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Soup of This Day #139: Then You Swallowed My Pride

February 18, 2012

Ancient Roman latrines from Ostia
Roman latrines in Ostia Antica (Rome’s seaport). Prime ancient blogging territory – Photo: Fubar Obfusco, 2004. Fubar Obfusco is not affiliated with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.

The other day I was reading other blogs and I came across 1 that struck a chord. Kathy, writing via Lake Superior Spirit, wrote a post called Don’t sign your blogging contract when you’re sleeping. It’s good read, even if it isn’t about sport.

The post talks about the need to blog vs the need to do, well pretty much everything else. It frames blogging as a ‘contract’, a cast-iron commitment to write when the mood takes you and even when it doesn’t. This is a pretty fair metaphor from where Longworth72 is sitting – This pact between the author and the nebulous blogging gods is a hard task-master – The need to write and to publish is pressing.

Just like it was essential that I got that pun written down.

The problem for me is balancing that need to write with a desire to ensure that what I’m writing is pretty damn readable. The end result is that these posts always have something more to be done to them. There is another fact to slide in or a redundant anecdote to prune out. Maybe there will be an eddy in the flow that needs teasing or just a whole bloody re-write because it’s ALL CRAP WHYDOIWRITETHIS@#$%!!!!!

But invariably I get to a point where I just let my posts fly on their own. This is the zero hour at which I’m done with them and I need to make space in my blogging universe for the next thoughts that are bouncing around my head. When I get to this juncture I generally have 1 feeling regarding that particular post – It’s not my best work.

Possibly this is because I have the kind of mentality that leads me to think glass-half-empty or maybe there’s a tinge of self-honesty in there – It might actually have not been my best work. Given the whole depression thing there’s something in both of those potential causes and no doubt someone could also tie it back to me finishing 2nd in a poetry contest when I was 5.

The negativity thankfully is not permanent – Much later I will mellow and then I will learn to love my creation – Then it will be good. Maybe even very good.

The truth though is probably somewhere in between the 2 extremes – I’m not as bad as I think I am at publication and I’m not as good as the fuzzy, tinted glasses of time would lead me to believe.

And I’m ok with that.

I write compulsively – I have to get this stuff out and sometimes it’s more about releasing that pressure valve than it is making sure that the output is gonna win a Pulitzer. Right now for instance I’m typing this out at 11:28pm on a Thursday night via an iPhone while sitting on the toilet. Don’t get weirded out – I was done with the toilet stuff 17 minutes ago but then the need to get this tapped out came through and here we are.

Teenage boys will probably read this and say, ‘Dude, you’re getting it all wrong – You should be using the iPhone to search for nude video caps of Keira Knightley.’

Do teenagers even call people ‘dude’ any more?

A mechanism I use to help relieve the need to write – It strikes most days – is Twitter. Micro-blogging somehow removes my need for perfection, or at the least mitigates it by requiring me to just proof-read 140 characters. And I can further get around my strict quality control by mostly re-tweeting other’s contributions. Surprisingly this works well on a sports blog because the sporting world has embraced Twitter and you can get some pretty incisive and current stuff.

Of the sporting sources that Longworth72 links to, Pete Abraham at the Boston Globe provides some timely and accurate information about all things Red Sox – You can spend all day tracking down trade rumours and injury speculation via the web so having Pete’s many daily tweets is a wonderful simplification.

At 1:30pm last night, when I got up to get a drink of water I noticed that there was a tweet from @PeteAbe:

‘Tim Wakefield has retired’

This is big news for Sox fans – Wakefield is a 45 year old knuckleballer who was unlikely to go around again with Boston in 2012 and was considering whether to carry on in the National League – He’s decided instead to retire a Red Sox player after 17 seasons for the Fenway Park club and this is kinda nice. I slept better after knowing that.

Before going on I should point out that this was the night after the toilet writing so don’t be thinking that I’ve spent hours sitting on the dunny.

