Hearing Yourself Over The Noise

It’s hard to know what to say, here, because none of it beyond “thank you and goodbye” is necessary. One of the painful things that comes with hearing your own voice for a living—in your head as you write and edit, on podcasts, in little videos that start playing on a website either with or without your consent—is that you wind up editing yourself very harshly even when you are not really editing. Thoughts or feelings that you have, very much for real, scan as mawkish or hackish or unworthy, which in point of fact they would be were they to appear in a blog post or some conversational bit, but which also doesn’t matter, because those things are what you are thinking or feeling. I am doing a lot of that. It’s exhausting. It is tough to hear myself over the noise of it.

David Roth

Go Read Brian Phillips’ “Your Stupid Rage”

I am here to save your life, and I’m not kidding. This isn’t about the state of discourse on the internet, or nostalgia for some imaginary pastoral of 1950s civility, or making sure I don’t get yelled at in blog comments. This is about you, and how you are going to live in the world. I mean how you’re going to live as a sports fan, but let there be no limit to the revelation: I mean how you’re going to live in every other way, too.

Brian Phillips’ screed on rage in soccer is one of those pieces I would love to force everyone I know to read. It’s through-and-through wonderful, and touches on the disturbing trend of how politics have become a sport, how internet culture has infected everything, and how miserable it is to let rage consume you.

Not to spoil the end, but this is too beautiful to not quote:

> The secret is to care, I mean really care, about something other than your club. That thing can be the game itself, or the truth, or just being a reasonable person. You can care about something other than your club and still be totallysupercommitted to your club. It doesn’t mean not supporting your team through thick and thin; it just means being able to tell the difference between thick and thin, and not thinking that your favorite forum, or your group of like-minded supporters, is so important that it throws reality on the wrong end of a greater-than sign. It means doing this for fun, and not for revenge or for a sense of deep-down defining identity, even if you’re a crazy tattooed ultra. You can be a crazy tattooed ultra and still be fine, for that matter. You just can’t be an idiot.