Friday, 15 December 2017
A LATE-NIGHT EPIPHANY: THE SPOOKY LINK BETWEEN FOOTBALL AND BREXIT
Had a rather strange late night epiphany, that I'm surprised hadn't occurred before.
I really cannot understand, at all, how literally anybody could look at what's happened in Britain in the last eighteen months and think it a good thing, long or short term. And I just don't get why anyone would have desired this division, conflict, and uncertainty.
Then the penny dropped. 'Division, conflict, uncertainty'.
We are a country obsessed with football.
A country that revels in the mindless caveman-like amusement of kicking a ball from point A to point B, in order to prove machismo prowess and supposed superiority. A country that revels in the 'drama' as much as the sport, and more often than not, the simple sense of 'belonging' among a tribal group: a tribal group that by definition, automatically hates other groups.
To add insult to injury, we're not even any good at it. Our footballers are some of the most underachieving and primped in the world; our widespread arrogance regarding British football prowess is entirely unjustified. We're a country where poor and disadvantaged people cheer loudly and prostrate before overpaid/over-privileged oiks who literally care nothing for them, whose very lifestyles serve as a neon flashing sign non-repentantly illustrating grotesque inequality. Honestly, we're just mugs.
Oh yes, and the most useful and committed players also happen to usually be foreigners, plugging the woeful gaps and inadequacies Brits leave wide open.
Sound familiar at all?
Okay, I know this will not be a popular, or even sensible thing to admit. And I do apologise to friends who enjoy the game. But football has always seemed so backward to me: a mind-numbing pastime that mostly attracts yobs, that should have had its day alongside public flogging. I've just never understood it. If even half those fans spent half the same time reading, learning, or developing a skill of their own, how different British society might be.
So it's really hardly a surprise that I shouldn't understand where Brexiters are coming from either. Or their desire to turn Britain into a mortal battle between two competing teams, where there can only be winners or losers. It's literally our national sport, after all.
The only difference is, sadly unlike football, the rest of us cannot really afford to ignore this particular 'game'.