Fear & Loathing At Hampden: Ever Danced WIth The Devil In The Pale Moonlight?

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All season long, I have wanted to explore a theme that could not properly be explored until now. It is the theme of despair. You know what despair is? Despair is the absence of hope. That’s why when Dante’s pilgrim is about to enter the Inferno the words on the wrought iron gates which greet him read “Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here.” A lot of first time readers think this is a warning; it’s actually a piece of advice.

Because through those gates there is no hope. None whatsoever.

The promise behind them is of an eternity of suffering. Because that’s what the darkness really represents; no chance of redemption, no prospect of anything better, and all hope will do is cause you further, and deeper, pain. Those who cling to it are foolish as well as damned, because Hell is a permanent state of affairs.

This entire season has been a lesson in the reality of where they are, and if they haven’t realised it yet they do themselves no favours with every day they put it off. Hell is the absence of hope, and until they give up on hope all they are doing is subjecting themselves to more suffering and all it does is turn the pain dial up.

Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy their suffering. Maybe I am, myself, destined for a corner of the Inferno, but I don’t think so. This is a classic example of what John Doe was doing in Seven; turning the sin against the sinner.

Who is more arrogant than they are? Who is more inclined towards lording it over a beaten foe than them? Not only nine years of this did we have to put up with, but every year of Murray as well … there is some overlap but it was in the years after we won our Stop The Ten when he, and they, were at their worst.

Those were the years of “for every fiver” and “whoever takes over at Celtic had better have very deep pockets.” They were the years of succulent lamb … and all that was followed up with “Motherwell Born Billionaire” and the Glib And Shameless Tax Cheat heralded as a hero when he lied and bullshitted his way through every day.

There is zero sympathy to be found here. The longer they cling to hope and suffer for it the happier I’m going to be … and the more Celtic are going to win. Today we rendered the Lie an insignificant nonsense because they will never boast about having a “joint record” with Celtic and so that’s gone. Next season we’ll remove even the justification for the Lie as I said earlier. But it’s hope they really have to get shot of.

I hope they never do. For the third time this season – after going ahead in the league, after being in front in the women’s race until the closing minutes and today at the final – they have dared to dream only to have it ripped out of their hands.

And more self aware Peepul might be asking if they maybe deserve this.

The obvious answer is that of course they do. And we’ve endured so much of the egotism and arrogance this season that I don’t even need to defend that statement. Any other club who had scored a goal to see it knocked off, only for us to score in the last minute might just generate a thimbleful of sympathy … but short of absolutely destroying their side I cannot think of a better way to beat them than that.

And to be honest, I had hoped for the destroying, and thought that nothing would be more satisfying than that. In the end I think I prefer this because it will unleash more of those twin emotions to which these articles are dedicated; fear and loathing.

Everyone will get it in the neck over this. John Beaton most of all, which I find incredibly amusing. Let them rant. Let them rage. Let them convince themselves that the world is against them; that makes it harder to motivate people to turn up next season. Because to them what’s the point?

Officials are out to get them and the one they had the biggest complaint about is the one who sits atop the refereeing structure … so isn’t next season done before it starts? They never did get used to dealing with that as a matter of course, so of course they aren’t mentally equipped to handle it.

If it’s not Dante who is right, but Sarte, then Hell isn’t the absence of hope but Other People, and in their case that means us. So please, make their summer Hell by reminding them that even this allegedly “bad” Celtic side – their term not ours, of course – has won a double in spite of their guru boss, who ours has beaten three times. Make sure that every chance you get you remind them of all we’ve taken away.

And remember too that there is yet another version of Hell and this might be the one that encapsulates them better than any other, they consider themselves special, singular, better than the rest of us and they are selfish with it.

The dea that Scottish football is a community and that hating the rest of it is not in their best interests. Hate is their thing. It’s the loathing part of the equation.

In Chaucer’s version Hell is a dining table where everyone eats with a long spoon. The Damned try to eat what they pick up and cannot get the spoon anywhere near their mouths … the Saved feed one another and so they never starve.

That takes care of the loathing. And we all know about the fear. The fear is that they are already through those wrought iron gates and that all hope is lost already. I believe that our position as the biggest club in this country is now basically unchallengeable, and that we are now what Murray always thought they would be.

We have arrived, finally, at the place where they are now in the shadow of Celtic in the most literal sense, not just for a period lasting some years but where it’s now a permanent state of affairs. I’ve believed for a long time now that we would erase the Lie by making it redundant and we’re on the brink of that now … one more trophy than them puts us in front and like a good title race, I think once we move ahead their future is basically an increasing of the gap, and that how big that gap becomes will depend on how they handle that.

