Sometimes contempt is measured in ways that are barely perceptible.
You need a keen eye to spot it.
Sometimes it can be pitched in such a way that your mind rebels against it.
Who wants to detect it in the words or face of someone close to you?
Sometimes it is expressed in words that go unsaid.
Does anything betray contempt more readily than someone purely and simply deciding that you are not worthy of a response or acknowledgement?
There are levels of subtlety.
And then there is the naked kind of contempt.
Open, in your face, not even thinly disguised.
It is worse than any of them and the public nature of it is all the harder to bear.
That’s the kind of contempt our support was treated to today, by no less a person than Neil Lennon himself.
He was the public face of it, although he expressed it on behalf of everyone inside Celtic Park who possesses the executive authority to change this dreadful course we’re on.
That press conference was a train wreck. It was a repetition of all the drivel we’ve had to listen to already at various stages of this campaign. There were more promises that things would be put right, more excuses for what’s gone wrong, more talk of psychology and character, which have never been problems for this team up until now.
But above all, there was the contempt, expressed in his assertions that everyone at Celtic is unified behind the current setup. Notice that this excludes every single one of us, as if we’re not part of that thing called Celtic any longer, our opinions and views an utter irrelevance, our hopes and wishes somehow running counter to those “inside.”
If that’s not contempt I don’t know what is.
I’m at the point now where I’ve really had enough of this guy and the nonsense that comes out of his mouth, so much so that I would gladly never cover another of his press conferences except for the final one, where he offers us the apology we’re due for such disastrous mismanagement. If I didn’t have to write about them as part of the job, I’d ignore them from here on in.
Contempt is an emotion I’m becoming familiar with, from my own growing feelings of it when I consider the people who run our club.
I consider almost all of them to be charlatans at this point, a feeling that’s been growing in me for months as the full realisation of what they’ve permitted on their watch has crystallised. They are taking us for mugs. They are strategically inept and weak. I don’t see any way of getting rid of them either, except to starve them out, and I have doubts that would ever happen.
United they all may be, and standing by their man, but to me what binds them most tightly together is the depth of their denial of how serious this is.
I used to say it was the Ibrox board who lived in a fantasy world of their own design; ours now rivals them for their disengagement with reality.
Regardless of what they may believe, the manager has lost the support of the fans and the board is now viewed with enormous suspicion and dislike. They may believe they can ride this out but what they’ve done today is bind themselves to one another so that the fate of one is the fate of all.
When Lennon goes, a lot of others had better go with him.
This show of contempt will not be forgotten, and it will not go unanswered.