We are the Borg! 

Alf's Rhubarb Grumble

If there was ever a time when we needed Captain Jean-Luc Picard together with his crew to fly in with his USS Enterprise – D and save us from the clutches of the hive consciousness that is The Borg…then that time is surely now.

The cybernetic organisms have hovered over our West Ham universe in their cuboid dwelling with little indication that they are ready to buzz off to alien worlds light years away. The collective consciousness we thought so innocent on early inspection has been the infection that any popping of pills would not asunder. This is a virus that needs to be identified, rooted out and treated…and if necessary isolated from everything else. We need a cure, by hook and not by any other crooks.

As West Ham fans, we rarely expect dominion, we hold a healthy disregard for continued success but we value above all else commitment, desire and application…not only from our players but also from those who are the custodians of our battle cruiser. Of course we seek victory in every engagement and will fire off our photon torpedoes with steadfast assurance but we shall suffer loss with dignity if only the manner of defeat was shrouded in honour.

My concern now is that we are becoming the resistance where many would begin to believe that resistance to the Borg is futile. The hush of scepticism and the wallowing of self-pity has been replaced by the grinding of teeth and the drone of distemper. The division amongst the fanbase is as stark as dusk ‘til dawn…almost identical displeasure from different points of view.

At a time when there should be a united front to hold the system to account, to be resilient to any deceptions and to deflect any disapproving glances from broadcast charlatans, we find there is a groundswell of opinion that is counter to modern footballing culture and would dig in to ask questions and expect suitable answers…however there are those who would continue to offer support for masters who have betrayed their trust. Have these fans already accepted the hive mentality? Do they even know what evil lurks in the shadows as they have been blinded by bright lights and the allure of showtime spectacles? Are they even aware that the masters may not be as honourable as they once thought they were?

Is the hive actually above us…blocking out the light, or is it really within us all as we seek answers that would clear the haze from our thinking? Are we the embodiment of a collective cause that is futile in the face of modern footballing life, the vast amounts of television money and the disassociated actors from an expectant audience?

We have been racing with warp speed twelve to discover “Space, the final frontier, To explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilisations. To boldly go where no man has gone before” We were sold on what could be, what should be and how we would get there…but that day has been and gone and we are no nearer the truth. Is it really out there?

I have grown weary over the last few years of footballing spin, overacting swan diving, ham performances and the disconnect between the elite and the grassroots of the game…but mostly the vast expanse that separates the modern player and us as the supporting cast who have been relegated to bit-part performers or a cast of extras that nobody really cares for anymore.

We consider ourselves as the life force of our club regardless of where we are from, where we choose to reside and the frequency of visits to our own mecca. We support from near or far but we serve as one, a united cast that is unwavering in its loyalty for the club but wavers continuously for the owners who occupy the ivory towers paned with one-way mirrors. Are we The Borg?

We cannot get disconnected if we do not realise that we need to be separated to regain individual thought. We will continue to occupy our cocoons and tap into the radio waves of opinion and feed off the bilge of others. We might be fortunate to have someone else agitate our serenity until we become self-aware once more and once freed then we must feed from the real world. If we choose to take the red pill then we must see this until the end…to find peace and salvation.

There are subtle indications to tell you that all is not well and “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” …or rather in Stratford. Listen to commentators and list the errors and inaccuracies of their reports, watch the pundits…opinionated, dissociated and rarely insightful of fan opinion…Listen to broadcasters who would assume to know more about our club and our complexity of displeasure than we do. Listen well and you will note that the all-knowing actually know little more than we do, indeed often much less but will tend to side with the providers of a free lunch, a press pack and spin doctors who claim all is well and there is nothing to fear.

The hive is only as strong as the weakest link and when cracks start to occur then the ooze will leak out relieving the tendency to digest all that is given. The masters would seek to sure up the defences, make good the weaknesses and bring back into line those drones that have veered off course. It is in their interest to keep the facade from falling down, to keep the dream alive and keep us plump and scrambling in the dark.

We are a collective who can challenge the norm, question those who remain aloft and demand answers when the cracks appear in the plaster. The building is yet to settle and the foundations are yet firmed up. We should look upon the structure of our club and the system within it with dubious eyes. We must raise an eyebrow on our financial footing and seek the truth from those who would cloud the issues.

We are a hive of fans but we also need Jean-Luc Picard to come and shoo away those other Borg drones, to free us from the haze and to make us see clearly once more. We are the Borg of individuals who share the same ideals and the same concerns. Let us see the real world!

About the Author

Alf Gasparro
Life long West Ham United fan, football purist, love motorcycles & soaring with the birds, usually to be found with my head in the clouds...sometimes known as RevelatorAlf