Friday, 24 August 2012

Why the Twitter and Facebook vitriol?

I have great difficulty in getting my head around some of the outpourings on social websites from people towards total strangers.

I have noticed a number of posters on Facebook, who have amended their names to include LUFC (Leeds United Football Club), call Chairman Ken Bates all the names under the sun, with several regularly baying "Die Bates die".

They don't know the man. 

They have more than likely never met him. 

And they certainly fail to realise that the unpopular decisions (as far as the football fanatics are concerned) he might make are based purely the commercial ones any person in charge of the potential money machine that football in the UK has become would make. After all, he rightly wants to try a leverage a return on any investment he has made.

The hoo-haa on Twitter, when some of the team GB sports people failed to live up to expectations during the Olympics was, frankly, deplorable. There is even less of a chance that those posting had even heard of the athletes before the games.

I was upset for both the fabulous Rebecca Adlington and the equally fabulous Tom Daley when they only achieved bronze. I was upset because, yes, we didn't get gold, but more so for the commitment the two athletes had given to their sport over the past four years, only to be beaten to the punch by, yes, perhaps superior sportspeople hence they won gold, but by sportspeople who are themselves given the opportunity in their homeland to do nothing but train for their sport. 

Rebecca had a living to earn in between her training, and Tom had exams. Neither had huge sums of money in the bank to enable them just to train between Olympics. And I, personally, was thrilled and proud they appeared on the medal rostrum.

We all have people we don't like, be they in the public spotlight, or on the domestic front. I was taught by my parents not to use the word "hate". And I don't "hate".

However, not hating someone doesn't prevent me from disliking people or finding them totally objectionable.

For example, the immediate personae who come to mind as being firmly off my Christmas card list are George Galloway, Nick Griffin, Vanessa Redgrave, Dana and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran. The reason I don't like them is because they are, to different degrees, racists and bigots, the later of whom is an acknowledged throughout the world, and even by the harassed academics in his own country, as a total basket case. 

However, unlike the Ayatollas, all of whom are quite objectionable to a normal person's way of life, I'm not going to misquote religious rhetoric and call for his public execution in the they do the moment they hear something they don't agree with - for example, they disgracefully made Salman Rushdie's life a misery, calling for his death just because of some words he wrote in a book. 

Would a normal, balanced person carry on that way? 

Calling for someone's death over a few words in a book?  One they probably have never read.

You don't see the chairman of the Caravan Club issuing a Fatwah on Jeremy Clarkson! 

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