Thursday, 9 December 2010


I've been moving house/room this week so only time for a short post on the latest Toon debacle.

Underneath the shards of absurdist debris (Pardew appointed because of a gambling habit, Hughton described as "not big enough" like he's some kind of subhuman homuncule, Freddy Shepherd lecturing fans on their "duty" to stick by the team) the main upshot of the farrago is that the British football plutocracy has once again been exposed as an utterly irrationalist tendency that defies analysis.

As with the renaming of SJP (see below) there does not even seem to be any substantial motivation on the part of Ashley himself to have acted in this way. The dangers of replacing Hughton are obvious; just what on earth are the possible advantages? As with Clegg and the Lib Dems, Ashley's latest emphatically malign and unpopular decision looks like an inexplicable piece of self-immolation (though Clegg at least has the "excuses" of careerism and the possibility of a future outright defection to the Tories). I cannot think of a single rational explanation for Ashley's actions.

Has neoliberal capitalism reached a stage of development wherein the disgustingly wealthy and powerful indulge in arcane, provocative, bewildering behaviour just because they can? Does some natural human inclination toward frisson and conflict lead mandarins like Clegg and Ashley to be this visibly stupid and corrupt merely in order to provoke an outraged response? If so then by god they'll get it.

Events like those of the past two days underline the utter bankruptcy of the notion that the rulers of the country are somehow pragmatic professionals living in a "real world" untainted by adolescent idealism, committed to unavoidable "progressive" action, to soberly "getting on with the job". These people are not only gutless and soulless but totally, maniacally headless.

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