One of the most edited film clips of all time is from the astounding Oliver Hirschbiegel film Downfall, from 2014, about the final days of the Nazi regime.
It’s the moment when Hitler realises that the gig is up, that there will be no miracle comeback, that the phantom armies he’s been moving around the map in his own mind are not coming to liberate the city of Berlin, far less turning the tide of the war.
He erupts in fury – which is the bit a lot of cheeky editors have turned into spoofs, including some great stuff about the Ibrox crisis of 2012 – before finally sitting in weary, grim resignation.
I thought about that when I saw Lawwell’s apology the other night; he looked like a guy who feels the walls closing in on him, a guy who’s stopped hoping for rescue.
Today The Green Brigade released another storming statement hammering him.
Their latest banner demands his resignation or firing.
If he believed that his appeal for unity was going to significantly alter the lay of the land he must already realise what a colossal error in judgement that was, and it’s not his first this season by any manner of means.
Lawwell has few friends left in the support, and those he has are nowhere near as vocal as those who want to see him gone.
His reputation as a steady hand on the wheel has been trashed and it doesn’t matter whether that’s fair or not, it’s the reality. His authority is ebbing away right in front of us and he has to realise it himself.
There’s a moment like that in part two of Stephen King’s massively under-rated book Hearts In Atlantis where a character attends a meeting in which a preening figure tries to present a disciplinary case which collapses the moment others start to question it.
Watching this, the main character remembers a phrase he had heard someone use during a political scandal “he had lost his mandate” and he understands that this is what’s happening to the guy presenting the case; his power lay solely in how others were willing to defer to his title and judgement.
Once that changes, you’re basically toast.
Lawwell is like that to me now; he’s “lost his mandate.”
The fans are no longer paying attention to a word he says, and you get the impression that this would be the case even if they believed he was right. The messenger now overshadows the message.
His credibility is shot and because it is, Lawwell is the last person who will be taken seriously when he appeals for unity and togetherness.
Those words sound hollow coming from a man who briefed the press against our supporters and then put up barriers against them.
You can’t go straight to building bridges when you’ve spent so long putting up fences.
I believed that those running Celtic cared about their legacies.
I believed that Lawwell, in particular, was ever concerned for his.
He has to realise now that there’s no way back for it, no way to repair the enormous damage he’s done to it.
To use another pop culture reference, Lawwell was powerful and had authority only as long as people believed in it.
This summer has pulled back the curtain, and all we can see now is a little fat guy, pulling levers in the hope of maintaining an illusion.
Like the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the media’s image of the Sharp Suited Man, the master negotiator, the presence at the centre of Scottish football, never really existed, and once you can see the reality it’s impossible to ever again believe in the legend.
This is the Lawwell that’s fixed in our minds now, our very own Oscar Diggs, a huckster, a showman, yes, but all style and no substance.
There are a handful who still believe in Lawwell, and this is undeniable, and he clings onto that still.
The spell will not be broken, for them, until he concedes that he’s a busted flush, as Hitler finally did in April 1945. The moment the fanatic loses faith all those who were bound to his reality suddenly come crashing back to their own.
Lawwell does know that the historical verdict on him will be dreadful; I firmly believe that.
He and those in the boardroom may gamble on seeing what the early season ticket numbers look like, but I doubt it.
They have to recognise this for what it is.
The reaction to his recorded statement the other day was so visceral, so contemptuous, and so nearly universal that he has to know his position is basically irredeemable, much as the manager’s is.
Part of him will want to gamble that the fickle nature of football fans is such that he can turn things around if he digs in his heels … but it’s time, and others at Parkhead must know it.
The fans certainly do, and they are making their feelings plain.
Nothing will repair what’s been broken here.
This campaign for his head is only just starting and it will not stop until he’s no longer an employee of Celtic’s.