Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Dear Washington Post...

I had a letter to the Washington Post published yesterday, defending football referees from the hysteria of coaches and temporarily deranged parents. I had two separate editors contact me to check that I was the real author of the letter, and a third to ask me if I was okay with the edited version. I asked them kindly to split the final sentence into two, as I had in the original version, and received a one sentence reply: It shall be done. It’s reassuring to know there are still thorough, conscientious sub-editors around in the age of quick-fire Twitter garbage.

The gap between the original article I was responding to and the printing of my letter was a good old-fashioned 12 days. I took the time to craft a considered response, and the paper took the time to weigh up whether or not it was worth publishing. In pre-internet times, anyone wishing to disagree with me would have had to make the same effort. But now, thanks to the internet, we have that worldwide forum for the witless, the ‘Comments’ box, which allows a revered organ such as the Post to boast the following on its website:

“I find most ref’s to be self-grandiose – egotistical – self proclaimed infallible social rejects. Most can’t take any criticism on or off the field (in the game or in their personal lives). They think they can do no wrong and burst into fits of outrage and indignation when their authority is questioned. Thank god for the sports that have instant replay – look at the NFL and how Ref’s have gone from GOD’S to HUMAN. Nope don’t see too many shouting matches at the big league level anymore, DO YAH?”

That’s from Post registered user kparc, a slouching 58-year-old male from Leesburg, Virginia, who intellectually smites referees the world over with this searing psychological assessment. Kparc has now had his say, and millions of self-proclaimed infallible social rejects (come on, you know who you are) should cower and note how he brilliantly used BLOCK CAPS to get his point across and win the argument. That kparc has not yet worked out after 58 years how to write plurals without a possessive apostrophe should in no way detract from his credibility as a social commentator. Thank the GOD’S for the DEMOCRACY of the web, EH?

11 comments:

Gorilla Bananas said...

Football referees aren't saints, some of them deserve a good kick in the arse. You remind me of the old prisoner in Life of Brian who kept sucking up to the centurion. "Good one ref!" you would say when he showed someone the red card.

Stay-At-Home Indie-Pop said...

Except that I am the ref, and hereby repeat for your benefit the speech I gave the gobby git from New Jersey who tried to railroad me into giving decisions his team's way the weekend before last by screaming at me from the touchline. "Here's a yellow card, one more word and it'll be red." It's what we do.

Nearly all the refs I meet are good blokes, so there.

No Good Boyo said...

I liked that bald Italian ref who looked like Sir George Solti.

As for the web, the best thing about it is the piquant juxtaposition of Pulitzer-heavy reportage and semi-literate cyber-solipsism on the same newspaper site.

It's a monument to the human capacity to take great intellectual and technological advances and put them to prurient use.

I wonder how long was the gap between the discovery of drawing and the first representation of a hairy cock and balls on the cave wall?

As for proper football in America, have you read this:

http://www.theonion.com/articles/nations-soccer-fan-becoming-insufferable,17553/

Mark Sanderson said...

I hadn't been booked for dissent for a good three years, until Burridge's last game of the season. I didn't swear. Actually, I substitued the word eyes for peepers, all be it in an aggresive manner.

Stay-At-Home Indie-Pop said...

Boyo: that Onion piece would have been amusing 15 years ago, but it's a lame rehash of their much-flogged and comically outdated notion that football is only liked in the US by a tiny minority of irritating snobs. For the first time here almost everyone's banging on about the World Cup, or at least is aware that it's happening and that it's a fairly big deal. They'd have been better satirising the endless wheeling out of 1950 World Cup hero Walter Bahr, the go-to pensioner for a buoy-up-the-nation quote ahead of Saturday's England match.

Mark - sounds like you had it coming, son. "Dissent by word or action", there doesn't have to be foul language involved. Bang to rights.

No Good Boyo said...

Glad to hear these Americans are beginning to appreciate diversity in ball size. Rather like Ukrainian women do.

No Good Boyo said...

You're unlikely to be impressed by this, either:

http://www.theonion.com/video/soccer-officially-announces-it-is-gay,17603/

marc said...

c'mon mate, let us know who you like Holland or Spain???

Stay-At-Home Indie-Pop said...

You've no reason to believe me, but at the start of the tournament I filled out a prediction sheet which ended with me forecasting Spain to beat Holland in the final. However, because my predictions are usually crap, I wasn't impetuous enough to put any money on it.

No Good Boyo said...

You may remember Lewis Mcleod. He made a two-way bet on Holland getting to the finals and/or winning. Won a ton, my son.

The Birdwatcher said...

More isn't necessarily good. The internet is great but there is an awful lot of rubbish on it.