yourself with Ms Lawson? To proclaim yourself as being against domestic abuse and the demonization of someone just because she’s done a bit of toot? As if there’s a #teamcharles side, where chinning your missus for burning the dinner or powdering her nose is acceptable or even encouraged.
Again and again on social media people I’ve previously thought of as halfway intelligent have shown themselves to possess staggeringly low levels of self-awareness. Last week a guardian columnist threatened to get a correspondent fired from their job. Their crime? Having the temerity to write something in the comments section under her column which was a joke at her expense. Until she protected her tweets (presumably because she was subject to a torrent of incredulity at her crassness) you could almost feel the sneering superiority complex in every word. She accused her ‘tormentor’ of following her around the internet, when she’s put the offending comment on and replied to one of her previous tweets. It was mind blowing.
Another media type who simply doesn’t get how this all works now was Paddy Barclay, who tweeted that Adnan Janusaj was the greatest ever uncapped player of the Premier League era. Now if he’d said that in a pub surrounded by mates from other papers it would have been ‘that’s really insightful’ or ‘great point Paddy’. Unfortunately in the real world, where you can get replies from people who aren’t up your arse, Twitter gave a collective ‘what the fuck?’ to this gibberish. One person even pointed out that he isn’t even the best uncapped player at Manchester United; that’s David de Gea.
I think these people honestly think that their timeline should be an endless parade of backslapping and praise. Genuine criticism of their views is met with confusion, and occasionally spite. Barclay pointed out that only a few of his 100000+ followers had a problem with his assertion. Perhaps he ought to realise that just because people follow you doesn’t mean they have seen what you’ve written, and if they have they might not be that worked up to want to reply or comment. In this case I think most people read it and dismissed it as a poor attempt at trolling.
The Twitter Silence showed the disconnect between certain columnists and commentators and the people they think they represent. I don’t think some of them have recovered from the shock. Their reaction has been to redouble their efforts to prove they care about things more than we do, rather than accepting that when someone expresses a differing opinion or criticises you it isn’t because they’re too dumb to understand the issue but because they understand it and just don’t agree with you.
The only saving grace in all this is that Barclay’s generation will soon be retired, and the younger ones will have the chance to learn how social media can enhance rather than entrench their opinions and outlook.
OK, let’s tell a fairy tale. We’ll write it together.
Take the nation’s favourite sport. Add in shady far eastern gamblers. Now let’s pretend that match and spot fixing is a problem limited to the lower levels of the game, and that the Premier League is unsullied by such behaviour.
Are you buying it? Really?
Here’s the thing. We know that in other sports dodgy betting scams are only able to work with the collusion of players. In the case of cricket and the spot fixing cases that ended in two players going to prison they were working under threat of harm to their families. Other players have been unable to resist life changing amounts of money for bowling a few no balls or the odd wide.
Now obviously in the rarefied heights of modern football salaries the chance that a player would involve themselves in a betting sting for relatively modest sums is a lot smaller than it was decades ago. Having said that, when a player this week confessed to betting £30k a time on the team bus, the idea that a gambling debt to the wrong people could be cleared by collecting a ‘needless’ yellow card at the right time isn’t that farfetched.
Also, as Matthew le Tissier revealed in his autobiography, it was going on nearly twenty years ago. In his case it was spread betting on the time of the first throw in. He excuses his behaviour by saying that it wouldn’t materially affect the game. I’m kind of buying that, but the idea that players are pure as the driven snow at all other times is frankly laughable. They dive, they cheat, they bite, they racially abuse. AND THAT’S JUST LUIS SUAREZ.
The whole game is littered with low level cheating. Players routinely claim throw ins and corners that they know aren’t theirs. They wave imaginary cards and roll about as though they’ve been shot. They feign injury to stop the game when a team is breaking on them and they are stretched. It happens all day every day in the Premier League, and yet when the notion that some of it might be for more than just gaining an advantage in a game is put forward it’s like you’ve advocated throwing a puppy in a threshing machine for a laugh.
The simple fact is it’s perfectly possible for match and spot fixing to occur at the highest level, and the fact that the FA have refused to even acknowledge the possibility means that when it is discovered their reaction will be too little too late because there’s none so blind who will not see.
Just like always.
Last word goes out to anti horse racing types, who think that they don’t have a mind of their own and just go along with it because an eight stone Irish midget is whipping them. I suggest you google ‘Mad Moose’.
I rest my case, and everyone who likes racing is smiling now….