At the beginning of the Edinburgh Derby this lunchtime there was a moment of remembrance for two who had passed away this week. The crowd stood and applauded for one minute in an act of remembrance and then the game got under way. This is not an unusual event, sadly such moments occur throughout the season, occasionally involving the entire league, often at a local level involving only one club. This is of course perfectly acceptable behaviour and is to be itself applauded.
However I mused on the emotion involved in society these days. Until recently such moments passed in complete silence as this was considered appropriate at someones passing. The increase of televised football coverage allowed us the sight of Italians at such moments applauding for one minute and many considered this appropriate to introduce. There are other reasons, some clubs fans are unwilling to allow such respect to pass without abuse of the dead or their supporters, on at least one occasion my own club has some fans who indulged in such ignorant abuse. For this reason applause is sometimes suggested instead of silence. However the individual who has died on occasion finds such respect from the fans they automatically respond in whatever is the better style.
This also reflects on the increase of emotion allowed, or all to often encouraged, today. Where once we were told to 'don't show you are hurt,' or 'make the best of it,' 'get up and sort it,' today raucous whining appears to be the order of the day. Self control is less important and respect offered for the dead often is not extended to the living! People at heart remain the same as when we left the Garden of Eden, however you imagine that. Culture however changes all the time. I suspect the mess that was 18th century Britain (and I refer only to the UK here) with the five year old alcoholics, industrial revolution and the resultant problems and social breakdown all helped to develop an attitude of a more organised society in the 19th century. The influence of preachers cannot be ignored as the men changed during the 1700s by the preaching of Wesley, Whitfield and the rest often produced families who worked their way up in society over the next fifty years bringing change wherever they went. Add of course Queen Victoria once she had found Albert as consort there arose a fashion for respectability allied to Christian influence which reached everywhere. The 'Public Schools,' never of course open to the 'public,' developed the 'Masculine Christianity,' line whereby you took the knocks and carried on. Being able to take knocks without complaining sounds good but often it was abused by others who enjoyed inflicting knocks and grumbling if you did not like it,'Take the knocks and be a man,' they would say, while leathering you!
This stiff upper lip society reached it's zenith during the Great War, and survived! So many writings from the time show that knocks were expected and folks just 'got on and dealt with it.' This is certainly an attitude gone from us today. 'Daily Mail' readers blame the benefit society, while really just disliking any of their tax helping the poor, or indeed anyone else. Religious blame religious faith wavering, political minds blame systems, clever people debate endlessly, oh how endlessly, on TV and radio to no end whatsoever. Indeed wealth has made society lazy, the ability to always have what we want makes us greedy, deprivation is almost intolerable to us today while the house remains filled with expensive 'must have' things that are rarely used. While emotion has always been part of football it is not what it was in my view. Football was emotional in the 60's but better, today the intensity is greater, the game less enjoyable. Money plays its part but football or TV or money or politics or any other thing takes a different place in our emotions today from what it did before. Two world wars and a depression followed by a time of new hope, housing, NHS, and full employment are replaced by wealth undreampt off by our grandfathers, well mine at least, items filling the house our forefathers thought only the rich could dream about, holidays abroad (well Bournemouth) cars, planes and the internet all affect our outlook and lessen the 'still upper lip' as it appears not to matter today. What matters is satisfying the self, nothing else. 'Me first' has always been part of society, today 'me' and my emotions appear to dominate.
Maybe of course I just ramble. However the result of the football was yet another victory for the Heart of Midlothian, thus giving me the giggles in a manner I am unused to. I spent much of the game sniggering at the Hibbys and giggling like a lassie every time the camera focused on one with his head in his hands. I did all this in love of course, but I had to laugh, and have been cackling ever since.