Preaction over Beckham and Villa reaches all time high

People don’t think anymore, they just react. In fact, the pace of acceleration on the reaction to some news story has grown so steadily that people no longer even have time to react, they have to preact.

For example, David Beckham is training with Arsenal. In the old days this meant that David Beckham was training with Arsenal. Now days, the reaction is that Beckham might be signing for Arsenal. The preaction is that Arsenal will never sign anyone, finish 6th, and Beckham could have somehow stopped that.


Or how about the news that Barcelona don’t want to sell David Villa? Judging by Wenger’s comments in today’s press conference there was real interest from Arsenal but Barcelona don’t want to sell. In the old days, this meant that Barcelona don’t want to sell. Now days, the reaction is that Arsenal didn’t offer enough money or didn’t try hard enough. The preaction is that Arsenal never spend enough money and that the only solution is for Usmanov to take over, clear out the board, re-install David Dein, and have Thierry Henry ride into north London on his silver steed to slay greed in football.

The pace of change in these interactions is accelerated by the changes in social media. Blogs supplanted newspapers for a variety of reasons but chief among them was because readers were able to comment in real time. No more waiting to mail a letter to the editor and hope to have it published, simply add a comment to a post. There was an instant gratification for both the writer and the reader.

Facebook and other long-form outlets upped the ability of people to react. Now, readers can share an article and get “likes” and “comments” and that made it possible for everyone to have a bit of the taste of being the blogger in a sense. If the blogger gets satisfaction from an article well received, the reader who shares the article gets a smaller portion of that satisfaction being the one who “discovered” the article and shared it with his friends.

And then twitter happened. It’s a peculiar social media site in that what it does is strips out almost all of the social and just concentrates on sharing the media and the base emotions. To borrow from McLuhan, the media is the message. Sure, you get people having conversations on twitter, but they are simple conversations at best.

Conversations on twitter are intentionally clumsy, the format limits thought to 140 characters but it also puts comments in reverse chronological order: meaning that readers have to scroll down and read up. Thus, conversations that do happen on twitter tend to be more argumentative and less contextual. There is no room for deep context in 140 characters and, in fact, the only conversations that do happen, occur with a shared context already understood between the conversants.

For example, I could be cute and one tweet each of Shakespeare’s plays but for the tweets to be successful, I have to rely on my audience already having read Romeo and Juliet, for example. Only then can they fill in the parts that they want, the quotes they love, the development of Juliet’s character, the regret of Romeo. If you haven’t read the play then all of the beauty is lost, all of the character development is lost, the humanity is lost and reduced to what is essentially a joke. A facade.

But at some point, Twitter stopped being just a place to react without context and became a place to preact. No longer content with just responding to news (that’s old news, perhaps?) people are now predicting a reaction to news that hasn’t happened but that they predict will happen.This is the preaction and it runs the gamut of emotions.

The common prediction among Arsenal fans is that the club won’t buy anyone and that then any number of terrible things will befall Arsenal. Some of the “cooler heads” are saying that they are saving their reaction for when the news actually breaks that Arsenal haven’t signed anyone. But some are already predicting Armageddon.

For example, fans are already fighting in the stands so future fisticuffs is an easy prediction, thus the preaction is to start calling either the people who hold up banners names or the people who start throwing blows names. “If anyone says anything about any banners being held up in the match against Liverpool, they have clearly lost the plot.” Though, since they are hiding behind their keyboards it’s probably much stronger words, like “cunt”, “cuntbucket”, “shitwhistle”, or “Allardyce”.

Arsenal have two days before the end of the transfer window and already the widespread prediction is that the reaction on February 1st is going to be something to behold. This article here is my preaction: I’m staying away from Twitter on February 1st, you should too.


20 thoughts on “Preaction over Beckham and Villa reaches all time high

  1. +15 Vote -1 Vote +1Matt

    Here is how I follow the Arsenal:

    I watch the games at the pub, so I don’t have to watch or listen to pre-game or post-game coverage. And since the pub I go to usually gets a decent crowd, I barely have to listen to the game commentators. I can just watch the game and chit-chat with neighbors.

    I read Arseblog, Gunnerblog, and this blog. That’s it. And I don’t read the comments except for occasionally here on 7amkickoff, because it is usually a bit tamer. .

