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Blame 101 – Don’t let your ignorance interfere with your prejudice

With over 2000 followers: Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

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Blame 101 – Don’t let your ignorance interfere with your prejudice

by Don McMahon

This is a brief course for anyone who would like to join the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal but hasn’t quite got the hang of it yet.  It is a quick course in how to play the blame game at the Arsenal.

Rule number 1 – blaming is better than being open-minded, optimistic or pragmatic as it effectively transfers the guilt and responsibility for your Arsenal frustrations onto the shoulders of others, who may or may not actually be culpable, but that isn’t important….as long as you feel better.

A perfect example of this is seen in the blog-sphere where statements like this reverberate on a daily basis; ¨There can be nil debate over who is ultimately responsible for playing issues-The Manager.¨ Such certitude and arrogance in one sentence! Why can’t there be any debate about who is responsible?  Why is it only the manager? How did it become his sole responsibility, if true?

Rule number 2 – State unproven and unsupported hypotheses as if they were proven facts and make sure that these unrelated generalizations become integrated ¨proofs¨of your blame game directed against your target(s), circular logic for sure. Here is an example from the same article; ¨Equally, he will not buy a player as aged over 30 years¨ but the truth is that AW has brought in players in that age bracket on any number of occasions.  When Pires reached 30, for example, he was offered another 2 year contract by the Club but he was pissed off at his CL Final treatment and turned it down.

Rule number 3 – When Making outrageous accusations against your target based on rumours, media stories, fans wishful thinking, never investigate if there is any foundation to these innuendos but, instead ensure that your arguments are carried to absurd heights and that almost everything that can be attributed to misunderstanding, misfortune, and misinformation will be laid at his feet. Here is a classic example , from the same article; ¨The semi egalitarian wage structure with a ceiling set at some £90,000 (?) per week with hardly any exceptions¨……despite the fact that no one outside a tight circle of AFC management know our real wage structure , this writer maintains that our wage ceiling is £90,000 per week. How did he come by that figure? He made it up based on countless media and fan speculations or in a brain-fart moment.

Rule number 4 – When making your vitriolic claims, make sure you use the revisionist approach to history by reinterpreting events in your crystal clear hindsight. Here is another example of that skill in action; ¨Is this why we left it till the last 36 hours and 2 weeks into the new season before buying 4 more experienced players ?¨  Of course it had to be our incompetent and delusional manager who was at fault for waiting so long and late. Yet every player who came in at the end was involved in negotiations weeks before they actually joined. The players and their agents confirmed this, but who cares about the truth when you’ve got an axe to grind, right?

Rule number 5 – highlight a purported temporary failing as if it were a permanent disaster, both unchangeable and unsolvable, while pointing the figure for this terrible disaster at your target. Here is another example of this spurious strategy; ¨ The obvious failure to blend youth with experience ?¨  Is there a failure? Is it one of not blending youth with experience? Is it obvious?

Rule number 6 – Throw out a statement brimming with hyperbole which is dubious at best and often totally fictitious but which is posited as a rhetorical question, such as the following; ¨ Whatever else, the last few months have exploded the club’s plans and policies and goodness only knows what will happen now. ¨  All is lost according to the author and nobody knows what can be done and what terrifying consequences will present themselves as the sky falls in, but one thing for sure, it is the hated manager’s, player’s fault!

Rule number 7 – Ask the cretins and morons who troll the club’s websites and seek someone to blame to please suggest dramatic and lifesaving solutions to these issues, since the current management cannot or will not act! Here is where some really funny and inventive ideas are excreted, often couched in very poor English:

a) One post suggests that we should get rid of half the team,including players who have not yet played with us but who are captains of their respective nations and scoring at will in International games.

b) The same idiot cries for the urgent purchase of just about every player who has ever been linked with the Club, regardless of the wages, inflated asking price or financial impact. This despite just having said we have to lower our wage bill by getting rid of the ¨mediocre¨players.

c) Numerous fools quickly jump on the blame train and scream their outrage at the target(s) over the net, broadcasting their disdain and vigorous but mindless distrust of said person(s) in terms that would make a sailor blush.

d) Another retard suggested we should sign a pre-sale deal with City for RVP since he clearly intends to leave in January  and has sold his house in order to move to Manchester. The only problems with this brilliant insight is that he has bought a new house closer to Highbury and he has stated that he will resign when he is less focused on playing Arsenal Football.

I sincerely hope this brief course on how to villanize and inculpate Arsenal’s current leadership, without worrying about the truth, has stimulated those readers who need to find scapegoats and ¨punish¨ them irrespective of such annoying distractions as broad-mindedness, realism, justice or veracity. Meanwhile the majority of faithful Gooners will avoid the blame game and instead watch beautiful football.

