I read with interest Liverpool’s exchange on Twitter with the Manchester United fan account that had a dig following our win over Chelsea on Friday. It was good to see a bit of banter exchanged between the accounts although Gary ‘Dot Cotton’ Neville didn’t find it funny. He thought it was embarrassing: a bit like his spell as manager of Valencia.
Despite the banter, Liverpool Football Club takes its social media presence very seriously. Admittedly the club has more Twitter accounts than trophies these days but at least it enables fans of all languages to follow the club’s official line.
I completely forgot that I was blocked from following them until I clicked on the exchange between the Mancs and those employed to fly the flag from Liverpool to Libya and back. I first realised I was blocked a few years back. I can assure you I wasn’t wounded 😂
Although I’ve never followed them or ever included their username in anything I’ve tweeted from @DuncanOldham or @KopTalk (which are both blocked 😂) one of the monkeys obviously felt a little put out by me at some point. I actually found it flattering that someone considered me
important annoying enough to look me up and block. Bizarrely they do follow me from other official club accounts though so I’d best be careful what I say 😉
Official content does nothing for me. I find it patronising and at times a form of propaganda. I think it’s tailored more so towards people who are seen as customers and also our younger fans. The only time I find it of use is for official statements and announcements but I can understand why fans want to be informed of official news.
Over the years I have been offered incentives from the officialdom at L4 to toe-the-line, something of course which has never interested me. I’d rather remain a truly independent and controversial organ grinder. I wouldn’t have it any other way. ‘I’m the one they told you about’ is what I say when I’m introduced to new people 😂
I’m glad the official LFC website team have developed a sense of humour. I laughed so hard at their ‘delete’ retort that I nearly slipped in to my swimming pool and let’s face it, anything that upsets Gary Neville has to be a good thing! I know he’s a great pundit but he’s still a Manc 😂
Drama and jokes aside, banter is a huge part of our beautiful game. Neville of all people knows this. It’s good to see the current lot behind the club’s Twitter account having a laugh. If you’re too stiff (pause!) people criticise you for it. Show some personality and then you’re criticised for that. You can’t win. I find both my blocking and the response to the Mancs funny. Let’s keep it that way.
Below is a column that was posted on KopTalk about 16 years ago by the excellent Paul Graham. I always think about it when I think about officialdom. 16 years! Nothing changes 😂
INFORMAL, PERSONAL AND WILDCAT
by Paul Graham, first published on KopTalk circa 2000
I can’t speak for the rest of you out there, but in my 38 years’ experience, I have always taken a step back whenever I have encountered the word “official”. This reaction of mine has never been out of fear or respect, but out of extreme suspicion. The use of the word “official” is invariably followed by a bombastic pontification from supposedly on high, and more often then not delivered by someone of equally bombastic and pontificating demeanour.
Take your little car park attendant with the flat cap…you know the one. He’s so feeble in his everyday existence, that as soon he puts on his uniform and smoothes that cap over his greying, thinning locks, he becomes something else. Such is the effect of the donning of the “official” mantle. An otherwise affable little man, imbued with the false loftiness that “officialdom” necessitates, becomes an oppressive monster.
“I’m sorry but you can’t park there. I don’t care if your mother is dying in the back seat, you still can’t park there. Well, I’m sorry but it’s nothing to do with me…”
We’ve all heard it. This is what happens to normal everyday people when they suddenly become “official”. On this football forum, we are all familiar with the way match referees seem perfectly ordinary and pleasant individuals…until they pull on that black kit and shove that whistle in their gob and turn into little Hitlers, one and all.
So what is the difference between “official” and “unofficial”? Well, the former implies a certain degree of validity not afforded to its poorer cousin, the latter. If something is “official”, then it is assumed that it carries more weight, can be better relied upon and is generally the more acceptable of the two parties. Whilst the “unofficial” – despite its being often the equal in terms of influence, reliability and acceptance – tends to languish in the shadow of its more “official” self.
