There are times when the gutter element online goes far beyond anything that we would consider the norms of human behaviour or decency.
Nobody who has been exposed to them can be in the least doubt about that.
Today has confirmed it further.
I’m not going into the specifics of this matter; everyone knows, or will soon know, what it is I refer to.
One young life has been taken. Another stands on the brink of utter ruination. Most normal, decent, people are appalled and dismayed at the total waste of humanity. Two families have been shaken to their foundations; the collateral damage is immense.
But for some – thankfully not a lot – this is nothing more than an opportunity.
To score points. To take a cheap shot. To settle scores.
I don’t know why they get such satisfaction from wallowing in the muck like this, but they clearly do as is evidenced by their social media postings.
I am angry at them, but my anger stretches beyond them into the larger realm.
I know there are followers of every club who would view a story like this as something to gloat over.
All of them should be profoundly ashamed of themselves.
How grim it has become, the level of discourse around our game.
I don’t know when it started, but the weaponization of child abuse was certainly a critical juncture along the way.
There are people online who you can’t have any conversation regarding our club with without them shoving it in your face.
Knowing that, I refuse to engage with a single one of them; the second a discussion heads down that road the block button is used instantly.
For those with whom that subject is a dark obsession, a moment like today is far too good to resist, and they will roll around in the shit to their hearts content.
This might be one of those times when we all have a chance to let these scumbags know just how far out on the fringes they are, not simply of their club, not simply of Scottish football, but from society as a whole.
They are amoral psychopaths, and their behaviour in climbing on top of all this wreckage is every bit as shocking as that they claim to be calling out.
For the rest of us, this is a time for solemnity and respect for all those who are caught up in this vortex of suffering.
I wish the whole atmosphere around our game was better than this.
I wish it was not so filled with hatred and spite and malice.
We’re a long way from where we need to be.