Welcome to the GunnersoreArse blog. Being blogged 918.74 kilometers (in a straight line) from the Emirates Stadium.
The subject for todays article was born during a discussion on another Arsenal blog a few days ago. It raised several questions which can arise during a debate between two people of opposing beliefs and whether it is possible for either to admit to being in the wrong. It reminded me of someone who is an non-smoker telling a smoker that the habit was not good for the health. A worthy cause you may say, and yes it is, but why impose ones beliefs on another because you think you have the moral high ground, or is it self-righteousness? For instance, I have no problem with Jehovah’s witnesses, they have their beliefs and good for them, but I draw the line at them knocking on my door to preach their ways because they think it is better.
What if I painted a picture of Jesus Christ with an erection, my belief being that he was just a ordinary man with normal emotions and needs and that includes him having had sexual desires. My perspective would be that it’s just fun and nothing serious. However, another person who held JC as a higher deity would feel offended that I had depicted the object of their worship in such a degrading way. And straight away you have two opposing perspectives and the resulting conflict. In some Arsenal circles today, to criticise Wenger or to suggest that there may be a better manager than him out there somewhere is deemed as ‘blasphemy’ because the belief is that there is nobody better. Whereby my opinion is that one day soon we are going to have to find a manager to replace Wenger who is at least as good as him but hopefully, will be better than him. You see the problem?
On the surface a simple difference of opinion, but the issue goes deep into the psychology of human beings. The basis of that psychology is often the inability for someone to admit they are wrong or someone who thinks they are in the right and expect you to eat humble pie and admit you are wrong. When in actuality, there is no right or wrong, just an opinion which differs. But unfortunately it can often be taken to the extremes.
This is how the discussion went.
It started with me agreeing with a post saying that Arsène hasn’t changed, because he didn’t need to, he just has more money to spend.
My adversary then challenged me with this comment:
NB I remember after the Everton game you said Wenger can’t motivate his players and cant change tactics unlike Rodgers. You called him outthought and outdated and should be replaced by Klopp. Good to be able to change mind ehh. People here are very open minded contrary to what some people say.
I challenged him/her to find the proof. Perhaps this was my first mistake in the interaction.
He/she then went on to copy and paste several comments I had made a few months previously on another blog.
April 7, 2014 at 9:29 am
After reflecting on yesterdays game and a few of the previous, I’ve now come to the conclusion that the light at the end of the tunnel has finally been switched off. (this was my response the day after the defeat away to Everton)
April 7, 2014 at 9:49 am
Wenger isn’t just like a broken record, he’s the cassette tape that gets all tangled up in your car stereo!
A question was put forward later on the same day:
April 7, 2014 at 11:16 am
If ‘pool beat man city next week, then it think they might well win it.
What’s the difference between us and them? Discuss.
My answer was:
April 7, 2014 at 11:25 am
Liverpool: A manager who can motivate and change tactics, Suarez, Sterling and Sturidge, a midfield dynamo (Gerard)
But this next one was the one that really took the biscuit, my adversary really thought I was being serious when I wrote this:
April 9, 2014 at 11:48 am
I think we have to start dismissing previous evocations of ‘classicism’ from the previous decade as a romantic sentiment in disguise. While clearly owing much to Wenger, Klopp could introduce a recategorisation of Wenger art in general. Bringing about a process of our traditional aesthetics but introducing an impact which radically alters the notion that Wengers culture holds within itself substantial extremes of ego and tragedy.
Wenger culture has been an affair of a very narrow reason and what is essential is that Wenger culture be revitalised through new exemplars. So during the period of modernism the term ‘classicism’ can undergo several simultaneous metamorphoses to evoke an historical style (generally considered totalitarian) to enable a psychological disposition and to echo a transcendent truth which denotes an historical style and a failure of nerve. A revitalisation of ‘Wenger classicism’ is largely the result of the collapse of the ‘Wenger mythology’ for within this the aesthetic trust has disappeared.
The emphasis now must be on the new and this needs to be articulated in terms of formal transformations. In the space created by the collapse of the most recent mythology, contemporary football will seek to install a tangible order.
So these were the comments which I’d made and which apparently now meant that I had to admit to being in the wrong. Because now I had agreed with something positive about Wenger. You see the problem?
The last comment apparently is where my adversary thought I had suggested that AW should be replaced by Klopp. Where in fact, I was drunk and responding pretentiously to something I thought had been pretentious earlier in the thread. So it was read out of context.