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27 comments to Blame 101 – Don’t let your ignorance interfere with your prejudice

  • right_mr

    I will take a general stance which may help explain some of the reasons why the blogosphere is as it is. The key being that once someone’s mind has been made up about an idea, certainly it is extremely difficult to consider evidence that contradicts that idea.

    Unfortunately “thinking” isnt a specific subject in school and people are meant to somehow magically learn how to “think” through scenarios as a side effect of attending school while focussing their attention on memorizing and regurgitating information instead of learning how to process and interpret this information in an objective manner. Therefore there is a significant portion of the population who dont know how to think through scenarios/situations/ideas/hypotheses. And the result of this deficiency in being able to “think” is clear in many blogs and indeed is inherent within the media itself to a large extent.

    There is always an overall stance that a journalist or blog writer takes, it may be a stance to be neutral and objective (very rare) or more commonly an “anti-arsenal” stance. With taboo words like “foreigners”, “not a single trophy in x years” “youth policy failing” being subliminally used to strengthen such a stance and this then works on the unconscious mind and if any of the above statements are believed it triggers an automatic thought response which is almost impossible to detect which then taints one’s ability to think effectively.

    Once this seed is planted into people’s minds, it goes beyond conscious processing and is actually an automatic unconscious reaction. Naturally it is commonplace not to pick up these automatic responses and then consciously adjust our thoughts/views based on them.

    Certainly if you are an arsenal supporter, the overall stance ought to be “to support arsenal” and within that context it is still possible to think objectively through most situations concerning arsenal as you can consciously process what you have written and then detect and correct any biased views.

    Overall it is very important to always consider what hypothesis you are working towards and then based on this, plan and then find “facts” to build up a picture which will actually then either support that hypothesis or not. This is how my Bsc in Biochemistry required us to write any report or carry out any experiment. Facts and evidence are the name of the game. And feelings, superstition and fantasy ought to be kept out!

    This is why I am a big untold arsenal, because it satisfies my requirements. I know I am reading an arsenal supporter blog, but at the same time, facts are taken into account and judgements are made based on evidence and a lot of the time you attempt to gather solid evidence.

  • Great article – and I think you could go even further with your cited examples. It is good to get some perspective.

    OFF TOPIC (a bit)

    Wait… they called it what now?

    http://www.arsenal.com/media-watch

    Tony… how do we get on this feed?

  • FunGunner

    Love it, Don. This is a comprehensive and wide-ranging course.

    May I suggest a subheading for the title – “How to be impervious to truth and logic”? And I recommend an optional module exploring rule 8) do not tolerate any praise of the club or criticism of ManU.

  • AledoBren

    Surely the people who would be improved by this article will struggle with words like ” inculpate “.

    Good piece and very, very true.

  • Arvind

    Second Fun Gunner… a fabulous read. keep them coming Don!

  • Pat

    Funny and true Don. Many thanks!

  • Ahavin

    Two words- Spot on

  • I was interested when I did my piece about Swiss Ramble, wherein I suggested that despite the erudition and excellent analysis maybe a couple of points had been missed.

    I then gave the example of some excellent young signings (SR said we hadn’t had any for quite a while) and the fact that we had got the stadium right (which suggested the club was not run by a bunch of dodos). There were a few other points of detail I raised.

    A couple of people then wrote really strong attacks on me, saying that SR was highly regarded, my writing was rubbish and I had given no examples of anything – just attacked SR.

    It was strange – of course the two people writing may have been the same person (AAA is a bit like this) but it was odd, even after all this time to see comments saying that one had given no evidence, when in fact there was a lot of evidence in the piece. One could disagree with my evidence and conclusions of course – that is always possible, but it was the bald statement that bemused me.

    I can only conclude that these people (whose comments we didn’t publish since they were really little more than a personal attack) don’t actually read the articles but just get the gist from the first line, and then write their standard stuff.

    But what still puzzles me is why. Why bother? This is a pro-Wenger site, set up because most of the other sites are anti-Wenger, anti-the board, and actually anti quite a few of our players.

    Do these same people write to the Daily Mail extolling the virtues of the communist party, or to the Daily Mirror saying “Thatcher was right”?

