We regularly build psychological profiles of people we don’t know.
Neil Lennon is a prime example.
When an individual has a high profile in public life, it tends to happen that the profile we build suggests a character for that individual that is not consistent with the way that individual actually is.
Yet, we believe that the character is there, just as our subconscious profile suggests it is, and we believe that the individual’s actions, gestures and words confirm this to be the case, many times over. It is there, right in front of our eyes.
Sometimes we misread other people because we have been too quick to judge them; other times we misread them because we don’t even bother taking the time to arrive at a balanced, rational judgement at all.
We are happy taking it on ‘authority’ that things are thus and so. Our laziness in thought and gullibility in character suits the media. It allows them to drive their own agenda with very little effort.
Whilst we could cite evidence to the contrary – and we would need to be careful how we interpret such ‘evidence’ – I am not completely convinced that the common media agenda is to attack Neil Lennon’s ethnicity and religious beliefs.
But I am convinced that their damaging profiling exercises present those who do have this agenda with perfectly strung bait.
Too often we let the media, and other people around us, take the lead when it comes to defining who certain individuals are, and what their character is like, and we actually believe that we see all the signs to confirm and validate what we would consider to be our own, fair and honest judgement.
To be portrayed in the media as obnoxious, irritating, self-indulgent and lacking self-control is dangerous.
Too many people consequently read these characteristics into the individual concerned, without knowing him, and the psychological profile we have been fed begins to take on a life of its own, suggesting other negative, self-defeating, and personally damaging, qualities.
When people complain that Neil Lennon is a problem in Scottish football, they ought to stop and reflect on whether their self-indulgent complaining, and uncontrollable ranting, is actually integral to the problem they think exists.
And they ought to be very careful that their judgement is not just an obnoxious regurgitation of what they have been fed through the many irritating and crass articles that continually turn up in the Scottish mainstream media.