Friday, February 15, 2013

A Reminder Of Who You're Dealing With

I spend a lot of time on Twitter. Boilerdowd has commented about how it's my release, my catharsis, and so forth, and I think he's right. I like to vent both positive and negative thoughts. I often aim to entertain, inform or amuse. Sometimes I just share brain synapses.

One of the things I am constantly reminded of on Twitter is that Twitter is just like the rest of society, only magnified. If you're a jerk in general, you'll be instantly identified as an a-hole on Twitter. If you're funny, that will shine through. If you're painfully unfunny and uncreative, social media will expose you. It's actually a great tool to sift through who you want to listen to.

Something that is exemplified on Twitter is our society's knee-jerkyness around being "offended." Everybody is put off my something every damn day. For some reason, we've become conditioned to immediately look for the offensive content in every statement, article, interaction, etc. I don't really know why this is -- we used to call this being overly PC, but that term seems to have gone away. (Politically correct, not personal computer.) Instead, it's just become accepted that the goal of everyone is to figure out how the most recent article on each and every site is offensive and to whom.

This has led to a defensive culture, where the more milquetoast you are, the more airplay you get on ESPN. That's why they love Mike and Mike. And this is why Jim Boeheim gets so mad at Andy Katz (who is awful, by the way) for something trivial and the video gets The Big Lead thousands of page views. Everyone is offended by something. We're all teenage girls, giving someone or other the silent treatment or telling them off and "putting them in their place." It's exhausting.

A few weeks ago, for example, during the Manti T'eo mess, I suggested on Twitter that maybe he knew he was talking to a boy and kind of liked it -- had anyone thought of that, I mused. Almost immediately, someone who hated Purdue and felt like trolling a Purdue twitter feed accused us (me) of being igorant, hateful, anti-gay and that those in Indiana are narrow-minded I had made no such statement or even vague implications of that -- only an ignorant fool would interpret it as such.A lot of people would say I should just ignore that crap, but I do not allow people to make up their own narrative about me, at least not without a fight.

My point in all this is that hopefully you like the way we deliver opinions. We generally give you the unvarnished viewpoint. We don't sugar coat things, we don't worry who we might offend -- we simply say what many of you are thinking. That's one of the best compliments we ever got and it lives on in our sidebar. I think that's why some of you feel a connection with us -- because we say what everyone pretty much knows is true, even if you can't "prove" it. Which is the beauty of opinion -- we don't have to prove our opinion is true. And it makes it even more fun when some bozo attacks us asking us to PROVE something we say we think is actually true. And we don't need to.

The most recent example was the interaction we had with a knuckle-dragger MSU fan who claims to be a lawyer but evidently spends most of his time on Twitter taking pictures of himself in his Sparty hat. We commented on the fact that two accused sexual assaulters remain on the MSU and never even saw an ounce of punishment from Saint Tom. We didn't say they should be in jail (even though they probably should); all we said was that people who cheer for MSU also cheer for significantly questionable individuals. This guy took issue with that and almost immediately was calling us names and comparing it to the "Duke lacrosse" case. I'm sure the Dookies were completely innocent young lads, too.

The mentality that's out there that the court of public opinion is the same as real court is a misguided one. The expression "where there's smoke there's fire" is an expression for a reason. We're not condemning guys or demanding they be put in jail or even using their real names most of the time. But sometimes we say that MSU has guys who the MSU police felt should be charged (which is a fact) or we say that Duke basketball probably cheats (since nearly every disciple of Coach K has been busted for cheating). Are we detectives? Of course not. But we are allowed to spout our opinions, and we do.

We're never going to give you bland, unopinionated opinion columns. It's not what we do. And on twitter, you're getting us even less filtered, since it's even easier to just fire off a tweet (sometimes we actually do review each other's posts and say, ummmm, might want to tone that down a bit).

My rambling point in all of this? If you're new to the site and don't like opinionated guys who, frankly, don't care what others think and won't be impacted by foot-stamping and screams about the "fairness" of our comments, then you probably won't ever be comfortable here hanging around us. Furthermore, as I pointed to earlier, there are plenty of other sites, that are as close as a few keystrokes, that will scratch your itch for boring crap.

But if you're a regular (and we thank those of you who regularly read, email, comment and interact) or find yourself enjoying us stirring the pot a bit, then welcome. Pull up a barstool and enjoy yourself. You're always welcome here.


Brotherman85 said...

Spot on J Money. Well said.

Jenny said...

Hey, if you guys didn't stir the pot, all we would have is the mass produced, bland, tasteless crap coverage (or lack there of) from mainstream media. Thanks for adding the spice!!!

(Metaphor's are fun!!)

bugmanjon said...

I feel that this sums up your position quite nicely.

Purdue Matt said...

Well said J. The cries of needing "evidence" before making a decision about Izzo are idiotic. Aa if Izzo would be stupid enough to leave behind evidence of buying recruits or influencing DA's.

The MSU fans on twitter are a thin skinned bunch.

/pulls up barstool

Melissa said...

If people actually need to be reminded of this... then they are the problem... not you. That's why you all have opinions. I feel like 99% of the time, you are saying what every other Purdue fan is thinking... it's a Purdue blog so the goons who jump on you for no reason can get over it.

Keep up the great work! Boiler Nations loves yall!

Choo Choo Muthas!

Boilergal said...

4 years... it's been 4 years since my sister and I met you handsome devils and chatted with you during the Purdue-UM basketball game. You shared your Drew Brees man-crush... I shared my Chris Kramer cougar-crush (coincidentally that was the elbow game so my crush grew stronger that game!). I had very harsh opinions on LewJack and his inability to finish, you guys had strong opinions about what type of player you thought Lew would grow into. We had some pretty good, OPINIONATED discussions that day. I was already a fan of the site and commented every now and again, but meeting you guys that day let me see more of you. You guys are like me in a lot of ways, passionate about Purdue and not afraid to give your viewpoints! That's why this is my favorite Purdue site. We may not always agree, but I know that your opinions are reality-based... never too rosy (come on, we are talking break-your-heart Boilers, here) and never too jump-off-the-ledge pessimistic...and that is something I really appreciate.

Love you guys, keep those opinions coming!

PS: Anyone in their right mind had to have had Te'o's (?) sexuality cross their mind with that strange scandal!!

Mommatried said...

This offends me.

U-P Boiler said...

1.) I want to buy BoilerGal a drink (crap, I'm 52 - too old, and married)
2.) You're not the first to make the Matay Gayo suggestion (not that there's anything WRONG with that -- outSIDE the hallowed walls of Our Ladydom)
3.) As the offspring of MSU parents, I know that MSU fans have a certain type of chip on their collective shoulder (Ann Arbor is, after all, a seductive whore) that Purdue fans might have about Indiana basketball and Our Lady football. True MSU fans should look at Purdue fans as kindred spirits.
4.) Blogs are about fans and opinions. To be blunt, F*ck folks who don't like what they read. If they disagree, they can take the time and expense and start their own blogs.
My guess is, they're too lazy to do so. It's much easier to lounge on a shitty couch with a box of Crunch and Munch in their parent's basement, hunched over a laptop on which they're making bi-weekly payments, castigating others who actually have lives.

That being said, my mother's calling, and I have to put away my Rent A Center laptop and shovel the snow in the driveway. Dad's bringing home pizza. It's my 45th birthday and we always have Meat Lovers.

J Money said...

Thanks for the kind words, all. And Boilergal, you make us blush.

conk said...

I've been boycotting ESPN. It feels great.