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For every minute you are angry you lose 60 seconds of happiness,

By Don McMahon

For every minute you are angry you lose 60 seconds of happiness, Ralph Waldo Emerson

The plethora of angry, hyper-sensitive, choleric, distressed, fitful, and fickle fans bombarding cyberspace with their tryst lamentations and predictions of imminent doom and unmitigated disaster for all things Arsenal, eagerly abetted and aided by the xenophobic British media and some ex-AFC player ingrates leaves me cold.

This demeaning spectacle of a very small minority of our supporters fervently tearing into the supposed shortcomings and lacunae of our Club,vilifying anyone who sees things differently, based on what these attack dogs have read, heard, believed since the time of Moses, ¨seen¨ with their own eyes, divined by some ethereal illumination available only to them or nurtured patiently and hatefully over decades of dissatisfaction, leaves me cold as well.

Then there is the deluge of ignoble, yellow tabloid journalism, paparazzi puke, media masochism and blog-sphere bollocks which assault our Arsenal sensibilities with hypothetical, extra-speculative and totally fantastical and usually premature declarations which these misguided souls stringently attempt to pass off as truth. This not only leaves me cold but makes excellent toilet paper as well due to its superior capacity to absorb high percentages of sewage.

You may now be at the stage where you want to know what gets my attention. Well here are some things that pique my curiosity and may even breach the carapace of my thick-skinned psyche, providing me with endless hours of mirth and in some cases, tangible joy:

  • When we are ¨linked¨ with a big name signing that costs over 20Million Euro, inevitably described as being ¨wanted¨ by Arsene and also invariably described as being our potential ¨saviour¨ from an inglorious EPL nuclear winter or some such thing. Good for a 5 minute bout of ridicule that.
  • When a former ¨star¨ is quoted, or more often misquoted in the media as criticizing Arsenal and Wenger’s player development philosophy, on field tactics, business or transfer dealings or his choice of a blue tie over a red one. This player may likely be associated with one of the tabloid toilet papers mentioned above or worse still, a media outlet like Sky TV. I obtain at least 2 minutes of mild chuckling and head shaking from these offerings.
  • Under normal circumstances when EUFA and FIFA make some absorbingly dim-witted and pedantic statement having to do with Football in general or Arsenal in particular. Such was my awe when they voted Wenger manager of the decade and when they named Arsenal as the best example of a financially and administratively well managed club and a model to emulate for everyone else, that I almost spilt my tea and inhaled my crumpet whole. Being accustomed, as I am, to hearing the Arsenal denigrated, degraded, disparaged and dismissed as ¨Barca-lite¨ by those icons of Football sagesse mentioned in the above paragraph, it came as a severe shock to my nervous system and was worthy of at least 30 minutes of boasting, derisory phone calls to my Spuds workmates and other scum.
  • Stepping up a notch, the gut-wrenching sheer delirium of seeing the Arse give the boot to Barca at the Emirates while the MOTD commentators desperately tried to diminish this accomplishment and the next day the toilet tabloids bombarded us with salient reminders of how ¨lucky¨ we were and what a thrashing we could expect at the Nou Camp, was worth at least 2 hours of furious blogging and surfing other fellow travellers in the Arsenal Universe.
  • The cherry on the sundae has to be a comment I read on another blog which described all the crazy season carryings-on as a disease called  ¨ premature speculation.¨ The author more or less described it as the tendency for fans to assume the worst(or best) about the goings on at the Club and to wet themselves, well before the presentation of or in the total absence of any empirical evidence  available or any rational data presented. This was worth a hearty laugh.

My rather lengthy point here is that a morose and pathological obsession with all things gloomy is not the most useful way to spend your Arsenal days….as Ralph Waldo Emerson so eloquently testified.

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24 comments to For every minute you are angry you lose 60 seconds of happiness,

  • sahil

    Though i agree with your article(my sentiments are the same) but i dont think there is a very small minority of supporters that is negative as you put it but a sizeable proportion.Dare i say,i think more than half of our supporters are negative at this time.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    @Sahil
    Unless merchandise revenue drops, season tickets aren’t renewed and home games start being under attended, who gives a flying one?

    I know Bob in particular dislikes my segregating Arsenalists into fans and supporters on the basis of financial contribution but it never the less remains true that you can call yourself a fan but only by sending your money to the club are you actually supporting the club.
    Whether half the Arsenal ‘fan’ base are down on the manager and the board or not is irrelevant, if half the ‘supporters’ start boycotting the club then it becomes a problem.

  • sahil

    Meanwhile the dot com has confirmed gervinho’s signing.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    True , true – stop feeding the ogre and it dies a narural death.
    Its the young ones that are most easy to delude and are more vocal – but in time realty will set in and we all move on.
    As for the paid spin doctors of doom – beware -it may come back to bite you in the arse- you will be judged too .

