Friday, December 02, 2005

George Best my Dad and Me

Sooner or later I’m going to have something nice to say….but at the moment I will reserve all the niceness I can muster for those I love.

When my dad died he did not look pretty, he did not look well, in fact drowning in your own blood from a perforated liver is a pretty shitty way to die. Yup you guessed it my Dad was an alcoholic (some of you may be way ahead of me by now already). I saw a picture of him when he married my mum, he looked like a film star (sadly I don’t). He didn’t look like a film star when he died. At the time in fact he looked to me like a drunken thief. He had stolen the youth from my sister and I, squandering the best years of my mother’s life on the way. On top of that he drank away the profits of a business to which we all sacrificed some part of ourselves. It says a great deal that my sister and I haven’t spoken for five years passed and my mum and I despite our best efforts rarely communicate. My dad has been gone close to 8 years. Though I’m quite sure that our lack of family cohesion is not entirely his fault the lack money certainly was. In death the greatest tragedy is felt by the living.

With the death of an alcoholic we might expect some respite from an ongoing tragedy, but in truth the misery rarely stops there. So it is with George Best. I will not endorse this media canonising of an alcoholic. My father was a nice bloke but it will never make up for the things he did and didn’t do. George Best was a great football player but it will not dismiss the charming deceit of the celebrity alcoholic. This is a man who made a living out of his tragedy and that which he forced upon others. If some good has to come of this, we need to recognise that you can call a spade a spade and in turn an alcoholic however talented, a bad person. If we continue to romanticise and covertly endorse alcoholics particularly those like George Best, we don’t help Alcoholics or their numerous victims.

It is quite simply unacceptable for the media to come out with lines like “remember the great football players he was”. It’s like me sitting here trying to remember my film star looks dad, it is a denial of the truth.

The line we miss is; I’m an alcoholic, I am a bad person and drinking will not make this better, not drinking just might though.

What I really want to say is this: bury the selfish f****r, stuff the nice bloke garbage and take real good care of those he hurt. Then try to create a society where this is less rather than more likely to happen.

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