Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Can you ever forgive me?


Richard Pryor once said "Forget about Racism, it's hard enough just being a person" Like you, and everyone else apart from the stewards and police, I saw the bottle of Buckfast thrown at Scott Sinclair on Saturday. It's not the first time I've seen a bottle of Buckfast thrown at a Celtic player never mind the coins, golf balls and various other items that seem to be the weapons of choice for the weapons just now. Getting back to Saturday, you know who I blame for it? Not Hibs, not the Hibs support and not even the authorities on double time. No, you know who I blame? The person who threw it.

You see, I believe in the mad, out there, theory that you take responsibility for your own actions. I know that's as whacky as the Twenty's Plenty argument for away fans but strap yourself in and take the ride with me whilst I explain what I mean before jumping out and having me reported to the thought police, k? K.

Scotland has a problem with hatred.

A certain type of hatred has existed, at least since the reformation. (the ideas for which started in the late fifteenth century) and there has been anti-Catholic bigotry in Scotland, in some shape or form, ever since. As people escaped the genocide in Ireland from the mid-1800's, a racism of being anti-Irish began weaving itself into Scottish society and is still prevalent in certain people today. Now, there's never been a better time to be an Irish Catholic in Scotland but that doesn't mean everything is ok now because it's not. None of these things have ever been properly addressed in Scotland and the fall out from that is that a lot of people still think it is ok to spout hatred against Irish Catholics. Similarly, some folk who are Irish Catholics (or just identify with that culture) use the same tactics to spit back at the folk who are spitting venom at them. (Neither is justified but if you had to justify one, I know which one I would. That's not to excuse it but I'm not going to bullshit you and sit here claiming I've never done that because I have, about the same amount of times I've drank Lager)

Stating all this, it bemuses me that the two targets in this debate always seem to be the same, Catholic schools in Scotland and football supporters in Scotland. First of all, as I alluded to earlier, it's very difficult to blame an entire collective of people for anything (Scour the internet long enough and you'll find folk trumpeting "Good" Nazis, a Traffic Warden they liked and even a call centre that answered on the first ring)

The Catholic schools argument always makes me laugh. Forgive me for making this analogy but it always reminds me of the Bill Hicks bit where he attacked the attackers of pornography by saying "There is sexual thought, therefore there are pornographic images, it's not the other way around" (Punch in Catholic schools and bigotry to there and you'll get what I mean)

As for football supporters? Most of the ones in Scotland are ordinary, every day folk. (That's a big reason why clueless snobs like Tom English will never understand football culture) Take Bradley Welsh, folk who know, know he was a big player in the football casual movement back in the day. He's the first to admit it. Now? He's a working class hero. Where would writing him off for life got us?

Speaking of Hibs again, a guy I've been friends with since primary age is a fanatical Hibs supporter. When I saw the bottle being thrown at Scott Sinclair, I'll let you into a little secret, I didn't blame him (I suppose I should have text him to double check it wasn't him but I'm going with the notion that he would never throw away drink)

Listen, I've seen the way it's been going with some fans (of Celtic, I can't comment on any other sets) and, in all honesty, some fans are behaving like fucking idiots (A subject I am an expert on, believe me) and the answer is, if they continue to behave like idiots, don't let those individuals go to the games. It's that simple and I say that knowing full well I behaved like an idiot a lot in my 20's.

There is an element of "I don't give a fuck" among some fans just now but you know what else is necessary? Making sure that those individual incidents aren't allowed to sweep over 500 years of enshrined hatred under the carpet


Thursday, February 28, 2019

Brendan Rodgers

Tuesday was among the strangest days of my life. I got wind something was happening with the manager on Monday night and had conformation when I got up early on Tuesday morning that he was gone but still I was in a state of disbelief. I felt like I needed a lie down almost immediately after getting up. I knew he wouldn't be here next season but was stunned when he left on Tuesday. No matter the reasons for leaving, the timing is unforgiveable.

I interviewed the guy three times and he always came across a huge Celtic man who loved the club. Then again, I once saw and heard Maurice Johnston sing "Say hello to the Provos". I'm not up for the name-calling and comparisons to reptiles but Brendan Rodgers punctured a hole in his legacy like a point-blank bullet to the stomach and, no matter the machinations, egos and fall outs behind the scenes, all this could have been avoided for the sake of three months and three trophies.

No sooner had he gone, rumours abound that Lenny was taking over again. I was even more shocked by that and said so on Twitter (I deleted the tweet when he was announced because I felt it was stupid to criticise once he had been appointed) but he's the guy in charge now. I'm still shell-shocked by all this. Even last night, seeing Lenny in the away dug out at Tynecastle was surreal. it was eight years ago he was attacked there and only four months ago that he was hit by a coin there yet there is, again, leading a team there. That takes balls.

