As someone who has contributed to Celtic Underground since its fledgling state I feel entitled to offer some comment on recent events – most notably the report on Sunday’s match taken from the Huddleboard.
I have form with regards to my views on the Huddleboard – suffice to say that I am not their favourite columnist – but each to his own – I have long since decided that they are better ignored and the feeling is probably mutual.
To say that I was dismayed by Eddie’s decision to publish that pile of drivel which masquerades as wit is an understatement. I was actually disgusted that such muck would ever find a place on what I had always regarded as the crème de la crème of Celtic web-sites. I know it came with a public health warning, but did not excuse its very presence on our site.
When Celtic F.C. embraced the Green Brigade and facilitated their group presence at Paradise, it did not take a genius to foresee that problems lay in store. As the bard says, if you sup with the devil you need a lang spoon, and the modus operandi of the Green Brigade was too at odds with the aims and objectives of Celtic PLC for a harmonious relationship to emerge. Listening to Sunday’s match and the singing of songs from outwith the approved canon – including I may say sectarian chants directed at Wattie – simply illustrates the tensions that remain between the two bodies.
There is a terrific series of children’s novels by a woman called Susan Cooper called ‘The Dark is Rising’. These books are superior to those about the speccy boy wizard although the film versions of young Potter’s adventures are far superior to the ham-fisted attempt by Hollywood to capture the essence of Cooper’s works about Will Stanton and the Arthurian legends.
In one of the books there is an episode in which the Dark Lord visits Will’s house on Christmas Eve. As they are time Lords of a sort, the younger man takes them outside time and expresses his rage that the evil one should enter his family home, only to be reminded that he was invited in by Will’s father who has unwittingly made his acquaintance in the real world and that even Will, as the last of the ‘Old One’s’, cannot affect the ancient magic once the invitation was made.
My point is that Eddie, who I consider the best web-master around, and someone who has directed the tone and manners of this site with the lightest of touches, has I believe, in publishing this garbage – for garbage it is – offered the same invitation to Timworld’s yahoos and numpties as Will Stanton’s father did to the Dark.
The door has been opened and we must ask how easy it will be to police standards, in terms of both articles and comments, when it has been accepted that filth is O.K. when it purports to be humour.
If it were not for the fact that it is pro-Celtic, it would be easy to see this piece of tripe on Follow Follow. The standard seems just about their level.
I texted my thoughts on this to Eddie and he did not agree saying that he thought our site was the better for it. I find that viewpoint astonishing. He – and others – have spent years building a web-site which stood for something in the pantheon of Celtic cyberspace, something which might best be described as ‘class’. That this piece even saw the light of our day, in my opinion undermines years of work.
I cannot recall whether it was in response to Michael Kelly’s book or following one of Brain Dempsey’s mutterings in the red-tops, but Fergus uttered the lines which head this article, in a sense putting them in their place.
Eddie assures me that nothing will change and that vigilance will remain an issue for us in terms of editorial control and the maintenance of standards. I must trust him on this but I hope that when the dog barks and the caravan moves on those of us who saw this site as special still feel we have a place.