Pale, Male, Stale: The Old Tired Trope


I’m getting sick of it. Old white male who has sprent thirty years doing a job reaches pensionable age and is pensioned off. Not because it might be welcome to have a change after thirty years, not because it might just be that his attitudes and approaches have gotten into a bit of a rut, after thirty years, and maybe just a bit out of touch with now instead of 1992. No. It;s because he’s a white male, and it’s all down to ‘Woke’, whivh he promptly demonstrates he doesn’t understand.

The latest of this self-obsessed ilk is former Liverpool footballer and BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson, aged 65. I’ll be frank, I never had much time for Lawrenson. His schitck was pessimism, coupled with sarcastic humour that I never found funny. His being a Liverpool player didn’t stand him in good stead with me, and he was a notorious laugh for the years when he used to predict the Premier League re4sults on the BBC website and never, not once, no matter how poor their form, did he ever predict a Liverpool defeat.

So thirty years was a good run for someone with a fairly limited range of opinions, and the BBC didn’t exactly commit any capital crimes in pushing him out at the end of lsst seasion, especially when this was being coupled with a new format for Football Focus.

And with weary predictability, Lawrenson produces the tired trope, in fact he makes a tryptich out of it. Firstly, he’s been gotten rid of because he’s a ‘White Male’, and everyone knows there has never been a time in the history of the world when anyone was more badly persecuted than white males. Secondly, he condescends to and patronises the new Focus presenter, former footballer Alex Scott. I mean, she’s neither White nor Male and therefore has been given her job for totally illegitimate reasons. Of course, he does speak ‘in fairness’, to say that she’s ‘a lovely girl’ and is ‘still learning’, no, Lawro’s not prejudiced (but everybody else is. Against him).

And thirdly it’s all down to ‘Woke’. Woke, in the mouths of those who feel that their former hegemony, their right to exclusively dictate who and what should prevail, is an elastic buzzword meaning whatever they weant it to mean. It’s actual meaning, of senstivity to racial prejudice and intolerance can go hang. Lawrenson proves he has no idea what he’s talking about by coming up with a ‘woke’ moment from the aftermath of Princess Diana’s death whe Gary Lineker was told not to use the word ‘wall’ when describing a defensive formation. Sensitivity to an exorbitant degree, I’d go with, or just plain stupidity, but ‘Woke’? Go away and fucking read until you understand what you’re saying, you stupid ****.

I don’t like the epithet ‘Pale, Male and Stale’, which is increasingly freqently being used to castigate a culture based on the tradition of Western Culture. It’s offensivem and deliberately so, for all that it carries with it a strain of truth. But it fits Mark Lawrenson and his band of pompous brothers to a T.

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