As for Rodgers, the stuff coming out now has been hard to look at and I must have gone to reply about 100 times before thinking better of it. Amidst all that, there are the bizarre tales that Rodgers told whilst being Celtic manager that are now being exposed as lies. Just adding to the complete madness of the last few days.

So, what now?

In the immediate future, eight in a row must be secured and it would be nice if a treble, treble was secured also. Beyond that, if we secure eight, we all know the focus is going to be on nine and, hopefully, ten in a row,

After that?

I think we will all need a lie down.

Monday, February 25, 2019

There's only one Jim Traynor

Like a bad penny arcade, Jim Traynor appeared from nowhere last week (fresh from Level 5 disappearing) to launch a tirade against the BBC, Referees and pretty much anyone who attacks the Sevco support. With his usual style of bluster, he reminded everyone that Sevco will not be bullied and will not allow any attacks on them.

I assume in the same style as Rangers (IL) dealt with these detractors, an example being this guy:

https://web.archive.org/web/20110414122851/http://blogs.dailyrecord.co.uk:80/jimtraynor/2011/04/stop-blaming-others-and-stop-s.html


"Stop blaming others and stop shaming Scotland"

"The behaviour of a defiant, moronic element among the support is overtly anti-Catholic. It is also against the law."

"The fans who belted out the usual sectarian and bigoted rubbish when Rangers played last month can't be defended. There is no excuse.
They Arra People all right. The people to blame."

Either they are too thick to understand the consequences of their behaviour or just so tainted and steeped in bigotry they don't care about their club."

"Stop pointing fingers at others. Stop singing from the same old sheet. Stop humiliating yourselves and Scotland."

Thank God they have Jim Traynor in there to hit back against these folk who are as happy to attack Sevco as they were the Oldco.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Domestic Bliss

I've done a lot of thinking about Celtic since last Thursday's game against Valencia. Before the game I had no confidence at all in us getting any kind of result primarily because, right now, we are not good enough. Quite frankly the sight of Emilio Izaguirre alone, a player past his best two years ago, was enough to put the tin hat on any aspirations we had of winning the game.

What I have been thinking about a lot is what are our actual aspirations, as a club, in Europe now? We have taken some serious gubbings in Europe since Brendan Rodgers took over the club and in all honesty I've not seen a single thing done to try and address this. The signings we are making seem to be designed, almost exclusively, with a view to being sold on for a profit in a couple of seasons. Similarly, the loan deals we have done (and I am a huge of fan of Weah) don't suggest any kind of long-term strategy.

So what are we doing?

I'll lay my cards on the table right now. As a 44 year old fan, my be all and end all right now is 10 in a row. For those of us who had to live through Rangers (IL) cheating their way through the entire era of David Murray, it means everything to first win another nine in a row then win 10 in a row. Honestly. I will die happy if this happens. That's why I am not overly-critical of any performance we make in Europe as I know what matters most to me right now.

Do the club feel the same?

I have no idea. The last time I saw Peter Lawwell (about 18 months ago) I asked him if he would be staying around for 10 in a row and he looked at me as if I had just asked him if I could take over the reins of the club for the remainder of the season.

I know it is a pretty blinkered view to essentially not give a shit about Europe for the next two years but that's where I am and there's nout to be gained from bullshitting you.

The other factor is, of course, Brendan Rodgers. There seems to be acceptance among some that this will be his last season. Now, I know the relationship between him and Lawwell isn't exactly tickety boo but I am struggling to envisage any scenario that sees him win the league this season and then be allowed to walk away before a crack at 9 and 10 short of the board telling him they won't back him.

A lot of Celtic infuriates me. I don't like the tourist road the marketing department are speeding down, I don't like the archaic way the ticket office is run and I hate the way a lot of employees use Celtic to gain personal perks.

With that being said, I am essentially holding my tongue on all these matters for the reasons outlined earlier in this blog.

However, I would like a heads up every now and again from the club as to where we are going (I genuinely can't remember the last time Peter Lawwell properly addressed the support) because it does seem like as our CEO advances his own career as European level, the club slides further away.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Hype

As focus changes from defence of The SFA to destruction of The SFA because, finally, two Sevco players were punished this season, it's important to keep wading through the lake of lies. With the usual suspects in the media screaming for anyone who disagrees with them to be hauled in front of the compliance officer, you can be damn sure the snakes are rattling,

Inevitably, Anyone but Celtic is like a red rag to the bullshit mindset of anyone who feels threatened by those of us who want change and, when this happens,  my Twitter mentions become akin to Ross Greer after he spoke the truth on Churchill. When doing these things, I've lost friends, family and put up with all sorts of stuff that it now rubs off me like one of those tattoos you used to get with chewing gum.

