been mulling over this topic for a bit. here goes nothing.
the phenomenon of internet trash-talking is nothing new. if you even go near a chat room or some kind of forum, you’ll quickly witness verbal smack-downs faster than you can count to one. as is true for the cyberworld in general, trash-talking also applies to the pool world. with the advent of the internet, verbal trashing lies only a few keystrokes away. although the modern form/venue of trash-talking has been changed/moved, the act itself had been around for centuries.
to what end do we do this?
i think it’s become too easy to lash out on the web. i don’t belong to any forums, but i’ve read posts that were just downright nasty. folks arguing with cue case makers for the most random reasons. forum members talking smack about particular cuemakers. insults hurled at one another like so much worthless dregs for any perceived slight–real or imagined. this is not to say that all forum members that participate in a pool forum demean themselves as such, but there are quite a few ogres (and ogresses, i’m sure) out there.
i’m not advocating obliviousness in the face of false accusations or slander; these things need to be called out, and the perpetrators confronted. but answering them with your own nasty insults only add fuel to the incivil fire of rudeness. often we get more insults in return, thus forming the infinite circle of the middle fingers. in this circle, genuine arguments are lost, reason and logic unheard. we become noise generators instead.
it’s no secret that celebrities attract tabloid attention. some celebrities lash out (at times violently) against them. many just mosey along, making their millions, and perfecting their tans in private tropical villas or atop brobdingnagian luxury yachts, not caring what the tabloids say. it’s what you make of it.
the world is full of strife; it’s unfortunate that the world of pool is not immune. i suppose i shouldn’t be too surprised, but i do fear that all the strife will further drive apart the pool community when it needs unity. there are enough negativities in the world. i’m not promoting complete pacifism; far from it. insults, on the other hand, should be weighed as the heavy dreadnaughts they are and doled out only sparingly and necessarily. pool, and the conversations along with it, are much more pleasant in a civil and polite environment. life is short. let’s make it enjoyable. if you’re the selfish sort, make it pleasant for your sake. 💡