Or so you’d think.
But, thankfully, ordinary folk know better. Ordinary folk know better because ordinary folk, in general, are able to spot quality and therefore differentiate between what is good and what is better, what is for them and what is not.
Years ago, when I was a kid, some uncle or other bought me an old orange plastic football. Nothing special. It was just your average bog-standard kickabout thing, and being a kid I kicked that football at more brick walls, railings and on more tarmac and pavement than I’d care to recall. Then someone else bought me a new football. This time it was an “official” Football League football – still plastic, but of a far better quality. The second time I played with that ball it burst on the jagged tarmac of the council housing estate that we called wembley Stadium. Straight up. The old plastic shite orange ball – the “unofficial” one – continued to be bounced, booted, wellied and generally be abused for many a long year afterwards…until a dog pissed off with it and I never saw it again. But that’s not the point.
What is the point is that, just because something is “official”, that doesn’t make it of a better, superior quality. Does it? You see…I believe that true quality comes from the level of service on offer; not from some throwaway adjective applied as a phoney prerequisite to good standards. What I mean is: Yer gets what pays for. And paying doesn’t necessarily mean in solid cash.
Can, for example (and I throw this in here as a completely random choice, you understand), an “unofficial” website possibly compete with an “official” one in terms of service, based purely on those two opposite words being applied. Does the “official” website offer better quality merely because it has that supposedly superior adjective prefixed to its title? Or is it possible that the quality might have sod all to do with the way a service is described or appears? Surely not!!! God forbid.
Surely the car park attendant with the peaked cap is better than the little man before he dons his uniform. It’s obvious. Surely the man with the black kit and whistle on Saturday afternoon is ten times the man he is for the remaining six days of the week. Has to be. He’s “official”, isn’t he? And as we all know, “official” means “the best”.
Er…wrong. So bloody wrong it ain’t right.
According to my Collins Thesaurus, “official” reads as:
“accredited, authentic, authoritative, authorised, bona fide, certified, endorsed, ex cathedra, ex officio, formal, legitimate, licensed…”
…and so on and tediously so forth. But there’s nothing in there about it meaning “better” or “superior”. Funny, that. The word “unofficial” doesn’t have quite so many synonyms in my copy, but it does say this:
“Unofficial…informal, personal, wildcat.”
Yeah, give me informal, personal and wildcat anyday ahead of “bona fide”, “legitimate” and “licensed”.
Sadly, there are people out there who would have us believe that the “official” line is the only line to take. You see, anything else they see as a challenge to their mendacious brand of altruism, their phoney superiority based on this myth that “officialdom” perpetuates. For those people it is all important that they stamp on and stamp out what they see as “unofficial” and therefore, in their limited sphere of thinking, somehow inferior. I feel sorry for people like that, I really do. Sad bastards, the lot of them. I promised I wouldn’t descend to such language, but these bastards really piss me off. They piss me off when they try to browbeat others who are only trying to do something because they feel deeply about it.
Bollocks to you if you think I’m crawling to Dunk here. I couldn’t give a rat’s arse what anyone thinks. But he’s been running this Koptalk now for almost a year, and until a certain “official” party decided to come along, the waters were decidedly un-muddy. Seems this is no longer the case, and that’s a crying shame. It’s a crying shame because I thought we were all on the same side here. But then, as my old grandmother used to say, “You know what thought did…”
Personally, I wouldn’t piss on the people at the “official” Liverpool FC site if they were on fire. I also believe that this sprawling morass of convoluted shite we call the Internet is big enough to stand and withstand more than a good few diverse websites all dedicated to the same goal, without folk resorting to making idle threats and petty nuisances of themselves. Sadly, as big as I believe the Internet to be, I have to concede that some of the people who like to frequent it are far from big enough to be so magnanimous.
Duncan, you Yorkie bastard…I’m with you, old son. Me and my plastic orange football.
Keep Koptalk “unofficial” – it’s better that way.