There is a wonderful scene in Thomas Harris’ dark fairy-tale Hannibal when the eponymous Dr Lector, enjoying himself mightily as an art curator in Florence, takes time out from his busy schedule, which includes at least one murder, to visit a travelling show of some fame and repute called Atrocious Torture Instruments.
If you’re thinking that’s a very fitting thing for a serial killer to be checking out, you’d be both correct and incorrect; it’s not why he’s there.
Let me put that another way; Hannibal, who knows all about torture and murder from his own vast personal experience, isn’t particularly interested in the instruments themselves.
The wheel, the cage, the rack et al … they hold no fascination for the former psychiatrist who once recreated the famous anatomical sketch Wound Man with one his victims.
No, Hannibal is there to watch the people. Thomas Harris puts it beautifully.
“The exposition of Atrocious Torture Instruments could not fail to appeal to a connoisseur of the worst in mankind. But the essence of the worst, the true asafoetida of the human spirit, is not found in the Iron Maiden or the whetted edge; Elemental Ugliness is found in the faces of the crowd.”
Hannibal takes his sustenance from that; from fat tourists and ignorant trash, salivating over the blunt and bladed instruments which inspired such fear down through the ages. Hannibal is a people watcher and seeing their evil is where he gets his jollies.
I’m a Peepul watcher.
Take a look at RangersMedia or Follow Follow on any given night for an exercise in the same. That crashing sound you heard today was not just the sound of bottles going, it was the sound of arrogance and ego being dragged to its own sky-cell, screaming all the way.
Go onto those sites tonight and drink in the atmosphere as fear, of the future, and loathing – much of it loathing of their own club by the way – stalk the halls. Don’t worry. Even after Brexit and our dismal transfer window, you’ll find it therapeutic and uplifting.
We have to do that job at Hamilton tomorrow, and we cannot yet be gleeful, joyful or triumphant until that match is done, but tonight feels good.
Tonight feels, as the great on-screen Hannibal, played by Anthony Hopkins, once put it in a different context entirely, “like slipping into a warm bath.”
I knew that the aftermath of the Celtic Park game was going to be awful.
The wait for the football to start again was virtually unbearable.
Since we came back we’ve rolled.
Tomorrow will be a test as we’ll have to roll on a plastic pitch for the second time in as many weeks, but the two up front system has spooked the opposition so far and I reckon the lift tonight will give us will be the final jolt we require to start putting this out of reach of their scabby fingers.
Can you feel the anger tonight? The frustration? The Peepul had such hopes for the second half of this campaign, and already it is slipping away from them. It is the hope, you see, that makes this harder than it has to be. Hope is the true enemy, the true killer.
Nothing crushes the spirit more than wholly unrealistic hope.
It prevents you from grieving. It prevents acceptance. It stops you from moving on.
Go, friends, and sup from the cup of their pain. It is a heady brew.
Believe me, their forums are a riot on a night like this.
So are the phone-ins. I have Clyde on right now and even the sub-basement intellect of the panel is nothing compared to the average caller from Sevconia.
Enjoy it folks.
This is the start to the weekend we wanted.