View Full Version : Crackin Article on Gers net

16-02-2011, 23:22
Well put together and some good points made.

On the homepage.

16-02-2011, 23:45
These people are bigots:


Of course, it's not evidence, but look at them. We can just tell, can’t we? If you find yourself saying 'no' to this question you're in a minority, if the media classes are to be believed. For a lot of people, it would seem, that such a picture is fundamentally enough. You can tell by looking.
Every generation has values, and certain words describe what is most vile for them. Some of those are listed above. You won’t catch me defending any, aparts from perhaps ‘hoodie’ - hoodies are very warm. The only problem is that, as they express sentiments so deeply held, they almost force a person to stop thinking and start hating whatever is described in those terms. Frequently without further recourse to determining critically whether the thing or person has been accurately described.

When words such as these are used too liberally, they equivocate between the sorts of things Martin Luther King stood up to, and, well, let’s say The Famine Song. When words such as these are used too often, they saturate everything. People are so scared to look like racist, Nazi, hoodie, ned, homophobe, bigots that they’ll stop doing things they would ordinarily unselfconsciously do for fear of accusation. Like, say, sing Hello Hello.

The Scottish government and UEFA have, independently, come to the conclusion that these two examples are racist and sectarian respectively. By extension, they have determined that whoever sings them are, similarly, racists and bigots. This is either a fantastic triumph for Progressive thinking, and a huge blow dealt to backwards outdated beliefs, or it isn’t. Before anyone decides, they should think for themselves precisely what it means to call someone racist, or a bigot. Not what it means to write e-mails, or make anonymous complaints via a web form - what it means to look someone in the eye, and call them either of those things.

Before it was determined to be illegal, I sang the Famine Song. It’s funny. The Famine wasn’t funny, but the song is. As the notes danced tunelessly out of my mouth and across the air towards the away fans, it fell on a sea of green, white and orange – themselves singing songs about their dislike of the country that educated them, often catering to their own particular religious beliefs, and in which they live and raise their families. It seems silly. It seems straightforward to say, “if you love Ireland so much, why don’t you go live there?” Now, the more keen minded amongst you will note that the “If you love it so much, why don’t you go marry it?” sort of thinking is childish. But football supporting is.

Now, I’m not racist. I have no disregard for Irish people whatsoever or in any sense. There’s nothing in the few lines of the song that suggest that my reasons for singing it can be called into question. Yet, we’ve ‘evolved’ past the stage, it would seem, where we need to have any sort of concrete or critical reason for believing someone is a racist – either in the words that come out their mouth, or in their actions. It seems like you can look at a group singing a song, decide some are probably racist, call the song consequently racist, and then everyone who sings it racist. This is a fantastically tortured line of reasoning, the end result of which is that you can really tell who is a racist just by looking at them.

Before it was banned by UEFA, I sang Hello Hello. If someone had asked me what ‘fenian’ meant, I’d’ve just pointed to the away support. Them that are not us. If they’d asked me to think about it, I would have meant a militant republican. But even then it’s going too far. It’s just a song. It’s not civilised, or kind, or good natured, particularly – but this is football, not rugby. It’s harsher, rougher, and, as a consequence, a good deal more fun to follow. Do I think that no-one who sings Hello Hello is bigoted? Of course not, some probably are, but that I can't tell from the song itself is the point. There is nothing within the song that demands it can be interpreted in that way. Unless there is substantiating evidence then, for some very good reasons, it’s pretty wise to assume that it’s not to be. Making judgements based on invisible inscrutable motives is not good practice – it lends legitimacy to the idea that you can tell who the bad guys are by looking. Historically, not something that’s worked out well. I mean, we know that even when a Jew is acting nice to our face, they’re really thinking about money, don’t we?

This lack of a principle of charity has wide ranging consequences. It will ultimately pull the carpet from under those who fail to apply it, because whose motives are so pure they couldn’t be inferred to be impure? This lack of restraint in using words like racist and bigot also has wide ranging consequences. First and foremost of which is that it devalues the terms being used. Those who think they are racially or sectarianly abused should think about what that means. Can you have an xbox, own a house, get any job you are qualified for, and hold the highest positions in the country and yet still be a persecuted minority? If you can, then it’s an odd sort of persecution. If you can’t, then the abuse you are receiving is between groups with equal standing – that’s called banter. It's also OK to think Roman Catholicism is a corrupt and ignoble religion. It's OK to do that. It's just not OK to beat someone, or deny them a job, because they choose to follow it. Just as it's OK to think Protestantism is a form of heresy, but it's not OK to deny a protestant a job, beat them etc.

Back in medieval times, their words were different. The vilest disparagement then was being called a witch, and it’s punishment was frequently real. In the witch burning scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail the underlying absurdity is exaggerated for comic effect.

“We’ve found a witch, can we burn her?”
“How do you know she’s a witch?”
“She looks like one”

I hope that, in time, we’ll come to see the recent generic dealings with Rangers fans, and people like Hugh Dallas, in the same light. The absurd, over-zealous, under-critical, pursuit of self ritgheous and irrational morality. Here’s hoping its victims find it quite as funny. I, for one, am sick of being considered a bigot for simply being a pragmatic unionist, protestant and supporter of monarchy. I dislike Roman Catholicism - I find its theology anti-life - and prefer the Enlightenment mode of values and culture that flourished in Scotland in the union. It's perfectly OK to think these things. It's perfectly OK to sing the Famine Song, and Hello Hello. Whatever people say, this is the simple moral truth. It may be uncouth, from a middle class perspective, but to call it wrong or to consider it some significant problem is patently absurd. We have wide ranging criminal and discrimination laws in this country that deal with what happens when these beliefs flow over into hatred and persecution, but what you hear in a football match is simply not it.

Anyone – and I mean anyone from Jack McConnell, to Graham Spiers (the discredited journalist) – who says otherwise ought to think of what these terms really mean. They ought to think of people herded like cattle, starving and clinging in vain to the hope of any human decency as they're shuttled into a gas chamber before they start on any hysterical anti racism sectarian drive which makes cheap scapegoats for already over-exaggerated problems. Would Martin Luther King, standing in the middle of Parkhead on Old Firm day look all around him at the green white and orange, singing the soldier song, and then look over at the Rangers fans singing the famine song and say "Yes, there are the racists. What oppression! This country is in a mess, they need some sort of political representation"? It's absurd, yet we'll still hear words like 'vile' and 'abhorrent' used to describe it. The only thing oppressed and abused in such a situation is language itself.

Ordinary decent Rangers and Celtic fans have, in fact, a common enemy –the sanitisation of football. While there may be ugly bigotry in our society – though not quite as much as the sensationalist media or pathologically paranoid religious leaders may think – dealing with it is a long, hard, process, quite unlike denying perfectly reasonable and decent people the right to sing their songs – does anyone really believe, who has ever thought, that singing the Famine Song necessarily makes you racist? Or that singing Hello Hello really necessarily makes you bigoted? I mean really?

That’s tabloid thinking, and something we could all do without. It’s unsophisticated, irrational, medieval anti-thought. Where the sensationalism stops, and the real world begins, there’s just people shouting at each other inside a match, and sometimes thuggery outside it. We ought to have a sense of perspective about the former, and already have the laws for the latter.

These people are football fans, like any other - the only thing that singles them out is that they support the right team.

This one?

16-02-2011, 23:46
theres about 4 different articles i can choose, which one?

16-02-2011, 23:51
These people are bigots:


This one?


1 wayward comment in it but thought it was a good read