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Miller’s Celtic Meltdown Was The Inevitable Result Of Fantasy Colliding With Reality.

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I always enjoy the aftermath to a big Celtic win, but I knew that I was going to enjoy this one more than most, because it’s almost guaranteed the title for us and because just a few months ago our opponents on Saturday were being hailed like swaggering conquerors.

I knew that some folks would unravel over it, and that’s because they were sure – absolutely certain – that this Ibrox team has us sussed and that they would be champions. The disintegration of Kenny Miller at the weekend, not only on Sky but on BBC Sportsound after the game, is especially noteworthy because it was so extreme.

As regular readers know, one of my favourite novels is Orwell’s 1984. It’s a fascinating book, because it predicted so many of our current trends and the problems which plague us. I guess they plagued societies even then, but never to this extent.

Doublethink horrified readers when it was first introduced to them. Some probably thought it wildly unrealistic. Of all the ideas in that book, it seemed the greatest stretch. Even the re-writing of the past was something you thought you could see evidence for in the real world. But doublethink? That was a weird one alright, or so it seemed at first.

Orwell’s description is as vivid today as it was when he wrote it;

“To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic … to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again.”

When I first read that it seemed far-fetched.

Could you really have an entire society that was, to all intents and purposes, suffering from a grand, self-inventing delusion? But the fact is, the holding of two contradictory ideas in your head at the same time is now commonplace for a lot of people, and as the retreat from facts becomes more entrenched, it’s becoming almost normalised in certain parts of the population.

That’s why whenever I encounter an idea that seems too mad to be taken seriously – I wrote recently about the Flat Earthers – I pause because I know that somewhere there is someone who hears that same idea and suddenly feels like the world just made sense for the first time.

What is it that the Ibrox fan sees? What is it they think they see? The old adage about those who ignore the lessons of history having to repeat it is one thing, but what if you have a completely warped understanding of what the history actually is?

In 1984, Winston Smith, the narrator, worked in The Ministry Of Truth, where his job was to change the past by destroying or rewriting records as the Party required; Oceanian society therefore had no frame of reference for what had actually happened.

Perhaps the ability to utilise doublethink came from that, from there being no physical evidence or empirical proof of what the past actually was … of minds constantly trying to keep pace with the continual changes to their understanding of everything which had come before. Maybe what I had thought of as insanity was actually the mind constantly trying to anchor itself to something that was real; a sort of sanity, in a sense, but one fraying at the edges.

That’s one way of explaining doublethink in what Orwell called The Age Of Big Brother, but that doesn’t work as an alibi for the Peepul, because no such thing has taken place here. The truth about Rangers – what it was, how it was built, how it fell into ruin and collapsed in oblivion – is all out there, unchanged, unaltered, and available to study.

There has been no rewriting of the past, except in their own minds. The truth is out there in books, in newspaper clippings, in internet archives, at Companies House, in historical accounts and records, and what they reveal is absolutely irrefutable.

I will cover that in more detail later, but let me give you the short version; this Ibrox club is what the old one would have been without the bank funding it or the scandal of EBT’s. Structurally weaker than Celtic, financially less well off and struggling to compete. Their only chance of titles is in an exceptional year – like Covid – or one where we badly drop the ball.

The truth that they struggle to come to terms with is that we are far better than they are, even this Celtic team which hasn’t been properly strengthened in four transfer windows. Although we dropped the ball this season, it was always likely that if Rodgers got his ideas across and the team hit form at the right time that we would wind up as champions.

After we’d gone to Ibrox with a team held together with staples and won it was entirely possible that we would go through the rest of the campaign without losing a Glasgow derby, and that would ultimately make a big difference to how the league table looked. You never want to talk, or act, like anything is a foregone conclusion but our record at Celtic Park is sufficiently good that it was always going to be a challenge for them to get anything on our turf.

Their team of bottlers and bling players was never going to react well under pressure. And although some in the media – yes, I’m looking at you Keevins – wondered if our own players would, that we were still basically working with last season’s team answered that question well enough in itself. We were also able to rely on bringing in old warriors like Forrest to augment the side at just the right stage in the campaign. Experience matters, and it did.

Kenny Miller is the subject of much mockery today, but I feel a degree of … not sympathy, but understanding anyway. He believed that this Ibrox side would be champions. He believed it unquestioningly. He knew Celtic were dangerous, he has to know that the style of football he’s watching over there wasn’t setting the world alight, but he was able to put those sorts of thoughts to one side of his brain. He convinced himself.

