Immunity from some of the hard realities in life is something most of us have sought at some point.
When we are steeped in the history of a football club, it is easy to let our emotional attachment take priority over rational thought. Our sense of what is real and what is reasonable diminishes, as our sense of injustice grows.
It is not so much that we want to remain oblivious to hard facts.
It is simply that the urge to avoid discomfort means that we subconsciously select our preferred method of presenting the facts to ourselves. It is a way of keeping our emotions artificially balanced with our thoughts.
Primitive mechanisms like this are remarkably adaptive. They have to be, to enable us to cope with some of the more complicated social, cultural and political situations that they were never designed to manage.
More often than not we seek convenience.
The people in positions of power and their gallant friends in the media are usually only too happy to oblige.
We just accept the facts as they are presented to us through political spin or editorial preference. We somehow allow the media’s presentation of the facts to feel right to us.
When it stops feeling right, before we even think about it, we shuffle things around in our mind until we find a way of making it feel right again.
Sometimes this means ignoring obvious implications and suppressing what we actually know to be the case.
The human mind doesn’t always seek out the truth; it seeks out the presentation of the facts that is most convenient and best for its own comfort and self-preservation.
And coincidentally, the media doesn’t always present the truth; it presents a version of the truth that is best for the preservation of its complex relationships with wealthy individuals and those in positions of influence and authority.
It is all about gaming.
Truth by convenience works fantastically well, but only in so far as the game is left unchallenged.
Challenges may come in the form of hard factual friction. It brings the spinning wheel to a grinding halt; it usually happens when the money runs out and people demand payment. This is one way of forcing realignment with reality. It is rarely pretty.
Challenges may come in the form of awkward questions that many people refused to ask, for fear of public condemnation or social alienation. This is another style, which usually only happens after the latter. It is rarely comfortable.
The backlash is usually severe. It tends to be directed at the individuals responsible for forcing the eventual realignment, rather than the individuals who created the misalignment in the first place.
More often than not, particularly in football, the backlash is misdirected. It is usually a last-ditch attempt at shifting responsibility and avoiding the truth, just before the wheel finally stops.
I’m sure we’ve all done it; at some point, and with dignity.