Re-post: Pranay Sanklecha on opinions in football
Is Ashley Young going to be a success at United? Will Neymar cope with moving to a foreign country? Can Norwich stay up? Can Sanchez deal with a physical footballing culture? Is Sterling going to make it? Should Wenger sell Fabregas? Is the Theatre really dead?
HOW THE FUCK SHOULD I KNOW?
Seriously. Stop it. I can’t take it. You have to have an opinion on everything. Immediately. Fucking hell, even before that.
This is true not just of football, but of everything else too. Whenever I go to a concert, watch a film, visit a museum, read a book – some cunt is sure to pop up, asking: What did you think? Was it good?
I DON’T FUCKING KNOW YET, YOU CUNT.
It takes time to form an opinion worth having. You need time to think about things, time to let its impact percolate through your subconscious, time to sort out where you want to place it in relation to other things like it, time to give it context, to fit it into your bigger system of value.
But you’re not allowed time. I’m not talking about blogging or Twitter; I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it proudly – I don’t have a blog and I’m not on cunting Twitter. The problem would be intolerable if I was. I’m just talking about normal life, you know, well maybe you don’t, that stuff where people talk to each other, can actually see each other, can, if they were so minded, lean across and punch each other.
Everyone’s a fucking pundit now. That’d be fine, it’d even be fine if they exchanged opinions with their pundit friends while playing soggy biscuit, but they want to talk to you too. Well, dear, don’t take this the wrong way, but
This has been a reasonably articulate rage-spunk, but now I’m going to give it a justification. That’s all writing is, in the end – being angry and then finding a way to justify it. But anyway, moving on.
Let’s accept that with many things it either (a) takes a while to form an opinion worth having and/or (b) requires much more information than you currently have to form an opinion worth having. A lot of the time, you express an opinion before you’ve taken enough time or have enough information.
Well, pal, that’s stupid. And dangerous. Because once you’ve expressed your (ill-formed, uninformed) opinion, you can’t help but commit to it. It’s out there now as yours. You have to defend it. In the course of defending it, your opinion hardens. Cognitive dissonance – the confirmation bias, in particular – begins to kick in. You become less and less able to form a true opinion, or even just a well-considered one. Your immediate reaction turns into your firm opinion, and most of the time your immediate reaction is a pile of shit.
The point’s a simple one, really. When someone asks you what you think, one of the available options is, “I don’t know.” Use it. If it was good enough for Socrates, it’s good enough for us.
I know I’ve written something that looks like it expresses an opinion to the effect that we should have fewer opinions. Some cunt is going to point this out thinking they’ve exposed a fatal flaw. I could take refuge behind ‘irony,’ but why should I? My argument is more subtle than that. Work it out, numbnuts.
By Pranay Sanklecha