Celtic Fans Should Be Laughing Like Hell As The Ibrox Gong Show Enters Its Final Phase.

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One of the best films I’m ever seen is one of the most under-rated; it’s called Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind, the autobiographical story of the American game show creator Chuck Barris.

I had gotten fascinated by him years before I saw it, when I came across one of his quotes in Stephen King’s four novel anthology The Bachman Books, two of which are about grotesque game shows.

One of them, The Long Walk, I’ve written about before. The other is The Running Man, which I think is one of King’s best books and bears no resemblance whatsoever to the dreadful Schwarzenegger movie which bears its name and junked nine tenths of what is an amazing story.

“The ultimate game show,” the Barris quote read, “will be one where the losing contestant dies.”

Who the Hell is this guy? I thought. And so I checked him out.

It’s such a nihilistic idea, but one that when you consider it more carefully isn’t far from the truth.

What are combat sports but something to satisfy that bloody, voyeuristic urge?

The Romans knew this stuff, which is why they built the arenas and imported wild animals and staged gladiatorial combat. These were the game shows of their day, and the losing contestants almost always died.

There is nothing new under the sun.

Barris’s story is sensational, in no small part because he claims to have been a CIA paid assassin for much of his working life, travelling around the world under the cover of his production company, murdering people for the US Government.

It’s fanciful. It’s crazy. It’s some ingenious self-promotion, and the movie takes it only semi-seriously.

The key moment in the movie, and in Barris’ insight, comes when he’s trying to get a new idea off the ground.

What he envisioned we’d now call The X-Factor; he was the guy who invented, or was going to invent, the television talent show. That’s how far ahead of his time Barris was.

But during the interview process he got so sick and tired of watching bad acts that he was seized by a momentary fantasy of murder. Instead, he found inspiration.

And what he decided to do was scrap the idea of looking for the one gem in a thousand duds. Because that was hard work and a long slog, and who has the time or the attention span for that?

No, what he chose to do was far better … he decided to put the duds on TV instead, and to let the audience decide when enough was enough.

So the audience would laugh until they booed and when the booing got loud enough Barris or his co-presenters would bang a great big gong to tell them their time was up.

That gave this unlikely hit its name; The Gong Show.

And reading Keith Jackson this morning, I think I see how the Ibrox club is going about its managerial “search.”

This is an audition to see who comes out as the best of the worst.

Most of these candidates are going to get gonged off the stage. The one who’s least crap … wins. If you can call being strapped into that thankless awful job by that name.

For openers, Jackson’s piece is hilarious.

He says the “shortlist” has been whittled down to two.

In the space of a few days, that’s some going, right? They conducted a global search, sifted through all the available names and got it down to their top two. And The Mooch was only sacked on Sunday.

What did I say last night?

The time they thought they had to do it right vanished like a fart in the wind the moment the full-time whistle went in Cyprus. They are doing the rush job to appease the fans, who otherwise might be picketing the front door of Ibrox.

So, according to Jackson, their shortlist consists of Muscat.

Of course; as I said, the Ange clone, and Lampard, who is of course the Gerrard clone.

Oh the people running that club have about as much imagination as the average Ibrox Noise writer.

Yet although the “shortlist” is down to two, Jackson then says that McInnes is still in with a shout.

Eah? Thought they were at the final two?

Confused? Not half as much as Jackson is because he then throws the former Eintracht Frankfurt manager into the mix.

It is typically barmy from him, and one of those articles which leaves you scratching your head.

So what is Ibrox up to? Are these interviews or are they auditions, whilst someone stands beside the Zoom screen with a great big gong? Because it’s starting to feel like that.

If they are courting Muscat and Lampard, but are willing to take McInnes then this whole process is a joke.

It’s lazy and it’s unfocussed.

Lampard is about trying to recapture the Gerrard stardust; one trophy in nine attempts should have dissuaded them from such madness, but apparently it hasn’t. Muscat is a poor man’s Ange, and he will quickly find himself having to work like one with no money to spend and under more pressure than he has ever known.