What we saw and heard at the weekend when he erupted over Lundstram, at the moment when the sudden nagging doubt he felt exploded into the stunned realisation that his dreams were about to shatter, was a man undergoing a profound emotional shock. This was someone who hadn’t just been mentally preparing for the party, but who had bought the balloons and the streamers, sourced the buffet and was looking online for a venue to book.

Miller’s unravelling was spectacular because those watching the game at home were able to experience it in real time, in surround sound, on a broadcaster’s airwaves. But he certainly wasn’t alone in experiencing the psychological equivalent of a hard punch in the guts at the moment Willie Collum was called over to the monitor to watch Lundstram’s tackle again.

This is why trauma specialists refer to “reality crashing in.”

When you have held something at bay for a long time because you don’t want to confront it, it really does feel as if it you’ve been swept up by a tsunami once those defences come down. Miller saw everything he believed collapse in that moment, and that’s why his reaction to it was so off-the-charts that even the Village Idiot was trying to reorient him at the end of the game.

Miller’s self-detonation was mirrored all across Sevco social media; go and take a look if you don’t believe me. There are plenty of their posters who have spent months mocking us as though the league had already been won, as though the trophy already had the ribbons on it, and at the weekend their final hope was ripped from them, and that resulted in the predictable fury. They cannot believe what they’ve just witnessed because they were so convinced that this was a Celtic side there for the taking … and that they would.

I have limited (try zero) sympathy. But eventually, these folks have to stop kidding themselves not only about their club but ours. Even in a campaign where we’ve had the tide pushing against us, and suffering several self-inflicted wounds, we’ve got the job done. That says a lot about the strength of Celtic … but it also says a lot about them. Too much, perhaps, for some of them to face … but eventually they have to and so eventually they will, and it’s going to hurt when it comes.

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  • Roonsa says:

    Double plus good article, James.

    I used to like Kenny Miller. I thought he could have been a fabulous player for us. Indeed he was a good player and always gave 100% for Celtic and all other teams he played for. Anybody who questions that has an agenda. I blame Strachan for not getting the best out of him. He clearly didn’t like him (he didn’t like a lot of people – just ask Chris Sutton about that one) and was happy to see him leave. And that one came back to bite us on the bum a few times.

    He (Kenny Miller) had a great opportunity to be the ex-player pundit of both teams* that could offer an informed opinion from both sides. But, for whatever reason (and I think a lot of it will be down to his treatment by Strachan), he has chosen to nail his colours to the mast. And, most of the time, he just comes across as the ill informed man in the pub. That pub being the Mermaid in Brigton.

    It will cost him because that idiotic rant on Saturday was called out by everyone, including Kris Boyd. That just shows you how far to the right of the spectrum he is. He’s only doing his future earning potential harm by being that stupid.

    *Celtic (1887 -> Present Day) & Rangers (1872 – 2012, RIP, thoughts and prayers)

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      I met Miller in hospitality at Parkhead 18 years ago, seemed ok at that point, I asked him did he have a favourite team and he said Hibernian – But then he landed at Liebrox and it has obviously all went downhill from that day onwards…
      Interesting points that you make regarding his relationship with Strachan and if I may add to that I think Lawwell was pretty public in his digs about getting Miller for nothing and selling him onwards for what was it £3 million I think and it could’ve come over as slightly derogatory to one that trained hard and did try hard wherever he was (as much as I detest him as a pundit these days though I only hear him occasionally on Clyde Superscoreboard) so perhaps petty as it is that’s where his hatred of Celtic stems from…

      His love of The Sevco Huns seems far more complex as no Sevco lover would have ever ever first pumped the TV camera with such vigour in the corner of Parkhead where The Rangers fans (as they were known as back then) we’re situated after scoring against them…

      He seems to wanna be loved and adored by The Sevco fans for some reason or other –

      It’s a bit strange but there again lots of strange, strange happenings and behaviours seem to happen to otherwise sane and rational people after they cross that door at The Bastion of Bigotry that is Liebrox !

