I refuse to die.
Not too long ago, when Arsene Wenger’s contract situation very much hung in the balance, I allowed myself to hope, like the idiot that I was. I thought that if Wenger’s contract perished and along with it his reign at Arsenal, I would be super-motivated to think and write about Arsenal again. I thought I could rekindle my love with this football club – a love that will forever be more complicated than with all or any of my girlfriends.
Obviously, that didn’t happen. Wenger signed on for two years, and along with it came my conscious choice to suspend supporting the club. I knew I had to do it. Arsenal and football were losing their appeal. They had stopped becoming escapist tools and were instead becoming mirror images of reality. I wanted to be done with it, to wash my hands off it and pretend it never happened.
I share a life with this pieceofshit football club run by people who care for nothing expect portfolios and power. They’ve driven me off the deep end with their mediocrity and stagnation, daring me to sue my affiliations with the club. And for a while, I had. I stopped blogging. I stopped engaging in Arsenal related conversations. I did my best to detox myself.
But I couldn’t do a clean break. It’s fucking impossible, guys. It was only after deciding to leave Arsenal that I realized how entrenched my life had become with the club. Every morning my Android would give me notifs on what’s latest with the club. Twitter has become a daily hobby for me, too addictive to disconnect. I’m on nearly ten WhatsApp groups that only have Arsenal in common. I have friends with whom the only common interests we hold are our dislikes for Wenger. Leaving Arsenal would mean stopping a hundred different routines like that.
More than that, my identity is now the Arsenal fan, and along with that comes a lot of expectations. It means that when someone congratulates me on the signing of Alexandre Lacazette, I have to pretend to smile and be happy about it and spout some cliched bullshit that even I don’t believe on how his signing will help Mesut Ozil and we’ll win the league and blah blah blah. It means that when Arsenal lose 1-0 to Stoke, people expect me to pull a face and make a fuss about it for the entire day, even if the truth is I’ve stopped caring.
So screw this.
If the world wants me to remain an Arsenal fan, I’ll have to comply to that.
But I won’t be a normal Arsenal fan. I won’t be an optimistic little shit who acts as a mouthpiece for Arsene Wenger, nor a predictable whiner like those on Arsenal Fan TV. I’m not going to stop blogging like how Arsenal Truth did. I’m going to be worse.
And with this comes the rebranding of Arsenal Blogz (geez, what a kiddish name that was) to Existential Arsenal.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been embarrassingly forthright about my personal thoughts. Well, come to expect that from Existential Arsenal. I’m not going to patronize or pretend to commentate on situations like I’m the Wenger Out version of Arseblog, or a more balanced version of Le Grove. Because let’s call a spade for a spade – this isn’t CNN, this isn’t the most highly rated news portal in the world or any such thing, this is a fucking blog. The point of a blog isn’t to be fair or level-headed or consider all sides of the argument. Screw that. The point of a blog is to let go, to rant, to whatever you call it.
If you’re logging into this website expecting daily news and exclusive updates of Arsenal (which I doubt you ever did), you’ll be disappointed. I’m done with pretending to be ITK or pretending to be professional. That’s just not what this blog is meant to be, especially since calmly stating and restating facts got me no satisfaction.
So from now on, don’t expect professionalism. Don’t expect any balance, and definitely don’t expect censure. If I feel happiness in some dark corner of my heart after seeing Arsenal trail 4-0 to Bournemouth I guarantee you I will not hide it from my subsequent blog post. If I was too disinterested to watch an Arsenal match and re-watched Game of Thrones instead, I won’t be coy about that fact.
I feel Arsenal fans need this. Far too often we’ve pretended to feel what we don’t really feel. Far too often we’ve tweeted “Gutted to see Wilshere injured again” when our minds are thinking “What the fuck Wilshere can you do anything apart from breaking your legs”. We don’t tweet the second thing because we’re scared of the reaction, and scared of the dampener that will put on our image. We pretend to be sad about things because as Arsenal fans we’re supposed to be sad about them.
Why can’t we be honest with ourselves for a change?
I refuse to conform to this script anymore. I’m not scared. As a matter of fact, I’m not even brave. I’m just indifferent. I just don’t care. Arsenal under Wenger have become so artificial and abstract to me that I don’t want to stand for anything or anyone. The consequences can go fuck themselves.
What I’m supposed to be as an Arsenal fan and how I really am are two different things.
I just want, for a change, to say what I really feel, what I really think.
Something had to change, guys. Familiarity breeds contempt, and it also breeds boredom in blogging. There were times when I couldn’t be arsed to write about the same old shit in three different ways. For three years or so, I hoped Arsenal would change. But I guess it has to be this blog that does.
My heart throbbed and my fingers tingled as I typed this.
Finally, something to be excited over.
Watch this space. If you care.
-Santi [Follow me on Twitter @ExistentialAFC ]