Saturday 24 March 2012


Hmmm. The footballing media continued to react to Fabrice Muamba as though the player had died rather than, fortunately, surviving.  Football Focus came from Bolton’s ground, replete with ‘memorial’ to the still alive midfielder.What has been troubling for me, other than the coolness factor in being really sad about it, is that the narrative of the week in the footballing media was pretty much the same had he not survived. Minutes of applause at games, a floral/memorabilia memorial at the ground and games being called off are things one associates with a major tragedy. That the game involving Bolton was postponed is not something I am criticising; that was certainly the right thing to do. Also, that players who knew him were offered the chance to sit out games was, again,  the right thing to do.

I’ve struggled a bit with my reaction to this whole thing. I alluded to it the other day, it being the reaction of the football world. Of course it’s a good thing that the reaction has been supportive and positive: however because there is something tragic at the centre of something does it preclude comment, god forbid criticism? The benefit of being a few days behind on my blog means that I know there will be somewhat of a minor frenzy in two days (Monday) when a United fanzine will criticise the outpouring of grief surrounding the whole episode (“GRIEF JUNKIES RUN RIOT” was the controversy-courting cover headline).

None of it means I shouldn’t be allowed to say the reaction of lots of people has been mawkish. What is this? Seriously what IS it? Anything seen as questioning something with a pure heart is automatically seen as insensitive. You know a modern phenomenon that really troubles me? Parent(s) of young person with tragically short life expectancy undertakes relentless social networking campaign to get celebrities to ‘befriend’ the youngster who will not trouble UCAS.

I understand morale is an issue. I understand it is often associated with fundraising: a lot of the time it isn’t though. In a strange way these children hold up a bizarre mirror to the nature of celebrity: B-Listers climbing over themselves to be associated with some little kid in a wheelchair because Wayne Rooney did it on Twitter. But if I ask the question, could you possibly just spend more time with your child rather than tweeting the cast of Casualty? Then people would say I was an uncouth twat – with a fat face and stumpy legs. But they are wrong.

There is something (sometimes) smug about grief. Much like anything it depends on the person. We all know there are a lot of fucking melons in the world. Why would they not be a cock about tragedy? Why is it not acceptable to SCREAM INTO SOMEONE’S STUPID FUCKING FACE, “just because your mother died doesn’t mean you should cry about it every day 42 years later when you’re losing an argument”?? It’s political correctness gone mad.

Aziz As Was

Let’s not mince about talking nonsense: invest $5 in this and you will be like “Gees, thanks Phil that Aziz Ansari stand-up special I downloaded on your recommendation was one of the funnier hours of my recent memory. I know the real credit should go to that funny Asian man from America but I’m of the opinion that YOU are the real hero. Three cheers for you….hip-hip hurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrah….hip-hip hurrrrrrrrrrrrrrah…hip-hip…hurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrah!”

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