Mickey Blue Eyes
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
If you can spare a moment it would be a good idea to meditate on dear Albert's words. The January "transfer window" looms. Yes, soon it will be Klutz of Gunsels Time. If you are feeling down because of winter weather......worry not, manufactured hysteria and unintentional comedy of January 2012 will lift your spirits. It cannot be otherwise, what with conspiracy theories, venom, sheer insanity, illusions, ignorance and rumours flying every which way and loose. Yes, it's the twice-a-year lunacy of loons, the Twin Peaks of footy crackpots. So you might as well ready yourself with a brief acquaintance with the "rules." It won't stop your sides aching but it will help you survive the cacophony.
The first thing to remember is that reality has nothing to do with some perceptions of "transfer windows." Generally, for that mentality it is about the kind of wishful thinking you see in kids queuing at a department store grotto. For instance, if someone says, "We won't have much or any money for transfers, we'll have to sell to fund an incoming" - invariably the truth for all except a few clubs - the crackpot reaction is to stamp at least one foot, sometimes two at the same time, ignore stark universal economic arithmetic, and then race around like a chicken clucking angrily and impotently at a dead hen. The hen won't revive of course, but it's the clucking that matters. Manufacturing this kind of stupidity has been the prime triumph of neocon propaganda of the last generation, a trend magnified in the crazy deluded world of professional football.
Then there's the double-blind-shuffle. In this, the perpetrator sets up a false sponsor and then knocks it down. For example, some schlump might say, "We should buy such and such a player," someone plainly outside purchase power, and then when it doesn't happen rant on about "a lost opportunity." When the player moves elsewhere and fails there is no further mention. It's as though he's evaporated into the ether. Remember N'Zogbia of Wigan, who transferred to Aston Villa - but only after they had sold two of their best players - and then did nothing? And what of Torres at Chelsea? In fact there's any number of examples of that sort of nonsense, almost all of it encouraged by the induced madness of August or January. It's a field of March hares displaced in time. In some, there's a complete inability to understand that very often events cannot be controlled simply because you wish it so. That isn't the way life or human beings function.
And if a player does come in and fails......well, that's the fault of the manager. Or somebody else. Too defensive. Or too aggressive. Or too something-or-other. People whose only acquaintance with professional football is through a computer game or some other hanger-on function can then turn into a kind of hate-filled certifiable schmatter incapable of facing the facts of life.
Then there is the question of money for transfers. Now, unless you have been sucking your food through a straw, or you are dead, or you are stupid, you will have noticed the world financial system burning down around you. You can argue the reasons for this, but you cannot argue the fact. When this happens - as it does regularly in a thoroughly immoral and hapless capitalist system - priorities have to be re-established. Generally, and understandably, sports go to the back of the queue. Inflated values are deflated in everything, especially in the Alice in Wonderland world of produce-nothing professional football. You can bang your head on the Wailing Wall as often as you want, it won't make a blind bit of difference. In these circumstances you would think, wouldn't you, that common sense would prevail. But you would be wrong, as January will once again demonstrate.
What will actually happen is what has always happened since this circus was implemented: hysteria and stupidity on a grand scale, venomous rumours and wilful ignorance underpinning the charade, all of it lightly seasoned by personality hatreds and other neurotic obsessions. Shakespeare called it "the passing parade." It comes and goes in the same old fashion and has done in various forms since inception of the sport. People too come and go, as they always have done. Those who go soon fade from memory. Meantime, the game will go on for as long as people want it, economic circumstances notwithstanding. It waxes and wanes as much as any other human activity.
So my suggestion is this: get ready for four weeks of utter slapstick comedy that would put Buster Keaton to shame, stone-face and all. Take the piss out of the more rabid schmucks wherever you can, especially the self-important ones. It will give you hours of endless fun. After all, laughter is the best medicine.