Since the concept of Hell first entered human consciousness there has been a long-standing debate about how Hell itself would be the proof that a benevolent and just God cannot exist ,because if he were those things then how could anyone justify the existence of Hell in the first place; it’s such a simplistic argument that it’s amazing anyone still bothers to make it. You need to repent and recognise the nature of your sins to avoid that fate, and those who do not – those who willingly, consciously, make the decision to do otherwise are those who end up behind those iron gates.

They deserve it all. Every little bit of it. They deserve it because it’s a choice to live in fear … and it’s definitely a choice to live in loathing.

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  • Regi says:


    Of Trousers or Dat pair of trousers?

    The ones that the Huns individually and collectively have not shat in.

    Sorry, they shat in them both.


  • Bod says:

    One word…Glorious! ??

  • Paul taggart says:

    James double done enjoy weekend but make no mistake this is a poor celtic team never seen same guys giving ball away as much in my life give brendan the money build his team and destroy them

  • Bhoy4life says:

    Spent the afternoon sitting in A&E, 2 Huns in front of me in absolute despair after we scored.
    It was simultaneously cringeworthy and delicious ….heads in hands…just saying “ no….no……no” over n over.
    Ive had worse Saturdays….

  • Jim M says:

    Perfectly addressed James, and the best bit is, that this is just the beginning of their journey through the 9 levels of it , fear and loathing right enough, the gift that keeps on giving

  • Jim M says:

    PS, forgot to mention the OUROBOROS , the eternal snake , hopefully sevcos death is slower this time around .

  • Chatlie says:

    You didn’t mention it but you are describing their inevitable ‘Espanolification ‘

  • Melvin Udall says:

    I see the ‘We Don’t Care Bears’ were out attacking Celtic fans who were queuing to get into bars around the city before the game.


    We were terrible today, but they were worse. We had an off day (too many celebration drinks I reckon), and they still couldn’t do anything with us.

    Well done Brendan and the Bhoys. Get big Idah signed up. ?????????


    The Gospel according to Life as its lived.

    Hell hath no fury but the piss and wind of exceptionalism being expelled through a catheter labeled ‘REALITY’, from a slowly deflating corpus tattooed with the epitaph’ Life is a bitch, deal with it’.

    I doubt they have sufficient self awareness to reinvent themselves as just like any other normal people (sic).

  • The Joker says:

    So the CARDBOARD GANGSTERS had been out in force today looking for trouble,while we decided to go out and have some fun.

  • Ryan Ellis says:

    Hey James, there is another description of Hell, used in the Stephen King scripted TV movie, ‘Storm of the Century’, (excellent,by the way) which is “Hell is repetition.” That mob’s particular hell will be watching us winning trophy after trophy, forever. And, while we’re talking about it, Hell mend them!

  • Dave says:

    WRTP no longer touches the sides with them . It’s Master Race mentality . Many of them wouldn’t even get into hell

  • Dave Samson says:

    Totally agree .They have gone from WRTP to Master Race mentality . Most of them would b turned away from hell

  • Roonsa says:

    Look lhads n lasses. I’m holding ma hand up here. I’m pished. So I’ll keep this short n sweet. What a great end to a frustrating season. Auto correct is saving my bacon here. I liked the bit about Hell being us to them.

    I don’t know what’s going on. Merry Christmas xxx

  • Saulgoodman says:

    Glass half full ok – players were on the piss all week – ccv – aj apart – this is why mor will never go for stupid money too many 4/10 games , but we beat them again , + beating them when we’ve been on the piss all week , its up there with beating them when we’re sober Rodgers 9/10 trophys , elite manager .

  • Mr Magoo says:

    Great piece James.

    I got sent a recording of the disgusting behaviour of that mob this morning intimidating parents and their children in the town centre this morning. Calling them fenian bastards and tarrier cunts go home.
    Sean’s looked petrified . Disgraceful .

    Sent a copy to BBC news on whatsapp. Doubt very much if this will be mentioned anywhere on media.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Cam e back in from pub to watch sports scene and Miller was on ….

    He says both teams might need a No 1 goin forward…

    Ah shouted at the tele –

    Na Miller only youse cunts are pish !!!!!!!

    But they definitely need a No. 2 –

    Because they’re SHITE !

  • Anthony Larsson says:

    If Eedah there was a moment 🙂 HH

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