Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Hype, hypocrisy & hackneyed images

I've been fighting off a cold these last few days, more irritating than disabling.
Evidence that the Dianafication of British society is still going strong came last weekend with the story of the whale in the Thames. I'll admit that the story initially arrested my attention. Then the tabloids got involved. Feeding on the public's maudlin & lachrymose treatment of most creatures, they duly delivered what the punters wanted.
The tabloids were also on the warpath this weekend over politicians' private lives. Liberal Democrat Mark Oaten was found to have paid a male prostitute. I'm always full of distaste for such scandals. Oaten certainly erred in letting the cameras in to film his family at the kitchen table during his short lived leadership bid. However, he had not followed the lead of other politicians down the years in pronouncing on "morality".
Closer to home, I see that Liverpool's preparations for 2008 (Capital of Culture year, lest we forget) continue to stumble & lurch like a scally on a Saturday night. I've been in two minds about 2008 ever since the city won the bid. Local wags have dubbed it the Culture of Capital, & that tag seems to be applicable with each new development. 2008 could have been a great opportunity for the city of Liverpool & Merseyside. Instead, however, it will be a cringe-inducing endorsement of the stereotypical image the area has nationally; cashing in on the Beatles whilst ignoring the vibrant local music scene is the ultimate in local myopia. The Culture Company (what a jarringly inelegant title) gave a cross between a mini-presentation & a pep talk at my workplace a fortnight ago (my employer is one of the main corporate sponsors). It confirmed all my suspicions that this will be a missed opportunity.

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