  • Mike Collins

    Tony
    Great article.
    As I always say on my forays into this site aupporting a club is an addiction and not a quest for silverware. Being well run well in the medium and long term bring the pots. Just to name drop I remember interviewing Gibbs some time ago when he was on the board and being really impressed by his fianancial acumen and the problems that building a new stadium that would mount for a few years.
    Just think if you are in your 20s you have another 50 or so years to endure the ups and downs.
    MC

  • nicky

    There is nothing easier in life than criticising something you cannot alter for the better. Whether it is an employer, an individual sportsman or a sports team. Even, in history, the actions of your country during a conflict.
    Freud would probably have the answer that it’s something inbred in humans to express some dissatisfaction with anything less than their idea of perfection…..and even when it’s perfect, for some it will be necessary to criticise some minor aspect to appease their need for some hidden perfection.
    The newspapers play a crucial role particularly in football where a published post mortem on the day following a match is invariably read, discussed and cricised by the fans most of whom fail to appreciate that the report is merely the opinion of one individual who watched the same game as they did.
    Healthy, constructive criticism is to be applauded. It only becomes dangerous situation when a totally anti-attitude takes over and a destructive flavour starts to infest every view.
    At Arsenal, this season, we have already seen the unpleasant side of criticism, especially about the Manager. This should stop, at least until the end of the season when the Club’s position will be determined FOR ONE SEASON….NOT fOR EVER.

  • Philbet

    The ‘blogasphere’ as you describe it quickly becoming over run with ‘hit whore’ sites attemting to sell advertising and other revenue building links, If you scroll down Just Arsenal blogs, it quickly becomes apparent which sites are making multiple controversial repetative headline grabbing statements,the same statement can then be found on a simerler sites repeated adinfinitum, genuine blogs like this one do not court advertising and a more balanced approach is taken,some have factions and pander to those factions but all in all, usually have the best interests of the club at heart.
    The anti Wenger/board faction is no where near as large as some would make out, the frustrated and concerned faction has many more members but as for now these remain loyal to the management and club,the true loyalist who would support were Ian Dowie made manager are still in the majority.
    I honestley saw one of the hit whore sites recently had the headline ‘Is Theo Walcott realy good enough for The Arsenal?’ I ask you !!!
    The starting England right winger who is frightingly fast so much so that every oposing manager devotes training sessions solely to help his team stop him performing, quite where the standard of player who is better than Walcott exists is beyond me, they must think you whistle up a no 92 bus, offer three or four of its passenger 2K a week and one of them will be a better player than Englands starting right winger……..
    The fact is the article was simply a controversial hotchpotch of creative journolism written by someone with little interest in Arsenal FC only in generating traffic for the site.A totally worthless read.

  • Mandy dodd

    Loved reading that, says it all really! How to sum up the ideas of the haters and trolls in just a few paragraphs. Before I get all self righteous, there have been times when I have thought FFS why don’t we get a keeper, defender, specialist coach, vieira, keown, DB, more calcium in their diets , why have we missed out again on player x, all part of being a fan I guess. We can make knee jerk reactions with inpunity,wenger cannot.
    But, not for the first time, untold is to be thanked for the increasingly rare gift of perspective

  • LRV

    Don I will enroll on your course poronto. To the point, this! Well done.

  • Domhuaille

    Thanks to everyone who liked this article and posted positive comments about it. I wrote it in the vain hope that the AAA trolls would come here and try and tear it apart…thus proving the point of the article BUT I should have known that UA is for intelligent and erudite people like Walter,Tony,Mandy,Bob,Dogface et.al and not for LeGrove types.
    Hopefully the moaners and groaners will lose their raison d’etre as AFC start to gel and play like we know they can. I am super happy to see AOC, Ryo, Park, Per, Frimpong, Coquelin, Wilshere, Ramsey, Benayoun, Arteta, Santos, Gervinho, Jenkinson, Ramsey et.al. coming in or up to the Gunners squad and trying to displace the established names…it can only get better as we build a first team and skilled ,motivated squad players to substitute for them. We will be remarkably strong when Vermaelen,Diaby,Sagna and Wilshere return…but wait….they aren’t good enough so we’ll have to bring in 450 superstars from Real,Barca and wherever to finally allow LeProf to find the plot again!!!

  • pete

    i often go to this site, it is insightful and well written, well done.
    didn’t find this article very funny but thats not important.
    please don’t write “retard” it was unnecessary and vulgar.
    this kind of language brings down the tone of the site
    that is all

  • Mandy dodd

    Think you are correct, this arsenal team is going to get a lot better! Really looking forward to seeing ryo, as well as the progress of frimpong, coq and ox amongst others. Hope jenkinson develops into a rb who can challenge bac, I know he is raw but he seems to have strength and a very impressive engine. Since wenger bought him, he will have technique as well, we usually do ok with rbs and lbs.
    But hang on , I am getting ahead of myself, this team is missing something vital, we were told we had to sign Scottie Parker! How can this team develop without him, despite the fact that coq got the better of him for much of our recent encounter, so much so that Sandro had to be called on to help sp out?

