Get It Quietly

Football, bollocks and a bit of poker if you're lucky.

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Thin Skins (1)

A comment on the Poker Bastard's blog set me thinking. It simply read "Why are Gutshotters so touchy about criticism ?". I had noticed that myself ! As good a question as this is, a better one might be why is everyone so sensitive about criticism ?

Test this out if you like. Post something mildly critical on one of the more popular poker forums, and stand well back. Why, as I keep thinking, is no one capable of discussing an issue on its own merits ? Why does everyone have to be so aggressive and personal ?

I think I have identified two main reasons. To start with I am going to blame - stands on stage with veil over large rectangular object, waves it a bit for suspense before whipping it off to reveal to no one's surprise - television !

Maybe it was ever thus and I've just outgrown it, but how bad is 99% of television these days ? Relevant to the point I'm trying to make, you see thriller after "thriller" where the wise-cracking good-looking heroes defeat the evil plots of the bad guy who, if he is motivated by anything at all (usually he's just mad), is motivated solely by greed or revenge. When was the last time you saw something on TV where there was a real conflict of ideas ? The most conflict you ever see is when the hero is torn between two exclusive "good" choices. Save the girl or save the world ? Oh the heartache. I know, I'll ingeniously do both ! Hooray.

Meanwhile for a bit of light relief you can tune into comedy after "comedy" where the only way a character can save face is to make a yet more hilarious put-down of the other person's dress sense.

So, have we created a generation who believe that if someone has a different opinion, this must be because they have a personal agenda ? Greed, jealousy, or maybe they're just nuts. And the only way they can deal with this is to try to zing their opponents with a cutting quip, which in reality translates to clumsy sarcasm at best, and more usually plain abuse.

Reading the forums, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that this is indeed the case. And on TV, everything is black and white. Everyone's either good or bad, and that's that. It's not so simple in real life. Poker players can be generous and charming off the table, and thieves on it. Tournament organisers can be great at attracting players to town, while simultaneously engaging in very dodgy business practices. Do people realise this ? No. If people are thinking at all, it goes as far as "The person who I like is in the right. What's the issue again, and I'll think up some reasons". To hear this in action, if you can stand it, tune into a football phone-in. I love football and I love talking about it with informed and intelligent followers of the game, but I just cannot listen to these awful phone-ins because all you get is "I support United/Arsenal so they're right/the best (delete as required) and here are some entirely spurious reasons why". By the way have you ever noticed that "big club" fans always have a chip on their shoulder about something, but on the rare occasion when a lower division fan makes it onto the air, they're almost always positive about the game ? Funny that. Anyway, I'm rambling.

While thinking about this though, it occurs to me that there's probably a more important factor in this thin-skinnedness. I'd like to keep it separate so I'll discuss it soon in a later post. Bonus point in the meantime if you can guess what it is !


Blogger SimonG. said...

Cognitive dissonance.

Click here if the html works

8:29 PM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...

Mmm, not exactly what I'm thinking of, although it can be a factor.


8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny you should post about this sort thing young Andrew.
I was playing at the Vic the other day and we were discussing this good/bad people in poker and why some got slagged off and other not and who deserved it and who did not.
We came to the conclusion that poker players fell into 4 broad groups.
1 good people who do good things. EG Colclough Rokach
2 good people who do bad things. EG Tann Channing
3 bad people who do good things. EG Ulliott Luske
4 bad people who do bad things. EG Korosh Welch
It is groups 2 and 3 who cause most controversy because some people see the good in them and some see the bad. Hence the quickness of those who see the good to defend them when the situation arrives.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Titmus here,

What's the reverse of a 'chip on the shoulder'? Is it the inverse snobbery of 'we are the REAL football fans down here in the Championship'?

The funny thing is you hear the same thing from supporters of Conference teams about Division 2, Ryman League about the Conference, ad infinitum.

The only REAL football is played by Hendon United 'B' in the Maccabi League Division 3.

Although the guys in the fifth division think we are the "pre-madonnas".

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What have I been doing that's so bad?

Jesus, you take a week off from the gaff and they're all talking about you behind your back.

Bad Beat

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must say I couldn't figure out why Niel Channing got lumped in with the good people! He allows himself to be filmed screwing Russian kids younger than his daughter then jokes about them as if they were pieces of meat. God only knows what goes on when the cameras aren't rolling...On top of all that he thinks we're entertained by a change of sunglasses; hang on a minute, that's not Niel Channing is it?

Actually I can't imagine Niel Channing doing a bad thing

5:24 PM  
Blogger Andy_Ward said...

In case anyone thinks I am showing a thin skin myself, the comment above was removed not because of its content, but because the author was pretending to be someone else.

Post what you like on here (within reason), anonymously is fine, but please don't waste our time pretending to be someone you're not.


6:02 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home