The draw for the last sixteen in Champions League was full of disappointments. The pretty lady with the ‘do me’ heels and the shouty voice wasn’t there, worse still, Steve McManaman (looking like a supply teacher itching to break out his guitar and perform an acoustic version of a…
‘Twitter is full of strangers whom you wish were your friends, whereas Facebook is full of friends - who you wish you’d never met’.
That’s poetic isn’t it? (& I just about remember what it felt like to believe it).
I’d say that the main difference between the worlds two most popular social networking sites is; if you call someone a “C*nt” on Facebook & tell them that you’re going to “fuck their mum” THEY KNOW YOU! They know where you live & they’ll come to your house and punch you- RIGHT ON THE NOSE.
For the ‘Non-Tweeters’ amongst you, the above statement may sound rash, uncalled for & even frankly absurd, but believe me it’s the standard retort from someone who disagrees with your opinion in the world of ‘Twitter’.
‘Twitter’ accounts are freely available to anyone (feel free to substitute ‘anyone’ for ‘any fuckwit’) with an E-mail address. The site has no moderators or filters for content. In fact there are no safeguards in place (which would prevent users from using certain words that others may find insulting or language that is in fact illegal).
Herein lies the problem. We can all agree that everybody has the right to an ‘opinion’ & that ‘Twitter’ gives us an open forum in which we can express them. Sadly over the last few months, certain events have opened up a dirty great big can of very ugly worms & we’re now being faced with people opening accounts with the sole purpose of abusing others.
‘Twitter’ (for me) is a site where people can interact with others who share mutual interests, a lot of my friends & family have accounts & I’ve met many people whom I would now consider friends. These 140 character bursts of text are there for all to see & a ‘#hashtag’ or a ‘RT’ will mean that whatever we say to someone directly, may well reach a much wider audience.
It’s fair to say that not everyone who reads what I write will agree with me, but that’s true of any medium. What separates ‘Twitter’ from most, is the opportunity to respond instantly with your own view on whatever the subject may be. That’s one of the best things about ‘Twitter’– it opens up any subject to debate, where people from all over the world can join in & give you their point of view.
Just recently though, I’ve seen just about everything ‘pop-up’ in these tweets, from death threats to the vilest racial & homophobic abuse. It’s worth remembering that 90% of the time these people are being subjected to abuse for simply expressing ‘their opinion’. The strangest thing is, that on almost every occasion the insulting message is coming from a stranger, someone who’s hiding behind an @name & a fake photograph, whom you’ll never meet & you can rarely reason with.
The ‘weapon of choice’ against these spectacularly named ‘Trolls’ is the ‘BLOCK’ button. I quickly realised that there’s no point trying to ‘shout down’ someone who makes a pastime out of handing out faceless insults – You can’t reason with the unreasonable, so why even bother trying? Just press ‘BLOCK’ & move on, no amount of persuasive or even (in some cases) combative argument is going to change ‘their opinion’. If someone takes the time to draft a response (opposing what you’ve just said) what are the chances of them changing their mind? Once you block them they may carry on with their little rants – seething at the thought of you dismissing them, they may even point their little (faux) Twitter-friends in your direction, but so what? Who are they? You don’t know them either & frankly if they’re the kind of people who want to argue with strangers on the Internet – You don’t want to!!
These ‘Trolls’ are feeding from you & by responding you’re only serving-up exactly what they were looking for, on a silver salver.
Twitter will of course ‘self-police’, but self-policing doesn’t mean egging on those who ‘DO’ share your opinion to join in with the argument thus escalating it further. What it does mean is, if some Dick’ead thinks that it’s acceptable to insult someone on your ‘timeline’ – you join in by BLOCKING THEM TOO! Let them talk to themselves, eventually they’ll get bored & fuck off back under their stone, leaving the good people of ‘Twitter’ to get back to having a laugh!
If someone has such a sorry little life that they spend all day seeking out people to bully & argue with on the Internet - They’re a Dick’ead! Setting up numerous accounts as a way ‘getting at’ someone with no comeback!? - They’re a Dick’ead, a cowardly friendless DICK’EAD with too much time on their hands.
It’s all about your personal choice, if I’m ‘Following’ somebody & their opinions (whether right or wrong) are starting to grate on me, then I simply ‘Unfollow’ them. I remove them from my life – an option that would come in very handy in the real world. Twitter isn’t the real world; you would never overhear someone’s conversation in the pub & ‘wade-in’ all guns blazing throwing insults around, because things are very different when you’re face-to-face & you’d lose teeth!
I’m not trying to come across as a paragon of virtue, but I conduct myself on ‘Twitter’ the same way as I do in everyday life, I’m loud, sarcastic & sometimes I can go too far. I like a laugh, in fact (& some would say annoyingly) I will try to find the joke in almost everything. I never go out of my way to hurt someone, but if I do cross that line I’m the first person to hold up my hands & apologise.
