It took a hell of a lot of coincidences and unpredictable events to get English football to where it is today.
A country voted to remove itself from a union by pissing all over its legs until the other party let them go. That heady cocktail of disenfranchised nihilism, inherent mistrust of outsiders, and picket fence parochialism radicalised some into believing the most present threat to the average person is a handful of people arriving on the Kent coast in dinghies. Successive governments looking for short term financial gain privatising services, pushing a service economy that grudgingly supplies shit money for work that may or may not be available tomorrow.
A global pandemic widened the fissure. George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in a manner so heinous it should feel otherworldly but that sick feeling in your belly tells you it lives here now.
Footballers took the knee in what was a moment of great pride for some of us, tired of the constant ‘spoilt, overpaid nancy boys’ narrative. Some club fans booed. The players kept kneeling and the boos got louder.
From a distance, it feels like you can get away with a lot when you’re a porn star. Having sex with people on camera and getting paid for it, for a start. A unique freedom to express yourself because anything goes, right? There’s no room for prurience in porn. Especially today, when algorithms are uniquely capable of connecting a provider of niche services to an unusually eager customer base. It makes money, therefore it’s an economic model and legitimate.
At the time this photo of Kathrine Switzer was taken, Boston Marathon race manager Jock Semple genuinely believed she was doing something wrong and it was his place to stand up for what was right. It was 1967 and at that time women weren’t ‘officially’ banned from running the marathon, but this was due to an admin error as opposed to any desire for equality. Switzer went through the correct channels with her application, received her number and prepared to race.
According to reports, Switzer was a few miles in when Semple began shouting, chased her and tried to grab her number. She was able to wriggle free when her running companions intervened and completed the race, albeit losing an hour or so from her estimated finish time.
Today Gillette released a new ad asking men to engage with cultural changes highlighted by MeToo.
The response from men’s rights activists has been strong, with reddit issuing (unintentionally amusing) lists of Procter & Gamble (Gillette’s parent company) products to boycott, including tampons. Some make it easy to mock them that we’re obliged to do so.
Given the response to his club’s tweeted status last weekend, you might have expected Cristiano Ronaldo’s entourage would be keeping a closer eye than usual on statements about their charge emerging into the public domain. Cristiano is used to golden breezes caressing his bronze and chiselled cheek so the harsh blowback from the press and social media over Juventus ‘great professional’ comments will have chapped his face quite badly.