  • Mahdain

    guys about that the anti-Arsene brigade were trying to bring to the emirates..it just blowed up on their faces..look at this tweet by the ones who organised it whining about an email/reply he got from the club and i have to say i like it http://www.twitlonger.com/show/dk3dvf
    that`ll teach em a lesson lol 😀

  • Mandy dodd

    That banner, ok people have the right to protest, but I think some just want headlines, and sometimes to a really desperate degree,, probably with aims more in common with Katie price, Paris Hilton or Harry redknapp than the average arsenal supporter. Still, looks like they have had their fifteen minutes…….

  • Mahdain

    here is the twitter account of the guy who organised..says a lot when he says he is going to take the stupid banner to the media..what an idiot
    http://twitter.com/#!/arsenalfcnotplc

  • Ugandan Goon

    @Don,
    Err… thanks, but you are preaching to the choir here “…Ask the cretins and morons who troll the club’s websites and seek someone to blame to please suggest dramatic and lifesaving solutions to these issues, since the current management cannot or will not act..” that’s me!
    The board should continue the arsenalisation of the ems by tearing wenger a new arse!- they call it banter over here- stay tuned more to come.

  • goonergerry

    The vast majority of gooners I meet are highly critical of our purchasing policy during the last 2 transfer windows- yet none of them could be described as advocating the purchasing of fantasy lists of players which you suggest. They are asking why we could not purchase the few players we needed players in a way that integrated them into pre-season preparations- like ManU did- quite reasonable I think. Suggesting that the club only knew that Fabregas and Nasri would leave this transfer window at the end of August is disingenuous.
    Arguing that all those who disagree with the Gazidis party line are cretins just makes you look an idiot- not others. By the way- arsine does have the final say on every purchase- and every sale- if he does not want the player- it doesn’t happen. He might not not be fully responsible- but he is accountable.

  • Naren

    McMahon,
    An interesting article but for one statement-Arsene does indeed have a policy regarding the senior players. It is for players over 32 though, not 30.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/aug/26/arsene-wenger-sebastien-squillaci-arsenal
    Moreover, Pires was indeed offered only an one year extension to his contract, which along with the CL Final tragedy, led to his departure.
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4161/is_20060528/ai_n16436018/
    Arsene refused to change the offer, which was in line with the above said policy, as Pires was 33, not 30, at that time.
    Perhaps he has changed his mind, given that Arteta was offered a four year contract being 30.

  • Domhuaille

    Goonergerry….Where did you get the information that AW has the final say? I have tried to find something definitive on the AFC website, on numerous related AFC blogsites and never found a definitive statement that AW has made saying he has the final say, so if you can supply something other than your post, I’d be eternally grateful.
    I never argued that anyone who disagrees with the Gazidis or AFC party line are wrong to do so. What I am saying is that along with your priviledge to disagree, you should exercise your responsibility to offer some positive solutions, even if nobody at AFC is listening.
    Naren, thanks for the articles and your supplying those facts…I had based my statement on Arsene’s past habits with Campbell,Gallas and recently with Arteta. Perhaps he is starting to change his ideas?
    While it is easy for any supporter to say that we didn’t do well in our last 2 transfer windows, they should appreciate that AW has a specific philosophy in entering the transfer market and within those constraints, he usually does very well. Saying we should have bought this guy or that guy does not mean we didn’t attempt to but simply shows that the target didn’t want to leave his Club or that the price was too high or that the players was English and overpriced or didn’t fit the Arsenal pattern, etc. This isn’t FA Football manager, it is the harsh world of big money Clubs cornering the transfer market and of British Clubs inflating their prices when Arsenal (or another big 4) come calling.

  • Naren

    Domhuaille,
    Yes, the Arteta transfer hints at Arsene changing his policy regarding senior players just as re-signing Campbell and Lehmann shows that Arsene is open to re-signing former players, something he was supposed to be against. Recently emerged facts that Arsene bid 20 million GBP for Reina in the summer of 2010 and matched Man Utd’s offer for both Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, at club record bids(though both turned down Arsenal) show that Arsene is not that stubborn as he is said to be. I don’t know how much of Arsene is the Arsene that the media potrays…
    PS-Are you Domhuaille or Don McMahon? Or are both the same person? If so, why use two different names?

  • Anne

    @Dom:

    I enjoyed this. Good work. 🙂

  • Anne

    @Mahdain:

    EXCELLENT links once again. Please keep them coming! 🙂

  • Anne

    @Tony:

    I think it’s a very good question, where exactly all of these trolls come from. Particularly the ones who post similar comments multiple times under different identities. One wonders how they have the time, or why they’ve chosen to devote so much time and effort to this particular agenda. Do they have jobs? Or is THIS their job? I do wonder sometimes 🙂