      • SFATHENADIROFCHIFTINESS says:

        ‘He seems to wanna be loved and adored by The Sevco fans for some reason or other-‘

        Money,money,money, that’s his reason. Celtic fans wouldn’t put up with him on even the Social Media sites.
        But the DebtDome followers block out his time with Celtic and have elevated him as one of them.
        Gives him accreditation to the Hun media and invites to fans POTY bashes, free drinks and expenses.
        The After Dinner Talk Circuit,Print Media/ Radio Shortbead in a blue wrapper/ EBC Sevco couch warmer/. It pays the bills.
        And then some.
        He is an irrelevance.

    • Woodyiom says:

      The question is why didn’t Strachan like him – he signed KM so he must have liked something about him about him in the first place ???

      But like you I was delighted when he signed for us. Although throughout his career he tended to miss more than he scored, he had a real knack of scoring in big games and for me that counts WAY more than someone who can bang hat-tricks in at home to Livi but flops in semi-finals, finals, European ties , derby games (Kris Boyd anyone??)

      In theory he should be the ideal pundit for derby games since, as you say, he has a unique perspective, but his rant on Saturday was bizarre at best and psychopathically scary at worst.

  • Tony B says:

    Not so much No Surrender as No Contender.

  • Mr Magoo says:

    Yeah James, I loved his meltdown, even moreso when Mr Lennon speculated that the items thrown at tavpen were Kenny Miller’s cannabis grinder . I was laughing my arse off and tears of laughter were mixing with my tears of joy .

  • Andy Duncan says:

    Good article, I’ve likened sevcothink to doublethink myself in the past.

    But before the echos of the actual game fade away, a (churlish) comment on James Forrest. It was a joy to see him ghost around Barasic, but Barasic had a free cross into the box from which there Gail came from. Because jams had not bothered tracking his man. So one might conclude barasic had a better game than James. What a horrific thought.

    Similarly it was a free cross opportunity from the right that gave Silva his opportunity to miss. Not so clear a culprit this time, maybe Reo since Madea had Tav.?

    James’s weakness has been evident his entire career, hence many fans (me) never gave him fulsome praise.

    I have not seen this commented on yet, more polite to leave his legacy as a warrior untarnished, but that really would be kidding ourselves.

    • Woodyiom says:

      Andy – I’ve commented on that previously elsewhere and you’re spot on!!

      Although Johnston should do much better than allow Silva to simply run past him he finds himself in 2 v 1 situation which he can do nothing about. Jamesy completely fell asleep there and BR needs to remind him (in the strongest possible terms) of his defensive duties. Compare and contrast with how Maeda’s tracking back is the reason no such easy crosses are coming in from TavPen’s side.

  • john mc guire. says:

    this clown has been asked buy the klan if he would like to become a coach with them and again he was gushing about how it would be an honour to sign for the klan for a fourth time so he is going to blow a fuse he cant sit with a mike with sky then go back over to the klan and look bad , its in there d.n.a. not to slag of there culture .

  • Jay says:

    I felt like the meltdown came out of no where watching it. I felt for the most part in that game Kenny had called the game in a fairly unbiased viewpoint. THought him & Chris were quite good in they would give praise or criticism either way.
    Then the tackle… I had no issue with the yellow card originally as I thought Lundstrum had got the ball & followed through so fair enough. As soon as you see the first replay though it’s a clear red card & to defend it was unbelevable to witness.
    I wonder if he bought another one of there comments that the commentator can in fact influence VAR like Sutton was accused prior.

  • bertie basset says:

    kenny’s gob and his brain are totally disengaged , whenever i hear him it’s as if he’s on speed and he has run his gob before his brain can catch up , he talks nothing but tripe , and i’m so very glad that he is one of them than one of us , in any event he’d not be tolerated by the celtic fans as they wouldn’t be taken in by his gibberish gobbledygook , boy does he let the knuckle draggers down , he’s a total embarrassment even to the loon who had no complaints when he walked

  • DannyGal says:

    I can’t believe it’s taken so long for Lundstram to be found out for the thug that he is. He’s gotten away with it so much for so long it defies belief. Kenny Miller sounded as though he actually believed what he was saying, and the more everyone laughed at him, the more raging he became, completely belying his reputation for giving a fair and balanced view. Even Boyd and Clement are saying Lundstram cost Rangers, with no mention of the referee. Miller is saying the referee cost rangers, with no mention of Lundstram’s part.

  • Jim says:

    Kenny also spent all last week in the media sucking up to Clement about a possible coaching position so I figured there was 0 chance he’d back that one.

    He must have been gutted when even Clement didn’t seem to have a problem with the card.

