I am sitting at home.
Downstairs I hear the drone of football.
The World Cup
I have been paying attention, a little.
It is 2-2 and they are moving into extra time.
Look at me!
A proper pundit,
Alan Hansen, not.
As an 18-year-old realising
The centrality of football talk
to Glasgow dialogue.
Once or twice, I tried to join-in
Before accepting my fate. (Sit quiet and pretend you are listening).
Early-on in the championship
Jo Lycett and his cash non-burning
And my complaints about
My daughter expressed her hope that England would lose.
Why lose? I asked.
The more England win, the more domestic abuse.
Men, getting drunk and beating women.
My daughter is a very switched-on 16-year-old.
I was also aware at that age
Although of different things.
I focused on Apartheid,
I lived through the start of AIDS.
‘My mum won’t let me drink that water,’ said a friend, ‘She doesn’t want me to catch AIDS.’
The ignorance was profound.
Apartheid was Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko and Rivonia.
Cognitive dissonance is when
You see, experience, or believe one thing but do another.
It is taking a stance against abuses of power
Fair play they say in football
Acknowledging the bribes and back-handers that took the game to Russia and now Qatar.
It is telling someone you love them
As you lash-out with a punch,
Or passive aggression.
It is inverting,
It is lying.
I popped into the room earlier,
The players a blur.
One of the French footballers dived,
Before an audience of how many millions
And was given a yellow card.
The lessons we tell our children
The multitudes watching,
Is not not to cheat
Not to find shortcuts or workarounds that save money but cost integrity,
It is, not to get caught.
Don’t get caught
And you will be OK.
And if you are shown to be lying, double-dealing, manipulating,
Just say no,
It isn’t so,
Our politicians provide regular masterclasses in this perversion
‘I don’t lie, I don’t cheat, surely not.’
Ever tried to manipulate a parking ticket or tax bill?
It doesn’t work,
We are under-people,
We don’t know the ways of the uber-mensch.
And if we perchance
Believe ourselves to be
We will fail.