Setting Free the Bears concludes his A-Z of CQN Internet Bampotery…
Some posters credited me with coining this phrase for our Nightime CQN bloggers but it did not feel original to me when I used it and I suspect the phrase stuck in my mind from someone’s previous usage. It is true that there are a larger number of conspiracy theorists, evangelicals and music lovers on during the wee, wee hours of the morning, a phrase, incidentally, coined by Frank Sinatra after his prostrate troubles.
Of course the idiosyncracies of the moonlighting set are more than offset by the grounded and common sense contributions from Australia (smiley face) and the US (though Kojo’s hours on the blog rarely encompass this prime time US slot but his amanuensis is there, Francie to his Josie, to give us his psoriatic arthritic world view and opinions.
Seriously, there are many fine night time contributors who educate, inspire and remind us of the best values of the Celtic support. We also get some good music listed at this time.
The hero of the blog- wee Oscar Knox, the best fighter pound for pound that Ireland ever produced. A story even more amazing than CQN itself.
There seems to be some form of weird compulsion to fund Hugh Keevins’ daughters weddings considering the number of CQNrs who not only phone in but also choose to present their outrage at some inanity uttered by a Clyde or Radio Shortbread shock jock on the sainted blog for comment. It is important to counter the narrative of the main stream media but, if you are any good at landing blows, as Terry O Neil was, they just bar you. It is hard to win an argument where one side has control of the dump button, just as it is hard to win an argument against a media that buys print ink by the tankerload. The one medium they have not won control over is the internet. It is there where we bampots must flourish and proclaim our various stories.
Friday night on CQN features the weekly quiz where a serious of ambiguously worded cryptic clues will test your powers of memory and sanity. To be fair to quizmeister, Celticrollercoaster, English is not his first language. Googling is banned apparently but there is nothing in the rules about using the Celtic wiki site without going through Google.
The Darnel, GA, Sevco, Zombies, Tribute Act, Sons of William, and soon to be Bar-L FC have provided us with hours of fun, vitriol and dismay in recent years. Some Celtic fans miss the frisson they bring to our competitive environment. Other CQNr’s prefer not to have a hole in their head. Sorry Edward Ursus- No card sharks welcome back at our poker table.
The mantra – Speculate to Accumulate- sunk Rangers as sure as it sinks every gambler who plays in a game where the house fixes the odds. Yet many CQNrs were advocating precisely this during the post-Seville years. A cheeky wee million or two and, apparently, we could have made the next level just like Porto did. The fact that Sutton, Hartson and Lennon cost £6m each, that bargains at the Larsson/Moravcik level were harder to come by as scouting got more organised. Every loan signing was derided as a mercenary who would not perform for a club they did not belong to, despite the evidence of Roy Keane and Fraser Forster. Every Bosman was derided as a cheap option ignoring the extra wage costs and signing on fees that need to be factored in, even when no other club receives payment.All foreign signings were projects or designed to sell jerseys, even in the case of Ki and Cha, where there was no market for Celtic jerseys in S. Korea.
We operate in a peripheral league with no TV money to speak of and compete above our designated level already. there is no prospect of a return to the pre-Bosman, Pre-Champions League, pre-TV money distortion days where United and Aberdeen flourished. Unlike other leagues of similar standing (Belgium/Poland/Austria/Hungary/former Yugoslav states) where decline has been their lot since the deregulation of the 80’s. We are fighting, above our weight, against distorted odds with any team from the big 5 leagues, the new oligarchies of Russia and Ukraine, and advantaged markets like Portugal with their Brazilian contacts. We can see signs of hope from countries like The Netherlands but, even there, they have a population 3 times larger than ours, and facilities and a respect for coaching that our fans do not yet possess. Look at a football discussion in The Netherlands and you will hear more sense and tactical analyses than any football pundit gives in Scotland or the UK. We need to evolve and we need to lose the “just gie them the money they are asking for” attitude. There is nothing socialistic about wasting money or spending beyond your means.
CQN has suffered less than many other blogs from infestations of rival supporters seeking to provoke and insult. There was a spate but the few brave Super Sammys and Scooterboys that showed their face seemed to lose their nerve once the period of Wattie domination proved to be built on a bed of corruption. They did do walking away and the blog is better for their absence. Unfortunately a few of our own have stepped in, thinking it is great larks to insult the Irish, our manager, players, fellow posters and fans, just to generate discussion. The risk of CQN becoming a tabloid on the internet is an ever present one and work remains to be done on moving us in the direction of more intelligent and humane debate.
U- Uber Fans
The debate continues as to whether you are more of a fan based on your attendance, your spending, or how emotional you can be in throwing a tantrum after a defeat. My own view is that anyone claiming to be an uber fan should add two more consonants after the second word. While it is true that you get a better overview of tactics, off the ball running and player effort, from attending games, you get a better view of controversial incidents and refereeing decisions from TV where you have a confined picture and the benefit of replays. Every fan who lives abroad or cannot afford to attend matches has every right to as much free comment as the diehard home and away attender. There are may supporters I consider to be of the superior variety. but the criteria I use for my humble opinion on this judgement does not involve levels of monetary expenditure or dedication to traveling to games. It is much more intangible than that.
