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Fake crowds and fake shebeens in TV land - but we'll take it

Nobody told us there'd be days like this, writes Declan Lynch

Claire Byrne

We are seeing so many things that we have never seen before. And many of them are strangely connected. As we sat down to enjoy the Premier League game between Manchester City and Burnley, trying to decide whether we wanted it with fake crowd noises or without, we found ourselves looking at a light plane overhead, trailing a banner with the racist message: 'White Lives Matter - Burnley'.

After the game, Burnley's captain, Ben Mee (or #MeeToo as you might call him), made a laudable attack on the racists, demonstrating one of the recent themes of our time: the fact that sports people are providing the kind of moral leadership which is absent in the once-great countries in which they are making their interventions.

On the whole, there are roughly three things going on in the world, or at least the TV world, which is effectively the same thing: there's the pandemic, and the Black Lives Matter movement, and the decline and perhaps the fall of the American empire.