Thursday's debate on the Liverpool-Manchester question reminds me of a piece Phil Redmond penned for the Guardian Arts blog shortly after assuming the reins of the Culture Company late last month (http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/theatre/2007/09/whatscouseculturemeans.html ).
Redmond succeeded in talking sense & bollocks in equal measure:
"A city [Liverpool] where the status quo has never been an option naturally breeds suspicion, cynicism and a healthy disrespect for authority and cultural elites. At the same time, a culture of shared grief and pain generates a need for mutual and community support.
"Sentimentality comes easy on the backs of nostalgia while Celtic romanticism is never far away and everything is, well, 'worth a try'. Extremes become the norm. Whether Hillsborough or Istanbul, whether the tragedies of teenage death or the triumphs of teenage celebrity, whether employment law or local politics, everything is heightened by the reflective glow of the Mersey."
If it weren't for a couple of truisms thrown in there, Redmond's panegyric would merit a place in Pseuds' Corner.