Jim Auton: Professional Cynic #1 - your opinion doesn't matter

Jim Auton: Professional Cynic #1 – your opinion doesn’t matter

Social media is a narcissists playground. Twitter is the cesspool from which the dregs of humanity crawl, sopping with bile and the scum that comes from getting that niggling annoyance off of the chest. It is where the morbidly curious dip their toe of intrigue and nosey neighbour syndrome. And don’t they love to tell you how wronged they feel or how desperate they are to join the cry of condemnation because they read it on t’interweb.

Nuance and context are dead. The internet has killed them. You may have once upon a time read about someone and their controversial opinion in the newspaper and you may have discussed it whilst making a cup of tea at work, but now any report or article can be launched upon by a tirade of comment and chastising that is categorically right without any concept of the original nature of the quote or conversation. And at the end of the day, it’s just an opinion, much like the keyboard warrior who descends and devours anything uttered from the mouth of someone they despise.

Or worse, someone feels the need to add their tuppenth worth of vital opinion on an issue that is not about them, that doesn’t require their hot take or counter hashtag that the opposite sex, race, creed, religion, football team is just as important or aren’t to blame for some horrendously subjective act.

Because people cannot help but be hypocritical. If it isn’t their subsection of society that is affected then they can’t possibly know what it is like to be the other. And yet when the tables are turned they are quick to jump on their own merry bandwagon and castigate till the cows come home.

They feel wronged in a trivial game of sport, but then wish harm on another player when they feel they occupy the moral high ground.

The easiest thing in the world is to stay quiet about important issues and not make a stand when it comes to supporting an important issue. It’s also easy to be defensive and angry when they feel that they are being attacked. It takes guts to appreciate you are wrong, you are not the centre of the universe and that you can change.

Can’t you just take a moment to step back and think “Do I need to comment here? Do I need to make myself the victim? Do I need to defend myself when it has nothing to do with how I feel?”

The internet has allowed the world to come to our fingertips, to access any music for a fraction of what we used to pay for it. This has also bred impatience. Technology has allowed people to film anything they see at a touch of a button and then send it to anyone on the planet, to any platform, regardless of if they should or if they have the right to distribute a song in a live environment and broadcast it to friends and followers without permission just because they can and are impatient and they know those friends and followers are impatient and want that new song, that new album now, now, NOW.

A double-edged sword dissects the on-line world, from giving anyone and everyone the freedom to release their music to the world but it also means people demand it quicker, demand it immediately and then forget about it a few months later. Instant gratification.

The world began to slowly open its eyes and blink in a new dawn and with it the music world began to make tentative footsteps out onto the perilous frozen water covering our road out of lockdown. Tours and festivals pencilled in with everything crossed that they will come off. Immediately the cry goes out “why not in my home town?”, “why not more than two gigs in my half of the country?”, “why no gig in my backyard?”. These aren’t huge country sweeping tours either, these are small hopeful initial forays into that world again and people are still not satisfied. The sense of entitlement is strong with these ones. Be thankful it is happening at all. Be grateful the venues are there to host the gigs. And if you can’t make one for logistical or personal reasons, suck it up and wait. Don’t guilt trip a band or artist that have been crippled financially and artistically by this year long pause. Support and encourage and do what you can afford and reasonably manage.

The world doesn’t always need your hugely well-reasoned opinion and it definitely doesn’t need your idiotic brain fart just because you are so inconvenienced by travelling to a gig, that you don’t like someone suggesting your sex or race needs to put their feelings out of the way to help another, or your vitally important footballer was injured and that person must be kneecapped because your season is now over.

Go and shout at a wall.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.