Heroes in our time

It’s a funny thing when you open yourself up to the various resources open to aspiring writers, you are met with the usual deluge of “must have” resources, in addition to invites to workshops or seminars “no aspiring writer should be without”. Fortunately, for my bank balance, most of these are geared towards those of the craft inclined towards fiction, though I freely confess the opportunity to access the thought processes of Sol Stein was a temptation too far. It proved to be an invaluable investment as his ability to inject a storyteller’s narrative into non-fictional work is quite simply, seminal.

Our club like every other business has moved with the times in catering for the supply and demand of commercialisation. Some of you reading this will be old enough to remember a time when our megastore was little more than a cupboard where only the brave (or reckless) would dare to swing a cat. In fact were the late great Ian Redford alive today he could provide testimony of that, after his encounter with a young Marine on leave who, in the excitement of coming face to face with one his heroes, clumsily, almost knocked him spinning such was his desire to get an autograph.

Of course the premise for all good fictional stories revolves around a fairly tried and tested “Holy Trinity” consisting of plot, hero and villain. A quick rewind of events at our club over the last few years allows us to see how the plot, hero and villain formula can easily transcend fiction and penetrate real life events. You can pick your own plot and villains, the hero part which I will get to later, is non-negotiable.

Another weapon in the writer’s arsenal is that of rhetoric. Not the empty kind so often relied upon these days and which is soon exposed for what it is – shallow and without foundation. I refer instead to the rhetoric used to such effect by Churchill, Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln, which has not only stood the test of time but altered the course of history. The significant common denominator in these masters use of rhetoric was that it was rooted in truth.

We have our plot. A football club so enshrined in Scottish society as to be considered an institution, a focal point for thousands of Scots and Ulster Scots in every part of the world, not merely a badge of sporting identity but the very representation of a people and everything they stand for and cherish. For generations of us the baptism of a son, daughter or grandchild on the slopes of Ibrox Park was a necessary Rite of Passage. To put it in its simplest terms, this is more than just a football club.

Add to the mix a whole cast of villains. The egotistical, the unscrupulous, the greedy, the opportunistic, the liars, the deceitful. Aided and abetted by incompetent authorities, the jealous, the spiteful, those whose motivations have been determined by living in the shadow of Rangers for so long.

Furthermore let us dispense with all the legal foundations upon which our country was built, instead let us declare a guilty verdict without trial. Let us then impose draconian punishment upon them and to hell with the consequences. Where courts and the law rule in their favour – let’s simply ignore them. Banish them to obscurity – hopefully to endure a slow, agonising lingering death.

So we have our plot and we have a whole host of villains, what we need now is some heroes, but firstly, let’s have some rhetoric.

Though the straits be broad or narrow it’s follow we will,
Follow we will follow we will,
Though the straits be broad or narrow it’s follow we will,
We will follow in the footsteps of our team, [God Bless Them]
Follow follow we will follow Rangers,
Everywhere anywhere we will follow on,
Dundee, Hamilton, Aberdeen and back again,
If they go to Dublin we will follow on,
For there’s not a team like the Glasgow Rangers,
No not one and there never shall be one,
Celtic know all about their troubles,
We will fight ’til the day is done
There’s not a team like the Glasgow Rangers,
No not one and there never shall be one.

But remember the writer’s rules – rhetoric must have at its foundation truth.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2237531/Rangers-v-Elgin-postponed-tickets-sold.html

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/high-winds-heavy-rain-force-2927784

Remember what I said in the opening about supply and demand? Temporary stands and overselling tickets are the manifestation of supply and demand. But they are something else. They are testaments to a support who refused to let their club die, who steadfastly refused to follow a script written by others, instead creating their own story in the process.

Against such a backdrop of villains and plot we need heroes whose actions transcend both language and culture and appeal to readers the world over.

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/football-writer-flies-from-japan-to-cover-1458381

You want heroes in our time?

Then go and look in the mirror.

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