Crossroads ~ Playing the man

Date: 2 Apr 2012

Author: Tim

Pic. credit ~

In many contact sports today you may have heard the term, “Playing the man”, or some derivative of it, used. In essence it calls into question the sportsmanlike conduct of a player whose purpose is not to play the game but rather to “take out” or hinder an opposing player who is considered a threat by one’s manager.

On the field of sport it is frowned upon, in its extreme it is punishable by professional fines and playing suspensions for the offenders… in the OVC it is the national sport.

The Right Honourable Baroness Margaret Thatcher LG, OM, PC, once said;

I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”

A statement that I happen to believe and subscribe to ardently…

For as long as anyone in the OVC can possibly recall it has been the way of things, a person comes up with an idea, a concept, a question, a premise and immediately, in a great many quarters, they are set upon and ridiculed, lambasted, hounded, insulted and reviled. The IDEA is not even addressed for the most part, whatever concept they are proposing or theory they are asking for opinion on receives no “informed” comment but is resoundingly, unerringly and completely trashed but not in the manner of a rational, nor even barely civilised, rebuttal but more from a personal mud-slinging point of view.

If this “mud-slinging” is at all defensible then it seems always to be on the basis of “freedom of speech”… a worthy concept but even those who bleat about it the loudest must surely have heard, at some time in the past, the old saying that “with freedom comes responsibility” and, if they haven’t, or they choose to deny they have, then they are doing themselves no good at all, let alone anyone else trying to read about the matter.

Several examples that have surfaced of late:

Whaaa? OK, thats the newest, stupidest thing Ive heard you say yet ***. ****** asked me a question, and i answered it. What. The. F**k are you smoking over there?!

This answer could probably have been answered in a more intelligent and less insulting manner.

just because a lot of people LIKE you or like what you do, doesnt make you correct. Not by a long shot.”

Personal dislike rising above the facts and evidences? Perhaps having a lot of people “like” you doesn’t make you “correct” but it certainly makes you “influential”.

What I see here is a profound lack of understanding of what the process of evolution actually is, and how it works. Without going into detail–no. Just, no.”

Nice, a first class cop-out. What about backing up the No-just-no with something factual? If there is a perceived “profound lack of understanding” correct it with facts and the truth of the matter.

You don’t need to accept, understand or agree with my examples, you just need to turn on your computer and go for a wander around the online community, I’m sure you can fill a page in half an hour or so. Then, quite probably like me, you may well be left wondering whether it’s even worth turning the computer on again. This is not a matter of making a point about manners, about showing respect or about being intelligent; it’s got much more to do with having self-respect.

Being fully aware that there will probably be commentators who will feel the need to mention the timeworn adage, “Rather than whining about the way things are do something about it” I can only say that I would dearly love to do something about it but for that I would need the cooperation of around…oh, say a thousand community members. If that happened then we could change things but until such a thing becomes possible there’s the way we WANT things to be and there’s the way things ARE.


Another recent comment that, on the surface of it would seem to be relatively pointless as far as imparting any NEW information went like this:

This group and the community as a whole is inudated with assholes and bullies like * who go out of their way to harass, flame and harm others,”

The one useful note in the comment refers to “bullies” and is the recognition of a primary and core problem within the situation. Thus it can be clearly seen, unfortunately and as much as we might not wish it so, there is a certain amount of “unpleasantness” , even overt bullying, that goes with the territory and it is a well known fact that online bullying can, and does, have disastrous and even fatal consequences.


Until self-respect takes the place of ego, until rationality takes the place of pride, until common sense and common courtesy take the place of belligerent self-indulgence we are stuck in a quagmire of chaotic rambling that delivers very little real benefit and even those who ARE trying to work for some benefit to the community are doomed to be drowned in what one commentator called “a rational anarchy”. “Rational Anarchy”, an interesting concept but hardly useful since one side of the equation negates the other… perhaps rather than “rational anarchy” we might employ the term “chaotic adherence”, it would certainly seem to me to be a more accurate description.

All in all, if anything is to be achieved, if anything is to agreed on, if anything is to be employed for the betterment of the community, then “playing the man” must be taken out of the game, either that or we just enjoy the ride on the maniacal merry-go-round ad infinitum and ad nauseum.

There is, naturally, the VERY real probability that the removal of the “Don’t worry about the idea, attack the person” mindset is impossible to achieve, for a large number of reasons. The “belligerence” of certain commentators, the acidic and insulting arrogance and meaningless rhetoric may well be the mask that the REAL person hides behind on-line in order to assuage their feelings of impotence or unimportance in their real lives. Perhaps the people who are so eager and ready to sling the barbs and throw out the obnoxious comments are so ineffectual in real life that they must get behind a keyboard and ‘role-play’ being “someone” on-line. Either that or there are a great many people out there who must get their lights punched out on a VERY regular basis.

In the beginning of the film “The Shawshank Redemption”, if memory serves Morgan Freeman’s character, as the narrator, says:

“Someone once said the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I’d agree with the second part.”

I would suggest that the same may be said of the Online Vampire Community, or perhaps I am simply bashing my head into a wall in trying to make a difference.

Copyright TB 2012

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