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    @Brickfields
    The young ones are less likely to attend matches (the average age at the Emirates is a factor in our legendary, library like support) and also the one’s daft enough to buy knockoff shirts “down the maah-ket” in the deluded belief that this makes them a ‘supporter’. No wonder the board doesn’t care about their opinion.

  • zulu gooner

    keep up the good work Don!!

  • zulu gooner

    i dont hear Sky et all going on about Gervinho – it spoils there fun of telling all cretins that arsenal have not yet signed anyone

  • menace

    The majority of football fans are influenced by media. The same media that influenced the electorate into voting for the last 3 governments. This one and same media that took a part of its vile cheating titles down. The same media that crushed Fleet Street and introduced Wapping and bias into the lives of London. The same media that has fed and nurtured the Murdoch family for 3 generations.

    This media including Sky has influenced our beloved game and made it a vile sport where officials cheat blatently and players were punished by TV trials and selected evidence to ensure their chosen reprenentatives succeeded.

    The captains of our Cricket teams and our Rugby teams were ‘trapped’ and their positions influenced to the point of resignation. This crooked cheating enterprise has robbed us of fair sport. Yet we allow their patron and owner to walk free, when he should have been arrested and held in custody so that his phone tapping employees can mess with the law. This law that has been corrupted by the Judas silver.

    Our Prime Minister who has played tennis with a woman who may be more than involved in this debacle. Makes me wonder how many balls she holds in her hand whilst serving!!!

    The Arsenal has been on the wrong side of many of their goals and has suffered. But, in spite of all of this Arsenal have managed to be successful and scorn the Sun and Sky. This environmental catastrophy that through no fault of its own has been reduced to sewage. When will the Times for the Sun and Sky to be liquidated arrive? Do we have to bring our government down to get the truth?

  • jayj

    watching sky sports news boast about the live fixtures for next season, like me did anyone notice the Arsenal games? Thats rights they show cased the goals against us.

    Liverpool penalty
    Man u Park goal
    Spudz Huddleston goal
    Chelsea Drogba goal

    Good job I dont subscribe to this shite.

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Sahil, on what basis do you claim that there are a ¨majority¨of the fans revolting against AFC? I can’t certify, with total conviction, that the majority of Gooners are fairly indifferent or even positive about Arsenal and I’ve done my research!
    Woolwich peripatetic is right in saying that actions will speak louder than words, and already have. I have difficulty knowing what age and class of fans show up at the Emirates as I’ve never been there (one of my bucket list priorities) to enjoy the view and Arsenal don’t seem to provide accurate stats regarding attendance figures based on age and social support so I’ll have to assume nobody is sure about our fans until such data is made available.

  • Anne

    @Sahil, Woolwich and Domhuaille:

    You guys have just raised an issue that I’m very interested in. Where I live, I don’t have a lot of access to Arsenal fans. I’m pretty much the only football fan in an island of baseball fans 🙂

    But I’ve always been suspect of all of these claims that Arsenal fans don’t support Arsenal. Notice that in my last article, I included the idea that “Arsenal’s fans are angry with them” on my list of talking points, as an idea that I believe the media feeds but that I don’t necessarily believe.

    So, to all of you guys that actually do have the opportunity to hang around with Arsenal fans on a regular basis, are these attitudes something that you see from them IN PERSON? Or is all this Arsenal fan anger really just more media hype? Just from watching Arsenal myself, I have a hard time understanding how their fans could be upset with them…

  • Anne

    @Don:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this. Thanks 🙂

  • Anne

    I meant to say “a sea of baseball fans” in the above post, not “an island of baseball fans.” That didn’t really make sense 🙂

  • moses

    I can say with all certainty that this is the only arsenal site that has kept me sane after my nearly nervous break down following arsenal failure to win anything last season. I have realise that arsenal achievements are often downplayed/under-reported by other media blogs. Which brings to mind, see how MANU were messmerized/tutored and dismissed by the ALMIGHTY Barca in the champions league final but dissapointingly most sporting blogs reported the trashing with a muted tone. Arsenal defeated barca 2-1@ emirate instead of being praised we were tagged as being lucky.Barca defeated arsenal 3-1 in nou camp we were branded as not bing able to post one shot on/off target. Fellow gooners wake up! break this press induced hypnotic spell of condeming your club. Remember that if you dont start to blow your trumpet now, others will take it blow it out of proportion and break it for you.As for me and my entire household we are gunners for life.

  • menace

    @Anne
    I am a season tiket holder and there are several fans that have an attitude against the way Arsene has his team playing or his substitutions. The attitude is built up from the influence of the press and peer pressure. The common denominator is goading following bad press and poor results. It impacts the fan reaction. Very few fans remember the tough times. Most are new and have got used to the winning ways. Perhaps many of the newer fans are glory hunters and cant tolerate barren years.

  • Shard

    @Woolwich

    I don’t really agree with your assertion that only if you open your wallet are you truly supporting the club, even though I know what you are saying there. Still, I feel fans like me, who live half a world away, and don’t have either the means or the opportunity to purchase club products, or go to the stadium, DO contribute to the club’s earnings, albeit indirectly.

