I’m sure many read what Peter wrote earlier, and to be absolutely honest I have nothing whatever to say about that specifically. That’s not because I don’t care, just the opposite, but it’s because I have far too much respect for him to make any comment on it. But I will talk about some things generally, and in terms of what we try to do and have tried to do.
Having several of us unquestionably helps. There are times when you simply don’t feel anything, when you know that if you try and write something it’s going through the motions. Oddly enough, this is where some sympathy has to rest with the professional journalist – no matter how good they are, there will be days when they effectively phone it in. But they still need to do it, it’s their job, even if it’s one of those days. It’s why personally I find it a bit hard to leap on one article from someone who is generally good. They’ll have some days where they are better than others, and everyone in every role suffers from that, and sportsmen are always a good example, as when they have absolute stinkers it’s rather obvious to a huge number.
But with a blog we can always choose not to write. Just as if we write drivel people can choose not to read. But for all of us it’s an unusually stressful hobby some of the time. Staying permanently angry isn’t possible (or healthy), and weariness is much the enemy of posting up anything interesting.
We all feel like it sometimes, and others we feel energised. Sometimes it’s still terrible of course, and probably the only upside to that is that it really doesn’t matter all that much in the great scheme of things, because most of the time people silently say that to themselves and move on.
I hate writing about the blog itself, it feels dreadfully self indulgent. But being something of a voice in the wilderness, whether us or the community who read and comment, can get us all down, especially those people who wear their heart on their sleeves.
There’s a game of cricket on, and there are people crowing at some kind of victory, not over Australia, but over fellow followers. Now above all else, this really does make me scratch my head. In what way can it be a good thing that people who care passionately about a sport are in despair about it, about the direction their national team has gone and about how the uniformity of reporting and lack of critical thinking have been pushed aside? That is disastrous whichever side it happened to.
People who buy tickets, who go to games, who live and breathe the damn sport, but who now find it hard to care enough about it because of all that it entails. The peripheral has become the central. What kind of win would that be, in a sport that is in some trouble in England, that those closest adherents have had enough, that they can’t put up with the crap any more? Funny kind of winning.
Many people disagree with many of the posts on here. Fabulous. It means they care. Long live people who care. Because however anyone feels on a particular subject, there have to be those who hold an alternate view, otherwise what’s the point?
Let’s see how England get on tonight. And let’s ask how it can ever be that an England success causes English hearts to sink, not because of what happens on the field, but because of the reaction off it. How on earth does it reach that point?
Comments on day four below