I asked him/her to take back the accusations to which they replied:
’”Im not taking anything back NB but ill leave you people alone. Get this thing thou NB, I dont mind people changing minds. What i dont like is when they cant be humliate enough to admit they were wrong, instead they choose to pretend they always been behind the main man. Thats what I reacted to when I read the posts here today. And face it, its not first time you use the tongue in cheek or drunk excuse.”
I use drunkenness and tongue in cheek excuses all the time…. I have to, otherwise people would soon realise that I’m just an idiot Arsenal supporter who has no idea about football and the fact that I often don’t take it too seriously. A brief discussion followed.
And finally my adversary summed up and said, “And yet again you refuse to admit anything wrong.”
To which I replied: “ if you are waiting for me to agree that I was wrong……. you’ve got a long fucking wait mate”
And the reply came back from the prosecutor, “Yea and don’t I fucking know that now.”
And why should I have admitted to being in the wrong? In one of those statements I confessed to admiring another manager and certain players in his team. In two others I make what I thought were humorous remarks for a cheap laugh and the final one, well, if any of you can fathom what the fuck I was talking about, please let me know. If people get pleasure from others admitting they are in the wrong, that’s fine, whatever spices their chorizo. But for me that is the problem of holding a moral high ground or being self-righteous, no room for manoeuvre and eventually they have to go that little bit further and be smug, because by admitting that you were wrong, they now think they were always right. It goes back to my assertion that in these discussions there is no right or wrong, just a difference of opinions. Opinions that can’t really be proved right or wrong, because there is no real answer. You see the problem?
It finally transpires that my adversary was referring all along to a sentence in the original post of the blog but failed to mention this right at the beginning. The original poster had remarked that:
“We are all wrong from time to time. But it’s not alright not to accept being wrong, look for an excuse for your wrongness and hide behind it.”
That comes from a position of feeling in the right and also alludes to the whole psychological thing about the difficulty in admitting one is wrong. It is deeply embedded in human psychology and causes a ‘cognitive dissonance’. Dissonance is a disquieting experience because to hold two ideas that contradict each other is to flirt with absurdity and, as psychologists have observed, we humans are creatures who spend our lives trying to convince ourselves that our existence is not absurd. At the heart of it is a theory about how people strive to make sense out of contradictory ideas and lead lives that are, at least in their own minds, consistent and meaningful. This cognitive process affects everything we believe in, and we often justify our mistakes by self-justification. This can affect those who feel that they are in the right just as much as those who may be in the wrong. You see the problem?
Fortunately the interaction finished without any malice or nastiness. But it was one of those that could have gone either way and highlights some of the dangers on blogs where certain comments or opinions are taken too seriously or viewed out of context and therefore cause offence, and then you have someone like me who is not prepared to admit to being in the wrong. The psychology of human beings, fucking drives me crazy sometimes and that interestingly, was how it ended, my adversary accepted a plea of insanity as the causal factor for my comments and opinions. Drunkenness and a tongue firmly in the cheek were not, however, acceptable excuses.
So what is the lesson here, if any? I’m not sure really… making sure there is less ambiguity in comments? Having more flexibility towards others opinions? Trying not to be too serious about such an emotional subject as the Arsenal or Arséne Wenger? Avoiding certain blogs all together? Or not believing in something so passionately and without flexibility that you are left at risk of being self-righteous? Or trying to be more aware as to your psychological reasons for justifying illogical arguments. It’s a complicated process of human interaction but is something we often see on social media and to understand it is extremely difficult. I’ll let people come to their own conclusions.It is open to discussion. But then again, I could be totally wrong with my assumptions in this post. But will I admit to being wrong, that is the question?
Anyway, enough of such frivolity, this afternoon sees the start of the season with the Community Shield. COYG’s
All characters in this article, including the author, are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Right, time for copious amounts of wine and some spicy chorizo eaten with a large dollop of humble pie, then I’ll put on my tin hat, bullet proof vest and cricket testicle protector and sit in my bunker and wait.
GunnersoreArse, your glossy Sunday supplement, never knowingly provocative but sometimes getting it wrong. Published every Sunday morning at 9am GMT. Try it with a nice glass of chilled Chianti! The Arts and Culture Sunday supplement is here on page two: http://wp.me/p4PyIS-N
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