For some time when Manchester United Heading toward yet another ignominious defeat, the television camera catches the unhappy face of Alex Ferguson, the great potentate surveying the ruins of his once unassailable empire.
For those of us who had devoted much of our lives to defying the tyranny he embodied, such scenes would have been unimaginable.
Also for Manchester United fans it must be absolutely incredible to live through nights like last Tuesday when they were beaten 4-0 by Liverpool at Anfield with Fergie after being beaten 5-0 by Liverpool at Old Trafford Da sit and watch it all go down.
No, this isn’t the downfall of an ancient civilization ruled by a mythical figure from the past, the fame was so recent that the Captain still has more fire in him than the boys out there in the park.
Yes, it all seems unbelievable, but perhaps it’s not quite as outlandish in these times as we were once led to believe. There have been many other things in recent years that seemed completely out of the question until they somehow happened and are still happening.
We are still assured by those who should know that France will not elect a fascist president today.
still Marine LePen will go into this second round of voting with her collaborators on the international far right, knowing how enormous the price is for her – while the left still indulges in little luxuries, like telling people not to work for Le Pen vote, but “dirty their hands” with support Emmanuel Macron.
Good luck with that one guys. You may recall that Brexit thing where Jeremy Corbyn was similarly unforgivably half-assed, with results that seemed as crazy then as they seem crazy now that a full-fledged ally of Vladimir Putin will be France’s elected leader.
Yes, good luck with that, because if anything, it would be the Macron win that would go against the zeitgeist. Politics may have been “the art of the possible” when Bismarck so defined it, but in this age it is becoming the art of the impossible.
In 2012, when the London Olympics reaffirmed Britain as a cosmopolitan powerhouse, the perfect host for any kind of international gathering, it was impossible to predict that it would all be over by the next Games.
And Boris Johnson, the current Mayor of London in 2012, and his Brexiteers would be seen as a kind of global village idiot, leading their nation from a position of admiration and envy into the Slough of Despond.
It can only improve was the New Labor anthem just before the turn of this century, and it must be seen as the most misleading campaign line in modern history.
For while many of us in Ireland and around the world baited our children into watching the inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009, believing that it could only be taken as a sign that our civilization was vaguely moving into the right direction direction, the Maga hordes were already preparing their brutalist response.
Maybe there’s something bipolar about the zeitgeist, that you can’t just make something a little bit better or a little bit worse, there has to be this massive swing.
Bismarck had another version of his famous phrase that described the art of the possible as “the art of the next best thing”. Which sounds a bit… well, a bit like Micheál Martin these days.
And in this mood of extreme volatility, the most criminal personalities seem to thrive – those who play on the primitive instincts, those who thrive in a culture where everyone throws a helping down the maw of the internet, and the culture becomes as polarized as they do both tribes at a soccer game.
Without even the basic respect shown to Fergie as a guest at Anfield. And certainly not with the applause of Cristiano Ronaldo.
About five minutes ago in historical time we had this general idea of Russians as the kind of people who, at the high end, spend their lives being filmed for the Billionaire lifestyle TV shows and cruising around Belgravia in a Bentley.
That’s over now too, obviously another one of those wild twists that seem to be the only ones we have left.
And let’s not exclude ourselves from this discomfort. We also believe that we can indulge our own nationalistic fantasies by laughing at those who speak somberly about the dangers of civil war and the like.
My friends, laughing at things that seem too ridiculous to happen hasn’t been a smart game for at least 20 years.
So I’m not laughing. I just hope that France hasn’t fallen to the far right by tomorrow morning. I just hope, because the way things have gone, when it seems impossible, it happens.
Just ask Fergie.
Roy would do well to follow Sligo Rovers or Drogheda
I agree with AP McCoy that any proposal to extend the Cheltenham Festival from four to five days should be rejected. In fact, I was opposed to extending it to four days in the first place, knowing that it would dilute the quality that was essential to the festival’s magic.
McCoy lamented last week that there are now too many clear favorites, a sign that there aren’t enough quality horses to make the 28 races really competitive.
For this reason, AP and I could be derided as “traditionalists,” although in this case I would argue that “traditionalists” would mean “people who think good things are better than bad things.”
Ultimately, the betting companies will probably decide, as they decide so many things in this world. The fifth day would give them additional chances to get back the money they may have lost in the first four days while punters’ blood was still high and hope was still high.
Meanwhile, ongoing efforts to save a few generations from the horrors of online gambling addiction continue – against great odds.
Fair dues to Sligo Rovers and Drogheda United who have stated they will not accept sponsorship from betting companies. This is a really tough decision for them as far richer sports and media companies are still taking that money in big doses. RTÉ made the Fairyhouse meeting something of a gambling advertising carnival, despite the license fee designed to help them rise above such things.
In the UK, a promotional “crackdown” will shut out former players like Roy Keane. pictured below, Peter Crouch or Michael Owen, who are not considered a danger to the offspring. However, Crouchy is currently the face of Paddy Power and Keane, who starred in an amusing ad for Sky Bet, is going viral all the time.
You’re better than that, Roy.
Robert Morse was code for great television drama
When the death of Robert Morse became known last week, Bert Cooper was last seen in the role of advertising agency boss mad Menthe internet chosen to watch his final scene in this series – a musical number hallucinated by Don Draper featuring Morse code and a troupe of dancers The best things in life are free.
This was an homage to the role that made Morse a Broadway star: that of J Pierrepont Finch in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying — a satire on corporate culture that could be seen as a source of inspiration for mad Men.
Yes, these guys were good – and watching Morse do his swan song again made me even more convinced mad Men is indeed the greatest of all television dramas.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/in-fergie-time-too-nothing-was-impossible-either-41581137.html Even in the Fergie era, nothing was impossible