    For all the ‘support’ that fans give to the club, TV revenue is still the highest source of income. If I, and others like me, stop watching the EPL, the overseas TV money dries up. The club sponsors realise that their market is now restricted to England, and most likely just the south of England, and thus they either stop paying or pay a reduced value, all the big sugar daddies might pull out as well since owning a club no longer brings global notoreity, and basically the league, and the clubs go back to pre 1992 times.

    The club realises this as well and that is exactly why they are on a tour of Asia at the moment. At most, the Asian fans represent an opportunity at a future market, in terms of direct income to the club. But indirectly, having a fan base, and that includes people in the US, or Africa, Asia, Australia..anywhere in the world, does have immense benefits for the club, and has potential to bring even more.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    @Shard
    There’s nothing wrong with being just a ‘fan’. The more fans we have, yes, the higher the value of our sponsorships (although this is also linked to brand success). I recognise that many ‘fans’ want to be ‘supporters’ and they can’t (for reasons of finance or geography or whatever) so they shouldn’t feel bad about it! They cannot and will not have the same degree of influence over the running of the club as a full blown ‘supporter’ though. That is all.
    When our ‘supporters’ are starting to hurt the club where it counts, then the board will have to reconsider their strategy.

  • Shard

    @Woolwich

    That is what I meant when I said i know what you are saying there. In effect you are saying that it is only when people directly hurt the club’s finances by refusing to pay, will they be able to exert real pressure on the club. True. Completely.

    But even in that case, I think paying fans, or ‘supporters’ probably overestimate their value as individuals, and thereby as a group. Arsenal have enough fans who want to buy tickets, merchandise etc, that a certain section of fans that may be disillusioned and want change, still won’t be able to make a serious dent in the income of the club. So I’ll agree with what you said if the proviso is that realistically, fans do not have a say in the running of the club, regardless of whether they are ‘supporters’ or ‘fans’.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    @Shard
    Dividing it into three, there are ‘fans’, ‘fans who could be supporters’ and ‘supporters’. My theory is that if there were really that many people who were as negative as the average internet ‘fan’ we would see firstly:
    A huge reduction in the season ticket waiting list.
    Decreased attendances in the day ticket blocks.
    Reduced matchday income.
    The club would have to piss off enough ‘supporters’ that there would not be enough contented ‘fwcbs’ to replace them before the board would even notice.

  • Micko

    @ Anne, July 11th, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    I know a lot of supporters who like myself go to the games, and I also know a lot of the more ‘casual’ supporters, the type who don’t go to the actual games but will watch the matches on TV at home and in pubs and clubs and also buy some of the merchandise etc. Generally speaking the ones who go to the games are more knowledgeable and less likely to be so easily brainwashed by the press. Whereas, amongst the more casual fan it is easy to find ones who’s opinion is what they have been told it is, by Sky Sports and the rest of the Arsenal hating media.
    Mind you, most of the fans I talk to are of a similar age to me (i.e. in their 40’s) rather than the younger ones which Menace (July 12th, 2011 at 12:39 am) is probably quite accurately referring to.

  • Anne

    @Micko and Menace:

    Thanks for getting back to me on that. It’s something that I’m interested in because it’s a question that I can’t answer for myself. I’m happy to know that most of the older and more knowledgable fans don’t fall for this stuff and still support the club. They definitely should considering the brilliant football that they play!

  • Shard

    @Woolwich

    So realistically, fans do not have a say in the way the club is run, at least Arsenal fans because of the club’s size, and obvious positives too.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    @Shard
    I think you can assume that only a small percentage of Arsenal fans are actually supporters. For a smaller club, playing in the lower tiers of English football, that number will be a lot higher. Actually for ten of the twenty clubs in the PL it’s probably a lot higher. Now you can argue that is a good thing but it also causes those clubs tremendous problems as well. Generally clubs that hold onto a good manager do better in the long run but quite often good managers get the sack because of external factors, to appease the ‘supporters’. Counter productive short-termist behaviour is endemic in football.

  • bob

    Woolwich Peripatetic,
    To be upfront, I cannot stomach your class snobbery and elitism and find it totally divisive, especially at this moment. The great unwashed whom you relegate to irrelevance, can and do massively contribute – according to you sole standard of value – by buying merchandise, subscribing to TV broadcasts, writing in on Arsenal-hating blogs, and other activities that do not register quantitatively or submit to your bean-counter’s measure of value. Now if a supporter buys T-shirts for his kids and spawns now and future Arsenal fans with the multiplier effect of these T-shirts being “cool” items to their friends, who then buy theirs, etc. etc. – all of them, of course being potentially future ‘supporters’ who can then spend their future earnings in ways that ‘count’ for you – I can only weep at your callous lack of social understanding and failure to understand, in your own narrow terms, that there are revenue streams coming into the club that you won’t condescend to think possible.