After a promising start at Stamford Bridge, Liverpool had their dreams of Champions League triumph thrashed out of them by a . . . resuberant rejuvulent reboundant redoubtant rejubulent (what is the word I’m after? Tenacious will have to do), by a tenacious Chelsea side.
That opening paragraph, if I could have perhaps remembered the word I was after, had all the hallmarks of poor sports reportage. Perhaps that is my destiny. After all, what is the use in me sitting here bashing out old news? This isn’t even news anymore – it’s almost an entire day after the event took place – it’s simply a historical report on the outcome of the 2nd leg of the 2009 Champions League Quarter Final between Liverpool and Chelsea.
The internet and 24 hour news channels have made everything so instantaneous that it’s pointless to even read a paper in the morning. You could be perusing the usual hodgepodge of reality stars dying, the FTSE losing points, Michelle Obama’s strong toned upper arms – is it a flaw, or isn’t it? Perhaps it suits her, but not other women? Well, with her dress sense she can pull it off . . . or can she?! – all the while assuming the world is carrying on as normal, which it almost definitely is, but you just might be wrong – maybe everything isn’t ok. There might be a terrorist in your garden, or a bomb up your bum, or Michelle Obama’s upper arms might really be made of plasticine stuck on with double sided sticky tape. Oh the horror! Curse this out of date rag!
This is what news is now – resigned instantly to the past and updated by the next snippet of unimportant information, online news is like an endless conversation with a ‘one-upper’, “Ferdinand doubtful for Porto game” . . . “Ferdinand declared fit for Porto game” . . . “Ferdinand to start Porto game” . . . “Ferdinand said to be ‘excited’ about Porto game” . . . This vast and seemingly endless stream of ‘real time’ reportage is probably partly to blame for people actively shunning current affairs in favour of looking at pictures of famous womens’ underwear or patches of cellulite (cellulite is more permanent than most news – people who read Heat feel safe in the knowledge that it’s there, on that celebrity’s upper thigh, and it’s not going anywhere), plus the fact that looking at a picture means that you needn’t spend hours waiting to be drip fed the next bite sized chunk of a 20,000 word summary of the latest ‘one-upper soap opera’. After all, that is what all the ‘big’ stories are now – very boring real life soap operas. A few of the latest include: ‘Police battering protesters until they die of heart attacks’, ‘Gordon Brown’s advisors slagging David Cameron off via email’ and ‘Somali pirates keep capturing boats’. Each day there are numerous new micro developments to the stories. “Gordon Brown has written a letter of apology to David Cameron”, “The police have ordered a review of public order policing”, “Pirates are still bad”. They are almost always boring and predictable and offer no added interest or flavour to what has already been said, and when the ordeal is finally superseded by a new story, you can’t even remember what the problem was in the first place. It’s like a black hole has been left where there should be new knowledge and information; you realise you’ve been duped and resort to memories of Lindsay Lohan’s pants when she was snapped exiting a taxi by some sleazy degenerate lying in a filthy Soho gutter.
Pirates, MPs, Lindsay Lohan, photographers lying in gutters, they are all in the business of transience, distraction and illusion, which is why we need something of substance to fill the voids – something that can be retained. Tonight then, I will once again fully and unabashedly engage in the spectacle of Manchester United vs FC Porto, so as to divert my attention from the ‘news’ and revel in the simplicity of a game, a game that won or lost, will be resolutely implanted in my memory.
Resurgent! That’s the word.