My detractors, in the main, know this and so they go for other things or people they think are close to me, the latest being Tom Boyd. Now, I don't need to defend him because he has been doing a good job of doing that, and defending Celtic for that matter, his whole life. What infuriates the haters is when someone like Tom says the same things as a bampot like me (even if it takes them three years to catch up)

The problem those people have is everyone can see what is happening in Scottish football. Folk don't need to watch a film of mine to be warned about Andrew Dallas or how the SFA recruit from a smaller pool than the one most Dolphins get in Florida.

And therein lies the reason for the recent hype.

Friday, January 11, 2019

It's deja vu all over again

As Yoga Berra once said "It's deja vu all over again" A year ago, I went for a few pints in Leith, blissfully unaware of the dark forces working against me. By the time I got home (half cut) I had over 1800 notifications on Twitter due to the fact that The S*n and then The Daily Record had printed a story about me saying I was showing a film about Sevco at Celtic Park. That was a hard week with all sorts of stuff flying towards me, folk crawling out the woodwork to have a go at me and quite a lot of people thinking that I was now a legitimate target.

Fast forward a year and I'm in California, on honeymoon, and the same shit is happening again although this time it is the fault of John Beaton's horrific performance at Ibrox, bettered only in badness by our own. This, and the subsequent statement from Celtic, has lit a flame under my book and film Anyone but Celtic. The thing about it is I love debating my work, it's part of the reason I do it, but I genuinely believe that half the folk who see it for the first time don't actually watch it.

The things I get accused of saying:

1) All Masons hate Celtic.

2) All Referees hate Celtic.

3) Everyone in Lanarkshire is corrupt.

Now, I've never said any of these things but to clarify, here's what I did say

1) The Masons mentioned in ABC hate Celtic

2) The Referees mentioned in ABC hate Celtic.

3) The folk from Lanarkshire mentioned in ABC are corrupt.

That's that.

Now, I want to talk about the people who think they can say or do anything they want to me because I've written books and made films. It's just white noise to me at this point. I'm not a hard man but I know enough hard men to know how intimidation works and I know who is serious and who isn't. Out of all the shite I've had, I'd say six were serious, the latest being this morning.

Now I ask all those make these threats, do I strike you as the sort of person who will lie down? Because although I'm not a hard man, I have many friends who have my back and would be by my side should shit get real.

That's not a threat, that's just a fact.

The other thing is I appreciate all those who say things like "Stay strong" and the like but I can tell you that's not easy when you also have a wife and children to look after. I'd like say Celtic have my back but that's not the case, in all honesty I've been made a pariah by Celtic far from them helping in any way, I honestly think they just wish I would go away.

I'm happy to be proved wrong on that one.

Will I go away? No. However, it is time to focus more on the folk close to me.

However, that does not mean the work ends. Quite the opposite actually.

Paul

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Entouradge

Why a memoir? Well, it's not to make money that's for sure. I know these kind of things sell fuckall but it's a cathartic process for me to get all this stuff out my head, try to sustain good mental health and, maybe, inspire another Gadgie like me to write a book or make a film.

What I am writing about are the three books I've written that got turned into documentaries and everything that happened around that period in my life. I need to do it to try to move on from the traumatic stuff that happened (although I've put all that in one chapter as the abuse is not the main focus of the book)

A lot of good things did happen as well but, more importantly for me, I learned and matured a lot as well.

One of the main inspirations for the book was when @jimslaven said to me one day "The working classes should always write their own histories" That whirled around my head a lot and I thought that, as well as doing that, I could share some of the stuff I've learned in the book and film game trying to remind folk that these industries are not the property of the rich nor are they the property of the middle or upper classes either.

I'm also trying to entertain as best as I can so there are quite a few mad tales, that I've never shared publicly previously, in there as well.

This book will also act as a bridge to another project, far bigger, that I will announce on November 2nd.

Until then, if you want to pre-order the book and support me in this memoir project you can do so by clicking here and picking up a signed copy for yourself. It's £20 anywhere in the world and it's stuff like this that fuels the bigger stuff.

Similarly, if you can't afford that, I'd appreciate a like, retweet and share.

I'm going to share a lot of intimate stuff in this book but no one I know has anything to worry about, this is not any tabloidesque type pish to try and humiliate folk.

It's simply a working class Gadgie writing a little bit of history and appreciating every single person who wants to share it with him.