A recurring theme, sadly

14 09 2012

I was looking around twitter this morning when I noticed that somebody I knew had tweeted a very short tweet. It was just a hashtag;  #selfpitycity.

Irritating people add hashtags to their tweets in order to show just how knowing and “with it” they are. In the case of the above example that’s a depressing thought. The hashtag above is not a whimsical expression or cutting satire, it’s a expression to show how much one person despises a certain group of people. In case you didn’t know “Self Pity City” is a disparaging term for the Liverpool area.

Unfortunately a lot of people use twitter for this purpose. They think they have the power to crush any argument with some crudley chislled words. In their minds they’re smart talking putdown merchants from a shite American sit-com. In reality they come across as arseholes.  Condensing ideas is a natural part of human existence, like when single words such as murder, holocaust or genocide become loaded with images. The condensing of ideas that occurs on twitter is not the natural evolution of language, it’s horrible.

The trouble happens because three ideas interconnect; 1) Twitter allows easy contact between people. 2) Twitter forces people to condense ideas in to 140 characters 3) When the Banter Bus is rolling no emotive subject is off limits. When the three ideas interconnect horribly two things happen clinical insults are issued as words have no power and people look callous and abnoxious, as Stan Collymore found out.

The fact the hashtag #selfpitycity is three small words is what makes it such a nauseating statement. It’s not only the fact somone I’ve met actually typed those words it was the time at which he decided to type them; roughly the same time as the findings of the Hillsborough Panel were becoming known. He thought this was an adequate comment to make because he’s a Manchester United fan and he hates self-pitying scousers (well apart from Wayne Rooney of course). The phrase may only be three short words but he was saying quite a lot;

“I couldn’t give a shit about Hillsborough, I hate those scousers and their self pity. Why can’t they just man up and get a grip? I mean look at them dragging it all out again. Don’t they know they caused Heysel. These people are not even proper people, they’re scousers. They should man up!!!”

It would be bad enough if this person came from deepest Salford and had been raised to be the bitterest hater of Liverpool but this person is from north Wales. He lives more than 50 miles away from either city. I found the tweet so depressing to contemplate, I mean I actually know this guy, how could someone I know, someone that’s respectable to all intents and purposes, do something like this?

On any level it’s depressing.  From the human angle it’s such a callous phrase, it suggests that the Hillsborough families and campaigners should have left things as they were and stopped whining. The fact they’ve lost family members is irrelevant. They should shut up about the “cover up”, they should submit to the Tory slander. The disturbing subtext is, these people are not worth anything because they’re scouse Liverpool fans and they brought it on themselves.

From the football angle he has no right to use such a callous phrase in such an easy and nonchalant way. He may think he’s a proper Manchester United fan but some of the people on this United message board would probably disagree, they’d probably tell him to pipe down because he’s embarrassing “his” club, he should realise that reading message boards doesn’t make someone a proper match-going fan. This proper fan doesn’t even have a season ticket for example. It’s disgusting that he’s using an arbitrary decision made in primary school as a justification for adopting a hateful position.

After yesterday I never thought I could be as offended by football fans, I was sadly wrong.

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