The Ibrox Gong Show is a con job, and the con is on the Ibrox fans, and if they don’t already know that they are going to get exactly what they deserve. Their board hasn’t done a shred of actual work here, they’re falling back on ideas so discredited that they should have been laughed out of the room the very first time they were broached by a director.

I listened to some of the Ibrox fan media shows last night to see what they make of all this, and I am amazed to have heard one very sensible idea coming through loud and clear; that their directors should be consulting football people before rolling the dice like this.

Because none of their directors has a clue about that stuff, these are bean counters with no experience of the sport except for watching it in from the stands.

When Celtic was choosing O’Neill’s successor, they asked him who he would recommend.

They would never have hired Rodgers without talking to people in the game south of the border, and without Desmond’s personal touch.

They asked respected people all over the place about Ange Postecoglou and got back rave reviews. At every stage in recent years we’ve had guys like Martin O’Neill and Gordon Strachan, and all their contacts too.

We didn’t need a director of football because we fell back on building years of them within the sport.

This is when I mean when I say that as long as Lawwell stays in his lane that his being there isn’t a significant problem in itself. This is called “institutional memory”, and it is massively advantageous to have that experience within the club.

Their directors do not have that.

These are the people who believed The Mooch’s transparent bullshit about being the brains behind Gerrard, which as we all know isn’t anywhere near as impressive a boast as it has long been made out anyway.

This is their first managerial hire, and if they’ve charged in like this they are certainties to make a mess of it.

But no search has been done at all, that much is plain if they’ve narrowed the field to those two guys, and the inspiration for both of them is clear and obvious. And with McInnes as their fall-back, that would just be hilarious.

The more exotic – and more ambitious – names are being thrown around just to convince the fans that there was plenty of interest but that the guy they finally anoint will be the Chosen One, the most impressive.

For all that, it’s clear that this is the bottom of the barrel here, two ex-Ibrox players and a long-time Ibrox fan.

That shows you what appeal this job has for anyone who has never immersed themselves in the bubble, anyone who is therefore immune to the hype. The “right” guy has to have the appropriate level of “staunch.”

It’s one of the key criteria.

Honestly, watching their version of The Gong Show makes me ever more confident about our future.

That club is a shambles from top to bottom and the pain for their fans is made all the more acute because they believe they are entitled – yes entitled – to be so much more.

But they are what they are, forever looking back instead of looking forward and that, and their obsession with trying to catch us, is what will do for them.

Barris said a lot of cool stuff, but this comment of his, tonally similar to the one about how the best show will be one where the losing contestant dies, sums up the issue facing that club as well as anything that I’ve ever heard.

“I came up with a new game-show idea recently,” he said. “It’s called The Old Game. You got three old guys with loaded guns onstage. They look back at their lives, see who they were, what they accomplished, how close they came to realizing their dreams. The winner is the one who doesn’t blow his brains out. He gets a refrigerator.”

Or maybe just the manager’s job at Ibrox.

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  • Johnny Green says:

    They should appoint two managers, so that they always have a ready made replacement for whenever they hit the skids. It’s the only sensible solution.

  • Johnny Green says:

    ARIS 2…..ARSES 0


  • Johnny Green says:

    Ooops, I forgot the Arses scored one

  • Bob (original) says:

    Don’t panic! 🙂

    Exactly: when the smelly stuff hits the fan, you need experienced leaders to

    keep everybody calm, and who can draw on their extensive experience – and contacts ? –

    to deal the immediate problems, and get back to normality.

    The rookies in the Blue Room just have that.

    Could you even imagine Bennett & Bisgrove interviewing Lampard…?

    Silly boys!

  • Yada Ya says:

    James, I wish you would stop giving Rangers advice on how to solve their problems. Even if it is the correct recipe to get them out of the mire, they will always reject anything coming from a Celtic connection as that is anathema to them. I and expect many more are quite happy to see them flounder and drown in their incompetence, long may it continue. So please stick to castigating our Board on their reluctance to invest and take us to higher levels. Let Rangers sink and benefit Scottish football.