    On Twitter I follow the dot com, the three blokes named above, a couple other cool headed fans, and a few British journalists.

    That’s it, that’s how I follow the team. I get to enjoy the games but still stay far away from all of the rancor. I don’t watch Cable TV news for the same reasons.

    I highly recommend it.

  2. -1 Vote -1 Vote +11NiltotheArsenal

    Beckham has said many times that Manchester United will be the only Premiership team for which he will ever play, so this is a non-starter.

    Aside from which, he would be a ridiculous signing for us, I have no problem with Beckham, but other than his celebrity there is little he could contribute for us with his 10 minutes of subbing on at the end of every game.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

      Beckham will still kick people for you but at what cost when you are trying to either win or come back in a game and don’t need to give away FKs.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1Redcore

        Make him teach Theo on how to take a free kick in return. I am tired of seeing him and Arteta hitting the wall repeatedly..

  3. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1ctpa

    I am of the belief that what we have is ‘good’ enough if and when their heads are actually in the game. Our last 2 games, warts and all show we can be and should be. I also believe that if we show up (Podolski, Cazorla) and our defense (Koscienly) doesn’t help the other team then we will take Liverpool apart.

  4. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Bunburyist

    The mood has lightened somewhat after beating West Ham and Brighton, but the next draw or loss will again bring up serious questions over Wenger’s inactivity in the transfer market. I would love to eat my words come Thursday, but I just don’t see us buying a game-changer type of player this January.

    I think this team has a lot of potential, but whether they can realize it in time to get that fourth-place trophy is another matter.

  5. Vote -1 Vote +1Limestonegunner

    I think that when the end of the window comes, we’ll be so tired of having anticipated the lack of signings and rumbling about the reaction, preacting as you have aptly called it, that there won’t be much of a reaction, just resignation. I’m already resigned to it as being outraged is too much emotion to spend on what we already expect to be true.

  6. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Yan

    I will be checking twitter purely for amusement. Nothing like that lot shrieking with their hands in the air “the end is nigh”

  7. +7 Vote -1 Vote +1craig

    Last January I posted something along the lines of “I always felt like I knew what Arsenal was and what they stood for and what they are trying to do… at this point I have no idea what is going on, what they are doing or why”… After we beat Tottenham, I, like almost everyone else, was a believer again. This year, I’m not falling into that trap. We have more depth, more potential…

    I will not repeat the mistakes of the past. As much as I liked Sissoko. As much as I love Hummels, and Goetze. As much as I didn’t want a 31 year old David Villa. As much as I want a left back. And Falcao. And some French 20 year old I’d never heard of before last week. And Serge Samper. And that kid from Ajax. And Cavani. And Capoue. And not, please not Diame… I will not repeat the mistakes of the past. I also wanted Podolski… for years… and we fucking got him and I love him.

    I hate Twitter. I hate Myles Palmer. I hate Usmanov. I hate every player who quit on Arsenal. I will have faith… and I will not preact (I hope).

  8. Vote -1 Vote +1jaymin

    A phrase my Barca supporting pal, who also supports Arsenal in the EPL, used when talking about us really has stuck with me. “You have to make the moves you can while you’re still elite.” we eat at the top table now, and if we have to overpay in the next two days to ensure we stay in the Champions League, it’ll be worth it.

  9. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1alabamagooner

    I’m thinking folks commenting about who we will/won’t should/ shouldn’t buy may have missed Tim’s point? Or maybe I did. Anyway, joining the Twitter boycott on Friday. Or maybe I’ll preact and start now.

  10. Vote -1 Vote +1ignatzuk

    Preaction. Heh.

    Looking forward to tonight. Can’t decide whether it’s likely to be a barnstormer or a stale. If Liverpool stay back, play it tight and Lucas sits on top of whoever is in the hole for Arsenal, it could be a frustrating night. Pool rarely lose at the Emirates. On the other hand, if we get into our stride I don’t fancy their chances at all.

    Wilshere, Ramsey and Cazorla v Lucas, Gerrard and Allen. Intriguing.

    0-0? Or 5-2?

  11. Vote -1 Vote +1Gooneryank

    You sir are the sane guy wrongfully locked up in the looney bin. Continue to resist taking the meds.

  12. Vote -1 Vote +1Bay Gooner

    Preaction? Good one. Though in some forms it sounds a bit like…paranoia. or maybe Preranoia>

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