The stuff the media thinks is important to us.
Honest to God. International fortnight is brain damage and even as you come to the end of it there is filler everywhere online.
This hopefully isn’t going to count as filler. I just want to talk about Ally Robertson.
I know, I’ve never heard of him either but he’s in multiple headlines today because he “joked” about not wanting to see Tom Rogic at The Hawthornes because he played for us and Robertson self-defines as an Ibrox club’s supporter.
This is what passes for humour. This apparently is what passes for news.
Isn’t it amazing how well we’ve internalised narrow minded bigotry? It reminds me of the hacks all laughing when Billy Gilmour signed for Norwich and his mother “joked” about not wanting to touch the green bit on a scarf. Whilst pointedly not touching the green bit on the scarf. This was apparently very funny to some people.
Except it was goonish idiocy and her family must have cringed.
I don’t know who Ally Robertson is and I care even less. I don’t care that he was joking when he said that he didn’t want Rogic because he played for Celtic, but I think it’s telling that this was his first thought when the big guy signed the deal and it’s what he chose to open his media interviews with. If you want some insight, there’s some to be had there.
Someone like that doesn’t deserve a player like Rogic at their club.
But honestly, that our news feeds should be full of a story like that is symptomatic of a press corps full of people who scour the internet all day long and write dreck. Last week their websites were full of stuff about the FIFA 2023 player rankings … I mean who cares? Who honestly thinks that this has any value in understanding the game here?
The last two weeks have been a horror-show slog, and I am only thankful that there were real issues to write about like media’s disgraceful response to a handful of Celtic fans exercising free speech and the SPFL-Ibrox standoff.
Writing this stuff for a fortnight would have driven me up the wall.
But honestly, it has a serious purpose to it.
Which is that we’re normalising goonish behaviour by making it some kind of joke. I’ve written often about the story Hugh Keevins once talked about sitting next to John Brown at a function and watching as he pushed aside a bowl of green jelly with a snarl. That’s a bigot, that’s someone consumed by hate, and Keevins found that funny.
We’ve blurred the line, and I’m not saying that this guy Robertson has crossed it … but it’s getting increasingly hard to know where the jokes stop and something darker starts seeping in, and that’s partly the media’s fault.