Pete Abraham is a journo and so he provides the news from an external standpoint. There are some sports people who are tweeting the insider view – Fremantle Football Club captain Matty Pavlich is 1 such example.

The Pav writes well – His tweets are regular and occasional thought-provoking. Mostly they are about football, giving insights into training etc. They can veer into other sport though – The Pav is a cricket fan and can be relied upon to tweet a Test or 2. Last year he visited the US and took some time to run the rule over a couple of teams there – Subsequently he has been known to tweet support for the New York Giants. It’s not just sport though as you can tell from a recent series of tweets from @mattpav29:

‘This Labour leadership challenge debate is farcical!! How can a team (party) even function appropriately admist so many different agendas?’

And then not much later:

‘Discussing the big issues tonight – Gay marriage… thoughts? No probs from me if that’s the way you roll.’

Before concluding with:

‘Like it when ppl admit mistakes..& don’t blame spelling on auto correct-my hand is raised! Also like it when debate is sparked..&media bite’

The Pav has just 9,103 followers. Lance Armstrong by comparison has 3.2m and the gulf shows – Armstrong’s tweets are well calculated – He has an agenda and his communications are in support of that – Whereas Pav is generating discussion amongst barely enough people to fill just a quarter of Freo’s home ground, Subiaco Oval, Lance is generating social change for a global war on cancer.

You still get a fair bit of cycling insight – The 2011 Tour de France was called over by Armstrong before the pundits on TV came to the same conclusion. Which is fair enough, I think the man might know about that race a bit. You also get comments about his triathlon career and other adventures he undertakes – like marathons. Most of this links in to the promotion of the LIVESTRONG brand – a reinforcement of the drive to beat cancer into submission. There might be a whole team working on that but the heart and lungs are clearly the often outspoken Texan. From @lancearmstrong:

‘Hey #LIVESTRONGMarathon fans, follow our run on Sunday with the free app. Thx for he support @RadioShack!’

See it’s about sport but it ties in to the crusade. Smart.

Not so clever is footballer Joey Barton. A noted tweeter, Barton has attained some fame by getting all philosophical in his tweets – Not something you’d expect from a stereotypical footballer. This is nice but I don’t follow Barton, mostly because of everything else about the lad.

In December of 2004, then a Manchester City player, Joey Barton stubbed a lit cigar out in the eye of a City youth team player. He wasn’t sacked, merely fined 6 weeks worth of wages. He did apologise but I’m pretty sure that almost every member of society would recognise his behaviour as psychopathic. Those who would think it’s ok to stub out cigars in a kid’s eye are clearly not well. For the record Barton has since been convicted twice on separate incidents of violence, including 1 in which he punched a man 20 times until he was no longer conscious. He’s also racked up more than a few red cards for on-field behaviour that ranges from petulant to violent and yet he continues to play in the Premiership, now with Queens Park Rangers.

So why am I referencing Barton here then?

Mostly because I wronged the man a little while ago.

Joey Barton was recently tied to the English Defence League via a photo. Figures – Footballing thug associates himself with right-wing nutjobs. As it turned out that assumption is off the mark – Barton had posed for the photo innocently and subsequently tweeted:

‘I categorically refuse to publicly release a statement, because I refuse to raise awareness in a group of mentally deficient right wing numpties. Hope u understand.’

That’s right fascists, Joey Barton, who puts out lit cigars in people’s eyes, thinks you’re mentally deficient. He’s right too, even if he is a little mentally deficient himself.

On that, slightly off-key note it’s time to let this post out of the bottle – Partly because it’s been uncorked for the past couple of days and it’s now in danger of becoming vinegar. Mostly though it’s because I need to go to the toilet and I’ve got another idea for a post that I need to get down – Something about lacrosse and how my parents banned me from playing any game with a stick.

Contract assuaged. For now.

Then You Swallowed My Pride

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