There have been a series of memorable vendettas on CQN. There have been enjoyable match ups like the Neg Anon versus NeilR debates of the past or less enjoyable ones which have slipped into abuse and threats and underhand tactics. It is contemptuous to use details of private off-blog activities, not supplied by the poster themselves but uncovered through private research of a sleekit nature, to slag a fellow poster, yet I have seen it done on CQN. Others have let themselves down through drink talking but the real Celtic men always apologise for this when sobriety sets in. Those tat have the never apologise/never explain mindset betray a severe sociability defect. It is a sure sign of weakness in a person.
Now some may feel me hypocritical as they imagine I am off the blog currently for threatening violence. Let me assure them that they are mistaken. There was never any intention to cause harm, even were I capable of such, but I did want to meet the so called Celtic fans who take delight in destroying the Celtic ways. As some of them are trolls and others are false personas (in a different and more deliberate way than the way we all disguise ourselves on CQN), there was never any chance of a meet for dialogue, far less for violence,. Everyone is a ghost on CQN but a real person in real life. We have to respect each other more but keep disagreeing when we genuinely do.
W- Willo Window
The Willo Window is not strictly an Internet phenomenon but is a Celtic one. It is, to my mind, one of the modern day myths, that the lost opportunities of the January 2009 transfer window were the cause of our league loss in 2008/9 season. I am in a very small minority in this belief. Willo did not play well, badly or often enough to have made a difference to the league outcome then. We can all play “What If” as regards to missed signings that would have “guaranteed” the league but no-one can convince me that a mid season transfer splurge is a sure fire way to win anything. There are as many instances of successful teams “sticking” as there are of them “twisting” in the transfer market mid-season to make this purely a matter of opinion rather than fact, no matter how many believe it to be so. We brought in Bellamy in 2005 and lost the league and we brought in Robbie Keane et al in 2010 with a similar outcome.
My view is that a team that made their big mistake mid season would go on a losing run, relatively, from there to the end of the season. Instead Celtic lost a healthy lead, rallied and and won it back again with two matches to go. A tired group of players who had gone to the well too often that year failed to be energetic enough against a very tired and uncompetitive Hibs (including Steven Fletcher) when the league was there to be won. There were unused players in the wings who could have given fresh legs and impetus to the team. My version of the myth is that we should have blooded McCourt or McGinn then and we might have remained in front over the last two league games. I am resigned to be on the minority end of this debate for quite a few years yet.
Given our minority status and history as immigrants to this country, I never thought I would hear CQN being used to demonise a religion or group of peoples. We have fans of all faiths and none amongst us, of all nationalities and hue too. When some Celtic fans shamefully abused Mark Walters with bananas in January 1988, I was proud of the way that Celtic fans and the club reacted. In our centenary year showing of The Celtic Story, a few months later that same year, a memorable scene was written in to the play denouncing the young bhoy’s callous enjoyment of the Walters incident with a history lesson on what our forefathers had been subjected to and how we must never regard ourselves as the host who gives out to unwanted immigrants, real or perceived.
I want young Muslim fans, many of whom will have serious concerns about the activities of some who use their religion as cover, to feel wanted at Celtic. I do not want casual racism, lazy stereotyping, or demonizations of groups. Evil is committed by individuals, not races. The Nazis are not The Germans. Al Qaeda is not the Muslims. The CIA are not the Americans and Celtic fans are not The Inquisition.
And references to Plastic Paddies and Oirishism are Nothing But the Same Old Story. Not in my name. Not as long as I breathe.
Y- You Tube
CQN, via the much-missed Noel90, taught me to hyperlink. Pablophanque encouraged me to proliferate CQN with a collection of music videos, cartoons and funny stuff which only occasionally, has a football relevance, but these You Tube clips are one of the many sauces we add to our football basics to make CQN finger lickin good.
I could have gone with Zombies but one Rangers is more than enough for any A-Z directory. I want to finish with one of my favourite CQN posters, Zbyszek, who is more fluent in his 3rd or 4th language than I am in my first. I believe he should re-post his Winnie The Pooh analogy on an annual basis as it is sheer poetry and wistful magic. My favourite Pole since Joseph Conrad. I hope we do not have to beat his Legia team this year in CL qualifications.
So, there you have it, my A to Z of bampotery. I have been guilty of just as many faults in compiling this list as I have denounced in drawing it up. It is admittedly, partial, subjective and biased. If Sevco are looking for a guy to conduct their next independent enquiry, I believe I can do a job for them.
WORDS: Setting Free the Bears