Brave New World (The Star)
11 August 2011
There’s a whole bunch of us here in this happy place of delusion and madness, but while my insanity is fairly benign, my fellow inhabitants’ are not so harmless.
I LIKE to think of myself as a reasonable person. A person who would think logically most of the time and make decisions based on said logic.
But, around this time of the year, something happens to me and my usual level-headed self is replaced by a blithering idiot who mouths off such inane stupidities that people around me back away with fear in their eyes.
No, this state of being is not the result of low sugar levels brought about by fasting; I become like this because the English Premier League starts this weekend. And this year, like every year for as long as I can remember, the beginning of the season fills me with hope so high that I make Don Quixote look like the patron saint of sceptics.
I was chatting to a friend recently – well, I was babbling, really – about the new season and how excited I was. He dismissed me by saying there can be no thrill in a league where only two teams keep winning.
I agreed, but – and here my madness becomes apparent – “this year will be different,” I declared. “This year, Spurs will be champions.”
Every year, for a space of about two weeks I become like this. Then the season starts and I am flung out of Cloud Cuckoo Land to crash with a resounding thump in a reality where Manchester Bleeding United wins the damned thing again.
This year, however, I am not alone in Cloud Cuckoo Land. There’s a whole bunch of us here in this happy place of delusion and madness. The difference, however, is that while my insanity is fairly benign, my fellow inhabitants’ are not so harmless.
You see, I have delusions that Spurs are actually league winners, but these other chaps around me are under the impression that there is a massive Christian plot to grab unsuspecting Muslims and turn them to the way of Christ.
They go around with a red mist in their eyes and they see Christian conspiracies everywhere.
A fundraiser for HIV patients? No, no, it is a function where Christians are corrupting and converting Muslims. Lack of evidence that such proselytising is occurring puts no damper on their fervour. Who needs facts when you have conviction?
My friends in Cloud Cuckoo Land froth in the mouth as they make police reports against the wicked Christians, their bile dripping on the floors of police stations country wide. And they howl for new laws to make it a crime to proselytise.
Not once do they show any shred of proof to back their claims. Not once do they look inward and ask the question: if Muslims are leaving the religion, what is it that we are doing wrong?
Oh no, proof is for wimps, and introspection for those who don’t have a convenient scapegoat at hand.
As I sit here in Cloud Cuckoo Land, looking at their infantile antics and listening to their obtuse rants, I am grateful that the season is starting so soon and a happy distraction will be available every week.
On Saturday, I will watch with bated breath and hope that we beat Everton in our first game. And if we do, perhaps we can go on and win the title for the first time in half a century.
Yes, I admit, I am being delusional and not a little stupid, but at least my delusion and stupidity hurts no one.