It’s been quite a week for re-evaluating public figures in the light of new evidence.
It turns out that the biggest thing Jimmy Savile fixed was to be seen as a benevolent, if eccentric, philanthropist… when the reality was evidently very different.
Lance Armstrong’s remaining credibility has been shredded by a lengthy and detailed US Anti-Doping Agency report. (‘It’s Not About the Bike’? It clearly wasn’t.)
And while it may not be of the same magnitude in moral or news-dominating terms, we can add the revelation that Paul Lambert is apparently suing our club for unfair dismissal.
So much for my last column in which I argued that he should be warmly applauded when we visit Villa. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen now.
But it is what my Mum would have called ‘a rum owld dew’. How can he sue for dismissal when he walked out? And if he was effectively forced out, then why is the club suing him in return and seeking compensation?
Something doesn’t add up here. And my suspicion is that we’ll never get to the bottom of it; when this business is finally resolved, both parties will inevitably talk about ‘drawing a line under it’, ‘moving forwards’ and ‘looking ahead, not backwards’, leaving the supporters none the wiser.
I don’t suppose there’s any chance of a chant along the lines of ‘We don’t know what to think’, is there? Thought not.
As Rick Waghorn has already commented, it’s a sad end to one of the most thrilling periods in the club’s history – and the wider implications of it are even sadder.
In a week when the FA has issued a code of conduct to members of the national squad to remind them that they are role models, it serves as a reminder that we should be wary of having role models, heroes and idols in the first place.
I’ve had plenty of these reminders over the years.
The first proper pop record I ever bought – if you discount Back Home and The Canaries as having more to do with football than music – was Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah) by Gary Glitter. I still remember pooh-poohing my elder sister at the time when she declared it was disgusting…
Ever since our son had to write a piece at school last term about his sporting hero, I’ve been wondering how best to explain to our children that having people you look up to can be a dangerous thing.
(Usain Bolt narrowly pipped John Ruddy for Harry’s vote, by the way. Ah well, at least he competes in yellow and green.)
I’ve made a start by outlining to our daughter the reasons why Cheryl Cole and Chris Brown (the singer, not the former City barndoor-misser) are unworthy of admiration, though my wife is of the view that I’m telling her too much, too young.
And it’s not as though the kids are still under the impression that their parents are infallible gods, if indeed they ever were. I remember catching a train with our daughter when she was two and saying ‘Chuff chuff, whoo whoo!’ as it pulled out of the station. ‘It’s not a steam train, Daddy,’ she replied with a scornful, inherited look.
They haven’t yet asked to have the names of particular players printed on the back of their City shirts. But if they do ask, I’ll try to dissuade them – and not just because it’s a pound a letter.
Of course I understand that you have to commit to get the most out of a relationship, whether it’s with someone you love or somewhere you work. But that commitment shouldn’t be unequivocal and unquestioning.
You have to hold one or two per cent back so that you’re not completely devastated when your company regretfully decides that it needs to let you go, or the centre-forward that you f***ing love hands in a transfer request.
You disagree? So sue me.
It’s all the rage just now, apparently.
I was intrigued to learn that the man who recently scrawled on the Rothko painting in the Tate Modern did so in the name of the ‘Yellowism’ movement.
Intrigued enough to find out a bit more about the movement, at any rate.
Here are a few extracts from the Yellowism manifesto:
“Examples of Yellowism can look like works of art, but are not works of art.”
“The context for Yellowism is nothing but yellowism.”
“Every piece of Yellowism is only about yellow and nothing more, therefore all pieces of Yellowism are identical in content.”
“In the context of Yellowism, all interpretations possible in the context of art are reduced to one, are equalised, flattened to yellow.”
So, if I’ve understood this correctly… Yellowism is not art; it exists solely for its own purpose; it’s always the same; it reduces variety and multiplicity of meanings to a single yellow perspective.
Sounds like a load of empty twaddle.
Unfortunately, it also sounds like this column.