Solving the World's problems with common sense and a flamethrower.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Respec'. Innit.

The worthy Mr Jahom has seen his comments field become a river of flame for this article concerning the late Anthony Kershaw, murdered* while drunkenly urinating through somebody's letterbox*.

There are many opinions on this.

Some believe Mr Kershaw got what was coming to him, following the all-too-regular campaign of bullying, intimidation and general thuggery inflicted on the man who eventually killed him. They have a point, of course. Others believe that he didn't deserve what happened, just for urinating on someone's door. And of course, they're absolutely right too. Anthony Kershaw should not have lost his life.***

Still others (mostly those who knew Mr Kershaw) have spoken of a 'Jack the Lad' character, who was 'loved and respected' by those who knew him. They have demanded that those commenting on Al Jahom's page 'show some respect'. And there, dear reader, is the topic.


Respect is one of those words that, like 'fairness', is bandied around all the time by people with little, if any, understanding as to its meaning. And it's especially popular with the more feral members of our society***.

Those commenting negatively about Mr Kershaw's actions were told to 'have some respect'. Mr Kershaw himself was, apparently, loved and respected. In other stories, we read of the 'gang culture' and the shootings in our towns, cities and sink estates - people, frequently young, losing their lives for the crime of 'disrespect'.

And yet like 'fairness' and 'democracy' have become meaningless multisyllables, the true, real, genuine meaning of respect is largely lost to those who scream the word the loudest.

It seems to me that to the word has morphed until for chavs and the like, 'respect' relates to how feared you are among your peer group - a sort of scumbag analogue of the Mohs Scale. You get respect because you're 'ard. Tasty. Nobody messes, yeah, coz you'll fuck 'em right up, cut 'em, yeah? Innit.

But that isn't respect.

You'll hear chavs, assorted idiots and 'gangstas' spouting drivel about how 'respect has to be earned', still thinking it's theirs to demand, to take by force.

That isn't respect.

Respect - and I am referring to respect between adults here, not the more heirarchical nature of that between children and adults - does indeed have to be earned, but it is not earned by your toughness, your ability to sink pints or how intimidating you can be to passers-by. It's gained only by the worth of your character - and, specifically, by how much respect you accord to others.

So to those Rochdalians who have been defending Mr Kershaw's actions, consider this: if you want to be a 'loved and respected' person, fine. Be respected for recognising that it's disrespectful to arse about loudly outside another individual's home. Recognise that it's disrespectful to refuse to move on when asked to do so by another homeowner. And recognise that it's certainly disrespectful - in the extreme - to urinate through someone's letterbox.

To be respectable is to act with basic levels of consideration for the people around you. To fail in that most basic of requirements renders you unworthy of the term.
Why should those who are defending Mr Kershaw expect him to be respected? Why also should they expect to be respected themselves? Did he, in any way, treat Mr Williams with the respect he himself demanded? Are those defending him looking at what he did as in any way disrespectful? No, they are not. So they should not expect respectful treatment when none was given by the deceased.

No, Anthony Kershaw shouldn't have died as a result of his actions. But those who are claiming he was respected should examine his deeds, consider how they would react were someone to do the same to them - and realise that calling him 'respected' makes a meaningless mockery of the word and the concept.

** Unless he'd actually forced his way through the door, in which case all bets are off.
*&* I use the term in its loosest possible sense.

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Captain Ranty said...

"But those who are claiming he was respected should examine his deeds, consider how they would react were someone to do the same to them..."

And that, Mr D, is where the whole thing dies on its arse. These people cannot, and will not entertain such a concept. So outraged are they that this ("well liked, well respected, much loved") ghetto saint was retaliated against by a man (sane or not) at the end of his tether. It's fine for them to be aggrieved, their grief is somehow righteous, and it is righteous ONLY because they refuse to look at the other side of the coin. They cannot and will not take a step back to look at this event. They are right, goddammit! An innocent died that night. One who contributed nothing to his own demise. They will never connect the two things: him pissing in the guys letterbox and the guy losing it and using disproportionate force.

No, Mr Kershaw did not deserve to die, but given the chain of events we are so far privy to, someone was going to get hurt that night.

A tragic story. But it will happen again and again until this "respect" thing you speak of is reintroduced into the minds of our younglings.


David Chiverton said...

This is a pitch-perfect bit of blogging D. Excuse me while I send it to everyone I know over the weekend.

JuliaM said...

Excellent summation!

Brennig said...

Aye, cock-on summation

Chuckles said...

Well said, well written. I think I come to some conclusions that are considerably harsher than yours, but that is hardly surprising.
Was it not the A.C. Blair fellow who was so fond of pushing the whole 'respek' thing. Perhaps they could take it up with him?

Dioclese said...

I agree wiv u and if u dont like it u cn fuck off innit?

Mr Rob said...

It appears that you stopped using the word "allegedly" about a third of the way through your post.