Trying to get things written here and all there is is this overriding desire to read about the football match there just was, and the football matches there are left. Two days after the game and it’s all there is.

When Leeds were struggling in mid-table, hobbling along, it was easier to not give a toss, somehow. I mean, every game still wrenched and elated, but there seemed less consequence.

The possibility – the suggestion – of success is exhausting.

 

Despite it being St David’s Day, the start of March, daffodil yellow everywhere, golden trumpets heralding the imminence of Spring, etc etc etc, outside it was a relentlessly grey Friday, at the tail end of a holiday. Such gloom contrasting with the promise of renewal is always bound to provoke some sentiments of resentment. Today was fully Bunyanesque in its sequence of testing moods.

Didn’t want to do anything, nothing I did was enough, couldn’t think straight, couldn’t do anything but churn.

It was the first time since I kicked this off that I have felt boring and self-negating for not wanting to have a drink. Thinking about giving over the Project Straight nonsense and just having a beer. Properly imagining what sort, how many would be allowed, etc.

Attempting to distract myself and feel useful, I went out for fish n chips, and to the shop to get wine for the missus. Setting up the opportunity, the feelings died down a bit, oddly enough, and I had no inclination to act on the earlier thoughts – well, none that I couldn’t ignore til I got out of the shop. Although I then managed to break a wine glass when I got home, fumbling it out of the cupboard in a tediously unmetaphorical, actually having to clear up a fucked wine glass, manner.

*rolls eyes*

What with all this crushing internal churn, confusion, self-doubt and loathing, what better occasion for the football team to pull a glorious 4-0 win out of the bag, scoring the first after 16 seconds, by gad? None, I say, none more better.

Morale back up to double figures and climbing by full time, at least.

I remember being 14 years old and watching with disbelief scenes from Hillsborough playing out on the telly. Images from Sky News yesterday (15 April 2009), of the 20th anniversary memorial service, and of course the events of the disaster, brought back a lot of that disbelief. It was like footage from another planet. 1989, a number, another summer, last century.

It’s astonishing to think that so much has changed in the last 20 years as to effectively mean we are actually on a different planet. Not just with regard to the seismic impact of Sky on association football – another article, another blog. This is an unprecedented period of information exchange. As John Mackin says in this excellent article at the Liverpooltv site,

back in 1989, before mobile phones and digital cameras, before the internet, before every major event being recorded and disseminated in a hundred different ways, the ‘facts’ were in the hands of a select few who could, and did, manipulate the situation.

How fortunate we are to be around as the information explosion happens, that knowledge is available at the touch of a button, and that we live to see it. Since then, ‘the people’ (with all the relevant geographical caveats) have more access to information, the truth, than ever. Yet, as recent events illustrate, those supposedly entrusted with looking after the people are still expected, and in some cases it would appear willing, to do what ‘the select few’ dictate. We can at least, as Mackin notes, make steps quicker than we could to bring some sort of reckoning to bear on people’s actions.

Justice, as ever, continues to be generally evasive. Meanwhile, a musical nil desperandum gesture of solidarity and hope to Liverpool supporters, from a Leeds fan:
96 tears – too many teardrops for one heart to be crying.

x