  • Stephen Mc Dowell says:

    Not quite sure about the ( limited sympathy /understanding ) for Miller, I can forgive a spur of the moment comment or opinion on any incident while commentating on it, we all get caught up in emotion when watching our team and need to temper those emotions when we use a bit of hindsight, Millers meltdown was a good 30 minutes after the final whistle….90 minutes after the Lundstrum red card, he had heard the panels views which had the benefit of multiple replays and angles and still he came across as a snarling bigoted idiotic gobshite whose main point was that he didn’t like VAR and therefore it should have been a yellow card not a red. He showed his true colours, a deluded arrogant f**kwit who can’t handle the reality that is Celtic have his teams number and will have for years, no sympathy here for him, he’s a Neanderthal moron who should never again be allowed anywhere near a microphone again.

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      The fact that you stated that he is a Neanderthal moron that should never be near a microphone again which is ever so very true Stephen means that he will be there spouting his rabid incoherent gibberish pish forevermore…

      It’s just what The Scummy Scottish Football Media do…

      And he’s the archetypal type that The Scummy Scottish Football Media employs !

  • Johnny Green says:

    Miller’s Celtic Meltdown Was The Inevitable Result Of Fantasy Colliding With Reality.

    Is that not just a fancy phrase for saying Kenny’s a fanny? 🙂

    • SFATHENADIROFCHIFTINESS says:

      ….Kenny’s a fanny?

      Correct in that it’s the Tabloid version, Sun, Record etc.

      James’s version is more upmarket to align with the more educated Celtic followers.

      That’s anyone who reads this Blog.

  • Charlie Green says:

    Miller doesn’t even have a face for radio!

  • Lemon says:

    Excellent article, James. I had a lot of similar thoughts myself. Living in England, I often have a hard time explaining the huge differences between our supporters, if you don’t mind I will use this article to try and explain the other mob’s mentality. Hail hail and keep up the good work.

  • Henriksgoldenboot says:

    Does anyone have Miller’s number? I want to see what he’s doing with all of that spare jelly and ice cream he has!!!

  • DixieD says:

    Now that the games over and we won convincingly, I’m actually glad that O’Riley missed the penalty. All of their forums and podcasts were united in saying “it was never a penalty”. Had O’Riley scored it, the narrative would have been “at 2-1 we had a chance, we could have turned that around, but at 3-1, we had no chance, it’s Collums fault!” Missing that penalty and going on to win the game killed that narrative! So they didn’t even have the ‘injustice’ crumb of comfort to cling to. Their pain has been a source of great joy!

  • Davie says:

    We should wait until we get the point required to put the league beyond any doubt.
    Only them can we celebrate and Have a laugh.
    Miller is a blind fool by thinking that was just a booking, Johnstone foot was marginally off the ground or that could have been a broken leg, Lundstum has got away with those type of wreckless tackles on other players, Miller would have had his black cap on to execute a Celtic player for the same tackle, how I loved the legal tackle from Siminuvic on him, (Miller the flying scotsman)
    Miller went up that day and landed without his brain cell’s, he only had a few to start with, which left him a rambling buffoon.
    Even Kris Boyd was embarrassed by Millers comments.
    A win or point on wednesday and the league stays where it belongs, Dundee could intervene on Tuesday, I remember Albert Kidd.
    I also remember Scott McDonald against us at Motherwell.
    So I will wait until it is beyond doubt before I laugh at theRangers.
    I wonder how many of the lavygarglers who don’t walk away will be at the match against Dundee.

  • Gary says:

    I read your posts daily James. They are generally insightful, informative and mostly enjoyable (and occasionally hysterical – but Celtic can bring that out in the best of us.). You clearly have a talent for the written word, which suggests you are a well read, erudite, educated man. However, can you please refrain from writing what I would describe as verbose story lines from the books you’ve read and the films you’ve watched? Yes, there are comparisons to be made, with appropriate analogies used to make a point etc. The additional stuff you write I find superfluous, and I question the relevance and dare I say it, find it self indulgent. It has got to the stage where I no longer ‘skim’ the page, seeking out the relevant detail. Instead, I have found myself simply switching off. Today you are referencing Orwell’s 1984. I read that book years ago and I enjoyed it, but I don’t need a full synopsis of the story for you to make a point. Please keep up the good stories and analysis. but please spare us the storytelling. Hail Hail

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