Thursday, March 26, 2015

Real men don't ...

News broke yesterday regarding the fate of Jeremy Clarkson and the BBC Top Gear program; it appears the powers that be inside the BBC have decided to let Clarkson go because of his unacceptable behaviour toward another employee. This isn't particularly surprising (or interesting) but what is interesting and I suspect will be the subject of many a psychology thesis over the next few decades is the reaction of the millions of so called "blokes" who seem to support Clarkson in this matter. Why is it that large (mostly male) swathes of our population think that it's OK for someone to verbally abuse a colleague and physically assault them over an utterly trivial matter, so long as they're "just being a bloke".

Now don't get me wrong I'm not advocating some PC lilly livered relativist culture where free speech is censored for fear of "giving offence", people are quite often dicks and this means they end up fighting, always have and probably always will. You can witness "blokes" falling out and battering each other in most town centre pubs, most Saturday nights (unfortunately), but the key difference here is that Clarkson's oafish and aggressive behaviour was "at work". The reason this kind of thing is not acceptable at work is because the victim has nowhere to go; if some drunkard insults you in a Pub you can walk away; when it's your boss or colleague bullying you you don't have this choice; work starts again at 9 am tomorrow morning. It was the only decision they could have reached IMO and its the right one. Bullying is not acceptable at work, it's a sign of weakness and is an abuse of any relationship, oh and there's the small fact that since companies are built out of relationships between people, it's not good for business either!

It's always baffled me why Clarkson is seen as an icon of "bloke-ishness", the only feature of his behaviour that seems to qualify is his monumental insensitivity; maybe I'm not down with the kids on this but for me to qualify as a proper "bloke" you need to have some credentials in the following subjects...

-Sport (and all it's pointless minutia), especially football.

Clarkson seems to be the least sporty person ever; he seems to loathe footballers nor it seems does he know much about any of the technical detail of any other sport. He's unfit, unhealthy, awkward and hopelessly uncoordinated. All the real "blokes" I know still fancy themselves as "a bit tasty" on a football/rugby/cricket pitch 100% of them had a trial for some well known club at some point (usually Manchester United) and of course in reality none ever even got close; most refuse to accept the debilitating affects on their athletic prowess of approaching middle age and the biggest insult you can offer is to question their manliness in the sporting arena.

-How stuff works

Surely any decent "bloke" knows (or claims to know) how stuff works, Clarkson makes a point of exhibiting supreme ignorance of anything technical, he's a self congratulating ignoramus when it comes to engines, electronics, design, computers and anything mechanical. No self respecting "bloke" would ever admit to not instinctively understanding something technical; we all know instruction manuals are things that you rest hot cups of tea on so you don't mark the paintwork, useless for anything else.

-Navigation skills

Let's be honest, for (real) blokes, navigation is not something to be learnt, it's innate. No bloke ever reads a map, asks for directions or ever gets lost; this is just a law of physics; Clarkson seems to always have a map in his hand and is constantly lost.

-Hair cuts

No real "bloke" ever has a perm; period.


Real blokes aren't fussy eaters, with a few beers on-board, cold pizza scrapped off the inside of a dustbin becomes a meal fit for kings. It seems like Clarkson throws a hissy fit when he can't get a Fillet Mignon and fondant potatoes at two in the morning. Any real "bloke" would have ordered another pint and re-told everyone present (like-it or not!) the story of the afternoon he was "robbed" of a place in the ManU first team; what a pussy.


Chairman Bill said...

It's his effect on kids that worries me. I have enough problems keeping the Chip off the Old Block under my thumb as it is.

Steve Borthwick said...

CB, me too; my own thinks the sun shines out of his proverbial **** - Let's face it the demographic for Top Gear these days is teenage boys and middle-aged nerds who never grew out of being teenage boys!