The one main difference between myself & @Fino76 is my mouth and my brain don’t always work in perfect harmony with one another. Sometimes I speak before thinking, but when you’re on-line you have the option of reading through what you’re about to say as many times as you like, you have the chance to ask yourself “Do I really mean that?” or “Is it worth it?” before pressing ‘TWEET’.
I wish more people would read through & press ‘CANCEL’, I wish more people would laugh in the face of the lonely attention-seeking Dick’ead keyboard warriors - ‘BLOCK’ them, forget them & get back to having a laugh about how shit Stewart Downing is, or posting blurry/heavily filtered photographs of what they had for tea!
If we don’t, things are only going to get worse & every ounce of enjoyment is going to sucked out of it. Ask yourselves “Can I really live in a world where I have to do a bit of work or have a social life?” I know I can’t.
PS: If you don’t agree with what I’ve just said, don’t bother contacting me via Twitter to tell me.
Following on from ‘Charity - The Mancunian way’.
Here’s the finished video.
“Where there’s blame – There’s a claim”
That line is now synonymous with the ‘Blame-culture’ & exploitation of ‘Insurance law’, that has seeped across the pond from the US over the last decade.
There are no longer ‘Accidents’ everything is now an ‘Incident’ – there is always ‘Someone to blame’. Even if, at the time you didn’t even consider that somebody else could be culpable, there are lawyers who will go back 3 years & build a case for you. That’s nice of them isn’t it?
Anyone, who believes the adverts that tell you you’re going to receive 100% of the settlement, must be a bit daft. It’s big business & it’s the business of squeezing as much as possible out of insurance companies, whilst convincing your client that you’ve got them the best deal.
But, If you think that it’s bad in the UK, believe me - you’ve seen nothing.
This practice & the pursuit of potential cases, is the subject of Pablo Trapero’s Argentinean Crime film ‘Carancho’ (The Vulture).
There are a staggering 120,000 people injured on Argentinean roads each year, resulting in around 8000 deaths. Behind a number of these ‘Incidentes’ there are ‘Lawyers’ who are willing to go to any means necessary to not only make a case, but steal the vast majority of the pay-out before the victim sees a single Peso.
‘Carancho’ dips into this murky world, where Insurance companies are being ‘shaken down’ by Lawyers, helped by corrupt medical professionals & even the Police.
The film is centred on seasoned Ambulance chaser ‘Sosa’ (Ricardo Darín). Having lost his license to practice law, Sosa is trapped in a job working for ‘The Foundation’ - stealing from people at their most vulnerable.
Although he seems like the ideal man for this job, not only because of his skills in manipulation (of the Law, the victims & their families) but also because he’s managed to maintain an air of compassion & charm, you can still sense the underlying good in him.
This charm doesn’t go unnoticed when he meets ‘Luján’ (Martina Gusman), a young doctor working night-shifts on an Ambulance (which specialises in picking up victims of road traffic accidents), to supplement her income.
Luján has her own problems & her meeting with Sosa has a profound effect on both their outlooks. He’s known for a while that he desperately needs to get out of this dark business, this desire to leave is given extra resonance, when an attempt to help out a friend goes horribly wrong.
Unfortunately for Sosa, with any story involving the ‘Mob’ or a corrupt organisation, when you’re making a lot of money for anyone in a higher power they’re not just going to let you walk away.
‘Carancho’ is dark, atmospheric & distinctly claustrophobic (90% of the scenes are shot at night under streetlights or in dank hospital corridors – setting the tone & mood perfectly to the subject matter).
The performances from Darín (who I only came across for the first time recently in the brilliant ‘The Secret in Their Eyes’) & Gusman are superb, Darín is a real star.
This film isn’t for everyone. Even in English it would never be a mainstream hit, but after initially finding it a little humourless & hard going I’ve found that it’s lingered long in the memory.
So, next time you see an Ad’ on TV with some former ‘Soap-Star’ or you’re stopped by someone with a clip-board on the high street – consider who you’re getting into bed with!
The idea being, that anybody could turn up on the day & get involved with the filming of a promotional video. People from all walks of life (including 5 girls from Florida, 3 Athletico Bilbao fans & the ‘Happy Mondays’ very own Rowetta) turned up & had a mini rave on the fountain- it was as good as it sounds.
The video should be ready in the next 4-6 weeks & will be fired at you from all directions.
Ted’s harvest fails & his financial woes force him to sell Joey to Cavalry officer Captain Nicholls (Tom Hiddlestone) young Albert reluctantly yields and is left at home devastated, as the older boys go off to fight for King & Country.
Although ‘WAR HORSE’ is a little long (at almost 2 & ½ hours), & slightly saggy in parts, the film as a whole is thoroughly entertaining, if I wanted to wear my cynical hat, I could say it’s also a little bit schmaltzy & clichéd at times – but, so what?