All the topics above have been discussed again and again within obstacle racing. People have commented publicly, and sent me private messages. Swore. At me, and with me. Left long diatribes on my Facebook page. Talked to their friends. Got involved in lengthy arguments.
Yet, it is one reaction that I have seen pop up, that baffles me to no end.
It is the “who cares?” reaction.
Person 1: I saw so much cheating at the race this weekend!
Person 2: Me too!
Person 1: It’s a shame, really! How can those people look at themselves in the mirror?
Person 2: I hear what you are saying. Although, the rules ARE different for open and elite waves. Was this happening in the elite wave?
Person 1 opens her mouth to respond, and this is where, Person 3 pipes up with an insightful:
“Who the hell cares?”.
Please understand that “who the hell cares” in the above scenario is a rhetorical (and unnecessary) question.
In the above scenario, persons 1 and 2 clearly care. This is why they are having the discussion in the first place.
“Who cares?” is not a thought out argument. It is barely a sentence. It is lazy. And it is not actually a question at all.
When someone asks “Who cares?”, what they are actually saying is “I personally do not care, and I think you should know about it”.
Why do you think I care to know that you do not care about something I care about?
Can you imagine coming up to a group of people, involved in an animated argument at a party, and exclaiming “Who cares!”?
Interrupting two soccer fans, discussing the latest Eurocup game, with an obnoxious “who cares!”?
Rolling your eyes at two philosophers, analyzing the differences between determinism and fatalism, and whether there is indeed such a thing as free will?
If you do not care, then please refrain from commenting. You are in the wrong conversation. Find a conversation about a topic you care about. [And then, if some random moron asks you “who cares?”, you will feel my pain].
Not only it is rude to interrupt others who are discussing something they care about, it is also sending a mixed message. After all, when you butt into an online argument, it seems that… YOU care.
Within OCR, there are two groups of people:
1. A group who considers obstacle racing a sport.
2. A group who considers obstacle racing a fun weekend activity.
If you belong to the latter, please have enough courtesy to stay out of the discussions that happen within the former.
It’s akin to playing Monopoly, and regularly pausing and screaming about how the money is not real. You are not going to have any fun, and you are going to prevent others from having fun too.
Have you ever heard of Dungeons and Dragons?
You have to buy into the premise.
*** Author’s Note – Added Later ***
I have been tagged in a response/reaction to this post, discussing whether “who cares?” is an appropriate contribution to an argument or a discussion.
I am delighted that the author was both stimulated and inspired to write a follow up, and to develop this further into a different topic (thank you, John).
I do feel that there has been a misunderstanding in terms of two categories of people I have identified in the original article (see link in comments) – 1. people who consider OCR a sport, and 2. people who consider OCR a fun weekend activity IS NOT THE SAME AS elite vs. open waves.
There are plenty of folks who run elite, yet do not take the sport or themselves very seriously, and there are plenty of racers in the open waves who have been passionately following and arguing ALL aspects of the sport (because that’s what they consider OCR).
Hence, I stand by my original point… If you do not consider OCR a sport, regardless of which wave you run in, or how fast you are, please stay the hell out of discussions between people who indeed consider OCR a sport, and are engaging in discourse under that very paradigm.