Saturday, 26 May 2012

Jelly and ice cream

It matters not who set the ginger-bearded ball rolling down the evidently-steep slope that is Twitter. It matters not that many mourned the "death of journalism" as thousands of giddy internet heroes confidently boasted fiction as hard fact in order to appear 'in the know'. It matters not that it all turned out to be a bowlful of unfounded cyberbollocks with a side of bullshit bruschetta. Those things don't matter because they're all part of the Twitter package; we all signed up to share it with attention seekers.

What matters is that we got a glimpse into a world without Malcolm Irving Glazer.

For a few moments, Manchester United fans tweeted just as giddily as the Fisher Price journalists from whom they had heard the falsified reports of Uncle Malc's death. And an overwhelming majority were reaching for the jelly and ice cream they promised to eat when the Florida-based goblin kicked the bucket. Before the Champagne was put back on ice, the reaction was revealing if altogether unsurprising.

Reds yearned for confirmation of the death of the man that bought Manchester United with hundreds and millions of someone else's dollars with the business plan of paying it back - over the course of the next few millenniums - by lifting fans up by their ankles and shaking them until their dinner money fell from their pockets. Frantic with a hatred usually reserved for dictators and paedophiles, we heard soundbites like "If confirmed we should get to the forecourt and have a knees-up", "No one's thinking this will topple the ownership. It's just good to know the greedy evil bastard is no longer with us (if true)", "Best news of the year if true" and "Please let this be true. Please please please...".

Fans recognise that Malcolm Glazer's death would do nothing to exterminate the cancer that his family are to Manchester United Football Club. The club's on-field success over the last seven years has done nothing to quell the vitriol that the majority of fans feel towards the leprechaun-looking toe rag, and his death would go some way to cheering them up. Yesterday confirmed that the hatred really is *that* undiluted.

The rumours were so potent, and spread so quickly, that Manchester United themselves felt the need to issue a statement to put the rumours to bed. This begged the question, "how will the club deal with his death when he actually does die?"

I for one hope they don't expect us to observe a minute's silence.

Now I'm not one for disrespecting the dead, and when it's all said and done an old man with a family will have died, but the club would have to have some cheek to ask Old Trafford to mark the occasion with a minute of dignity that is a minute longer than that which we have seen from Malcolm Glazer.

On a personal level, it would be an irrelevant gesture.

On a footballing level it would be absolutely gouge-your-own-eyes-out ridiculous. The man has as much of a connection to our football and history as Jade Goody did, and we didn't have a minute's silence for her.

I would treat any minute's silence with the same content with which I treat the singing of the (reluctantly capped up) National Anthem. I don't sing the National Anthem because I don't believe in it. I'm not on some sort of anarchic crusade, I'd just be a hypocrite if I sang along. I don't make an effort to spoil it for anyone else or stop anyone else from choosing to sing along - it would be unfair to force such a sentiment down their throats.

Speaking of being forced down our throats - and I'm not just talking about a £3.50 half-time hot dog - I would similarly hope that Manchester United would not expect the fans to keep quiet out of respect for a man that most of them grape-crushingly despise.

Personally, I would act as if a minute's silence wasn't happening. A rendition of "how we'll kill him I don't know" would be over the top, yes, but I'd happily carry on a conversation with my dad in the seat next to me or join in with a chorus of "Keep the red flag flying high, 'cause Man United will never die".

Collectively, a minute's silence for Malcolm Glazer, the man who took out his gold-plated circumcised cock and pissed all over the fans and history of a great football club to make a few bucks, would be met with hearty shanties, a conga line and trifle.

But who knows how the club will mark his passing?

The truth is that the inevitable interruption of any ill-advised club-sanctioned minute's silence would cause uproar from the nation's press. We would be publicly lynched in black-and-white print. They'd label us deplorably insensitive, heartless thugs. They'd ridiculously point to Munich and ask 'have you learnt nothing?' They'd call for our heads.

We'd be public enemy number one, and I wouldn't want it any other way.

"All we know is Glazer's gonna die".

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