By Don McMahon
In 2003 we had the INVINCIBLES, in 2008 we had the CL FINALISTS, and in 2012-13 we have the DISPOSABLES. We are no longer the GUNNERS or the ARSENAL to many of our pseudo-supporters, but simply a collection of LOSERS, INGRATES, PROFITEERS, DEADWOOD, UNINSPIRED, and INDIFFERENT individuals. This sadly does not reflect the reality but the mentality of too many of our supporters and is true, not just for Gooners but for many followers of Football worldwide.
What litany of inane and often insane rants are we constantly treated to across the AFC blogs? Here are a few examples I have paraphrased:
¨Wenger needs to stop paying useless bench warmers enormous salaries and get rid of that deadwood if we are to avoid almost certain relegation¨
¨Most of our players are shit and need to be offloaded as soon as possible, for whatever we can get for them.¨
¨G******o is totally clueless and is a waste of money, R****y is an incompetent fool who will never be anything but 3rd class. ¨
¨AW has totally lost it and should do the decent thing, resigning sooner than later….he is a shell of the man he once was and should retire to Alsace and ignominy.¨
I could go on all day with the offal excreted by numerous ¨in the know¨ Fantasy Football experts but the main point is that these human beings who happen to be Arsenal are being described as if they were disposable razorblades or milk cartons and not people whose lives are crucially entwined with the Club we all love.
This is a prefect reflection of the devaluation of these persons by blinkered and rancorous pseudo-supporters, who seek to blame, finger-point, demean and destroy their humanity. If these same critics were treated at their jobs in the same manner by peers or superiors, it would end up very badly for the perpetrators in court, but it is not only tolerated but encouraged by the AAA and media rodents. I have no issue with constructive criticism and engage in it myself on occasion but this attacking of a person’s integrity and character is far more pernicious and pestilent.
We all have a few bad days at the office and we all have our off days, when much is expected but little delivered but nobody has the right to dispose of us in a few sentences like we were surplus to requirements like weeds in a garden. In actual fact, these pessimistic pundits and perverse persecutors ARE the real weeds in the Arsenal’s garden. Everyone’s opinion counts but when opinion becomes inhumanity, it is no longer acceptable social intercourse, it is cruelty and disenfranchisement which soon leads to a terribly narrow and facist view of the Football world. It is seen in the following behaviours:
a) The vilification of opposing fans as animals or sub-humans because they live in or near an area that supports our adversaries are are therefore, by definition inferior to us.
b) The denigration of one or two individuals week in and week out because, in the jaundiced eyes of their critics, they are not worthy of ¨wearing the sacred colours¨ or donning the jersey and are really better off being abandoned to their collective fates.
c) The ignoring of inconvenient truths like the fact that many players have families to support and a very narrow career window in which to prepare for the endless years of non-Football ¨retirement¨.
d) The erroneous belief that the money they make is sufficient incentive to perform to the level demanded by these fickle fan-boys eternally and unerringly each week, regardless of their psychological, familial or physical condition. Interestingly enough, research seems to indicate that very high compensation DOES NOT correlate directly or indirectly to job, life or personal satisfaction, anywhere near as much as being valued does.
e) Because these deniers supposedly pay high ticket prices, gives them the irrevocable right to treat others like excrement and to deny them the basic respect and tolerance normally reserved for people we meet on the street.
Most of us have had the feeling of being disposable, or if not that, then replaceable, at work or socially or in other contexts, and regardless of what the circumstances were, it is a demeaning and unpleasant feeling to endure. Why would any reasonable person want to go to such extremes and dehumanize others, unless they are fully dehumanized themselves!
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