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      “Let Rangers Sink” (and benefit Scottish Football)…

      Here’s a little bit of Scottish Football history Yada Ya –

      On 14th June 2012 Rangers (as they were then) went into LIQUIDATION…

      Dead, Deceased, At rest (but not) , Haunted, Corpse, Whatever –

      I always refer to their new club as Sevco…

      It feels good doing that – and it is The Truth –

      As of today Sevco are 11 years and 38 days old…

      Always remind them (Sevco) of their age whenever in conversation with them please all Hoops fans..

      It’s a powerful feeling doing that for sure !

  • king murdy says:

    it’s all very well pointing and scoffing james…..
    lennon….? the laziest of lazy appointments – TWICE !!! ffs !
    BR this time around ???
    i’ll say this for the hun board… least they listened to the fans and acted quickly in getting rid of the manager….remains to be seen how quickly they make appointment…
    but the old adage….”people in glass houses..etc…etc…”

  • Cyril Donohoe says:

    No grt surprise at the candidates they are allegedly looking at, they are skint n on a Uefa financial watch list .It would therfore be natural for them to be scraping the barrel for the dregs.Should this come to pass the next few months will be interesting, will it finally hit the Klan that they are a basket case ? If so watch for the implosion interesting times aheaf.

  • Bob (original) says:

    Just now, The DR online top story is Martindale’s detailed support of the anti-gangs campaign – again.

    The article is dated September 9th, when it first appeared online.

    This is now the THIRD separate day I’ve seen it as the main DR story online.


    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      The Day-Late Record Bob (original) – Or should that be The 28 Day-Late Record…

      You’ve a more forgiving heart than I’ll ever have reading that gutter vomit inducing rag for sure –

      I was hoping it’d be like it’s beloved Rangers deceased by now but it must still be staggering on just like Sevco are doing –

      The next circulation audit figures shoould be interesting !

  • Dave says:

    Nor much to laugh at With The Rangers.
    We are only a match or two away from our own issues biting hard.
    Team is going back the way, we easily lose goals at set plays due to lack of height, O’Riley has height but he can’t jump.
    Taylor just runs about looking extremely busy but he moves into Hatate’s position so Hatate has to move out the way, Taylor is just a rampaging headless chicken.
    We can’t defend, a goal up in Europe and we don’t know how to contain the opposition then break fast, we go gung ho and lose goals.
    We pass pass pass without creating clear chances.
    Maeda is best on the left, so we weaken two wing positions to by moving Maeda to the right, weaken one position only and keep the team at its strongest in other positions.
    Bringing Carter Vickers on in Europe without any match time is just completely idiotic by Brendan.
    We need a new keeper, more so we need a left back with height, several of our players are to small, good on the ground when it’s going well but height & strength is lacking.
    We are close to being the laughing stock, The Rangers hold that title just now but we need a lot of improvement.
    People say its celtics way to go forward, but so is being beaten in Europe.
    League form is not great either, I only see the same style again from Brendan and I don’t like it.
    I will look to the future for improvement, the board pocketing the profit and not giving the team some experience with quality is back to the Lawell days of blowing the league, if The Rangers had got their act together I seriously believe we would be the ones all the jokes are aimed at.
    Hail Hail ?

  • SSMPM says:

    One thing I will not miss, with particular reference to your movies and movie quotes, is that fecking Mooch name. Freedom. HH

    • James Forrest says:

      Hahaha 🙂 I made a decision on that one early, and saw it through to the end 🙂

      Sadly, an end that came a bit sooner than I had hoped. 🙂

  • Big J says:

    Jings, Dave.

    Can you send me some of the happy pills you’re taking?

  • Johnno says:

    Mcinnes job interview will take place tomorrow and judged upon how he gets on against ourselves imo?
    Gets a result against us and the job is as good as his I would say.
    The only requirements for the scum job is trying to work out a way to try and stop us?
    Expecting a tedious match tomorrow that won’t be to pretty on the eye either, with the approach this scumbag will take, especially with a job offer in the making.
    Ourselves should be upon a revenge mission, and a big test to our mentality after the highs and lows over the past week.
    If that shitehawk really wants the scum job the level of anti football will be off the rictar scale and yet that would be viewed as a vast improvement upon the shite the scum are serving up

  • TonyD says:

    More like Opportunity Knocks hosted by Charlie Green with the scores registered on the Staunchometer…

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